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Introduction and Purpose
This policy is designed to ensure that New Hanover County government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information. The maintenance and disposition of information collected electronically via New Hanover County’s website is governed by North Carolina General Statutes 132.
The personal information collected by the County will only be used only for the purpose for which it is collected. Except as authorized by law, such information will not be disclosed to other persons or organizations. Therefore, it is the policy of New Hanover County that all information collected by the County website will be treated as follows:
Collection of electronic information – information collected and held electronically shall be afforded the same protection as non-electronic information;
Collection of personal information – only the minimum amount of personal information necessary to satisfy your request for County services will be collected;
Disclosure of personal information – disclosure of information will be limited to the purpose for which it was collected unless otherwise authorized by law; when practical and provided by law, information may be obtained from other government entities;
Security precautions – reasonable precautions will be taken to ensure the security of personal information.
Use of Information Provided by this Website
The information on the County website is collected, maintained, and provided for the convenience of the viewer. While every effort is made to keep such information accurate and up-to-date, the County makes no warranty, expressed or implied, concerning its timeliness, accuracy, or completeness, and users are advised that their use of any County data is at their own risk. The County assumes no responsibility for any decisions made or any actions taken by the user based upon information obtained from this website. The user agrees that the County shall be held harmless from all actions, claims, damages or judgments arising out of the use of County data.
Automatically collected data:
In order to communicate across the Internet, a web server and a visitor’s web browser exchange certain bits of information. Typically, this information consists of such things as:
- Internet addresses and domain names
- The type of browser and operating system
- Date and time
- The number of bytes of data transferred
- The web pages or services accessed
- The website the user visited that linked him to our site
The information we automatically collect or store is used to improve the content of our web services and to help us understand how people are using our services. We analyze our website logs to continually improve the value of the materials available on our site. Our website logs are not personally identifiable, and we make no attempt to link them with the individuals that browse our site.
Personally Identifying Information
The County website does not obtain personally identifying information unless you choose to supply it (for example, sending an E-mail, participating in a survey, responding to a feedback or “contact us” form, or applying for benefits or County services). “Personally identifying information” may include, but is not limited to:
- Your name
- Your address (excluding zip code)
- Your E-mail address
- Your social security number
- Your password
- Bank account information
- Credit card information
- License or identification number
- Telephone number
- Medical or disability information
- Any combination of data that could be used to identify you such as birth date, zip code and gender
- Any graphical or visual representation of you
County agencies may request personally identifying information from you in order to provide requested services, but such information is handled as it would be on an in-person visit to the County office. Personal information provided by the user, is a public record once you provide it, and may be subject to public inspection, distribution and copying if not protected by Federal or State law. The information collected is not limited to text characters and may include audio, video, and graphic information. See Public Disclosure.
When visitors leave comments on the site, we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.
E-mail messages sent to a County address enter the County’s E-mail system and are processed and retained just like any other messages in the County system. This means that they may be subject to public inspection or legal disclosure, and that they will be retained in accordance with the policy governing all County E-mail. A person sending an E-mail message to a County address should not assume that it is confidential.
If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website.
Contact forms should only be used to establish contact with county personnel. Information submitted via contact form is not confidential. See Public Disclosure.
“Cookies” are text files sent to your browser, which may then be stored on your computer. Sites use “Cookies” to track usage of the site and improve the user experience.
If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.
If you visit our login page, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.
When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.
If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.
Privacy issues relating to the Federal Child Privacy Act
The Federal Child Privacy Act regulates website’s collection of personal information on users under 18 years of age. We do not intentionally collect such information on anyone we know to be under 18 years of age. If such information is inadvertently obtained, the minor’s parent or legal guardian may contact the County for a description of the specific types of personal information collected from the child and the options available to them under law to ensure their child’s safety.
Embedded content from other websites
Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g., videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.
Links to Other Websites
The county does not include advertisements or affiliate links on its website unless express permission has been granted by the county and it is an attribution of work performed, appropriate recognition, or it links to data or a public resource. The county website may contain links to, or data from, other non-county web sites. When linking to another site, this New Hanover County Privacy Notice no longer applies. New Hanover County does not endorse any products or services linked from or supplied to this site.
Data Retention and Protection
If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.
For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.
New Hanover County limits employee access to personally identifiable information from this website to only those employees who need access to perform a specific job. The County has instituted security measures to protect the information and systems that it maintains. These measures are designed to ensure that this service remains available to all users by blocking unauthorized access to our systems and preventing corruption of data, thus providing reasonable protection of personal information in our possession. In addition, New Hanover County employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to change information or otherwise cause damage.
Personal Data Rights and Disclosure
If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes. Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.
The County does not disclose any personal information except when: permission has been granted by the individual; when the information is considered public information under N.C.G.S 132, and when it is not otherwise protected from disclosure by applicable Federal or State laws; or, we are required to do so by law, subpoena, court order or legal process.
Additional questions or concerns about this Privacy Notice should be directed to the county’s Communications and Outreach Office.