The Official Website of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD)

Search

Web Site Privacy Policy

Welcome to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) Web site. Your privacy is one of our top priorities. The following policy applies only to the use of this Web site. Other Web sites have different policies. This Web site has a number of links to external sites. Upon following these links, you are subject to the privacy policies of these other sites over which MCAD has no control.

A Privacy Partnership
Your privacy with respect to the use of this Web site results from a partnership between MCAD 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 MCAD by making informed choices about whether to share personally identifiable information with us through this site.

MCAD provides this site as a public service. This site is monitored by automated security systems and, in some cases, by MCAD's security staff, to ensure proper operation, and verify the functioning of applicable security features, auditing, and for other like purposes. Anyone using this site expressly consents to this automated monitoring. If you do not consent to monitoring, exit this site now. Unauthorized attempts to modify any information stored on this site, to defeat or circumvent security features, or to utilize this site for other than its intended purposes are prohibited.

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 that 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.

Passwords, Password Protection
MCAD has taken steps to ensure that password information remains well protected. Users of the site are solely responsible for monitoring the security of their password. MCAD will not ask for your password in any unsolicited telephone call or e-mail.

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, or 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 through the e-mails that you send through this site. E-mails sent by you to this site will contain personally identifiable information, such as your name or e-mail address. In addition, data may be provided by you when using MCAD's online applications (data transmissions other than E-mails used by taxpayers and businesses to submit data directly to MCAD from their personal computers).

If you visit the MCAD Web site to read or download information, such as tax forms or information about MCAD initiatives: MCAD collects and stores only the following information about you:

  • the IP address from which you access the Internet;
  • the operating system used to access our site;
  • the date and time you access our site;
  • the pages you visit on our site;
  • if you linked to our site from another Web site, the address of that Web site.

We use this information to measure the number of visitors to the different sections of our site and to help us make our site more useful to our customers.

If you identify yourself by sending an E-mail or comment to anyone within MCAD:

You may decide to send MCAD personally identifiable information, for example, your home address or Social Security number, in an electronic mail message containing a comment. MCAD may use personally identifiable information from customers to further our customer service activities. Users should be aware that electronic mail is not secure, and a third party can intercept any information included in an e-mail message. In order to maintain the confidentiality of your information, MCAD will respond by e-mail only to questions of general interest. MCAD will respond by regular mail or contact you by phone for specific inquiries.

If you identify yourself by submitting information through one of MCAD's online applications:

MCAD provides a growing number of online applications for various programs and tax processes. When used, these systems ask for personally identifiable information including, but not limited to, names, addresses, phone and fax numbers, and Social Security numbers. This information is used to process the request and may be incorporated into MCAD's computer systems. There are two types of applications currently available on the MCAD Web site: encrypted and HTML.

Encryption - Some applications use secure 128-bit strong encryption. If this is the case, you will be asked to use a browser capable of 128-bit strong encryption in order to connect to our secure server. Our secure server software encrypts all of your personal information so that it cannot be read as the information travels over the Internet. The encryption process takes the characters you enter and converts them into bits of code that are securely transmitted over the Internet.

For more information about obtaining a 128-bit browser, please see:

HTML - The second type of MCAD application transfers data entered into Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) forms to our servers using standard e-mail. Users should be aware that any information submitted using this type of application is not secure. Users uncomfortable submitting information over the Internet using this type of application are encouraged to complete a paper copy of the form and send it to MCAD by regular mail or to call MCAD.

There are two ways that you can determine whether you are using an encrypted application or an HTML application:

  • By enabling the option that is built into every browser (typically found under the Options menu) that will flash a message on your screen when you are about to enter a secure site.
  • By looking at the URL of the web page you are currently viewing. If the URL begins with 'https' then the page is secure. If the URL begins with 'http' then it is a regular HTML page and so it is not secure.

Use of "Cookies" MCAD's applications are designed to use Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP) technology. ASP pages use cookies to manage application sessions. These cookies are non-persistent, but are absolutely required for the application to function. If cookies are disabled in the browser, these applications will not work at all. Applications themselves, such as Webfile and Refund Status, use cookies for certain types of information. For example: whether a user has completed a tax return.These cookies are used solely to make the application behave more smoothly from a user interface perspective (e.g., to keep a taxpayer from hitting the "back" button and filing a "second" return). No sensitive information is stored in any MCAD cookie.

Use of these cookies does not allow MCAD to track sites you have visited outside of the MCAD's unless you linked to MCAD's Web site from another site.

Non-persistent cookies are stored only in memory and are deleted when the browser is shut down.

Records Retention
MCAD follows its Records Disposition Schedule with respect to all personal data collected through the Web site. You may obtain a copy of the Schedule by e-mailing the contact person named at the end of this Privacy Policy.

Dissemination of Your Personally Identifiable Information
MCAD does not sell or rent any personally identifiable information collected through this Web site. However, once you voluntarily submit personally identifiable information to MCAD through an e-mail, its dissemination is governed by:

Although under the above laws most tax, wage report, child support and public assistance information is confidential and is not a public record, to the extent that you provide MCAD with information that is a "public record," this information must be disclosed to a member of the public in response to a public records request.

In addition, the information that you voluntarily submit will be disclosed to those MCAD employees or officials with a "need to know" for purposes of fulfilling their job responsibilities, including, in some cases, MCAD's security staff. They will only use the information to answer your questions, respond to any requests for assistance and fulfill MCAD's legal and security obligations. Where appropriate and lawful, MCAD may provide the information submitted by you to the government agency responsible for the matters referred to in your communication. MCAD may share or exchange information you provide in accordance with the above laws.

Your Access and Opportunity to Correct
The Public Records Law, the Fair Information Practices Act, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 62C, § 21, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 62E, Section 8, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 119A, Sections 5A and 5B, and  106 CMR 105.000 and other applicable laws and regulations allow you access to certain 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.

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 contact Audrey Rushton, Director, MCAD Disclosure and Administrative Law Unit.

Definition

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.

Disclaimer Notice

  • MCAD makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, currency, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of this Web site and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in its contents. In any situation where the official printed publications of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts differ from the text contained in this site, the official printed publications take precedence.
  • No warranty of any kind, implied, express or statutory, including but not limited to the warranties of non-infringement of third party rights, title, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and freedom from computer virus, is given with respect to this Web site or its links to other Internet resources.
  • All services and information provided through this Web site are subject to change without notice.

Endorsement Disclaimer

  • When visiting our Web site, your Web browser may produce pop-up advertisements. These advertisements were most likely produced by other Web sites you visited or by third-party software installed on your computer. The Massachusetts Department of Revenue does not enMCADse or recommend products or services which you may view when you receive a pop-up advertisement on your computer screen while visiting our site.
  • Reference in this Web site to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute enMCADsement or recommendation by MCAD.