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NINDS Website Privacy Statement


NINDS is a part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Please visit the HHS website for detailed information regarding the department's privacy policy.

The following summarizes how NINDS will use information we gather about you from your visit to our website. The privacy of our visitors is of utmost importance.

Information Automatically Collected and Stored

When you browse through any web site, certain personal information about you can be collected. We automatically collect and temporarily store the following information about your visit:

  • the name of the domain you use to access the Internet (for example, aol.com, if you are using an American Online account, or stanford.edu, if you are connecting from Stanford University's domain);
  • the date and time of your visit;
  • the pages you visited; and
  • the address of the web site you came from when you came to visit.

This information is used for statistical purposes and to help us make our site more useful to visitors. Unless it is specifically stated otherwise, no additional information will be collected about you.

How NINDS Uses Cookies

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 NINDS 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 web analytics to differentiate between new and returning visitors. Persistent cookies remain on your computer between visits to our site until they expire. 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 NINDS.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 NINDS.gov.

Personally Provided Information

You do not have to give us personal information to visit our web sites.

If you choose to provide us with additional information about yourself through an e-mail message, form, survey, etc., we may store the names, addresses, and other information you provide in order to respond to the request or to otherwise resolve the subject matter of your E-mail. This information has never been used for any other purpose than to respond to your request.

However, all communications addressed to NINDS staff or the NINDS Webmaster are maintained, as required by law, for historical purposes. These communications are protected by the Privacy Act which restricts our use of them, yet permits certain disclosures.

(NOTE: For information on Medical Privacy, please go to http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy .)

Intrusion Detection

This site is maintained by the U.S. Government. It is protected by various provisions of Title 18, U.S. Code. Violations of Title 18 are subject to criminal prosecution in federal court.

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, we employ software programs to monitor traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. In the event of authorized law enforcement investigations, and pursuant to any required legal process, information from these sources may be used to help identify an individual.

Systems of Records

Information originally collected in traditional paper systems can be submitted electronically, i.e., electronic commerce transactions and information updates about funding opportunities. Electronically submitted information is maintained and destroyed pursuant to the Federal Records Act, and in some cases may be subject to the Privacy Act. If information that you submit is to be used in a Privacy Act system of records, there will be Privacy Act Notice provided.

Data Safeguarding and Privacy

All uses of Web measurement and customization technologies will comply with existing policies with respect to privacy and data safeguarding standards. Information Systems (IT) systems owned and operated by NIH are assessed using Privacy Impact Assessments posted for public view on the Department of Health and Human Services Web site (http://www.hhs.gov/pia/nih.html). Groups of records that contain information about an individual and are designed to be retrieved by the 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, NIH Systems of Record Notices are published in the Federal Register and posted on the NIH Senior Official for Privacy Web site.

Data Retention and Access Limits NINDS 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 (http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/grs/grs20.html).

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, such as non-.gov hosted applications and those embedded on an NIH Web pages that could cause personally identifiable information (PII) to become available or accessible to NIH, regardless of whether NIH solicits or collects it.

As part of the Open Government Directive, NINDS 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 protects your private information.

Facebook: NINDS has one Facebook page—National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

On the NINDS Facebook page, NINDS staff posts news and other items of interest to citizens. If you have a FaceBbook account or "Like" NIH Facebook pages, you can post comments or click on the "like" option for individual entries. If you comment or click on the "like" button, personally identifying information will be visible to NIH staff and other Facebook site visitors. The amount of visible personal information will depend on your own Facebook privacy settings. You can completely avoid displaying any personally identifiable information by not creating an account, not posting comments and not clicking on the "like" options in Facebook. NINDS staff does not collect, use or disclose any information about visitors who comment or "like" the NINDS Facebook site. Facebook collects and reports on non-personally identifiable information about activities on Facebook pages. This information is password protected and only available to NINDS managers, members of the NINDS Communications and Web Teams, and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties. The Facebook privacy policy is available at: http://www.facebook.com/about/privacy/.

Twitter: NINDS uses Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/NINDSnews) to send short messages (up to 140 characters) or "Tweets" to share information about NINDS with visitors and respond to comments and inquiries sent via Twitter to NINDS. While visitors may read the NINDS Twitter feeds without subscribing to them, visitors who want to subscribe to (or follow) NINDS Twitter feeds must create a Twitter account at www.twitter.com. To create an account, you must provide some personal information, such as name, user name, password and email address. Visitors have the option to provide additional personal information including a short biography, location or a picture. Most information you provide for a Twitter account is available to the public, but you can modify how much of your information is visible by changing your privacy settings at the Twitter.com Web site. NINDS staff members monitor the number of subscribers and respond to comments and queries via Twitter, but the staff never takes possession of the personal information belonging to Twitter followers. NINDS does not collect, maintain, disclose or share any information about people who follow NINDS on Twitter.

YouTube: NINDS posts videos on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/nihninds.) to make them available to all NINDS visitors. You do not need to register with either YouTube or Google (YouTube owner) to watch NINDS videos. When visitors watch videos, YouTube may record non-personally identifiable information about its site usage, such as channels used, videos watched, and data transfer details to improve its services. If you log on to the YouTube site before watching NINDS videos, YouTube may associate information about your site use with your YouTube account. If you log on to YouTube and comment on an NINDS video, any personal information you included when registering for your account will be visible to visitors who click on the comment. If you do not log in before watching NINDS videos posted on YouTube, your site use will not be associated with you or a YouTube account. The YouTube privacy policy is available at:http://www.youtube.com/t/privacy.

NINDS Privacy Act Coordinator

D’Vonte Putney, Office of the Director, NINDS

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Last updated March 11, 2014