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PERAC Privacy Policies

Information on using PERAC web pages


Welcome to the Public Employees Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC) Portal website (the “PERAC Portal”). Your privacy is one of our top priorities. The following policy applies only to the use of the PERAC Portal. As you navigate the PERAC Portal, you will see links that, when clicked, will take you to other websites operated by state agencies (the “Other Commonwealth Websites”) or to other websites external to Massachusetts state government. The Other Commonwealth Websites have individual privacy policies tailored to the interactions available through each site. You may also see links that will take you to websites external to Massachusetts state government.

In particular, please note that although some of the social media pages used by PERAC might appear to be part of the PERAC Portal or at a web page under control of the PERAC Portal, some of these sites are actually hosted by a third party provider. Thus when visiting these third party social media sites, you are subject to different privacy policies and terms of service. Please review PERAC Portal's Social Media Policy to review more detailed information on how the PERAC Portal uses specific social media sites and for links to the relevant terms of service and privacy policies for those sites. We strongly suggest that you read the site policies, including the privacy policies, for each Commonwealth website that you visit and any external site that you visit through a link appearing at the PERAC Portal.

Throughout the PERAC Portal you may see references and links to commercial and other third-party websites. PERAC does not endorse or maintain a relationship with any of these companies or organizations, and is not responsible for the content on these sites. The information on the sites remains the property of the respective owners. PERAC does not express any opinion as to the value or accuracy of the information contained on these sites.

A Privacy Partnership

Your privacy with respect to the use of the PERAC Portal results from a partnership between the Commonwealth and you, the user. At the PERAC Portal, we attempt to protect your privacy to the maximum extent possible. However, because some of the information that we receive through the PERAC Portal 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 the PERAC Portal 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 the PERAC Portal, 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 decision about your use of the PERAC Portal. You can maximize the benefits of your privacy partnership with the Commonwealth by making informed decisions about whether to share personally identifiable information with us through the PERAC Portal.

PERAC does attempt to protect your privacy to the extent possible, subject to the Public Records Law, M.G.L. c. 66, s. 10.

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, telephone number, 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

The PERAC Portal collects voluntary information from you through surveys, online forms, any emails sent to the PERAC Portal. All such information, including comments and e-mails sent by you to the PERAC Portal may contain personally identifiable information.

While the PERAC Portal is intended as a medium for disseminating information from state agencies, if you need to contact a state agency that is part of the Mass.Gov Portal, you should use the contact information for that state agency posted on its Mass.Gov Portal website.

Information Automatically Collected and Stored by the PERAC Portal

The PERAC Portal employs the use of "Persistent Cookies." The purpose of these Persistent Cookies is to collect and aggregate data regarding the PERAC Portal’s visitor activity in order for the PERAC Communications Unit to continuously evaluate and improve its website services, including on the PERAC Portal or affiliated websites. 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 the PERAC Portal.

The PERAC Portal does collect and store your “Internet Protocol (“IP”) address,” (which does not identify you as an individual) indefinitely, as well as information about the date and time of your visit, whether a file you have requested exists, and how many “bytes” of information were transmitted to you over the Web from the PERAC Portal. We use your IP address to assess the frequency of visits to the PERAC Portal 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. The one exception is that when you fill out information in a form on PERAC, we do receive your IP address along with this submission. We do not use this form-related IP address information unless it may be relevant and material to a criminal investigation.

Usage Data and Known Persistent Cookies

The PERAC Portal uses (or may use) the following tools (each a “Tool” and collectively, the “Tools”):

Tool Name:  Google Analytics™

Purpose:  Collect information about use of the PERAC Portal

Data Collected:  Google Analytics collects information such as how often users visit the PERAC Portal, what pages they visit when they do so, and what other sites they used prior to coming to the PERAC Portal.

Privacy Policy:  http://www.google.com/privacypolicy.html

Terms of Use:  http://www.google.com/analytics/tos.html

Express Opt Out:  N/A

Special Notes:   N/A


Tool Name:  ForeSee™ provided by ForeSee Results

Purpose:  ForeSee is a survey tool that collects voluntary information from you through surveys posted at the PERAC Portal

Data Collected:  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

Privacy Policy:  https://www.foresee.com/privacy-policy/

Terms of Use:  http://www.foreseeresults.com

Express Opt Out:  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 PERAC Portal. 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 the PERAC Portal.

Additional General Information Related to Tools

We use the information we get from the Tools only to improve the Offerings. The Tools may also collect data such as browser information, operating system, and page views through the implementation of session cookies or persistent cookies. Except as set forth in this privacy policy (e.g., possibly in response to a public records request), we do not combine the information collected through the use of any Tool with personally identifiable information. Although each of the Tools plants a persistent cookie on your web browser to identify you as a unique user the next time you visit the PERAC Portal, the cookie cannot be used by anyone but PERAC and/or the software publisher of the respective Tool (the “Software Publisher”). The Software Publisher’s ability to use and share information collected by the Software Publisher about your visits to the PERAC Portal is restricted by the Software Publisher’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, links to which have been provided above. You may prevent the Tools from using persistent cookies by disabling cookies on your browser. Some of the Tools permit you to opt-out of the Tool by allowing that Tool to plant a persistent cookie on your web browser indicating that you have opted out.  If you disable cookies on your browser or use a different browser, different computer, different user account, etc., you will need to opt-out again. If you allow persistent cookies in your web browser, Software Publishers have the technical ability to track your activity, even if you change your IP address, so long as you are using the web browser where the persistent cookie was planted.  You should refer to the Software Publisher’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use to determine whether they do, in fact, track you via the persistent cookie.

Links to Social Media Sites

Certain links on PERAC (whether integrated with Tools or otherwise) facilitate interaction with third-party social media sites.   Accessing third-party social media functions (whether through a Tool or otherwise) may require you to log in to your social media provider, and that social media provider may plant a persistent cookie on your web browser to keep you logged in.  Any interaction with any such social media provider (whether through a Tool or otherwise) is subject to such social media provider’s site policies, and such provider may plant one or more additional persistent cookies on your web browser as a result of your interaction with it.

Online Forms on PERAC

Online forms may be provided by a third party service Formstack. When you use this service, your form submission is securely made to Formstack and stored there. Form submissions are then transmitted to state government staff. State government staff will delete form submissions from Formstack when there is no longer any administrative need to retain them there.  Formstack only uses your form submissions for internal purposes and the data is considered private. Formstack will not distribute or sell your information to a 3rd party unless required by law or a valid government request.  Formstack may also share information if it is acquired by or merged with another company. Please see the Formstack privacy policy at http://www.formstack.com/privacy.

Dissemination of Your Personally Identifiable Information

We do not sell any personally identifiable information collected through the PERAC Portal or submitted to the Commonwealth in conjunction with using functions on the PERAC Portal, and there is no direct or online public access to the information. However, once you voluntarily submit personally identifiable information to us related to your use of the PERAC Portal, its dissemination is governed by the “Public Records Law,” the “Fair Information Practices Act” (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 66A), Executive Order 504: Order Regarding the Security and Confidentiality of Personal Information, 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. There are pieces of information, such as credit card numbers, TIN, username, or password that are not considered public for the purposes of a public records request. For more information on types of data exempted from disclosure under the Public Records Law, please read the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Public Records Law.

In addition, the information that you voluntarily submit will be disclosed only to Commonwealth employees or officials, or those under contract with the Commonwealth, with a “need to know” for purposes of fulfilling their job responsibilities. The information will be used for such purposes as; answering your questions, responding to any requests for assistance, generating summary statistics about usage, auditing applications and detecting fraud, aiding in the planning, design and development of the PERAC Portal, and fulfilling the Commonwealth's legal obligations.

We will collect and aggregate the information you provide through surveys and through the PERAC Portal’s collection of non-personally identifying analytics data for purposes of market research to improve the Offerings by making them more responsive to customer needs. Where appropriate, we may provide the information you submitted voluntarily through e-mail 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.


Because information sent to the Commonwealth is not encrypted, you should not send messages containing information that you consider highly sensitive to the PERAC Portal. We use standard security measures to ensure that information provided by you, including your personally identifiable information, is not lost, misused, altered, or unintentionally destroyed. We also use software 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

Executive Order 504 (Mass. Register # 1114) issued in 2008, 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 504 limits the collection and dissemination of personally identifiable information within the Executive Department and requires Executive Department agencies to greatly enhance the security and integrity of such data. This website complies with Executive Order 504, so all of the personally identifiable information that you submit to the PERAC Portal is given the privacy protections set forth in Executive Order 504.

Policy changes

We will post substantive 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 the PERAC Portal, please contact nadunker@per.state.ma.us.


Cookies are files that a website can place on your computer. A cookie file contains unique information that a website 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 website. A cookie file allows the website to recognize you as you click through pages on the site and when you later revisit the site. A website can use cookies to “remember” your preferences, and to record your browsing behavior on the Web. Although you can prevent websites 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 websites.

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.

Social Media. A social media website is a website or a social media application that is usually maintained by an individual and has regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. A social media identity is a specific user identity that has been registered on a third party social media site and is associated with the Agency. Government social media sites or identities typically provide forums for commentary or news on topics related to the government agency that hosts the social media site or has secured the social media identity. A typical social media site (whether hosted by the Agency or a third party) combines text, images, and links to other websites including blogs, wikis, and other media related to the topic and enables readers to leave comments in an interactive format.