U.S. General Services Administration

Privacy and Security Policy for GSA Websites


How we handle the information we gather when you visit our web site

We collect and store only the following information about you:

The name of the domain from which you access the Internet (i.e., erols.com, if you are connecting from an Erols account, or harvard.edu if you are connecting from Harvard University's domain); the date and time you access our site; the item you requested from the server; and the Internet address of the web site from which you linked directly to our site. If your browser accepts cookies we may use a cookie to determine if you are a repeat or new visitor, or to understand how many different visitors come to our sites. When we examine this data, it is always presented in an aggregate form. Except as outlined in the Security section at the bottom of this document, we do not track or look at individuals' usage behavior.


What is a cookie?

A cookie is a small piece of information that is sent to your browser -- along with a Web page -- when you access a Web site. There a two kinds of cookies. A session cookie is a line of text that is stored temporarily in your computer's RAM. Because a session cookie is never written to a drive, it is destroyed as soon as you close your browser. A persistent cookie is a more permanent line of text that gets saved by your browser to a file on your hard drive. Some cookies we use are persistent and some are session only. If you have your browser set to notify you before accepting cookies the notice will tell you if the cookie expires some time in the future or not. Persistent cookies have an expiration date in the future. Session cookies have no date associated with them.


GSA's use of Cookies

We have set our software so that your browser will only return cookie information to the domain where the cookie originated (in this case, gsa.gov). No other site can request it. When you return to this site, the cookie is sent back to the Web server, along with your new request. We use this information to create summary statistics which are used for web site planning and maintenance and to analyze system performance. This information tells us the number of visitors to the different sections of our site and helps us understand if our site is meeting the needs of our visitors. This information is only presented in an aggregate form--never for an individual user. Other uses of cookies on GSA web servers are connecting a shopping cart on a shopping site to a particular browser or to maintain the state of a session on our Forms server. Note: Regardless of the particular uses for cookies on GSA web sites, we do not share any cookie information with any third parties.


If you identify yourself by sending an E-mail:

When you send us personally-identifying information, (e.g., in an electronic mail message containing a question or comment), or by filling out a form that E-mails us this information, we use this information to respond to your request. We may also forward your E-mail to other Government employees, who are better able to answer you questions.

We want to make it clear that we will not obtain personally-identifying information about you when you visit our site, unless you choose to provide such information to us. Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, or as otherwise required by law, we do not share any information we receive with any outside parties.




Links to other sites:

The documents posted on this Website may contain hypertext links or pointers to information created and maintained by other public and private organizations. These links and pointers are provided for visitors' convenience. GSA does not control or guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, or completeness of any linked information from non-GSA sites.
The inclusion of links or pointers to Web sites is not intended to assign importance to those sites or the information contained therein, nor is it intended to endorse or recommend any views expressed, or products or services offered on these sites.


Personalization:

Some GSA sites allow you to personalize them, either by selecting sets of content to place on a web page or by clicking on an icon indicating a desire for a certain kind of content. In some cases, you are asked to "register" in order to get this personalized content. If you provide personnaly-identifying information when registering for personalized content, that information is only used to deliver the content to you. The information is never shared with any third party.


Security:

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, GSA webservers employ industry-standard methods to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on GSA servers are strictly prohibited and may be punishable by law, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act.
In the specific context of this security monitoring, there is no expectation of privacy. However, only in the case of actual law enforcement investigations, will we attempt to identify individual users or their usage habits.



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