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USDA Privacy Policy

Thank you for visiting the ARS website and reviewing our privacy statement. Our privacy policy is clear: We will collect no personal information about you when you visit our website unless you choose to provide that information to us.

Here is how we handle information about your visit to our website:

Information Collected and Stored Automatically

If you do nothing during your visit but browse through the website, read pages, or download information, we will gather and store certain information about your visit automatically. This information does not identify you personally. We automatically collect and store only the following information about your visit:

  • 1. The Internet domain (for example, "xcompany.com" if you use a private Internet access account, or "yourschool.edu" if you connect from a university's domain) and IP address (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you are surfing the Web) from which you access our website;
  • 2. The type of browser and operating system used to access our site;
  • 3. The date and time you access our site;
  • 4. The pages you visit; and
  • 5. If you linked to the U.S. Department of Agriculture website from another website, the address of that website.

We use this information to help us make our site more useful to visitors - to learn about the number of visitors to our site and the types of technology our visitors are using. We do not track or record information about individuals and their visits.

If You Send Us Personal Information

If you choose to provide us with personal information, as in an e-mail to the Secretary or someone else or by filling out a form with your personal information and submitting it to us through our website, we use that information to respond to your message and to help us locate for you the information you have requested. We treat e-mails the same way that we regard letters sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We are required to maintain many documents under the Presidential Records Act for historical purposes, but we do not collect personal information for any purpose other than to respond to you. We only share the information you give us with another government agency if your inquiry relates to that agency, or as otherwise required by law. Moreover, we do not create individual profiles with the information you provide or to give it to any private organizations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture does not collect information for commercial marketing.

When You Visit USDA Agency/Staff Office Websites

Please read the USDA Agency/Staff Office Privacy Statement when you visit those websites. Where necessary, an Agency/Staff Office may have additional privacy criteria, conditions, or information that you should know.

Information Systems Security Program Manager

The ARS ISSPM is with Office of the Chief Information Officer's Cybersecurity Branch.

Links to Other Sites

Our website has links to many other federal agencies. In a few cases we link to private organizations, with their permission. Once you access another site through a link that we provide you are subject to the privacy policy of the new site.

Website Security

Information presented on the USDA website is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested.

  • 1. For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage.
  • 2. Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, no other attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits. Raw data logs are used for no other purposes and are scheduled for regular destruction in accordance with National Archives and Records Administration General Schedule 20.
  • 3. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act.

Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998

Last Modified: 04/22/2012