Personally Identifiable Information
As a general rule, the Department does not collect PII about you when you visit our website, unless you choose to provide such information to us. Submitting PII through our website is voluntary. By doing so, you are giving the Department your permission to use the information for the stated purpose. However, not providing certain information may result in the Department’s inability to provide you with the service you desire.
If you choose to provide us with PII on a Department website, through such methods as completing a web form or sending us an email, we will use that information to help us provide you the information or service you have requested or to respond to your message. The information we may receive from you varies based on what you do when visiting our site.
Generally, the information requested by the Department will be used to respond to your inquiry or to provide you with the service you request. When this information is requested, the reasons for collecting it, a description of the Department’s intended use of the information, how to grant consent to use mandatorily provided information, and how to grant consent for other than statutorily mandated uses will be fully described in a separate customized “Privacy Notice.” This customized Privacy Notice will either appear on the web page collecting the information or be accessible through a hyperlink (link) prominently displayed immediately above or below the information request.
Many of our programs and websites allow you to send us an email. We will use the information you provide to respond to your inquiry. We will only send you general information via email. You should be reminded that email may not necessarily be secure against interception. Therefore, we suggest that you do not send sensitive personal data (such as your Social Security number) to us via email. If your intended email communication is very sensitive, or includes information such as your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number, you should instead send it by U.S. mail. Another alternative may be submission of data through a secure web page, if available.
Electronic mail messages that meet the definition of records in the Federal Records Act (44 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.) are covered under the same disposition schedule as all other Federal records. This means that emails you send us will be preserved and maintained for varying periods of time if those emails meet the definition of Federal records. Electronic messages that are not records are deleted when no longer needed.
Categories of information the Department collects on its websites are further described below.
Automatically Collected Information
We collect and temporarily store certain information about your visit for use in site management and security purposes only. We collect and analyze this information because it helps us to better design our website to suit your needs. We may also automatically collect information about the web content you view in the event of a known security or virus threat. This information includes:
1. The Internet domain from which you access our website (for example, “xcompany.com” if you use a private Internet access account, or “yourschool.edu” if you connect from an educational domain);
2. The Internet Protocol (IP) address (a unique number for each computer connected to the Internet) from which you access our website;
3. The type of browser (e.g., Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome) used to access our site;
4. The operating system (e.g., Windows, Mac OS, Unix) used to access our site;
5. The date and time you access our site;
6. The Universal Resource Locators (URLs), or addresses, of the pages you visit;
7. Your username, if it was used to log in to the website; and
8. If you visited this website from another website, the URL of the forwarding site.
We may share the above information with our employees or representatives with a “need-to-know” in the performance of their official duties, other Federal agencies, or other named representatives as needed to quickly process your request or transaction. This information is only used to help us make our site more useful for you. Raw data logs are retained temporarily as required for security and site management purposes only. More information about how we share information can be found in our Privacy Act Systems of Records Notices.
What rights you have over your data
If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.
Where we send your data
Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.
Your contact information
How we protect your data
What data breach procedures we have in place
What third parties we receive data from
What automated decision making and/or profiling we do with user data
Industry regulatory disclosure requirements