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NYSED Internet Privacy Policy | Online Information Practices | General Information about Internet Privacy | Cookies and Clear GIFs | General Information About Children's Online Privacy | NYSED Contact Information

Internet Privacy and Security Policy

Your online privacy is important. This section of the New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) Website provides information about this agency's approach to information from online visitors as well as general information about online privacy.

This policy is divided into several topics; you can scroll through the sections or use the links above.


This section describes the New York State Education Department's online information practice regarding the information collected from visitors to our Website and ways in which the office uses and maintains this information.

The NYSED Website has three main purposes:

  1. Provide useful information concerning educational policy and practice in New York and a description of the work of the NYSED.
  2. Provide a means to communicate with staff of the NYSED. You can use this Website as a convenient alternative to mail or telephone communication.
  3. Provide an electronic medium for local educational agencies to submit data and conduct business with the NYSED.

The NYSED Website collects two kinds of information:

  1. Information you decide to give us, which may include personally identifiable information (PII); and
  2. Non-personal information your computer automatically provides to every Website you visit. This is sometimes referred to as "navigation" information. The NYSED retains this information only for a short time.
  Information you decide to give the NYSED Information your computer automatically transmits to all Websites
How the NYSED uses information you provide The NYSED Website provides a convenient way to communicate with the NYSED in addition to the more traditional means such as mail, phone or in-person visits. For example, you can
  • send the NYSED staff messages or;
  • request information.

The NYSED retains this information and protects it just as if you had sent it by mail.

The NYSED temporarily retains the information automatically sent by your computer to evaluate the traffic through the NYSED Website to help make the site more user-friendly.
Personally Identifiable Information (PII) PII is information about you, such as your name, address, or social security number, that someone could use to identify or locate you.

The NYSED acquires PII online when a visitor sends it. If you browse through the NYSED Website - reading, printing, or downloading information such as consumer brochures or press releases — you do not transmit PII.

The NYSED only uses PII for authorized government purposes, for example, authorizing information when processing payment claims or collecting data via web-based applications.

Automatic information typically does not personally identify you. Even when it could,  the NYSED does not try to discover or use your identity.
Sensitive Information There may be particular privacy concerns with certain kinds of information such as financial or medical records. The NYSED uses such information only for authorized government purposes. Automatic information typically does not include any sensitive information about you.
Information practices the NYSED does not use The NYSED does not have a profile database of all online visitors. The NYSED does not use persistent cookies, clear GIFs ("Web bugs"), or any kind of anonymous identifier to try to track or recognize you from visit to visit.

The NYSED does not draw conclusions about you based on pages you view or search terms you enter.

Data sharing and transfer
  1. The NYSED does not sell or rent information provided by online visitors.
  2. The NYSED may share or disclose certain information you provide if necessary to fulfill government functions, such as mediating a complaint
The NYSED does not sell or rent the automatic navigation information your computer transmits.
Data security, integrity, and retention
  1.  The NYSED does not store information submitted by all our visitors in an office-wide, master database.
  2. The NYSED takes appropriate technical measures to protect the security and integrity of information the NYSED receives.
  3. Access to information provided by visitors online is limited to the NYSED personnel who have authorization to access the data.
  4. The same rules of confidentiality that apply to information you might send the NYSED offline apply to information provided online.
  1. The NYSED temporarily stores the automatic navigation information in a computer database. After six months, it purges this information from the the NYSED databases.
  2. The NYSED takes appropriate technical measures to protect the security and integrity of this information.


The following notices apply generally to any information the NYSED receives:


  1. Legal obligations to disclose information: The NYSED may disclose information to comply with a court order, authorized law enforcement request, subpoena, or a request under federal or state "freedom of information" law.
  2. Emergency exceptions: If necessary to protect health or safety in an emergency situation, the NYSED may use, share or disclose information other than outlined in this policy.
  3. If there are other exceptions or special needs for handling information in a specific case, the NYSED will provide notice as appropriate.
Notice of changes in this Privacy Policy If any of the information in this section changes in a material way, the NYSED will post 30 days advance notice on the Home page of this Website, with the effective date of the change. Where a specific page is affected specifically by a change in policy,  the NYSED will post a clear and conspicuous notice.
Links to other Websites may contain links to web sites created and maintained by other public and/or private organizations and individuals or to documents that contain links to other web sites. provides these links as a service to our users. When you follow a link to an external site, you are leaving and are subject to the privacy and security policies of the owners/sponsors of the external site. does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information contained in a linked site. We also do not endorse the organizations or individuals maintaining sites that we link, any views they express, or any products/services they offer.




Personally identifiable information you give the NYSED Many visitors to the NYSED Website provide personally identifiable information for a particular purpose. For example;
  1. If you send the NYSED a message and want a reply, the NYSED needs at least your name and your e-mail address or telephone number.
  2. If you request a publication, the NYSED needs your name and street address to send it to you.
  3. If you are the authorized agent for a local educational agency which transacts business over the internet (e.g., submitting required data or processing payment claims).
Sharing information you give the NYSED The NYSED may need to share your information to perform government functions, just as if you had sent the NYSED the information by mail. For example;
  1. If you request that the NYSED mediate a  complaint against a local school district, the NYSED might require the details of the complaint, which may include your identity.
  2. If you apply for employment, the NYSED may need to contact your references and perform other appropriate verification.
Information your computer automatically provides to all Websites While you are browsing, your computer automatically provides certain "navigation" information to every Website you visit, including the NYSED Website. The navigation information includes:
  1. The address (also known as URL, short for "uniform resource locator") of any Web page you visited before you linked to a NYSED Web page.
  2. Your Internet Protocol address (IP). This is the Internet's address for your particular computer. A Website's computer must know your IP address so the site can send the Web page you ask to view.
  3. The Web-browsing software you are using.
  4. Whether your computer is configured to display English or some other language.
  5. Your online service provider.
  6. Note: Your computer does not automatically provide your e-mail address.

For example, if you have an AOL account, were visiting a page on the Yahoo site, and clicked on a link to the NYSED home page, your computer would transmit to the NYSED Website that:

  1. You are an AOL subscriber;
  2. You use a particular browser software version such as Internet Explorer 5.0.;
  3. You were just visiting a particular page on; or
  4. You linked to on a particular date at a particular time.
Use of information your computer automatically provides to all Websites The NYSED Website uses automatic navigation information for internal, site-monitoring purposes.
  1. This data allows the NYSED staff to measure visitors' interest in different sections of the Website, so that the NYSED can make the site more useful to visitors.
  2. The NYSED generates internal reports that identify the number of web users on a given day who requested pages through particular online service providers. This information may report the volume of requests originating from a service provider associated with a particular school, company, or from foreign countries.

The NYSED does not:

  1. analyze our visitors' automatic navigation information to attempt to identify unique or repeat visitors;
  2. routinely retain permanent records of automatic navigation information; or
  3. attempt to identify individual visitors by analyzing their IP addresses except in cases of attempted security breaches and/or intrusions.
Identifiability of domain names and IP addresses
  1. Identifiability of your domain name: If you access the Internet through facilities provided by an organization such as your school or business, your automatic navigation information may reveal the name of your organization. For example, a student's navigation information might let a Website know that the student accesses the Internet through
  2. Geographic area: Similarly, if you access the Internet through an Internet Service Provider (ISP) located in a particular geographic area, a Website may be able to use the ISP's identity to infer that to be your geographic location.
  3. Identifiability of your IP address: Whether your IP address is identifiable depends on whether it is dynamic or static. If it is dynamic, your ISP assigns a different IP address for each online visit that does not identify any person or machine.

In contrast, if you access the Internet through an ISP that assigns you a static or fixed IP address (for example, DSL or cable modem service), your IP address will always be the same, and will identify your computer.



The NYSED handles information about visitors to the NYSED Website in the following manner:

Notice and disclosure The NYSED provides notice and disclosure of its information practices by posting its privacy policy.
Choice/ Consent The NYSED receives your online information only when you choose to disclose it. For example, by submitting an online complaint form, or request for information. The NYSED only uses this information for the purpose for which you disclosed it, except when the law or emergencies require the NYSED to do otherwise.
Access Because the NYSED is an agency dealing with information about children, it must carefully safeguard information. Access to PII is limited only to authorized staff.  If you need information you previously gave the NYSED, please contact this office, and, if known, the bureau working on your initial request.
Security The NYSED takes reasonable measures to protect the security and integrity of information received. The NYSED periodically purges its computer files that log activity on the NYSED Website.



Although the SED does not use persistent cookies or clear GIFs ("Web bugs") on this Website, many sites do use this technology. Here is some helpful information.


A cookie is...
  • A cookie is a small data file placed on your hard drive by a Website so it can "remember" information about you or your computer.
    • A Website may assign you an ID and create a temporary cookie with that ID number on your computer.
    • The Website then can create a profile with your ID number on the Website's server.
    • In your profile, the Website can store information about your interests and other characteristics. For example, a site that carries news and weather might record your zip code so it can display local weather and news each time you visit the site. A credit card or bank site might use your profile to store your password, so that it has a way to recognize you and display your account information.
  • A cookie can be read and updated only by the Website that created it. One Website cannot "peek" at another Website's cookies.
A cookie is not... 
  • A cookie is not a program. It is a data file.
  • A cookie is not a spy device that can read files on your computer.
  • A cookie is not a way for a Website to secretly discover your personal information.
Cookies on your computer
  • To learn more about cookies on your computer and what you can do about them, consult your browser's help or tutorial feature.

Clear GIFs or "Web bugs"

A clear GIF is...
  • Another common way that web sites collect information about you is by using technology called clear GIF or "Web bug" (also referred to as a "1-by-1 GIF", "pixel tag", or "Web beacon").
  • A clear GIF is an invisible image that can be imbedded in a Web page or certain kinds of e-mail. ("GIF" stands for "graphical interface format", which is one of the technologies used to show pictures in a Web page.)
  • As with cookies, a Website can use clear GIFs to collect data about you.
  • Unlike cookies, clear GIFs are not stored on your computer.
  • Unlike cookies, most browsers do not have built-in features to explain or help you detect clear GIFs.



The NYSED does not solicit information from children under the age of thirteen. If the NYSED receives information submitted by children under the age of thirteen, those communications are accorded the same protections as if the information had been submitted offline.

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) imposes restrictions on commercial Websites, not government agency websites. Although COPPA does not apply to the NYSED Website, the NYSED practices are consistent with its mandates. If you would like more information about COPPA, please visit the Federal Trade Commission's official COPPA page at:



If you have questions about the NYSED Website privacy statement or this Website, please contact the NYSED by e-mailing the Information Security Officer at

You can also write to the NYSED at:

Edward Skinner
Chief Information Security Officer
State Education Department - Room 280 EBA
Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12234