What to expect when visiting our website
We are committed to the privacy of our visitors. We collect no personal information about you when you visit our website unless you choose to provide that information to us. Here is how we handle information about your visit to NOAA.gov: If you do nothing during your visit but browse through the website, 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 such as 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 website.
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 website from another website, the address of that website.
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.
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
We do not collect personally-identifiable information unless you choose to provide it to us. If you provide us with personally identifiable information (e.g., by sending an e-mail or by filling out a form and submitting it through our website), we use that information only to respond to your message and to help us provide you with the information and services that you request. Submitting voluntary information constitutes your consent to the use of the information for the stated purpose. When users click the "Submit" button on any of the Web forms found on our site, they are indicating voluntary consent to use of the information they submit for the stated purpose. We do not collect or use information for commercial marketing.
How information is used
The information we collect is used for a variety of purposes (e.g., comments on proposed rules; license applications; to respond to requests for information about our regulations and policies; and to fill orders). 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 your information
We may share the information you give us with another government agency if your inquiry relates to that agency. In other limited circumstances, such as responses to requests from Congress and private individuals, we may be required by law to disclose information you submit. Before you submit personally identifiable information, such as on an online form, you will be advised as to the purpose and how the information will be used.
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. All of our sites that require such external access will be clearly identified to help you make an informed choice.
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. In some cases information submitted to us may become an agency record and, therefore, might be subject to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
Links to other sites
"Cookies" are small bits of text that are either used for the duration of a session (session cookies) or saved on a user's hard drive in order to identify that user or information about that user the next time she/he logs onto a website (persistent cookies). This website does not use persistent cookies or any other persistent tracking technology. One or more of our component sites may use session cookies to provide streamlined navigation. These session cookies are deleted from the component's server after your session ends, and information from them is not collected or saved.
Interaction with children
This website may offer educational content to children under 13 years old. No personally identifiable information is collected from them unless it is voluntarily submitted as a request for information or services. The information collected is used to respond to user inquiries or to provide services requested by our users.
Third-party social media tools
NOAA maintains official pages or accounts on several third-party websites in order to better engage with the American public and promote awareness of our activities, events, news and information (Note: A basic list of these tools is highlighted below. You can find a full listing of NOAA’s main social media channels on our social media page.)
Your activity on these third-party sites is governed by the security and privacy policies of the third-party sites. Users of third-party sites are often sharing information with the general public, user community and/or the third-party operating the third-party site. You should review the privacy policies of third-party sites before using them to ensure that you understand how your information may be used. You should also adjust privacy settings on your account on any third-party site to match your preferences. These sites include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, flickr and AddThis:
NOAA.gov uses Google Analytics offsite link, a third-party web measurement and customization technology as defined and organized by the federal government’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) “Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies,” known as OMB M-10-22 (PDF).
Here’s how it works: Google Analytics places a small file on your computer, commonly called a “cookie,” so that it can recognize your computer if you visit our NOAA.gov website in the future. This cookie does not collect personal identifying information. This is considered a Tier 2 service in the OMB guidance.
Visitors who choose to disable this web measurement tool will still have full access to NOAA.gov. While the details vary from browser to browsers, most modern browsers can be set up to accept, reject or request user intervention when a site asks to set a cookie. Google Analytics uses a cookie that begins with: _utm.
Google EarthTM and Google MapsTM
NOAA Privacy Statement
Authority: The collection of this information is authorized under 5 U.S.C. 301(Departmental regulations), 5 USC 552a (Records maintained on individuals); 15 U.S.C. 1512 (Powers and duties of Department), 44 U.S.C. 2904 (General responsibilities for records management), and Commerce/Dept-23 (Information Collected Electronically in Connection with Department of Commerce Activities, Events, and Programs).
Purpose: Individual’s permission is required for use of photographs, video, and audio in any format, used for communications, outreach, interviews, and dissemination of mission products intended to promote an awareness and appreciation of the environment and NOAA's science, service and stewardship roles. NOAA’s websites and social media outlets must not collect any personal information from children under the age of 13, unless parental permission is provided in writing.
Routine Uses: The information is used for the purpose set forth above and may be:
- Forwarded to another NOAA or non-NOAA user social media account.
- Shared among NOAA staff for work-related purposes.
- Photographs, videos, audio recordings may be shared externally and displayed on NOAA websites and social media platforms, and as part of physical displays/exhibits.
We reserve the right to hide, delete or not post comments that contain: Vulgar or abusive language or gestures; personal or obscene attacks of any kind; offensive terms targeting individuals or groups; threats or defamatory statements; suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity; or any other that may infringe upon the purpose for which the information was collected for. Disclosure of this information is also subject to all of the published routine uses as identified in the Privacy Act System of Records Notice DEPT-18, Employees Personnel Files Not Covered by Notices of Other Agencies.