Protecting your privacy is very important to us. We do not collect any personally identifiable information (PII) about you during your visit to the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) Web site unless you choose to provide it to us. We do, however, collect some data about your visit to our Web site to help us better understand how the public uses the site and how to make it more helpful. We collect information from visitors who read, browse, and/or download information from our Web site. NIH IRP never collects information for commercial marketing or any purpose unrelated to the NIH IRP mission and goals.
When visitors send e-mail messages containing personal information to the general IRP.NIH.gov e-mail box IRPinfo@mail.nih.gov, IRP staff responds to the letters and files them. Only designated staff members requiring access to the e-mails to respond may view or answer them.
TYPES OF INFORMATION COLLECTED
When you browse through any Web site, certain information about your visit can be collected. We automatically collect and temporarily store the following type of information about your visit:
- Domain from which you access the Internet
- IP address (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to a computer when surfing the Web)
- Operating system and information about the browser used when visiting the site
- Date and time of your visit
- Pages you visited
- Address of the Web site that connected you to the NIH IRP Web site (such as google.com or bing.com)
We use this information to measure the number of visitors to our site and its various sections and to help make our site more useful to visitors.
HOW NIH IRP COLLECTS INFORMATION
The NIH IRP Web site uses a variety of different Web measurement software tools and specific information regarding information collection can be found on this site.
IRP.NIH.gov uses Google Analytics measurement software to collect the information in the bulleted list in the Types of Information Collected section above. Google Analytics collects information automatically and continuously. No personally identifiable information is collected. The IRP staff conducts analyses and reports on the aggregated data from Google Analytics. The reports are only available to IRP.NIH.gov managers, members of the IRP.NIH.gov Communications and Web Teams, and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties.
IRP also uses online surveys to collect opinions and feedback from a random sample of visitors. IRP.NIH.gov uses the ForeSee Results’ American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) online survey to obtain feedback and data on visitors’ satisfaction with the IRP.NIH.gov Web site. This survey does not collect personally identifiable information. Although the survey invitation pops up for a random sample of visitors, it is optional. If you decline the survey, you will still have access to the identical information and resources at the IRP.NIH.gov site as those who do not take the survey. The survey reports are available only to IRP.NIH.gov managers, members of the IRP.NIH.gov Communications and Web Teams, and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties.
IRP retains the data from Google Analytics and ACSI survey results as long as needed to support the mission of the IRP.NIH.gov Web site.
The Office of Management and Budget Memo M-10-22, Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies allows Federal agencies to use session and persistent cookies.
When you visit any Web site, its server may generate a piece of text known as a “cookie” to place on your computer. The cookie allows the server to “remember” specific information about your visit while you are connected.
The cookie makes it easier for you to use the dynamic features of Web pages. Cookies from NIH IRP Web pages only collect information about your browser’s visit to the site; they do not collect personal information about you.
There are two types of cookies, single session (temporary) and multi-session (persistent). Session cookies last only as long as your Web browser is open. Once you close your browser, the cookie disappears. Persistent cookies are stored on your computer for longer periods.
Session Cookies: We use session cookies for technical purposes such as to enable better navigation through our site. These cookies let our server know that you are continuing a visit to our site. The OMB Memo 10-22 Guidance defines our use of session cookies as “Usage Tier 1—Single Session.” The policy says, “This tier encompasses any use of single session web measurement and customization technologies.”
Persistent Cookies: We use persistent cookies to enable Google Analytics to differentiate between new and returning IRP.NIH.gov visitors. Persistent cookies remain on your computer between visits to IRP.NIH.gov until they expire. We also use persistent cookies to block repeated invitations to take the ACSI survey. The persistent cookies that block repeated survey invitations expire in 90 days. The OMB Memo 10-22 Guidance defines our use of persistent cookies as “Usage Tier 2—Multi-session without Personally Identifiable Information (PII).” The policy says, “This tier encompasses any use of multi-session Web measurement and customization technologies when no PII is collected.”
HOW TO OPT OUT OR DISABLE COOKIES
If you do not wish to have session or persistent cookies placed on your computer, you can disable them using your Web browser. If you opt out of cookies, you will still have access to all information and resources at IRP.NIH.gov. Instructions for disabling or opting out of cookies in the most popular browsers are located at http://www.usa.gov/optout_instructions.shtml. Please note that by following the instructions to opt-out of cookies, you will disable cookies from all sources, not just those from IRP.NIH.gov.
HOW PERSONAL INFORMATION IS PROTECTED
You do not have to give us personal information to visit the NIH IRP Web site. However, if you choose to receive alerts or e-newsletters, we collect your e-mail address to complete the subscription process.
If you choose to provide us with personally identifiable information, that is, information that is personal in nature and which may be used to identify you, through an e-mail message, request for information, paper or electronic form, questionnaire, customer satisfaction survey, epidemiology research study, etc., we will maintain the information you provide only as long as needed to respond to your question or to fulfill the stated purpose of the communication. If we store your personal information in a record system designed to retrieve information about you by personal identifier (name, personal e-mail address, home mailing address, personal or mobile phone number, etc.), so that we may contact you, we will safeguard the information you provide to us in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. Section 552a).
If NIH IRP operates a record system designed to retrieve information about you in order to accomplish its mission, a Privacy Act Notification Statement should be prominently and conspicuously displayed on the public-facing website or form which asks you to provide personally identifiable information. The notice must address the following 5 criteria:
- NIH IRP legal authorization to collect information about you
- Purpose of the information collection
- Routine uses for disclosure of information outside of NIH IRP
- Whether the request made of you is voluntary or mandatory under law
- Effects of non-disclosure if you choose to not provide the requested information
HOW IRP.NIH.GOV USES THIRD-PARTY WEB SITES AND APPLICATIONS
Third-Party Web sites and Applications (TPWA) are Web-based technologies that are not exclusively operated or controlled by NIH IRP, such as non-.gov hosted applications and those embedded on an NIH IRP Web pages that could cause personally identifiable information (PII) to become available or accessible to NIH IRP, regardless of whether NIH IRP solicits or collects it.
As part of the Open Government Directive, IRP.NIH.gov uses a variety of new technologies and social media options to communicate and interact with citizens. These sites and applications include popular social networking and media sites, open source software communities and more. The following list includes the Web sites and applications we use and their purposes. For any sites or applications that collect PII, this list also includes details on information collected and how NIH IRP protects your private information.
Data Safeguarding and Privacy
- Purpose of the web measurement and/or customization technology;
- Usage Tier, session type, and technology used;
- Nature of the information collected;
- Purpose and use of the information;
- Whether and to whom the information will be disclosed;
- Privacy safeguards applied to the information;
- Data retention policy for the information;
- Whether the technology is enabled by default or not and why;
- How to opt-out of the web measurement/customization technology;
- Statement that opting-out still permits users to access comparable information or services; and,
- Identities of all third party vendors involved in the measurement and customization process.
Data Retention and Access Limits NIH will retain data collected using the following technologies long enough to achieve the specified objective for which they were collected. The data generated from these activities falls under the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) General Records Schedule (GRS) 20-item IC ‘Electronic Records,’ and will be handled per the requirements of that schedule.
Third-Party Web Sites and Applications