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Ann Marie T. Sullivan, M.D., Acting Commissioner
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Internet Privacy Policy

I.    Introduction

Thank you for visiting the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYSOMH) website. This website is designed to make it easier and more efficient for individuals and businesses to interact with us.   The NYSOMH recognizes that it is critical for individuals and businesses to be confident that their privacy is protected when they visit our website.

Consistent with the provisions of the Internet Security and Privacy Act, the Freedom of Information Law, and the Personal Privacy Protection Law, this policy describes our  privacy practices regarding information collected from users of this website. This policy describes what information is collected and how that information is used. Because this privacy policy only applies to this website, you should examine the privacy policy of any website, including other state agency websites, that you access using this website.

For purposes of this policy, “personal information” means any information concerning a natural person which, because of name, number, symbol, mark, or other identifier, can be used to identify that natural person.  The NYSOMH does not collect any personal information about you unless you provide that information voluntarily by sending an e-mail or by initiating an online transaction, such as a survey, registration or order form.

II.  Information Collected Automatically When You Visit this Website

When visiting this website the NYSOMH automatically collects and stores the following information about your visit:

(i) User client host name. The host name or Internet Protocol address of the user requesting access to a state agency website.

(ii) HTTP header, "user agent." The user agent information includes the type of browser, its version, and the operating system on which that the browser is running.

(iii) HTTP header, "referrer." The referrer specifies the web page from which the user accessed the current web page.

(iv) System date. The date and time of the user’s request.

(v) Full request. The exact request the user made.

(vi) Status. The status code the server returned to the user.

(vii) Content length. The content length, in bytes, of any document sent to the user.

(viii) Method. The request method used.

(ix) Universal Resource Identifier (URI). The location of a resource on the server.

(x) Query string of the URI. Anything after the question mark in a URI.

(xi) Protocol. The transport protocol and the version used.

None of the foregoing information is deemed to constitute personal information.

The information that is collected automatically is used to improve this website's content and to help the NYSOMH understand how users are interacting with the website. This information is collected for statistical analysis, to determine what information is of most and least interest to our users, and to improve the utility of the material available on the website. The information is not collected for commercial marketing purposes and the NYSOMH is not authorized to sell or otherwise disclose the information collected from the website for commercial marketing purposes.

III.  Cookies

Cookies are simple text files stored on your web browser to provide a means of distinguishing among users of this website.  The use of cookies is a standard practice among Internet websites.  To better serve you, we use “session cookies” to enhance or customize your visit to this website.  Session cookies can be created automatically on the device you use to access this state agency website.  These session cookies do not contain personal information and do not compromise your privacy or security. We may use the cookie feature to store a randomly generated identifying tag on the device you use to access this website. A session cookie is erased during operation of your browser or when your browser is closed.

If you wish, you may complete a registration to personalize this website and permit a “persistent cookie” to be stored on your computer’s hard drive.  This persistent cookie will allow the website to recognize you when you visit again and tailor the information presented to you based on your needs and interests.  The NYSOMH uses persistent cookies only with your permission.

The software and hardware you use to access the website allows you to refuse new cookies or delete existing cookies.  Refusing or deleting these cookies may limit your ability to take advantage of some features of this website.

IV.  Information Collected When You E-mail this Website or Initiate an Online Transaction

During your visit to this website you may send an e-mail to the NYSOMH. Your e-mail address and the contents of your message will be collected.  The information collected is not limited to text characters and may include audio, video, and graphic information formats included in the message.  Your e-mail address and the information included in your message will be used to respond to you, to address issues you identify, to improve this website, or to forward your message to another State agency for appropriate action.  Your e-mail address is not collected for commercial purposes and we are not authorized to sell or otherwise disclose your e-mail address for commercial purposes.

During your visit to this website you may initiate a transaction such as a survey, registration, or order form.  The information, including personal information, volunteered by you in initiating the transaction is used by the NYSOMH to operate our programs, which may include the provision of goods, services, and information.  The information collected by the NYSOMH may be disclosed by us for those purposes that may be reasonably ascertained from the nature and terms of the transaction in connection with which the information was submitted.

The NYSOMH does not knowingly collect personal information from children or create profiles of children through this website.  Users are cautioned, however, that the collection of personal information submitted in an e-mail will be treated as though it was submitted by an adult, and may, unless exempted from access by federal or State law, be subject to public access.  The NYSOMH strongly encourages parents and teachers to be involved in children’s Internet activities and to provide guidance whenever children are asked to provide personal information online.

V.  Information and Choice

As noted above, the NYSOMH does not collect any personal information about you during your visit to this website unless you provide that information voluntarily by sending an e-mail or initiating an online transaction such as a survey, registration, or order form.  You may choose not to send us an e-mail, respond to a survey, or complete an order form.  While your choice not to participate in these activities may limit your ability to receive specific services or products through this website, it will not prevent you from requesting services or products from us by other means and will not normally have an impact on your ability to take advantage of other features of the website, including browsing or downloading publicly available information.

VI.  Disclosure of Information Collected Through This Website

The collection of information through this website and the disclosure of that information are subject to the provisions of the Internet Security and Privacy Act.  The NYSOMH will only collect personal information through this website or disclose personal information collected through this website if the user has consented to the collection or disclosure of such personal information.  The voluntary disclosure of personal information to the NYSOMH by the user, whether solicited or unsolicited, constitutes consent to the collection and disclosure of the information by the NYSOMH for the purposes for which the user disclosed the information to us, as was reasonably ascertainable from the nature and terms of the disclosure.

However, the NYSOMH may collect or disclose personal information without user consent if the collection or disclosure is: (1) necessary to perform the statutory duties of the NYSOMH, or necessary for us to operate a program authorized by law, or authorized by state or federal statute or regulation; (2) made pursuant to a court order or by law; (3) for the purpose of validating the identity of the user; or (4) of information to be used solely for statistical purposes that is in a form that cannot be used to identify any particular person.

Further, the disclosure of information, including personal information, collected through this website is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Law and the Personal Privacy Protection Law.

The NYSOMH may disclose personal information to federal or state law enforcement authorities to enforce our rights against unauthorized access or attempted unauthorized access to our information technology assets.

VII.  Retention of Information Collected Through this Website

The information collected through this website is retained by the NYSOMH in accordance with the records retention and disposition requirements of the New York State Arts & Cultural Affairs Law. Information on the requirements of the Arts & Cultural Affairs Law may be found at http://www.archives.nysed.gov/a/records/mr_laws_acal57A_fulltext.shtml Leaving OMH site .  In general, the Internet services logs of the NYSOMH, comprising electronic files or automated logs created to monitor access and use of Agency services provided through this website, are retained for six months and then destroyed.  Information, including personal information, that you submit in an e-mail or when you initiate an online transaction such as a survey, registration form, or order form is retained in accordance with the records retention and disposition schedule established for the records of the program unit to which you submitted the information.  Information concerning these records retention and disposition schedules may be obtained through the Internet privacy policy contact listed in this policy.

VIII.  Access to and Correction of Personal Information Collected Through this Website

Any user may submit a request to the NYSOMH Privacy Compliance Officer to determine whether personal information pertaining to that user has been collected through this website.  Any such request shall be made in writing to the address below and must be accompanied by reasonable proof of identity of the user.  Reasonable proof of identity may include verification of a signature, inclusion of an identifier generally known only to the user, or similar appropriate identification.  The address of the Privacy Compliance Officer is:

New York State Office of Mental Health
Privacy Compliance Officer
44 Holland Avenue
Albany, NY 12229

The Privacy Compliance Officer shall, within five (5) business days of the date of the receipt of a proper request: (i) provide access to the personal information; (ii) deny access in writing, explaining the reasons therefore; or (iii) acknowledge the receipt of the request in writing, stating the approximate date when the request will be granted or denied, which date shall not be more than thirty (30) days from the date of the acknowledgment.

In the event that the NYSOMH has collected personal information pertaining to a user through the state agency website and that information is to be provided to the user pursuant to the user’s request, the Privacy Compliance Officer shall inform the user of his or her right to request that the personal information be amended or corrected under the procedures set forth in Section 95 of the Public Officers Law.

IX.  Confidentiality and Integrity of Personal Information Collected Through this Website

The NYSOMH is strongly committed to protecting personal information collected through this website against unauthorized access, use, or disclosure.  Consequently, the NYSOMH limits employee access to personal information collected through this website to only those employees who need access to the information in the performance of their official duties.  Employees who have access to this information are required to follow appropriate procedures in connection with any disclosures of personal information.

In addition, the NYSOMH has implemented procedures to safeguard the integrity of its information technology assets, including, but not limited to, authentication, monitoring, auditing, and encryption.  These security procedures have been integrated into the design, implementation, and day-to-day operations of this website as part of our continuing commitment to the security of electronic content as well as the electronic transmission of information.

For website security purposes and to maintain the availability of the website for all users, the NYSOMH employs software to monitor traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or otherwise damage this website.

X.  Disclaimer

The information provided in this privacy policy should not be construed as giving business, legal, or other advice, or warranting as fail proof, the security of information provided through this website.

XI. Links

In order to provide users with certain information, the NYSOMH provides links to the websites of local, State, and federal government agencies, and to the websites of other organizations. A link does not constitute an endorsement of the content, viewpoint, accuracy, opinions, policies, products, services, or accessibility of that website. Once you link to another website from this website, including one maintained by the State, you are subject to the terms and conditions of that website, including, but not limited to, its Internet privacy policy.

XII.  Contact Information

For questions regarding this Internet privacy policy, please contact:

New York State Office of Mental Health
Privacy Compliance Officer
44 Holland Avenue
Albany, NY 12229