Privacy & Security Policies

Privacy Policy

Thank you for visiting the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Web site.  We are committed to maintaining your privacy.  This policy addresses the collection, security and access to information that may be obtained through the use of our site.  This policy covers the following topics:

  • Information Collected
  • Public Disclosure
  • Access to User Profiles
  • Choice
  • Cookies
  • Security
  • Link Disclaimer
  • Information Disclaimer


Information Collected
As part of standard internet practice we collect the following information when you visit our sites:

  • Your domain name; for example, "xcompany.com" if you use a private internet access account, or "yourschool.edu", if you are connecting from a university domain;
  • Your IP address, a number automatically assigned to your computer when you are using the internet;
  • The type of browser and operating system used to access our site;
  • The Internet address of the Web site from which you linked directly to our site;
  • The pages you visit within the Commonwealth’s site; and
  • The links made to other Web sites through this site.

This information is collected for statistical analysis using standard third-party software programs to create summary statistics. The statistics are used for the purpose of determining what information is of most and least interest to all visitors and identifying system performance or problem areas. This information is not collected for commercial marketing purposes.  The Commonwealth does not sell information collected online.  
 
Any personally identifiable information that you voluntarily provide will be collected.  Personally identifiable information may include an email address or any other information you submit via a Web site when completing an application, form, or survey online.
 
The information collected, whether or not personally identifiable, is not limited to text characters and may include audio, video and other graphic formats you send us.  Information is retained in accordance with existing laws and other Commonwealth policies.
 
Public Disclosure 
As a general rule, the Commonwealth does not disclose any personally identifiable information collected online except where you have given us permission, or where the information is public information under the Pennsylvania Right to Know Act 65 P.S. 66.1 et seq., or other applicable laws.  Visitors should be aware that information collected by the Commonwealth on its Web sites may be subject to examination and inspection, if such information is a public record and not otherwise protected from disclosure. 
 
Access to User Profiles
Any personally identifiable information you enter in a user profile will be open and accessible to you for review and modification.
 
Choice
You may decline participation in any activity that asks for information (i.e., surveys or emails).  Your choice to not participate will have no effect on your ability to view information on the Commonwealth’s Web sites.
 
Cookies
We may customize your browsing experience by using “cookies” to store a randomly generated identifying tag on your computer.  (Cookies are simple text files stored by your Web browser and they provide a method of distinguishing among visitors to the Web sites.)  You can refuse the cookie or delete the cookie file from your computer at any time by using any one of a number of widely available methods. 
 
Commonwealth policy does not allow for the use of persistent cookies.  Cookies created on your computer by using our Web sites do not contain personally identifiable information and do not compromise your privacy or security. 
 
Security
As part of our continuing commitment to the security of electronic content as well as the electronic transmission of information, the Commonwealth has taken steps to safeguard the submission of information by implementing detailed technology and security policies, which can be viewed at the Office of Administration, Office for Information Technology Web site
Security measures have been integrated into the design, implementation and day-to-day operations of the entire operating environment. 
 
In certain instances, you may receive or create a password to access or submit personal information.  You should not divulge your password to anyone. The Commonwealth will never ask you for your password in an unsolicited phone call or e-mail.  When you are finished with sites that are password protected, you should exit the page. 
 
Link Disclaimer
The Commonwealth provides links to government agencies and other organizations.  A link does not constitute an endorsement of content, viewpoint, policies, products or services of that Web site. 
 
Once you link to another Web site not maintained by the Commonwealth, you are subject to the terms and conditions of that Web site, including but not limited to its privacy policy.  You will be notified prior to exiting the Commonwealth Web site.
 
Information Disclaimer
Information provided on the Commonwealth’s Web sites is intended to allow the public immediate access to public information.  While all attempts are made to provide accurate, current and reliable information we recognize the possibility of human and/or mechanical error.  Therefore, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, its employees, officers and agencies expressly deny any warranty of the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information published by this system and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance upon the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of such information.  Any person who relies upon such information obtained from this system does so at his or her own risk.
 
Contact Information
If you have any questions or comments about the information presented in this Privacy Policy, you can contact the Commonwealth Office of Administration/Office for Information Technology as follows:
By Fax: 717-787-4523
By Mail: 209 Finance Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120
By Email: ra-oaitb@pa.gov

 

Security Policy

Commonwealth employees use the PA PowerPort just like the general public to access state services and to submit personal information when applying for state government programs.  We share your concerns about protecting personal information from unauthorized access by non-state government personnel, and from state employees who do not have permission to see confidential data as part of their work responsibilities.

Our increasing reliance on computers and networking technology places heightened responsibility on state agencies to ensure that data is used properly and is accessibly only by government employees with the proper clearance.

To ensure that we maintain your trust for the careful management of your data, during the past few years, the Governor’s Office for Information Technology has increased the size of its security team and provided more training for employees charged with managing the security of our data networks.  This security team oversees the safeguards in place for the Commonwealth networks shared by state agencies, and state agencies have their own security staffs, too, focusing on their own network resources.  Additionally, we regularly turn to university and private sector security experts to critique our work in this area and suggest ways in which we can make improvements.  We also use advanced intrusion detection software on our networks to help us identify when hackers and others might be trying to infiltrate our computer network.


Additional Information
You might want to read the Governor’s Executive Order creating an emergency preparedness steering committee that is helping state agencies improve their disaster readiness preparations.  Please see: Executive Order