Privacy Policy | DAIDS Learning Portal

Privacy Policy

General Information

This website is provided as a public service by the Division of AIDS (DAIDS), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH). DAIDS does not disclose, give, sell, or transfer personal information about visitors to the DAIDS Learning Portal website unless required to do so by law. Most information presented on this site is in the public domain and may be distributed or copied with some exceptions. For more information on image and text reuse, see Copyright and Reuse of Graphics and Text.

Protecting your privacy is very important to us. We do not collect personally identifiable information (PII) about you during your visit to the DAIDS website unless you choose to give it to us. We do, however, collect some data about visits to our website to help us better understand how the site is used and how to make it more helpful. We collect information from visitors who read, browse, and/or download information from our site. We never collect information for commercial marketing or any purpose unrelated to the DAIDS mission and goals. DAIDS uses aggregated information only.

How DAIDS Collects Information

The DAIDS website automatically collects a limited amount of information about the use of its website, primarily for statistical purposes (that is, to measure the numbers of visitors to various sections of the site). This information may also be helpful when considering changes to the website to make the site more useful to visitors. Except where it may be required for authorized law enforcement investigations, no other attempts will be made to identify individual users or their usage habits.

How DAIDS Uses Cookies

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memo M-10-22, Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies, allows federal agencies to use session and persistent cookies.
When a user visits a website, the website's server generates a piece of information known as a "cookie" and places it on the user's computer. The cookie allows the server to "remember" specific information about your visit while you are connected. The cookie makes it easier to use some features of Web pages. Requests to send cookies from DAIDS’ Web pages are designed to collect information about your browser session only; 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.

The following information about users of the website is collected and stored automatically:

  • The Internet domain from which a user has accessed the Internet. For example, if a user connects to the Internet through America Online, the domain is aol.com.
  • The Internet protocol (IP) address of the computer that was used to access the Internet. An IP address is a number that is assigned to a user's computer when he/she logs onto the Internet. When a web page is requested, the user's IP address is included in the message, and the recipient of the request can respond to it by sending another message using that IP address.
  • The name and version of the user's computer operating system and Internet browser. For example, Windows 2000 (operating system) and Internet Explorer 6.0 or Netscape Navigator 7.1 (Internet browsers).
  • If a user comes to the website from another website, the Internet address of the "referring" website.
  • The date, time, and duration of the user's visit to the website, and the pages visited.
  • How Are Temporary "Session" Cookies Used?

    We use session cookies for technical purposes such as improving navigation through our site. These cookies let our server know that you are continuing a visit to our site. The "session" cookie is not permanently stored on your computer. The cookie and the information about your visit are automatically destroyed shortly after you close your browser to end the session.

    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."

    How Are "Persistent" Cookies Used?

    The OMB Memo M-10-22, Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies, allows federal agencies to use persistent cookies in addition to temporary session cookies.

    We use persistent cookies to help us differentiate between new and returning visitors to the DAIDS website. Persistent cookies remain on your computer between visits to our site until they expire. We do not use this technology to identify you or any other site visitor.

    We also use persistent cookies to enable NIAID to measure and understand how new and returning visitors use our site over time. NIAID uses the following analytic tools: WebTrends and Google Analytics.

    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 the information and resources on the DAIDS website.

    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 the DAIDS site.

    How Is Personal Information Protected?

    You do not have to give us personal information to visit the DAIDS website. We do not collect personally identifiable information unless you choose to provide it to us. If you provide us with personally identifiable information, for example by sending an email 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 a user clicks 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.

    If you choose to give us additional information about yourself through an email message, form, survey, conference registration, etc., we keep the information secured according to Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) standards for moderate sensitive information.

    Sharing of 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.

    Retention of Information

    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.

    E-mail Messages Sent to DAIDS via Links in the Website

    When email inquiries are sent to DAIDS via the DAIDS Learning Portal website, the message and the e-mail address of the sender are stored electronically to allow time for a response to be researched, written, and sent.

    Information submitted via email to the site’s help desk may be shared within DAIDS for quality and training purposes. Users are not to include any information they deem private when communicating with the help desk. Contact information available to the general public such as names, email addresses, and phone numbers (i.e. information which may be found in a phone book or publicly available company directory) is not considered sensitive on its own, and may be shared by the user if they choose to do so.

    Links to Third-Party Websites

    Third-party websites and applications are Web-based technologies that are not exclusively operated or controlled by DAIDS. These include applications hosted on non-government sites and those embedded within a DAIDS Web page.

    The DAIDS website has links to many other websites. We cannot guarantee the privacy or security of information users provide to linked, external websites.

    Further Information

    For further information about NIH privacy policy, please contact the NIH Senior Official for Privacy at privacy@mail.nih.gov, call 301-451-3426, or visit http://oma.od.nih.gov/ms/privacy/privacyact.html.

    Disclosure

    NIAID does not disclose, give, sell, or transfer any personal information about our website visitors, unless required for law enforcement or by statute.

    Site Security

    The U.S. government maintains the DAIDS website. 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 use 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 a person.