Revised 6/27/2011

Welcome to the Executive Office of Elder Affairs' (ELD) Web site. Your privacy is one of our top priorities. The following policy applies only to the use of the ELD's Web site. Other web sites operated by state agencies have different policies. We strongly suggest that you read the privacy policies for each Commonwealth Web site that you visit, and any external site that you visit through a link appearing at this site.

A Privacy Partnership

Your privacy with respect to the use of this Web site results from a partnership between the Commonwealth and you, the user. At this Web site, we attempt to protect your privacy to the maximum extent possible. However, because some of the information that we receive through this Web site is subject to the Public Records Law, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 66, Section 10, we cannot ensure absolute privacy. Information that you provide to us through this site may be made available to members of the public under that law. This policy informs you of the information that we collect from you at this site, what we do with it, to whom it may be disseminated, and how you can access it. Based on this information, you can make an informed choice about your use of this site. You can maximize the benefits of your privacy partnership with the Commonwealth by making informed choices about whether to share personally identifiable information with us through this site.

Personally Identifiable Information

We use the term "personally identifiable information" to mean any information that could reasonably be used to identify you, including your name, address, e-mail address, Social Security number, birth date, bank account information, credit card information, or any combination of information that could be used to identify you.

Information Voluntarily Provided by You

This site collects voluntary information from you only through the e-mails that you send through this site. E-mails sent by you to this site may contain personally identifiable information.

Information Automatically Collected and Stored by this Site

This website employs the use of "Persistent Cookies." The purpose of these Persistent Cookies is to collect and aggregate data regarding the site's visitor activity in order for EOHHS to continuously evaluate and update its website services. You may elect to disable the Persistent Cookies. Please be advised that disabling the Persistent Cookies may affect your ability to view or interact with this website. The site also collects and stores indefinitely your Internet Protocol ("IP") address, which does not identify you as an individual, as well as information about the date and time of your visit, whether a file requested from your website exists, and how many "bytes" of information were transmitted to your website over the Web from this site. We use your IP address to assess the frequency of visits to this site and the popularity of its various pages and functions. We will not attempt to match any personally identifiable information that you provide to us with your IP address, unless there are reasonable grounds to believe that doing so would provide information that is relevant and material to a criminal investigation.

Data Usage

In addition, we use a tool called "Google Analytics" to collect information about use of this site. Google Analytics collects information such as how often users visit this site, what pages they visit when they do so, and what other sites they used prior to coming to this site. We use the information we get from Google Analytics only to improve this site. Google Analytics collects only the IP address assigned to you on the date you visit this site, rather than your name or other identifying information. We do not combine the information collected through the use of Google Analytics with personally identifiable information. Although Google Analytics plants a permanent cookie on your web browser to identify you as a unique user the next time you visit this site, the cookie cannot be used by anyone but Google. Google's ability to use and share information collected by Google Analytics about your visits to this site is restricted by the Google Analytics Terms of Use and the Google Privacy Policy. The Google Analytics Terms of Use are available online at www.google.com/analytics/tos.html. The Google Privacy Policy is available online at www.google.com/privacypolicy.html. You can prevent Google Analytics from recognizing you on return visits to this site by disabling cookies on your browser.

This site also uses a survey tool called ForeSee™ provided by ForeSee Results. ForeSee collects voluntary information from you through surveys posted at this website. Surveys may collect personally identifiable information you voluntarily submit, such as name, e-mail address or phone number, so that we may contact you for follow up to your question, concern or recommendation. We use the information we get from ForeSee only to improve this site. ForeSee also collects data such as browser information, operating system, and page views through the implementation of session cookies. We do not combine the information collected through the use of ForeSee with any other personally identifiable information not voluntarily provided by you through your survey responses. Although ForeSee plants a persistent cookie on your web browser to identify you as a unique user the next time you visit this site, the cookie cannot be used by anyone but ForeSee Results. ForeSee Results' ability to use and share information collected by ForeSee about your visits to this site is restricted by the ForeSee Results' Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The ForeSee Results' Terms of Use and Privacy Policy are available online at www.foreseeresults.com. You can opt out of ForeSee collecting information via the survey by declining to participate in the survey when the invitation pops up on the site. If you do opt out of completing the survey or you have completed a survey, ForeSee uses a persistent cookie so that it does not offer the survey to you again when you revisit this website. You may prevent ForeSee from using persistent cookies by disabling cookies on your browser. Disabling cookies will in turn prevent ForeSee from recognizing you on return visits and thus ForeSee may present you with the survey questionnaire upon a return visit given that it will not have any means to recognize that you've opted out on a previous visit.

Dissemination of Your Personally Identifiable Information

We do not sell any personally identifiable information collected through this Web site. However, once you voluntarily submit personally identifiable information to us through an e-mail, its dissemination is governed by the Public Records Law, the Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 66A (Fair Information Practices Act) , Executive Order 412, and other applicable laws and regulations. For this reason, part or all of the information you send us may be provided to a member of the public in response to a public records request.

In addition, the information that you voluntarily submit will be disclosed only to Commonwealth employees or officials with a "need to know" for purposes of fulfilling their job responsibilities. They will only use the information to answer your questions, respond to any requests for assistance, and fulfill the Commonwealth's legal obligations. Where appropriate, we may provide the information submitted by you to the person or company that is the subject of your inquiry, or to a government agency responsible for the matters referred to in your communication.

Your Access and Opportunity to Correct

The Public Records Law and the Fair Information Practices Act provide you certain rights to get information about you that is in our records. To learn more about the circumstances under which you can get and correct this information, please click on the above references to these laws.

Security

Because this site does not encrypt incoming e-mail, you should not send information that you consider highly sensitive through this Web site. We use standard security measures to ensure that your personally identifiable information is not lost, misused, altered, or unintentionally destroyed. We also use software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, no attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits.

Special Protections Against Misuse Of Personally Identifiable Information Within Commonwealth Offices

In 1999, then-Acting Governor Swift issued Executive Order 412, which enhanced the privacy protection given to any information about you as a named individual held by the Executive Department of state government. Executive Order 412 limits the collection and dissemination of personally identifiable information within the Executive Department. This site complies with Executive Order 412, so all of the personally identifiable information that you submit to this site is given the privacy protections set forth in Executive Order 412.

Policy Changes

We will post changes to this policy at least 30 days before they take effect. Any information we collect under the current privacy policy will remain subject to the terms of this policy. After any changes take effect, all new information we collect, if any, will be subject to the new policy.

Contact Information

For questions about your privacy while using this Web site, please email us at information.resources@state.ma.us

Definitions

Cookies are files that a Web site can place on your computer. A cookie file contains unique information that a Web site can use to track such things as your password, lists of Web pages you have visited, and the date when you last looked at a specific Web page, or to identify your session at a particular Web site. A cookie file allows the Web site to recognize you as you click through pages on the site and when you later revisit the site. A Web site can use cookies to "remember" your preferences, and to record your browsing behavior on the Web. Although you can prevent Web sites from placing cookies on your computer by using your browser's preference menu, disabling cookies may affect your ability to view or interact with some Web sites.

An "Internet Protocol Address" or "IP Address" is a series of numbers that identifies each computer and machine connected to the Internet. An IP address enables a server on a computer network to send you the file that you have requested on the Internet. The IP address disclosed to us may identify the computer from which you are accessing the Internet, or a server owned by your Internet Service Provider. Because it is machine-specific, rather than person-specific, an IP address is not, in and of itself, personally identifiable information.