Executive Council

Authorizes Release:

Chief of Staff for the President

Responsible Area:

University Communications

Review Cycle:

Annually or as required

Last Review:

May 2024

Related Policies and Additional References:

Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

What Are Cookies?

Cookies are small pieces of data containing text sent from a website to users’ computers or mobile devices, where they are stored locally. They can uniquely identify users’ internet browsers (like Google Chrome or Apple Safari) or devices to help enhance user experience and provide additional functionality. They can be used for storing preferences, protecting data, tracking geolocation and targeted advertising.

ƵƬ’s University and third-party vendors use cookies on websites. The Cookie Policy details how cookies are used, how users can manage cookies and who to contact for any questions.

Why Do We Use Cookies?

The University and vendors use cookies to get a better understanding of how users use websites and how they interact with content or to provide targeted advertisements on third-party sites such as Google, advertising vendors or social media sites. These cookies may track the users’ geolocation or usage data, such as time spent on a page. A more comprehensive list of cookies and uses is outlined below.

What Kind of Cookies Are Used?

ƵƬ’s University uses both first-party and third-party cookies on its websites to track usage information and collect personal data.

First-Party Cookies: First-party cookies are issued by the ƵƬ’s University domain. These are generally used to provide website functionality to the user. ƵƬ’s may also use cookies to improve ƵƬ’s University websites by collecting and reporting information on its usage, such as search results and links clicked.

Third-Party Cookies: In addition, third-party cookies belonging to other parties, including business partners and service providers, are used by ƵƬ’s University websites. Third-party cookies are used for marketing, advertising and recruitment purposes. These are used to track visitors across ƵƬ’s University sites to allow our third-party vendors to display advertisements on Google and social media sites.

Categories of Cookies

There are four categories of cookies that ƵƬ’s University uses.

Strictly Necessary Cookies: These cookies are essential to the basic functionality of a website and are essential to navigating ƵƬ’s University websites and using its features. This type of cookie cannot be disabled.

  • Functionality (or Preference) Cookies: These cookies provide enhanced features and content based on how users have previously used a website, such as remembering if users have been to the site before to prevent displaying first-time visitor messages. Information tracked by these cookies may be anonymous and not used to track browsing activity on other sites.
  • Performance (or Statistical) Cookies: These cookies collect information on how users use ƵƬ’s University websites. The cookies tell which pages users have visited, what they have searched on the site, how often errors are encountered and how we can improve the user experience. The data is collected for statistical purposes and do not contain personal information, such as names or email addresses.
  • Marketing (or Targeting and Advertising) Cookies: These cookies provide information about a user’s interaction with website content to help ƵƬ’s and third parties (including advertisers) deliver relevant advertisements and to measure the effectiveness of marketing and advertising campaigns.
  • Third-Party Cookies: Our third-party vendors may use cookies on our site to improve functionality, target advertisements and more. Unlike first-party cookies (which belong to ƵƬ’s University), third-party cookies are placed by another party on your device through our websites. Videos, links and other content from third parties may contain third-party cookies. They may be used to understand how users use their services and/or for targeted advertising elsewhere on the internet.


  • AdWords: ƵƬ’s University websites use the Google AdWords service. This service uses a cookie to enable Google to serve users with relevant advertisements. The cookie cannot be used to identify users.
  • Google Analytics: Used to understand the effectiveness of advertising and marketing campaigns and how users interact with our websites.
  • Google Tracking Cookies: Used to understand if users perform certain actions on websites after seeing or clicking an advertisement provided by Google, and to allow Google to deliver engaging, targeted ads across other Google partner websites.
  • Users can opt-out of Google’s use of cookies for advertising purposes by using Google’s My Ad Center.

Social Media

  • Meta (Facebook and Instagram): Used to provide users with targeted ads on Facebook based on their engagement with the University’s website or to perform campaign reporting for users who visit the website from advertising campaigns run on Facebook or Instagram. Also used to allow users to easily share content (from the University magazine) through the Facebook website or mobile application. Users can adjust their ad preferences on Facebook.
  • LinkedIn: Used to perform campaign reporting and insights for users who visit the website from advertising campaigns run on LinkedIn, and to allow users to easily share content (from the University magazine) through the LinkedIn website. Users can manage their LinkedIn Ads settings.
  • X (formerly Twitter): Used to provide users with targeted ads on Twitter based on their engagement with our website and to allow users to easily share content (from the University magazine) through the X (formerly Twitter) website. Users can adjust your privacy controls for personalized ads on X.
  • YouTube: Used to remember preference for YouTube videos, such as resolution, audio settings and more. Users can adjust your ad preferences for YouTube on Google’s My Ad Center.

Third-Party Marketing Vendors

ƵƬ’s University partners with third-party marketing vendors to track user behavior to deliver customized content and advertising and to improve user experience. Certain information may be collected by cookies or other tracking technologies when you access or use these third-party services (such as emails or advertisements), including information about users’ browsing activity or non-personal information.

How Long Will Cookies Remain?

Cookies stay on users’ device(s) for differing amounts of time, depending on whether it is a persistent or session cookie.

  • Persistent Cookies: These cookies are used to remember users’ preferences on the website, to analyze user behavior, to establish patterns of usage and preferences and to improve functionality of the website. They remain on users’ computers or devices until they expire, or they are deleted by you. They persist even after you close the browser and restart your computer.
  • Session Cookies: These cookies are used to remember users’ activity during the current website visit. They are temporary and only stay on users’ computers or devices until users stop the current browsing session.

How to Manage Cookie Preferences

First-time visitors will be prompted with an option to accept or reject cookies on the ƵƬ’s University website.

Users have the right to reject, delete or otherwise limit the use of any and all types of cookies used while visiting ƵƬ’s University websites. Users can change cookie preferences by adjusting browser settings. Be aware that most browsers automatically accept cookies, so if users do not want cookies to be used, they may need to proactively delete or block the cookies. However, many of the cookies are important for the intended use of the website, so rejecting, deleting or limiting the use of cookies may not result in optimal functionality of the website.

For more information on cookies and how to manage preferences, refer to this external resource: .

Users may choose to opt out of the collection and use of information for ad targeting at .

EU Privacy Rights

If you are an EU resident, you may be able to assert a legal right regarding our collection and use of your personal information under applicable federal, state and international law.

Under these applicable laws, you may have several rights, including:

  • The right not to provide your personal information to us.
  • The right to object to, stop or limit the processing of your personal information.
  • The right to request the erasure or restriction of processing of your personal information in the University’s possession.
  • The right to have your information transferred to another data controller.
  • The right to withdraw your consent.
  • The right to access to your information and request a description, or a copy, of the types of personal information stored about you. The right to request an update or rectification of your personal information.

EU residents may choose to opt out of the collection and use of information for ad targeting at .

Contact Information

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns with respect to the University’s privacy practices or this policy, or if you wish to update your information, send an email to privacy@stmarytx.edu or mail us at:

ƵƬ’s University
Office of University Marketing and Communications, Box 75
One Camino Santa Maria
San Antonio, TX 78228


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