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Privacy Policy

Thank you for visiting the City of Vancouver Web site and reviewing our Privacy Policy. The City is firmly committed to the privacy of visitors to this Web site. This policy addresses the collection, use, and security of information that may be obtained through use of the City of Vancouver Web site, and access to that information.

Web Server Log Files

Every visit to any page of the City of Vancouver Web site is automatically recorded in a log file created by the Web server operating software. These log entries record information about the visit that is used to understand how many visitors come to the site and how they use it. These log entries cannot be used to identify any individual person. All visits recorded in this way are anonymous.

Examples of the types of information automatically recorded include:

The data collected in these log files is analyzed to extrapolate information about how visitors use the Web site. This includes, but is not limited to:

These analyses are used to generate reports on Web site traffic. The reports are distributed to City employees involved with publishing material on the Web site, so they may better understand how the site is used, and to make improvements.

Voluntary Information

The City of Vancouver Web site collects no personal information about visitors, unless the visitor voluntarily provides the information by sending an e-mail or filling out a form on-line. Forms may be used for such purposes as:

The voluntary personal information collected with on-line forms may include your name, address, telephone number, age, and income level. This information may be stored in a database, delivered to City employees via e-mail, or both.

Applications for employment or volunteer positions submitted on-line may also include personal information about the applicant’s education, employment history, and personal references.

On-line forms designed specifically to report problems with the Web site may automatically gather some information about the visitor’s computer, such as the operating system and browser software used. This information is important in assisting the employees who maintain the Web site and the server.

E-mails sent to City departments, individual City employees, or elected City officials, automatically include the e-mail address of the sender. Any personal information provided in an e-mail will be treated in the same way as personal information submitted using an on-line form. E-mails may be forwarded to the appropriate agency or City department for response or other action.

The City of Vancouver does not:

Responses to surveys, comments, and demographic information provided by visitors may be aggregated to produce statistical reports. These reports may be released to the public, and may include, without attribution, comments provided by site visitors.

The City of Vancouver does not require visitors to register or provide any personal information to be allowed to view pages within the City of Vancouver Web site. However, optional registration may be featured to provide Web content that is customized to meet the needs and interests of the individual visitor.

Cookies

“ Cookies” are small text files generated by the Web server and stored on a visitor’s computer. Cookies placed by a Web server can be read by the server at a latter time. The purpose of cookies is to help distinguish each visitor. A cookie might store information about when the visitor last accessed the Web site, or a marker that indicates a visitor had previously viewed a particular page. For example, if an on-line survey was conducted on the Web site, and the intention was that each visitor should only complete the survey once, a cookie might be created when the survey form is submitted to signify that the visitor has completed it.

Cookies stored on a visitor’s computer by the City of Vancouver Web site do not contain personal information. Cookies may contain an identification number that can be read by the Web server as part of a system to provide content that is customized for an individual visitor. An identifying number of this type would be stored only if the visitor requested customized content by completing an on-line registration form. For more information about cookies, visitors are advised to consult the documentation for their Web browser software.

Security

The City of Vancouver strives to protect the information provided by site visitors. Some on-line forms are processed by a “secure server.” This is a technology that uses encryption to protect the information being transmitted from the visitor’s computer to the Web server. However, to enable this technology, the visitor must accept a “site certificate” sent by the City Web server. The site certificate is software that provides the visitor’s computer with an encryption key.

The City’s computer network infrastructure, including the Web server, e-mail server, and databases, are protected against unauthorized access or tampering, from both the outside and from within the network. Internal security measures prevent access from City employees who are not authorized to change or view the information. Monitoring and anti-virus software is used to further protect the network and the information stored there. However, these measures should not be considered as fail proof, and the City of Vancouver cannot guarantee the security of information stored on its network.

Public Records and Disclosure

All information collected by the City of Vancouver Web site, including e-mail, becomes public records under the laws of the State of Washington, and may be subject to inspection and copying by the public. However, exceptions to the public's right to access public records may occur if there is a conflict with the privacy of individuals. Exceptions are provided by both state and federal laws. In the event of a conflict between this Privacy Policy and the State of Washington Public Records Act or other law governing the disclosure of records, the Public Records Act or other applicable law will control.

Personal information and e-mail submitted by the public to the City of Vancouver through the City’s Web site is retained in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington on the preservation and destruction of public records.

Visitors are cautioned that e-mail or voluntary personal information submitted on-line by children will be treated the same as information given by an adult, and may be subject to public access.

Access and Correction of Personal Information

Visitors may review any personal information collected, and may recommend changes to information that is in error. To do so, submit a written request that shows the error, and provide contact information to enable the City to verify identity before granting access or making corrections. If a user of the City’s Web site believes that their personal information is being used for a purpose other than what was intended when submitted, please contact the City of Vancouver.

Disclaimer

This Privacy Policy applies only to the City of Vancouver Web site and subsidiary Web sites operated and maintained by City departments. The City Web site includes hyperlinks to connect visitors to other Web sites operated by other organizations. Visitors who leave the City of Vancouver site and view these linked sites are advised that this Privacy Policy does not apply to those linked sites. Visitors with concerns or questions about the privacy policies of linked sites are advised to read the policies that may be published on those sites, or to contact the operators of those sites.

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