Posted: 5/23/2014
Updated: 6/9/2014

OCABR Social Media Policy

To highlight our commitment to transparency in government, the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) website has launched several web based tools for outreach, education and information. These tools are not intended to replace the channels currently in place for press and constituent communication. Press inquiries should be directed to Amie O’Hearn, Communications Director, at 617-973-8767, and questions or complaints regarding agency services should be directed to Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) at (617) 973-8700. Rather, these tools are meant to augment our ability to educate, empower, and inform the residents of Massachusetts.

The policies below pertain only to Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) website content; other organizations within Mass.Gov may have different policies. Please be sure to review the privacy policies and terms of use for any social media accounts you access through a link from Mass.Gov as they may differ based on the organization hosting the content.

Your Third Party Social Media Accounts

Some pages on the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) website allow you to interact with your own third party social media accounts on an affirmative basis. For example, from a post on a Blog, you may click a button to “like” a post on your Facebook™ account or to pin a post to your Pinterest™ account. Clicking such a third party social media button on the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) website may prompt you to log into the relevant third party social media provider if you are not already logged in and should work in the same manner as if you logged in to the third party social media provider directly (e.g., it may set one or more persistent cookies as a result of logging in). If you are already logged in, or once you are logged in, to the third party social media provider, the button will facilitate your interaction with that third party social media provider. Moreover, when you add content from the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) website to your third party social media account, it is possible that your public account information can be associated with the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) website content that you are posting. For example, if you retweet a Mass.Gov tweet (more information on the Mass.Gov Twitter™ account is at the bottom of this policy), someone could use Twitter to search for a keyword in the original tweet and, potentially, see your public account information.

In addition to your interaction with third party social media providers on an affirmative basis, we may use widgets that interact on a limited basis (e.g., by accessing a preexisting persistent cookie) with your third party social media provider solely by virtual of your viewing a web page on the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) website. We will try to note in our privacy policy for the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) website when we are using such a third party social media widget. For example, if we use a Facebook widget to display “Likes,” the widget may check with Facebook when you access the page to see if you have already “Liked” the page. If you have, the “Like” button may present you with the option of un-“liking” the post. Similarly, if we use a Twitter widget to display a Twitter feed with a “Follow” option, the widget may check with Twitter to determine if you are already “following” that feed and present you with the option to un-“follow” the feed. In these instances, it is technically possible for the third party social media provider to track your movements across the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) website.

These third party social media accounts will be governed by their own separate website policies to which you likely agreed when you signed up. These website policies usually include a privacy policy and terms of service. These policies apply to your use of the third party social media account.