When visitors send email messages containing personal information to the general ncats.nih.gov email box email@example.com, NCATS responds to and files the messages. Only designated staff and contractors requiring access to the emails to respond may view or answer them.
Types of Information Collected
When you browse through any website, certain information about your visit can be collected. NCATS automatically collects and temporarily stores 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 website that connected you to NCATS (such as google.com or bing.com).
NCATS uses 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 NCATS Collects Information
This website uses Google Analytics measurement software to collect the information in the bulleted list under Types of Information Collected. Google Analytics collect information automatically and continuously. No PII is collected. NCATS staff and contractors conduct analyses and report on the aggregated data from Google Analytics. The reports are only available to this website’s managers and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties. NCATS retains the data from Google Analytics as long as needed to support the mission of this website.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 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 website, 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 NCATS 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 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 ncats.nih.gov visitors. Persistent cookies remain on your computer between visits to this website until they expire. The OMB memo 10-22 guidance defines 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.”
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 ncats.nih.gov. Find instructions for disabling or opting out of cookies in the most popular browsers. Note: By following the instructions to opt-out of cookies, you will disable cookies from all sources, not just those from ncats.nih.gov.
How Personal Information is Protected
You do not have to give NCATS personal information to visit this website. However, if you choose to receive announcements or e-newsletters, NCATS collects your email address to complete the subscription process.
If you choose to provide PII (information that is personal in nature and which may be used to identify you) through an email message, request for information, paper or electronic form, questionnaire, epidemiology research study, etc., NCATS 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 NCATS stores your personal information in a record system designed to retrieve information about you by personal identifier (name, personal email address, home mailing address, personal or mobile phone number, etc.), so that NCATS can contact you, the Center will safeguard the information you provide in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. Section 552a).
NCATS operates a record system designed to retrieve information about you in order to accomplish its mission, so a Privacy Act Notification Statement (this policy) is displayed on the public-facing website. The notice addresses the following five criteria:
- NCATS legal authorization to collect information about you
- Purpose of the information collection
- Routine uses for disclosure of information outside of NCATS
- 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
Data Safeguarding and Privacy
NCATS uses Web measurement and customization technologies to help sites function better for visitors and to better understand how the public uses NCATS’ online resources. All uses of Web-based technologies comply with existing policies with respect to privacy and data safeguarding standards. Information Technology (IT) systems owned and operated by NCATS are assessed using Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) posted for public view on the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Privacy Impact Assessments Web page. NCATS conducts and publishes a PIA for each use of a third-party website and application (TPWA) as they may have a different functionality or practice. TPWA PIAs are posted for public view on the DHHS website.
When Web measurement and customization technologies are used, a Privacy Notice displayed on the website must provide:
- 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.
- Identities of all third-party vendors involved in the measurement and customization process.
Data Retention and Access Limits
NCATS will retain collected data 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) and will be handled per the requirements of that schedule.
How NCATS Uses Third-Party Websites and Applications
As part of OMB memo M-10-06, Open Government Directive, NCATS 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. TPWAs are Web-based technologies that are not exclusively operated or controlled by NCATS, such as applications not hosted on a.gov domain or those that are embedded on NCATS Web pages. Users of TPWAs often share information with the general public, user community, and/or the third-party operating the website. These actors may use this information in a variety of ways. TPWAs could cause PII to become available or accessible to NCATS and the public, regardless of whether the information is explicitly solicited or collected by NCATS.
For any NCATS TPWA that collects PII, the list below also includes details on the information NCATS collects and how the Center protects your private information.
Third-Party Websites and Applications
For more information on the uses of social and new media for which the General Services Administration has negotiated a federally friendly Terms of Service agreement, visit the DHHS Center for New Media.