We are committed to the privacy of our visitors. We collect no personal information about you when you visit the National Ocean Service or Ocean Today websites unless you choose to provide that information to us.
Here is how we handle information about your visit. When you browse through our websites, 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:
We use this information to help us make our sites more useful to visitors — to learn about the number of visitors to our sites and the types of technology our visitors use.
The Privacy Act of 1974 provides safeguards against invasion of personal privacy through the misuse of records by Federal Agencies. The Privacy Act was passed in 1974 to establish controls over what personal information is collected, maintained, used and disseminated by agencies in the executive branch of the Federal government.
The Privacy Act guarantees three primary rights:
If you are a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, you may make a request for personal information on yourself under the Privacy Act. Go to the Request page for more information.
Requests made under the Privacy Act will be processed under both the Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to ensure the greatest access to your personal records.
For site security purposes and to ensure that these services remain 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.
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 e-mail or by filling out a form and submitting it through our websites, 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 sites, 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.
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.
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, 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.
"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 the user logs on to a website ("persistent cookies"). These websites do not use persistent cookies or any other persistent tracking technology. However, these sites do use Google Analytics, a tool that provides basic information about website visitors. Please note that this third party service will place a file on your computer so that it can recognize if you visit oceanservice.noaa.gov or oceantoday.noaa.gov in the future. (See below for more information.) Lastly, 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.
These websites may offer educational content to children under 13. No personally identifiable information is collected from them unless 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.
The National Ocean Service and Ocean Today maintain official pages or accounts on several third-party websites in order to better engage with the American public and promote awareness of National Ocean Service activities, events, news, and information (a list of these tools is highlighted 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. 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.
For more information on content that you voluntarily submit on NOS third-party social media tools, please see our comment policy.
These sites use Google Analytics, a third-party web measurement and customization technology as defined and organized by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), "Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies" (OMB M-10-22). Google Analytics places a small file on your computer, commonly called a "cookie," so that it can recognize your computer if you visit oceanservice.noaa.gov or oceantoday.noaa.gov 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 will still have full access to oceanservice.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
This site uses Google Forms, a third-party web-based tool that specializes in collecting and organizing information. This tool is used only for our website customer satisfaction survey. Our survey is encrypted and usage complies with the Office of Management and Budget's Policies for Federal Agency Public Websites and Digital Services (OMB-M-17-06).
This site uses the GovDelivery Communications Cloud service to deliver email bulletin messages to self-subscribed users. GovDelivery is a web-based email subscription management system that allows a member of the public (user) to subscribe to news and information on NOS websites. A user's subscription profile consists of their email address and the topics they wish to receive email updates for. The user may customize and manage their subscription profile in order to receive exactly the types of information they desire, and they may cancel their subscriptions at any time. We only use the email addresses provided by subscribers to send email messages related to the topics selected by the user in the GovDelivery system. We do not use the GovDelivery service to send email messages unrelated to the topics selected by the subscriber or to seek personally identifiable information (PII) about subscribers. Neither NOS nor GovDelivery will share a user's subscription profile, including email address.