Internet Privacy

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The following information explains the Internet Privacy Policy that George Mason has adopted for its web site. The George Mason University web site is defined to include the university's home page (the top-level web page) and every web site that links directly from the home page (second-level web sites), unless the site is not on a university server or the site is licensed from a vendor. It also includes all the web sites that are designed by Web Communications in University Relations and other sites that are developed using the university web templates. The following is intended to explain our current Internet privacy practices but shall not be construed as a contractual promise. We reserve the right to amend our Internet Privacy Policy statement at any time without notice.

Contents

Virginia Law

We protect our records in accordance with our obligations as defined by applicable Virginia statutes, including, but not limited to, the Virginia Privacy Protection Act of 1976, the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, and by any applicable U.S. federal laws.

Links to Other Web Sites

Our web site includes links to external sites. George Mason is not responsible for the privacy practices of these outside sites. Although these sites have been evaluated, it is recommended that users read the individual policy statements of each web site when they leave a George Mason University server.

Information We Collect

When you access our web site, the routing, or client, information and the essential and nonessential technical information listed below is automatically collected. No other information is collected through our website except when you deliberately decide to send it to us (for example, by clicking on a link to send us an e-mail). The information you might choose to send us is listed below as "optional information." George Mason bears no responsibility for material presented that is unrelated to the University's mission.

  • Routing, or client, information: the Internet domain and Internet address of the computer you are using.
  • Essential technical information: identification of the page or service you are requesting, type of browser and operating system you are using; and the date and time of access.
  • Nonessential technical information: the Internet address of the website from which you linked directly to our website, and the "cookie information" as described below.
  • Optional information: when you send us an email, your name, email address, and the content of your email; when you fill out online forms, all the data you choose to fill in or confirm; when you use Administrative Systems, userid and passwords are encrypted before being transmitted across the network, and data that you choose to send is stored in a secure environment, protected from unauthorized access or disclosure. For those applications that process credit card payments, credit card number and expiration date are encrypted using a secure server for maximum security. Credit card numbers are not stored on servers accessible from the internet.
  • Cookies: Our website may place a "cookie" on your computer, unless your browser is set to reject cookies. These cookies enable our website to recognize you when you return to the website at a later date or time and enables us to personalize the website with preferences or information you have provided during prior sessions. The cookie information placed on your computer could include the following: IP address, browser type, operating system, the date and time, whether or not you have visited a website before, where you went when you visited that website, and any preferences or customization that you might have set (including username and passwords).

How the Collected Information Is Used

Routing information is used to route the requested web page to your computer for viewing. We send the requested web page and the routing information to our Internet service provider or other entities involved in transmitting the requested page to you. We do not control the privacy practices of those entities. Essential and nonessential technical information helps us respond to your request in an appropriate format (or in a personalized manner) and helps us plan web site improvements.

Optional information enables us to provide services or information tailored more specifically to your needs or to forward your message or inquiry to another entity that is better able to do so, and also allows us to plan web site improvements.

We may keep your information indefinitely, but we ordinarily delete the transaction routing information from our web server within 60 days after the web page is transmitted and do not try to obtain any information to link it to the individuals who browse our web site. However, on rare occasions when a "hacker" attempts to breach computer security, logs of routing information are retained to permit a security investigation, and in such cases may be forwarded together with any other relevant information in our possession to law enforcement agencies. We use this transaction routing information primarily in a statistical summary type format to assess site content and server performance. We may share this summary information with our business partners when needed.

Optional information is retained in accordance with the records retention schedules at the Library of Virginia.

Under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, any records in our possession at the time of a Freedom of Information Request might be subject to being inspected by or disclosed to members of the public. However, all identifiable confidential/personal information will be removed prior to releasing the routing information.

Choice to Provide Information

There is no legal requirement for you to provide any information at our website. However, our website will not work without routing information and the essential technical information. Failure of your browser to provide nonessential technical information will not prevent your use of our website, but may prevent certain features from working Failure to provide optional information will mean that the particular feature or service associated with that part of the web page will not be available to you.

Customer Comments or Review

If you have questions about this privacy statement or the practices of this web site, or if you choose to review or correct any information you previously submitted, please contact the George Mason University webmaster at webmaster@gmu.edu.

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