Collection of Information by Prince George's County Government
In order to improve the content and usability of this website, automatically collects several categories of information from users. This information includes the following:
- The apparent Internet Protocol ("IP") address of your Internet Service Provider ("ISP") and/or your computer, if your computer has an IP address assigned directly to it. 1
- The apparent Fully Qualified Domain Name ("Domain Name") of your Internet Service Provider ("ISP") and/or your computer, if your computer has a domain name assigned directly to it. 2
- The type of browser (such as, for example Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape, Opera, Konqueror, etc.) used and the operating system resident on a user's computer.
- The date and time a user visited the site.
- The web pages accessed at the site, as well as any applications used and forms data.
- The Uniform Resource Locator ("URL") of the site which a user visited prior to Prince George's County Government (if detectable), if such user did not connect directly to Prince George's County Government, or use it as a homepage or "Portal".
The County uses this information to identify site performance needs; to ensure compatibility with the technology used by Prince George's County Government's visitors, and to generally add and improve services offered on Prince George's County Government. In order to accomplish those goals, from time to time, the County may conduct statistical analysis of the data it collects.
The County does not collect data for commercial or marketing purposes, 3 and the County does not sell, exchange or otherwise distribute the data collected by Prince George's County Government for commercial or marketing purposes.
Information Submitted to Prince George's County Government
During a session on Prince George's County Government website, a user may affirmatively submit information to the County by, among other means, electronic mail ("e-mail"), by filling in and submitting an on-line form, or by electing to personalize Prince George's County Government website and use it as a customized portal. Such affirmatively submitted information is stored in a secure environment, and will be used by the County in furtherance of its duties and/or obligations to its citizenry (i.e., "governmental purposes"). 4
The governmental purposes to which affirmatively submitted information may be put include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Helping the County respond to a request for information not readily available from Prince George's County Government
- Investigating a problem reported to the County via Prince George's County Government 5
- Keeping lists of parties interested in some particular issue or facet of Prince George's County County life about which the County anticipates issuing further information in the future.
- Disclosure of such information pursuant to a request made under Freedom of Information Law ("FOIL") or court order, if such information is not protected by federal or state law. 6
The County does not rent or sell personally identifiable information (i.e., information such as name, address, phone number, e-mail, etc., that identifies a user as a particular person), nor would the County exchange or trade such information with third-parties without a user's explicit permission. The County does not disclose credit card or other personally identifiable financial information other than as necessary to complete a credit card or other financial transaction, or upon explicit permission from the applicable user. All such use by the County of financial information shall be subject to the section of this policy on financial issues, set forth below.
If an Prince George's County Government user has elected not to receive further information from the County, Prince George's County Government will not send such information. If an Prince George's County Government user has elected to receive further communication from the County, Prince George's County Government will only send information in categories that have been authorized. If Prince George's County Government sends electronic mail ("e-mail") to a user, such e-mail is NOT confidential, 7and is identical in nature to that information generally available to the public and news media.
In certain instances, a user may have the opportunity to receive or create a password to access or submit personally identifiable information. One should not divulge a password to anyone, and the County will never ask a user for a password in a telephone call, fax, e-mail or other form of unsolicited communication. When a user is finished with an application or applications that are password protected, such user should exit the relevant page(s). If the browser used to access said password protected pages is a publicly-accessible browser, users should down the entire session and, if applicable or possible, flush any temporary caches or other areas where such a password might be stored subsequent to use.
The County has integrated industry standard or better security measures and systems into the design, implementation and day to day operation of Prince George's County Government and its underlying servers and networks. 8
Furthermore, the County maintains ongoing efforts to identify and/or block unauthorized intrusions into or onto Prince George's County Government, and to upload to or change information on or otherwise cause damage to Prince George's County Government or the information resident hereon or submitted hereto. 9
This website and Prince George's County Government generally, do not use "persistent cookies." 10
Cookies are text files, or entries in larger files, utilized to distinguish between visitors to a website, and to track information during multiple visits to a website. The County uses "temporary cookies" 11 on some parts of Prince George's County Government, and such temporary cookies expire upon the end of the browsing session. If a user registers to use Prince George's County Government as a customized portal, the County uses a persistent cookie to facilitate such customization.
Web Bugs (a/k/a Web Beacons)
Prince George's County Government does not use web bugs12 on its web pages or in any html e-mail generated by use of the portal, or otherwise sent from Prince George's County Government, for any purpose other than to identify site performance needs; to ensure compatibility with the technology used by Prince George's County Government's visitors, and to generally add and improve services offered on Prince George's County Government.
No applications on Prince George's County Government specifically solicit information from minors or seek to determine whether the visitor is a minor. Consequently, because such information will not be specifically identified as being from minors, users of Prince George's County Government should be aware that personally identifiable information submitted to Prince George's County Government by minors will be subject to being treated in the same manner as information given by an adult and may become subject to FOIL.
The County strongly believes that parental supervision is an important factor in Internet use by minors. Therefore, Prince George's County Government asks parents to guide their minor children when children are asked to provide any personal information online. Prince George's County Government further asks that children ask for and receive their parent's permission before providing any information online.
Health Care Information
Any agency providing personally identifiable health care information via Prince George's County Government will be required to certify that its health care data handling and security procedures are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA"). If such data and security services are provided to such agency(ies) by a third-party provider, the agency(ies) shall be responsible for such third party's compliance with HIPAA.
Third Party Links
The content of Prince George's County Government's webpages is copyrighted, and contain some third party images/graphics that are used with permission. Users are notified, therefore, that one should presume the need to obtain permission from the copyright holder before reproducing or otherwise using images/graphics from this website.
Prince George's County Government may change this policy from time to time, and reserves the right to do so without notice.
Privacy Statement Footnotes
1An IP address is a numeric value assigned to an Internet Service Provider, a computer network, an individual computer or router, or a firewall (collectively, "users") so that other computers on the Internet may direct Internet message or other traffic to such users. Until the IP addressing system is changed, an IP address will take the form of XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX, where the X's are numbers between 1 and 9, and 0 for some positions.
2A Domain Name is an alphanumeric value that represents the plain language (English or such other local language as is relevant) translation of the IP address assigned to a specific user or collection of users. For example, if a user had an IP address of 188.8.131.52, the Domain Name that represented that address might be WWW.HOME.COM.
3Commercial and non-commercial marketing purposes include, for the purposes of this policy, Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail (colloquially known as "SPAM" e-mail), targeted e-mail for the purpose of selling products, or the sale or exchange of personally identifiable information between parties that anticipate receiving valuta in exchange for such information.
4Prince George's County's duties and obligations toward its citizens are set forth in the County Charter and in all applicable and relevant local, state and federal law.
5The material you submit may be seen by various people. We may enter the information you send into our electronic database, to share with our attorneys and investigators involved in law enforcement or public policy development. We may also share it with a variety of other government agencies enforcing consumer protection, competition, and other laws. You may be contacted by any of those agencies.
6Pursuant to Article 6 of Prince George's County Public Officers Law 87, certain categories of information may be exempt from such disclosure under FOIL including, but not limited to, records whose disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy under 89(2) of Article 6, or might endanger the life or safety of any person.
7E-mail is generally not secure against interception. If a communication is very sensitive, or includes personal information like a bank account, charge card, or social security number, it is more prudent to send such communication by postal mail (i.e., "snail mail") instead.
8The County maintains user registration information behind a "firewall" and limits accessibility to such information to only those few employees that have special access rights to production systems. Sensitive information submitted by users is transmitted by Secure Socket Layer ("SSL") technology and encrypted.
9For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, the County employs software programs 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 this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act, and such other federal, state or local law as is applicable.
10Persistent cookies are cookie files that remain upon a user's hard drive until affirmatively removed, or until expired as provided for by a pre-set expiration date.
11Temporary or "Session Cookies" are cookie files that last or are valid only during an active communications connection, measured from beginning to end, between computer or applications (or some combination thereof) over a network.
12A web bug is a clear, camouflaged or otherwise invisible graphics image format ("GIF") file placed upon a web page or in hyper text markup language ("HTML") e-mail and used to monitor who is reading a web page or the relevant email. Web bugs can also be used for other monitoring purposes such a profiling of the affected party.
13These third parties are computers, computer networks, ISPs, or application service providers ("ASPs") that are non-governmental in nature and have direct control of what information is automatically gathered, whether cookies are used, and how voluntarily provided information is used.