U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
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For more information on your health information privacy and security rights, or on the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, visit the HHS Office for Civil Rights.
You may also want to read information about the Privacy Act at HHS.
If you have privacy questions or issues, contact an HHS Privacy Official.
For more detailed information on HHS privacy, see these topics below:
If you choose to provide HHS with personal information -- for example by completing a “Contact Us” form, leaving a comment, sending email, or completing a survey -- we may use that information to respond to your message and/or help us get you the information or services you requested. Submitting personal information (name, address, telephone number, email address, etc.) is voluntary and is not required to access information on our website.
We retain the information only for as long as necessary to respond to your question or request, in most cases no longer than three months. Information submitted electronically is maintained and destroyed as required by the Federal Records Act and records schedules of the National Archives and Records Administration. It may be subject to disclosure in certain cases (for example, if required by a Freedom of Information Act request, court order, or Congressional access request, or if authorized by a Privacy Act System of Records Notice). It is subject to the Privacy Act if maintained in a Privacy Act system.
For more information, see:
The Department will take all reasonable steps necessary to protect the privacy and safety of any child from whom information is collected, as required by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). A child’s parent or guardian is required to provide consent before HHS collects, uses, or shares personal information from a child under age 13.
Information and instructions will be provided by the specific webpage that collects information about a child. The webpage will specify exactly what the information will be used for, who will see it, and how long it will be kept.
We maintain accounts on third-party websites, such as social media sites, as tools to better interact with the public. The security and privacy policies of third-party websites apply to your activity on those sites. Users of third-party websites often share information with the general public, user community, and/or the third-party operating the website. You should review the privacy policies of all websites before using them and ensure that you understand how your information may be used. You should also adjust privacy settings on your account on any third-party website to match your preferences.
Common third-party website privacy policies used by HHS include:
Information Collected and Used from Third-Party Websites
If you have an account with a third-party website, and choose to follow, like, friend, or comment on a third-party website managed by HHS, certain personal information associated with your account may be made available to us based on the privacy policies of the third-party website and your privacy settings within that website. We do not share personally identifiable information made available through these websites.
HHS conducts and publishes a Privacy Impact Assessment for each use of a third-party website. Each use of a third-party website may have unique features or practices. HHS sometimes collects and uses the information made available through third-party websites. To learn more, review the published assessments.
When you browse through our website, we gather and temporarily store technical information about your visit. This information does not identify who you are. The information we collect includes:
We use this information to improve our website and provide a better user experience for our visitors. We use a tool, Google Analytics, to collect and summarize this information. This information is available only to web managers and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties. It is retained only for as long as needed for proper analysis.
We technologies, such as cookies, to help our website function better for visitors and to better understand how the public is using our website.
HHS uses “cookies” to test and optimize our website design and content. A cookie is a small text file automatically placed on your computer. We use two types of cookies on our websites:
You can take actions to block cookies by opting out. Blocking session cookies from your computer will not affect your access to the content and tools on our website. Blocking multi-session or persistent cookies may affect the personalization of the information on those sites.
This site is maintained by the U.S. Government. It is protected by federal laws. You can be arrested and prosecuted for violating these laws.
For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, we use software programs to monitor traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or otherwise cause damage. In the event of law enforcement investigations and as part of any required legal process, information from these sources may be used to help identify an individual.
Last Updated: February 27, 2013