According to Apple, cookies sources from the Apple website have been separated into three categories based on the . Category 1 is ‘Strictly Necessary Cookies’, and these are essentially for providing shopping cart and e-billing functionality. Category 2 are ‘Performance Cookies’ and these collect information from the user about how they use the website. Apple also says that these cookies help to optimize the site and make them easier to navigate. This category of cookies also contains information about whether a user was directed to the Apple site from an affiliate and all data is anonymous.
The third category of cookies ‘Category 3 – Functionality Cookies’ store user browsing choices which can determine which geographical area a user is from and can therefore allow Apple to provide location specific items on the store. In addition, they can also store information about what elements on the site, such as videos, have been viewed to avoid repetition. Once again, the company states that these cookies cannot personally identify you and do not track your information on other websites.
In a time when tracking of online presence is a sensitive subject (see Path, Twitter issues etc), Apple is obviously being very up front when it comes to what information they collect while browsing their online services. While this policy only appears to cover the UK Apple Store at the moment, it wil be interesting to see if it is extended to online stores in other countries.