Privacy Policy


Nano.gov Online Privacy Policy

The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) is committed to protecting individual privacy and securing the personal information made available to us when you visit Nano.gov, as well NNI pages on other sites (such as official NNI profiles on social networks).

This privacy policy describes what information is made available to the NNI and third parties when you visit Nano.gov or official NNI pages on other sites, and how the NNI uses and stores that information.

If you have questions about this policy or suggestions for its improvement, please let us know. You can contact us at http://www.nano.gov/about-nni/contact

We will revise or update this policy if our practices change, or as we develop better ways to keep you informed about them. You should refer back to this page often for the latest information and the effective date of any changes. If we decide to change this policy, we will post a new policy on our site and change the date at the bottom. Changes to the policy shall not apply retroactively.

  1. Information received and stored by the NNI when you visit Nano.gov
    1. 1.1 Basic Information

When a computer is used to access information on Nano.gov, the following basic information is automatically received and stored by the NNI web servers hosting Nano.gov:

  • Internet Protocol (IP) Address. A computer’s IP address establishes its location on the internet and allows other computers, such as those hosting Nano.gov, to send it content and other information;
  • The internet domain name when a computer accesses the internet through a domain, such as from a corporation (“xcompany.com”) or university ("yourschool.edu");
  • The date, time, and duration of a website visit;
  • If a computer accesses a page on Nano.gov via a link on another page, the URL of that referring, non-Nano.gov page;
  • Information about the computer set-up, such as the type and version of web browser (e.g., Internet Explorer 8.0, Mozilla Firefox 5.0), operating system (e.g., Unix, Mac OS, MS Windows), Java support (yes or no), Flash version (e.g., 10.1 r85), screen resolution (e.g., 1280x800), and connection speed (e.g., DSL, T1);
  • The specific pages a computer accesses when it requests information from  Nano.gov; and
  • The amount of data (measured in number of bytes) transmitted from Nano.gov to a computer.

The NNI does not use this information to identify or track the browsing of individual users. We do use it to generate aggregate statistics about how Nano.gov is used. We retain this information for a year—for example, server logs from June 2011 will be deleted in June 2012.

  1. We do not sell, rent, exchange, or otherwise disclose this information to persons or organizations outside the NNI. In some cases, we may share the information with other federal agencies in response to lawful law enforcement requests or to protect Nano.gov from security threats.
  2. 1.2. Website Measurement and Customization Technologies (E.g., Cookies)

1.      1.2.1. First-party (Nano.gov) Website Measurement and Customization Technologies

The NNI uses web measurement and customization technologies to make Nano.gov function better for visitors and to better understand how the public is using the website.

2.      This means that when you visit a page on Nano.gov, the internet browser on your computer may download and save a small file from Nano.gov (commonly called a “cookie”) so that our website can recognize your specific computer and browser when you use Nano.gov in the future. The NNI does not use technologies that track your interactions on non-Nano.gov websites.

3.      Information on how to control these web measurement and customization technologies can be found in Section 1.2.3: How you can control website measurement and customization technologies.

These technologies fall into two categories, based on the length of time they remain active:

§  Single-session cookies last only as long as a web browser is open. Once the browser is closed, the data files on your computer are deleted.

§  Multi-session cookies last beyond a single session of browsing a website; this allows a website to recognize a computer or user for defined amount of time.

Nano.gov uses the following web measurement and customization technologies (defined and organized per the Office of Management and Budget’s “Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies” (OMB M-10-22)):

§  Session cookies are used for technical purposes, such as enabling better navigation through the site, and generating aggregated statistics about how the website is used. Under the framework of OMB M-10-22, this qualifies as a Tier 1 use.

§  Persistent cookies are used to recognize a computer that has previously visited Nano.gov, which can improve a user’s experience, for example by continuing preference settings from previous visits. Nano.gov currently uses the following first-party persistent cookies:  Nano.gov sets three persistent cookies to measure website metrics, such as which pages are popular and how often people visit the website. These cookies do not collect personal identifying information. Under the framework of OMB M-10-22, this qualifies as a Tier 2 use.

The NNI uses a third-party analytics provider (currently Google Analytics) to analyze the data collected through the session and persistent metrics cookies. Please review the third-party analytics provider’s privacy policy for additional information.

4.      These cookies collect information similar to that automatically received and stored on the servers hosting Nano.gov; they do not collect personal indentifying information. The NNI generally does not access or store the raw information collected through these cookies. We do view aggregate statistical analyses prepared by our third-party analytics provider, but these analyses do not include any personally identifiable information. We do not sell, rent, exchange, or otherwise disclose this information to persons or organizations outside the NNI. In some cases, we may share information with other federal agencies in response to lawful law enforcement requests or to protect Nano.gov from security threats. As explained in section 1.2.3, you can control website measurement and customization technologies on Nano.gov.

5.      1.2.2. Third-party website measurement and customization technologies

Some pages on Nano.gov may include web content or functionality from third parties, such as embedded videos hosted by non-Nano.gov services. For example, as of January 10, 2012, content or functionality from the following third parties may be present on some Nano.gov pages:

§  YouTube.com;

§  Twitter.com

For your convenience, this list will be updated on a regular basis to reflect the third party providers of content or functionality that are commonly used on Nano.gov. If you would like to receive content that is posted using one of these third-party providers without utilizing the third-party provider, please contact us at http://www.nano.gov/about-nni/contact.

These third parties may use web measurement and customization technologies (such as cookies) in conjunction with the provision of this content or functionality. You should consult the privacy policies of these third parties for further information. We do not knowingly use third-party tools that place a multi-session cookie prior to the user interacting with the tool, for example by playing an embedded video. If you become aware of a third-party tool on Nano.gov that places a multi-session cookie prior to any user interaction, please contact us at webmaster@nnco.nano.gov

6.      1.2.3. How you can control website measurement and customization technologies

Visitors can control aspects of website measurement and customization technologies used on Nano.gov. Visitors who choose to disable these technologies will still have access to comparable information and services on Nano.gov.

One of the most common forms of website measurement and customization technologies is the use of “cookies.”  You can choose not to accept cookies from any website, including Nano.gov, by changing the settings of your browser. You can also delete cookies stored in your browser at any time. 

7.      For more information about cookies, including how to delete them from your computer and configure your browser to refuse them from Nano.gov or any other site, visit the following resources:

§  USA.gov

§  GetNetWise

Another form of website measurement and customization technology is the use of “flash cookies” which are created by Adobe Flash, a technology that powers web content such as videos. To manage these, visit the Website Storage Settings Panel on Adobe.com. Nano.gov does not currently use first-party flash cookies, but they may be used by third party technologies included in Nano.gov. 

                        1.3. Personal information that you voluntarily submit to Nano.gov

If you choose to provide us with personal information, for example by completing a “Contact Us” form, signing up for our email list, or leaving a comment, we may use that information to respond to your message and/or to help us get you the information or services you requested. Submitting this personal information (name, address, telephone number, email address, etc.) is voluntary and is not required to access information on Nano.gov.

This information will likely be retained by the NNI until the end of the current Administration, at which time it will be transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in accordance with the Presidential Records Act(PRA). NARA may eventually release this material to the public, but is required, in accordance with the PRA and the Freedom of Information Act(FOIA), to withhold any information that would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy if released. NARA may also dispose of this information if it determines it to lack value, in accordance with the PRA; the NNI may also dispose of it on the same grounds after notifying NARA in accordance with the PRA. Access to this information may be requested under FOIA five years after the end of the current Administration.

Information you voluntarily submit through Nano.gov, such as your name, city, state, and comments on public issues, may be treated as public information. We may, for example, publish compilations of comments collected through Nano.gov or provide them to national leaders, members of the press or other individuals outside of the federal government. We exercise discretion to protect voluntarily submitted information if its disclosure would raise privacy concerns. Except as described above, we do not sell, rent, exchange, or otherwise disclose this information to persons or organizations outside the NNI. In some cases, we may share information with other federal agencies in response to lawful law enforcement requests or to protect Nano.gov from security threats. Additionally, if you seek assistance on a matter within the jurisdiction of a federal agency, we may share your information with that agency for the limited purpose of addressing your request for assistance.

                        Links on Nano.gov to External Sites

Nano.gov may contain links to web sites created and maintained by other public and/or private organizations and individuals. Nano.gov provides these links as a service to our users. When you follow a link to an external site, you are leaving Nano.gov and are subject to the privacy and security policies of the owners/sponsors of the external site. Nano.gov does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information contained in a linked site. We also do not endorse the organizations or individuals maintaining sites that we link, any views they express, or any products/services they offer. 

                        Visiting Official NNI Pages on Third-Party Websites

The NNI maintains official pages or accounts on several third-party web sites in order to better engage with the American public (a current list is below). Your activity on those 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. These actors may use this information in a variety of ways. Consequently, you should review the privacy policies of third-party sites before using them and 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. 

The NNI archives some information that users submit or publish when engaging with the NNI through official NNI pages or accounts. For example, on the social media service Twitter, the NNI archives posts (i.e. “tweets”) from official NNI accounts, “direct messages” sent to official NNI accounts, and “replies,” which are tweets from other users to official NNI accounts (these tweets begin with @ and the username of an official NNI account, e.g., @NNInanonews). This information may contain PII, such as an individual’s username and any PII they elect to submit or publish.  The NNI does not archive any PII about users who merely visit a NNI page on a third-party site or who only “follow,” “friend,” or take a similar action with respect to the official NNI page on a third-party site.

Information, including PII, that you voluntarily submit to or publish on a NNI page on a third-party site may be treated as public information. We may, for example, publish compilations of comments collected through these NNI pages or provide them to national leaders, members of the press or other individuals outside of the federal government. We exercise discretion to protect voluntarily submitted information if its disclosure would raise privacy concerns. Except as described above, we do not sell, rent, exchange, or otherwise disclose this information to persons or organizations outside the NNI. In some cases, we may share information with other federal agencies in response to lawful law enforcement requests or to protect Nano.gov from security threats. Additionally, if you seek assistance on a matter within the jurisdiction of a federal agency, we may share your information with that agency for the limited purpose of addressing your request for assistance.

The White House has conducted and published a Privacy Impact Assessment of Third-Party Sites, which includes more information about these issues and can be accessed here.

Below is the current list of official NNI pages on third party websites.

Social Networks

o   Twitter (Privacy)

§  @NNInanonews

 

o   LinkedIn: (Privacy)

§  National Nanotechnology Initiative Group

 

 Video & Multimedia

o   YouTube (Privacy)

§  NNI YouTube page

 

                        Email subscriptions and updates

The NNI maintains several lists of subscribers who have asked to receive periodic email updates. Any recipient of an NNI email may unsubscribe from future messages via a link at the bottom of each email message. We do not sell, rent, exchange, or otherwise disclose our list subscribers to persons or organizations outside the NNI. 

Messages sent from NNI to email subscribers may include a tracking pixel to provide basic aggregate analytics such as the percentage of recipients who opened an email or clicked on a link in an email, the percentage of subscribers using various email clients, and the number of times an email was forwarded or printed.

                        Children and Privacy on Nano.gov

We believe in the importance of protecting the privacy of children online and do not knowingly contact or collect personal information from children under 13. Our site is not intended to solicit information of any kind from children under 13. To notify us of our receipt of information by children under 13, please contact us through the Nano.gov Contact Form.

                        Security of Nano.gov

We take reasonable precautions to protect our site and information automatically collected by Nano.gov or voluntarily submitted to Nano.gov or an official NNI page on a third-party site. For example, we restrict access to information collected by or submitted to Nano.gov or official NNI pages of on third-party sites to employees who access it to perform their official duties. Access to official NNI accounts on third-party sites is limited to the staff who administer those accounts, and all official NNI accounts are clearly labeled. We also use commonly used practices and technical controls to protect this information, along with Nano.gov itself. These practices and controls include, but are not limited to, encrypting the transfer of personal information over the Internet via Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), using high-strength firewalls and intrusion detection systems (IDS) to safeguard personal information and maintaining strict technical controls and procedures to ensure the integrity of all data on Nano.gov. We periodically review our processes and systems to verify compliance with industry best practices and ensure the highest level of security for our website.

                        Updates to this privacy policy

We will revise or update this policy if our practices change, or as we develop better ways to keep you informed about them. You should refer back to this page often for the latest information and the effective date of any changes. If we decide to change this policy, we will post a new policy on our site and change the date at the bottom. Changes to the policy shall not apply retroactively.

Updated: January 10, 2012