Here is how we handle information about your visit to our Web site:
Information Collected and Stored Automatically: If you do nothing during your visit but browse through the Web site, read pages or download information, we will gather and store certain information about your visit automatically. This information does not identify you personally. We automatically collect and store information like the following concerning your visit.
- The Internet domain (for example, “xcompany.com” if you use a private Internet access account, or “yourschool.edu” if you connect from a university’s domain);
- Your IP address (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you are surfing the Web) from which you access our Web site.
- The type of browser and operating system used to access our site;
- The date and time you access our site;
- The pages you visit; and
- If you linked to our Web site from another Web site, the address of that Web site.
We use this information to help us make our site more useful to visitors—to learn about the number of visitors to our site and the types of technology our visitors use. WordPress (the platform for our blog) also collects their own metrics, which we do not have access to.
For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. If such monitoring reveals evidence of possible abuse or criminal activity, such evidence may be provided to appropriate law enforcement officials. Unauthorized attempts to upload or change information on this server are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act or other law.
Information That You Voluntarily Provide
Access to this site is limited to those with NOAA credentials, and requires user authentication. Authentication is based on the existence of an entry in the NOAA LDAP directory. Credentials are not stored by this site and are not related to credentials stored elsewhere, and are not used for purposes other than authentication.
How Information is Used
The information we collect is used for a variety of purposes (chiefly tracking site performance and utilization). We make every effort to disclose clearly how information is used at the point where it is collected so that our users can determine for themselves whether they wish to provide the information.
Sharing of Information
We may share the information you give us with another government agency if your inquiry relates to that agency. We may also share information collected during your visit with non-federal entities, but only if your inquiry requires accessing data from that external entity.
Retention of Information
We destroy the information we collect when the purpose for which it was provided has been fulfilled unless we are required to keep it longer by statute or official policy. Electronically submitted information is maintained and destroyed according to the principles of the Federal Records Act and the regulations and records schedules approved by the National Archives and Records Administration, and in some cases information submitted to us may become an agency record and therefore might be subject to a Freedom of Information Act request.