Cookie Policy

Last updated: May 25, 2018

This Cookie Policy (Policy) explains how the Open Society Foundations (OSF) uses cookies and other tracking technologies through our website and other sites owned and operated by us.

This Policy is to be read alongside the OSF’s Privacy Policy which explains how OSF uses personal information. If you do not accept our use of cookies please disable them following our guidance below.

What are web cookies?

Web cookies are small files that are placed on your computer or mobile device by a website when you visit it. They contain details of your browsing history on that website and distinguish you from other users. Cookies send data back to the originating website on each subsequent visit or allow another website to recognize the cookie. Cookies are useful because they allow a website to recognize a user’s device and, for instance, remember your preferences and generally improve your online user experience. Like most websites, OSF’s websites use cookies.

Although this Policy refers to the general term “cookie,” which is the main method used by our website to store information, the browser’s local storage space is also used for the same purpose and we may use other tracking technologies through this website such as web beacons, clear GIFs, or pixel tags. We usually use such tracking technologies to count users who visit certain pages of our website and to deliver branded services as well as to help determine the effectiveness of promotional campaigns.

As a result, the information included in this Policy is likewise applicable to all such tracking technologies that we use.

Why do we use cookies?

  1. To let you do things on our website—for example, cookies enable you to log in to secure areas of our website, fill in application forms or view content.
  2. To collect anonymous statistics—the information collected by cookies enables us to improve the website through use figures and patterns. For example, it is really useful to see which pages of the website—and therefore which of our services—are the most popular and how users are interacting with them.
  3. To improve your experience of our website—for example, to prevent you having to re-enter details when you have already done so, or by ensuring that users can find what they are looking for easily.
  4. To ensure that our website is secure—for example, to make sure that personal information that you give to us does not fall into the wrong hands.
  5. To provide you with information and content which we think is relevant to you—for example, to work with our partners to serve you with targeted advertising.

The table below provides more information about the cookies we use and why.

Name of Cookie Provider Purpose of the Cookie Duration
__cfduid Cloudflare Used to identify unique users. 24 hours
_ga Google Used to identify unique users. 2 years
_gat Google Used to limit the number of requests to Google’s servers. No data is stored. 1 minute
_gid Google Used to distinguish users. 24 hours
_gat_gtag_[property_id] Google Used to specify Google Analytics account. 1 hour
__utma Google Used to distinguish users and sessions. 2 years
__utmc Google Used to track new visitors. temporary
__utmt Google Used to throttle request rate. 10 minutes
__utmb Google Used to identify unique users. 30 minutes
__utmz Google Used to identify how user came to site. 6 months
_cb Chartbeat Used to distinguish users. 1 year
_cb_ls Chartbeat Used to distinguish users. 1 year
_cb_svref Chartbeat Used to distinguish users. 30 minutes
_chartbeat2 Chartbeat Used to determine if and when user has been to site. 1 year
email_subscriber OSF Used to track if user comes to site via email newsletter link. 1 year
email_campaign OSF Used to track campaign ID of email newsletter. A campaign ID is a unique identifier tied to each email newsletter. 1 year
email_campaign_repeat OSF Used to track campaign ID of email newsletter for repeat visitors. A campaign ID is a unique identifier tied to each email newsletter. 1 year
has_js OSF/Drupal Used to track if user has javascript enabled. temporary
__unam ShareThis Used to track user clicks and views. 1 year
__sharethis_cookie_test__ ShareThis Used to test for cookies. temporary

OSF also uses some cookies which are strictly necessary in order for you to use our services available on our website.

Website cookie acceptance

By using our website, you consent to our use of cookies as updated from time to time. In particular, you consent to cookies being stored on your computer and/or mobile device (unless rejected or disabled by your browser).

Turning cookies off

Internet browsers normally accept cookies by default. However, most browsers let you turn off either all or third-party cookies. What you are able to do depends on which browser you are using. If you do not accept our use of cookies as set out above, please set your browser to reject cookies. However, please be aware that this may impair or limit your ability to use our website. The option to do this is usually found in the options, settings, or preferences menu of your browser or mobile device.

We use Google Analytics, which uses cookies and similar technologies to collect and analyze information about use of the services and report on activities and trends. This service may also collect information regarding the use of other websites, apps, and online resources. You can learn about Google’s practices by going to, and opt out of them by downloading the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on, available at

Click on the links below to find out how to change your cookie settings in:

Updating this Policy

We may update our use of cookies from time to time and consequently we may update this Policy. We therefore recommend that you check this Policy regularly. We will notify you of any significant changes by way of a notice on our website or by contacting you directly when reasonably possible.