At NCCOS, we are committed to protecting the privacy of our visitors. As the internet and associated technologies evolve, so will our policies. Please review these notices frequently for the most up-to-date information.
We collect no personal information about you when you visit our website unless you choose to provide that information to us. When you browse through our websites, read pages, or download information, we gather and store certain information about your visit automatically. However, this information does not identify you personally.
We automatically collect and store information such as the following concerning your visit:
- The Internet domain (for example, “examplesite.com” – if you use a private Internet access account, or “yourschool.edu” – if you connect from a university’s domain);
- Your IP address (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you are surfing the Internet) from which you access our website;
- The type and viewport dimensions of your browser, and operating system used to access our site;
- The date and time you access our site;
- The pages you visit; and
- Whether or not you came to our website from another website, and if so, the address of that website.
We use this information to help us make our websites more useful to visitors, to learn about the number of visitors to our site, and the types of technology our visitors use.
In order to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system employs software programs which monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, and/or otherwise cause damage.
If our monitoring reveals evidence of possible abuse or criminal activity, this evidence may be provided to appropriate law enforcement officials. Unauthorized attempts to upload or change information on our servers are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act or other law.
Information You Voluntarily Provide
We do not collect personally-identifiable information unless you choose to provide it to us. If you provide us with personally identifiable information, for example by sending an e-mail or by filling out a form and submitting it through our websites, we use that information only to respond to your message and to help us provide you with the information and services that you request.
Submitting voluntary information constitutes your consent to the use of the information for the stated purpose. When a user clicks the “Submit” button on any of the forms found on our websites, they are indicating voluntary consent to use of the information they submit for the stated purpose. We do not collect or use information for commercial marketing.
How Information We Collect is Used
The information we collect is used for a variety of purposes (e.g., comments on proposed rules, license applications, to respond to requests for information about our regulations and policies and to fill orders). We make every effort to disclose clearly how information is used at the point where it is collected so that our users can determine for themselves whether they wish to provide the information.
Interaction with Children
NCCOS websites may offer educational content to children under the age of 13. No personally identifiable information is collected from them unless voluntarily submitted as a request for information or services. The information collected is used to respond to user inquiries or to provide services requested by our users.
Cookies And/Or Session Cookies
NCCOS websites use session cookies (a cookie is a small data file sent from our server to your browser and then back to our server again) to improve our site design and ease of access by noting the pages you visit as you move through our site. Session cookies are deleted when you close your browser.
NCCOS websites do not use persistent cookies or any other persistent tracking technology. However, our websites use Google Analytics, a tool that provides basic information about website visitors and trends. Please note that this third party service will place a file on your computer so that it can recognize if you visit oceanservice.noaa.gov in the future.
In addition, one or more of our component sites may use session cookies to provide streamlined navigation. These session cookies are deleted from the component’s server after your session ends and information from them is not collected or saved.
Retention of Information
We destroy the information we collect when the purpose for which it was provided has been fulfilled unless we are required to keep it longer by statute or official policy. Electronically submitted information is maintained and destroyed according to the principles of the Federal Records Act and the regulations and records schedules approved by the National Archives and Records Administration, and in some cases information submitted to us may become an agency record and therefore might be subject to a Freedom of Information Act request.
NCCOS‘ websites use Google Analytics, a third-party web measurement and customization technology as defined and organized by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), “Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies” (OMB M-10-22). Google Analytics places a small file on your computer, commonly called a “cookie,” so that it can recognize your computer if you visit coastalscience.noaa.gov (or one of our property web sites) in the future. This cookie does not collect personal identifying information. This is considered a Tier 2 service in the OMB guidance.
Visitors who choose to disable this web measurement will still have full access to NCCOS websites. While the details vary from browser to browsers, most modern browsers can be set up to accept, reject, or request user intervention when a site asks to set a cookie. Google Analytics uses a cookie that begins with: _utm