Sift websites don’t collect any personally identifiable information (PII) about you during your visit unless you choose to provide it to us. We do, however, collect information from visitors who read, browse, and/or download information from our site. We do this so we can understand how the public uses the site and how to make it more helpful.
Sift websites never collect information for commercial marketing or any purpose unrelated to our mission and goals.
When you browse through any website, certain information about your visit can be collected. We automatically collect and temporarily store the following types of information about your visit:
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.
Sift websites use a variety of Web measurement software tools. We use them to collect the information listed in the “Types of information collected” section above. The tools collect information automatically and continuously. No personally identifiable information is collected by these tools.
Sift website staff analyze and report on the collected data from these tools. The reports are available only to Sift website managers, members of the Sift websites communications and web teams, and other designated staff who need this information to perform their duties.
Sift websites may also use an online survey to collect opinions and feedback. This online survey appears on the bottom left of many pages on the site. You don’t have to answer these questions. Please do not to include any personally identifiable information (PII) in comments you make. We analyze and use this information to improve the site’s operation and content. The reports are available only to Sift website managers, members of the communications and Web teams, and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties.
SIFT websites keep the data from our measurement tools as long as needed to support the mission of the website.
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 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 SIFT websites collect only 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.
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 on SIFT websites. Instructions for disabling or opting out of cookies in the most popular browsers are located at https://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.
Please note that by opting out of cookies, you will disable cookies from all sources, not just from SIFT websites.
You do not have to give us personal information to visit SIFT websites. However, if you choose to receive alerts or e-newsletters, we collect your email address to complete the subscription process.
If you choose to provide us with personally identifiable information through an email message, request for information, paper or electronic form, questionnaire, survey, 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 in order to contact you we store 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.), we will safeguard the information you provide in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. Section 552a).
If any SIFT website 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 five criteria:
All uses of Web-based technologies comply with existing privacy and data safeguarding policies and standards. Information Technology (IT) systems owned and operated by SIFT are assessed using Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) posted for public view on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website (http://www.hhs.gov/pia). SIFT 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 HHS website at http://www.hhs.gov/pia.
Groups of records that contain information about an individual and are designed to be retrieved by the individual’s name or other personal identifier linked to the individual are covered by the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. Section 552a). For these records, SIFT Systems of Record Notices are published in the Federal Register and posted on the SIFT Senior Official for Privacy Website.
SIFT websites keep data collected 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 according to the requirements of that schedule (https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/policy/transfer-guidance.html).
As a response to OMB Memo M-10-06, Open Government Directive, SIFT websites use a variety of technologies and social media services to communicate and interact with citizens. These third-party website and application (TPWA) tools include popular social networking and media sites, open source software communities, and more. Examples include Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
TPWAs are not exclusively operated or controlled by SIFT websites. 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 SIFT websites and the public, regardless of whether the information is explicitly asked for or collected by us.
SIFT websites sometime collect and use your PII if you made it available through third-party websites. However, we do not share PII made available through third-party websites. Your activity on the third-party websites we use is governed by the security and privacy policies of those sites. You should review the third-party privacy policies before using the sites and ensure that you understand how your information may be used.
We also collect non-personally identifiable information through the use of tracking pixels that appear on our pages. A tracking pixel is a transparent graphic image (usually 1 pixel x 1 pixel) that is placed on a web page and, in combination with a cookie, allows us to collect information regarding the use of the web page that contains the tracking pixel.
We use tracking pixels to tell when an advertisement we run on another website has been clicked on or otherwise interacted with. We use that information to judge which advertisements are more appealing to users. To opt out of these tracking pixels, please see the section above titled “How to opt out or disable cookies.”
Page Last Modified:
November 25, 2020