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Office of Coast Survey Privacy Policy

The Big Picture

We are committed to the privacy of our visitors. We collect no personal information about you when you visit our website unless you choose to provide that information to us.

Here is how we handle information about your visit. When you browse through this website, read pages, or download information, we will gather and store certain information about your visit automatically. This information does not identify you personally. During your visit, we may automatically collect and store some information:

  • The Internet domain (for example, "xcompany.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 Web) from which you access our website
  • The type of browser and operating system used to access our site
  • The date and time you access our site
  • The pages you visit
  • If you linked to our website from another website, the address of that website

By learning about the number of visitors to our site and the types of technology our visitors use, we can make our site more useful.

Information Protection

For site security purposes, and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. If such monitoring reveals evidence of possible abuse or criminal activity, such evidence may be provided to appropriate law enforcement officials. Unauthorized attempts to upload or change information on this server 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 website, we use that information only to respond to your message and to help us provide you with the information and services you request.

Submitting voluntary information constitutes your consent to the use of the information for the stated purpose. When you click the "Submit" button on any of the Web forms found on our site, you are indicating voluntary consent to use of the information you submit for the stated purpose. We do not collect or use information for commercial marketing.

How We Use Information

We use the information we collect for a variety of purposes (e.g., chart corrections, nautical inquiries, survey requests, and to respond to requests for information about our products and policies). We make every effort to disclose clearly how we use information -- at the point where it is collected -- so you can determine for yourself whether you wish to provide the information.

Sharing Information

We may share the information you give us with another government agency if your inquiry relates to that agency. In other limited circumstances, such as responses to requests from Congress and private individuals, we may be required by law to disclose information you submit. Before you submit personally identifiable information, such as on an online form, you will be advised as to the purpose and how the information will be used.

We may also share information collected during your visit with non-federal entities, but only if your inquiry requires accessing data from that external entity. All of our sites that require such external access will be clearly identified to help you make an informed choice.

Specifically, information collected during your visit may be shared with the following specific non-governmental entities:

  • Twitter. We offer a link on our site that provides access to the Coast Survey profile on Twitter, so you can easily “follow” our tweets.

 

  • Constant Contact: We offer a link on our site that allows you to subscribe to the Coast Survey newsletter (which we distribute via the Coast Survey account at Constant Contact).

Retention of Information

We destroy the information we collect when the purpose for which it was provided has been fulfilled, unless statute or official policy requires us to keep it longer. 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; in some cases information submitted to us may become an agency record and therefore might be subject to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Links to Other Sites

This site may have links to the websites of other federal agencies. There may be links to private organizations, with their permission. Once you go to another site, you are subject to the privacy and security policies of the new site. It is always a good idea to read the Privacy Policy of any website that you visit. Nauticalcharts.noaa.gov does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information contained in a linked site. We also do not endorse the organizations or individuals maintaining sites that we link to, any views they express, or any products or services they offer.

Cookies

"Cookies" are small bits of text that are either used for the duration of a session ("session cookies"), or saved on a user's hard drive to identify that user, or information about that user, the next time the user logs on to a website ("persistent cookies"). This website does not use persistent cookies or any other persistent tracking technology. However, this site does use Google Analytics, a tool that provides basic information about website visitors. Please note that this third party service will place a file on your computer so that it can recognize if you visit nauticalcharts.noaa.gov in the future. See below for more information. Lastly, 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.

Interaction with Children

This website may offer educational content to children under 13. No personally identifiable information is collected from them unless voluntarily submitted as a request for information or services. We use the collected information to respond to user inquiries or to provide services requested by our users.

Third-party Social Media Tools

The Office of Coast Survey maintains official pages or accounts on several third-party websites to better engage with the American public and promote awareness of Coast Survey activities, events, news, and information (a list of these tools is highlighted below). Your activity on those third-party sites is governed by the security and privacy policies of the third party sites. Users of third-party sites are often sharing information with the public, user community, and/or the third-party operating the third-party site. You should review the privacy policies of third-party sites 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 site to match your preferences.

Twitter
Twitter is a microblogging service to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of short, frequent posts. We typically tweet to announce updates on Band 4 and Band 5 NOAA electronic navigational charts (NOAA ENC®) or to keep you abreast of Coast Survey activities and products updates. Please note that you are subject to Twitter's privacy policy when visiting our Twitter page.

Constant Contact
Constant Contact is a contact management system that allows us to easily share updates and announcements through a newsletter that we distribute about 10 times a year. We also distribute news releases and other targeted information through Constant Contact, and any member of the public has the option to subscribe. Constant Contact allows subscribers to manage which updates they receive, and to easily unsubscribe. After signing up from our website, the subscriber is automatically provided options for subscription lists. Please note that you are subject to the Constant Contact privacy policy when using this service.

YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing service. Coast Survey shares video on the National Ocean Service YouTube Channel; copies appear in the video gallery on the NOS website. Please note that you are subject to YouTube's privacy policy when visiting the NOS YouTube page. In addition, users may post comments on videos on the NOS YouTube Channel. Please see the NOS comment policy for more information.

Google Analytics
This site uses 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 oceanservice.noaa.gov in the future. This cookie does not collect personal identifying information. This is considered a Tier 2 service in the OMB guidance.

Google Analytics does not collect personally identifiable information through their cookie and does not combine, match, or cross-reference nauticalcharts.noaa.gov information with any other information. Please review Google's privacy policy for additional information.

Visitors who choose to disable this web measurement will still have full access to oceanservice.noaa.gov. 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

Google Earth/Google Maps
Google Maps and Google Earth map information and photographic imagery are used under license by Google. Coast Survey data presented using Google Maps/Google Earth are in the public domain and made available in open standard KML/KMZ format. The map information and photographic imagery contain trade names, trademarks, service marks, logos, domain names, and other distinctive brand features. This does not imply an endorsement of Google, Google Maps, or Google Earth products or services by the Office of Coast Survey. Under the terms of the license, you are permitted to copy or use the Google Maps/Google Earth images on your site so long as Google Maps/Google Earth trade names, trademarks, service marks, logos, domain names, and other distinctive brand features are not deleted or in any manner altered. Please note that you are subject to Google's privacy policy when using this service.

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