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Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Welcome to the Supplier Diversity Office's ("SDO's") Web site. Your privacy is one of our top priorities. The following policy applies only to the use of SDO'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. The privacy statement may change at any time; any changes will be posted on this page 30 days before they actually go into effect. The information collected prior to the time of such a change will be treated as stated in the policy in effect at the time of collection. The following paragraphs disclose our information gathering and dissemination practices. If you do not agree with any term in this policy, please do not use 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 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 e-mails and on-line forms that you send through this site. E-mails and forms sent by you to this site will contain personally identifiable information.

Information Automatically Collected and Stored by this Site

Use of "Cookies" SDO's applications are designed to use Microsoft's Active Server Pages .NET (ASP.NET) technology. ASP.NET 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. No sensitive information is stored in any SDO cookie. Non-persistent cookies are stored only in memory and are deleted when the browser is shut down.

This site does collect and store 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 you have requested exists, and how many "bytes" of information were transmitted to you 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.

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 Fair Information Practices Act (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 66A), 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.

SDO on-line certification application tools allow you to register for an individual web account and use an encrypted communication protocol, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), for on-line privacy and security while completing forms and checking status information on your SDO certification application. You can tell you are using the SSL communication protocol by the prefix in the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) address in your browser. Some browsers supply further informational detail. The encryption protection only applies for the available on-line certification tools with authentication and doesn’t apply for general contact e-mails or feedback forms. The information you submit to SDO through these certification application tools are still subject to public records laws, the Fair Information Practices Act (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 66A), Executive Order 412, and other applicable laws and regulations.

Authentication

In order to engage in certain on-line transactions, and access certain restricted on-line information, you will also be required to register with the SDO website by choosing a name and password and providing your e-mail address. The authentication feature associated with the SDO website will use your chosen name and password and your e-mail address, as well as information that you provide to the agency with which you are conducting the transaction or from whom you are obtaining on-line information, to determine whether you are authorized to conduct the transaction.

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 contact the Webmaster at wsomwba@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.

URL Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs, aka URLs) are short strings that identify resources in the web: documents, images, downloadable files, services, electronic mailboxes, and other resources. They make resources available under a variety of naming schemes and access methods such as HTTP, FTP, and Internet mail addressable in the same simple way. They reduce the tedium of "log in to this server, then issue this magic command ..." down to a single click.

URI - Uniform Resource Identifier. The generic set of all names/addresses that are short strings that refer to resources. URL - Uniform Resource Locator. An informal term (no longer used in technical specifications) associated with popular URI schemes: http, ftp, mailto, etc.

SSL Short for Secure Sockets Layer, a protocol developed by Netscape for transmitting private documents via the Internet. SSL works by using a public key to encrypt data that's transferred over the SSL connection. Internet Browsers such as Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer support SSL, and many Web sites use the protocol to obtain confidential user information, such as credit card numbers. By convention, URLs that require an SSL connection start with https: instead of http:.

 

For me, the SDO
certification and
recertification process
has been straightforward,
user-friendly, and painless.
It has provided credibility
and a comfort level to
clients - making it possible
for me to successfully
compete for and receive
contracts at the
municipal level.

Brenda L. Reed
Principal, Reed Associates
Andover, MA
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