HSID on spreadsheets.google.com

About this cookie:

This cookie is set by DoubleClick (which is owned by Google) to build a profile of the website visitor's interests and show relevant ads on other sites.

Used by Google in combination with SID to verify Google user account and most recent login time

About this cookie’s host: This domain is owned by Google Inc. Although Google is primarily known as a search engine, the company provides a diverse range of products and services. Its main source of revenue however is advertising. Google tracks users extensively both through its own products and sites, and the numerous technologies embedded into many millions of websites around the world. It uses the data gathered from most of these services to profile the interests of web users and sell advertising space to organisations based on such interest profiles as well as aligning adverts to the content on the pages where its customer's adverts appear.

Related general information about HSID:

Targeting/Advertising Cookies

These cookies are used to deliver adverts more relevant to you and your interests. They are also used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement as well as help measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaign. They are usually placed by advertising networks with the website operator's permission. They remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Quite often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.

More about cookie classifications.

First Party Cookies

One of the key attributes of a cookie is its 'Host' - this is the domain name of the site that ultimately sets the cookie. Only the host domain can retrieve and read the contents of the cookie once it has been set.

If the host name is the same as the domain in the browser address bar when it is set or retrieved, then it is a First Party Cookie.

First party cookies are only set or retrieved by the website while you are visiting it, so they cannot normally be used to track activity or pass data from one site to another.

However the owner of that website can still collect data through their cookies and use that to change how the website appears to the user, or the information it displays.

Of course they can also collect the data and use it outside their website, and even sell it on to other organisations. However, if they do this it must be explained in the site's privacy policy.

Most desktop browsers allow you to see a list of the cookies that have been set – and they will normally be listed by the host domain value.

Session Cookie

Session Cookies are only stored temporarily in the browser's memory, and are destroyed when it is closed down, although they will survive navigating away from the website they came from.

If you have to login to a website every time you open your browser and visit it - then it is using a session cookie to store your login credentials.

Many websites use session cookies for essential site functions, and to make sure pages are sent to the browser as quickly and efficiently as possible.