Privacy Notice

Thank you for visiting Access Washington and reviewing our Privacy Notice. This notice addresses collection, use and security of and access to information that may be obtained through use of Access Washington. This notice covers the following topics:

  1. Information collected and how it is used
  2. Personal information and choice
  3. Public access to information
  4. Nondisclosure of certain personal information
  5. Review and correction of personally identifiable information
  6. Cookies
  7. Security
  8. Disclaimer
  9. Contact information

1. Information collected and how it is used

If you do nothing during your visit to our Website but browse, read pages, or download information, we will gather and store certain information about your visit. This information does not identify you personally. We automatically collect and store the following information about your visit:

  1. The Internet Protocol Address and domain name used. The Internet Protocol address is a numerical identifier assigned either to your Internet service provider or directly to your computer. We use the Internet Protocol Address to direct Internet traffic to you. This address can be translated to determine the domain name of your service provider (e.g. xcompany.com or yourschool.edu);
  2. The type of browser and operating system you used;
  3. The date and time you visited this site;
  4. The Webpages or services you accessed at this site; and
  5. The Website you visited prior to coming to this Website.

The information we automatically collect or store is logged and used by Access Washington only to improve the content of our Website services and to help us understand how people are using our Website and services. Access Washington analyzes this information and the Website logs to determine how our Website is being used, so that we may continually improve the site's usefulness to the public.

What we collect if you volunteer information

If during your visit to Access Washington you participate in a survey, send an email, or perform some other transaction online, the following additional information will be collected:

  1. The email address and contents of the email;
  2. Information volunteered in response to a survey; and
  3. Information provided on any online form used to engage in the online transaction.

The information collected is not limited to text characters and may include audio, video, and graphic information formats you send us. The information is retained in accordance with Chapter 40.14 RCW, Preservation and Destruction of Public Records.

We use your email to respond appropriately. This may be to respond to you to address issues you may identify, to further improve our Website, or to forward the email to another agency for appropriate action. Survey information is used for the purpose designated. Information provided on the online form is used to complete the online transaction and perform the service or provide the requested goods.

Online Chat Privacy

Our online privacy policy is intended to let you know what additional information is collected by our Chat service and how it is used. The information is retained in accordance with RCW Chapter 40.14

Disclosure of any information by you, whether in the text of an Access Washington chat room session, or any personal data contained in an e-mail message, including an e-mail address, is strictly voluntary. You are under no obligation whatsoever to offer any information.

We encourage participants to create a nickname just for the chat room to protect your privacy. If you prefer to use your real name to chat, you can do that, but understand that your personal privacy will not be protected as it would be with a fabricated nickname.

Access Washington keeps a staff-use-only database of all of the transcripts produced by the software used for chat. The database is used to analyze the amount and types of questions we are being asked. This helps us to provide better service to all patrons.

After 30 days, user names, IP address, and email addresses are automatically erased from the transcript by the software and only the content of the transcript is retained in the database.

The database of transcripts may be used to compile statistics about chat usage and for research to help improve online reference service. Excerpts from transcripts may be used for reports or publications. Personal information (e.g. IP address, email, names, phone numbers, etc.) that might be included in the body of a chat transcript will not be shared outside DES unless otherwise required by law.

To have your chat transcript deleted from the database, please email AccessWA@des.wa.gov. Please send the date and time the chat started.

Search

Web search results are provided by search.usa.gov. To view the search privacy statement please go to http://www.usa.gov/About/Privacy-Security.shtml.

2. Personal information and choice

You may choose whether to provide personal information online

"Personal information" is information about a natural person that is readily identifiable to that specific individual. Personal information includes such things as an individual's name, address, and phone number.

We collect no personal information about you unless you voluntarily provide it to us by sending us email, participating in a survey, or completing an online form. You may choose not to contact us by email, participate in a survey or to provide any personal information using an online form. Your choice to not participate in these activities will not impair your ability to browse Access Washington and read or download any information provided on the site.

If personal information is requested on the Website or volunteered by the user, state law and the federal Privacy Act of 1974 may protect it. However, this information is a public record once you provide it, and may be subject to public inspection and copying if not protected by federal or state law.

If you believe that your personal/private information is being used for a purpose other than what was intended when submitted, you may contact the agency contact person or position as shown in the Contact Information Section of this statement.

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) governs information gathering online from or about children under the age of 13. Access Washington is especially concerned about protecting children's privacy.

Access Washington does not require children to reveal any information that could personally identify them. If a child chooses to provide personally identifying information to us then the child must get his/her parents' permission before providing any information online -- at our site or any other site.

3. Public access to information

In the State of Washington, laws exist to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by state government. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public's right to access public records that serve various needs including the privacy of individuals. Exceptions are provided by both state and federal laws. All information collected at this site becomes public record that may be subject to inspection and copying by the public, unless an exemption in law exists. RCW 42.56.070 states that:

Each agency, in accordance with published rules, shall make available for public inspection and copying all public records, unless the record falls within the specific exemptions of the Public Records Act or other statute which exempts or prohibits disclosure of specific information or records.

In the event of a conflict between this Privacy Notice and the Public Records Act or other law governing the agency's disclosure of records, the Public Records Act or other applicable law will control.

To the extent required to prevent an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy interests protected by RCW 42.56.210 and 42.56.320, an agency shall delete identifying details in a manner consistent with RCW 42.56.210 and 42.56.320 when it makes available or publishes any public record; however, in each case, the justification for the deletion shall be explained fully in writing.

4. Nondisclosure of certain personal information

Access Washington may request that you provide certain personal/private information in order to process an online transaction. You may choose not to provide this information, but if you choose not to provide it we will be unable to process the transaction online and you will need to complete the transaction either in person or by mail.

The following laws may prevent Access Washington from disclosing the personal/private information about you except as necessary to process the transaction:

  1. The residential address and residential telephone number of employees of a public agency which are held by the agency in personnel records, employment or volunteer rosters, or mailing lists of employees. RCW 42.56.250(3)
  2. Personal information in files maintained for employees of any public agency to the extent that disclosure would violate their right to privacy. RCW 42.56.230
  3. All applications for public employment, including the names of applicants, resumes, and other related materials submitted with respect to an applicant. 42.56.250(2)

5. Review and correction of personally identifiable information

You can review any personally identifiable information we collect about you by using the information in the Contact Information section at the end of this Notice. You may recommend changes to your personally identifiable information you believe to be inaccurate by submitting a written request that credibly shows the inaccuracy. We will take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting access or making corrections. Read RCW 43.105.310

6. Cookies

To better serve our users we use "cookies" to customize your browsing experience with Access Washington. Cookies are simple text files stored on your computer by your web browser.

Cookies created on your computer by using this Web site do not contain personally identifying information and do not compromise your privacy or security. We use the cookie feature to help log the information described in "Information Collected and How it is used" section.

Access Washington uses cookies for technical purposes such as to enable better navigation through the site, or to allow you to customize your preferences for interacting with the site. Access Washington may also make use of persistent cookies to remember you between visits so, for example, you can save your customized preference settings for future visits. Each Access Washington site using persistent cookies identifies itself as doing so.

At no time is your private information, whether stored in persistent cookies or elsewhere, shared with third parties who have no right to that information. If you do not wish to have cookies stored on your machine, you can turn them off in your browser.

7. Security

The Department of Enterprise Services (DES), as developer and manager of Access Washington, has taken several steps to safeguard the integrity of its data and prevent unauthorized access to information maintained by DES. For site security purposes and to ensure that this Website remains available to all users, the state employs software to monitor traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or otherwise cause damage to this Website. These measures are designed and intended to prevent corruption of data, block unknown or unauthorized access to our systems and information, and to provide reasonable protection of private information in our possession.

This information should not be construed in any way as giving business, legal, or other advice, or warranting as fail proof, the security of information provided via Access Washington Website.

8. Disclaimer

Access Washington has links to many other Websites. These include links to Websites operated by other government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private businesses. When you link to another site, you are no longer on Access Washington and this Privacy Notice will not apply. When you link to another Website, you are subject to the privacy notice of that new site.

Reference in this Website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the State of Washington, DES, or its officers, employees or agents.

Access Washington reserves the right to revise and update this Privacy Notice at any time without notice by posting such revised Privacy Notice at the Access Washington home page.

9. Contact Information

To review your personal information, or request correction of your personal information:

DES Public Disclosure Officer
PO Box 42445
Olympia, WA 98504-2445
Phone: (360) 902-3551
Fax: (360) 586-5885
Email: Public Disclosure Office

Last Modified: October 2011