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Citizen Portal Privacy Notice

The CITY of COLUMBIA, SC laws exist to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by city government. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public's right to access public records provided by both state and federal laws. These exceptions include the privacy of individuals.

Information collected at this site becomes public record and may be subject to inspection and copying by the public, unless an exception in law exists. During your visit to columbia.sc.gov information that is not readily identifiable to an individual is automatically collected and stored. This information is used solely to improve our web services. For more detail on our privacy policy, please see the expanded statement following.




General Disclaimer

Information presented on this web site is collected, organized, and provided for the convenience of the user and the City of Columbia attempts to accurately collect and display such information. However, due to the possibility of transmission errors, incompatibilities, unauthorized modification, and other problems associated with electronic operations of this nature, the City of Columbia cannot, and does not, warrant the authenticity or reliability of such information. The City of Columbia is not liable for reliance on this information or for the consequences of reliance on any information contained on, or linked to, the City's Web site. With respect to documents and information on this Web site, the City of Columbia specifically disclaims any and all warranties, expressed or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. The City of Columbia does not assume any legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed on the Web site.




Information Collected and How It is Used

If you do nothing during your visit to Columbia.sc.gov but browse or download information, we automatically collect and store the following information about your visit:

  1. The Internet Protocol address and domain name used but not the email address. The Internet Protocol address is a numerical identifier assigned either to your Internet service provider or directly to your computer. We use the Internet Protocol Address to direct Internet traffic to you;
  2. The type of browser and operating system you used and your connection speed;
  3. The date and time you visited this site;
  4. The web pages or services you accessed at this site;and
  5. The web site you visited prior to coming to this web 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. Columbia.sc.gov analyzes our web site logs to continually improve the value of the materials available on our site. Our web site logs are not personally identifiable, and we make no attempt to link them with the individuals that browse Columbia.sc.gov.

If during your visit to columbia.sc.gov you participate in a survey or send an email, the following additional information will be collected:

  1. E-mail correspondence: The e-mail address and contents of the e-mail;
  2. Surveys: Any information you volunteered in response to a survey.

The information collected is not limited to text characters and may include audio, video, and graphic information formats you send us. The information is retained in accordance with South Carloina's Open Records Law.

We use your email to respond appropriately. This may be to respond to you, to address issues you identify, to further improve our web site, or to forward the email to another agency for appropriate action. Survey information is used for the purpose designated.




Personal Information and Choice

"Personal information" is information about an individual that is readily identifiable to that specific individual. Personal information includes personal identifiers such as an individual's name, address, and phone number. A domain name or Internet Protocol address is not considered personal information.

We collect no personal information about you unless you voluntarily participate in an activity that asks for information (i.e. sending an e-mail or participating in a survey). If you choose not to participate in these activities, your choice will in no way affect your ability to use any other feature of columbia.sc.gov.

If personal information is requested on the web site or volunteered by the user, state law and the federal Privacy Act of 1974 may protect it. However, this information is a public record once you provide it, and may be subject to public inspection and copying if not protected by federal or state law.

Users are cautioned that the collection of personal information requested from or volunteered by children on-line or by email will be treated the same as information given by an adult and may be subject to public access.




Public Disclosure

In the State of South Carolina, laws exist to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by state government. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public's right to access public records that serve various needs: the privacy of individuals is included among these exceptions. Exceptions are provided by both state and federal laws.

We strive to protect personally identifiable information by collecting only information necessary to deliver our services. All information collected at this site becomes public record that may be subject to inspection and copying by the public, unless an exemption in law exists.

In the event of a conflict between this Privacy Notice and the South Carolina Open Records Law or other law governing the disclosure of records, the South Carolina Open Records Law or other applicable law will control.




Your Consent to This Privacy Policy

By using this website, you signify your assent to this Privacy Policy. If you do not agree with any term in this Policy, please do not use this site or submit any personally identifiable information.




Access and Correction of Personal Information

You can review any personal information we collect about you. You may recommend changes to your personal information you believe in error by submitting a written request that credibly shows the error. If you believe that your personal information is being used for a purpose other than what was intended when submitted, you may contact us. In all cases, we will take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting access or making corrections. See Contact Information section.




Cookies

What is a Cookie?

A cookie is a small amount of data, which may include an anonymous unique identifier, that is sent to your browser from a web site's computers and may either be used only during your session (a "session" cookie) or may be stored on your computer's hard drive (a "persistent" cookie). Cookies can contain data about user movement during the visit to the website. If your browser software is set to allow cookies, a web site can send its own cookie to you. A web site that has set a cookie can only access those cookies it has sent to you, it cannot access cookies sent to you by other sites.

Why are Cookies Used on Web Sites?

Cookies are one mechanism for maintaining continuity during a user's visit to a web site. They allow data to be maintained for users' benefit as they navigate a site. This is referred to as "session" or "state management" cookie. These cookies go away when you terminate your visit to the website as they are maintained only in your browser's active memory during your session. Cookies may be also be stored on your computer to so that you can be recognized by a website on subsequent visits. They can be read by the website that set them whenever you enter the website. They are often used on websites that require you to log in to save you entering all of your log-in information. They may store information on your unique identifier and the areas of the website you have visited before. These cookies are stored on your computer's hard drive after you have left your website visit and consequently are often referred to as "persistent" cookies.

Choices about Cookies

You can configure your browser to accept all cookies, reject all cookies, or notify you when a cookie is set.(Each browser is different, so check the "Help" menu of your browser to learn how to change your cookie preferences.)

Columbia.sc.gov's Practices Regarding Cookies

Columbia.sc.gov uses only session cookies. The information on these cookies is retained by the State only while the user's session is active in a table that lists the unique identifiers of those currently using the site. Currently session states are set to 30 minutes maximum. Columbia.sc.Gov is using cookies for the following purposes:

  • Support the rotation of the home page's banner and "Featured Site" graphic. Neither of these cookies are persistent and they contain no information about the user.
  • When you "sign in" to the Employment section of columbia.sc.gov as either an employer or a job seeker. For job seekers, the cookie enables the session to be maintained as the user moves through different pages, such as updating a multi-page resume, previewing or showing the resume posted. For employers, the cookies are used to establish the session state.



Security

The Department of Information Technology (DoIT), as developer and manager of columbia.sc.gov, has taken several steps to safeguard the integrity of its telecommunications and computing infrastructure, including but not limited to authentication, monitoring, auditing, and encryption. Security measures have been integrated into the design, implementation and day-to-day practices of the entire DoIT operating environment as part of its continuing commitment to risk management.

This information should not be construed in any way as giving business, legal, or other advice. This information should not be construed as warranting as fail-proof the security of information provided through DoIT supported web sites.




Disclaimer

Columbia.sc.gov has links to other web sites. These include links to web sites operated by other government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private businesses. When you link to another site, you are no longer on columbia.sc.gov and this Privacy Notice will not apply. When you link to another web site, you are subject to the privacy policy of that new site. By using the City of Columbia's Web site, the user acknowledges and accepts that the City is not responsible for any materials stored on other Web sites, nor is it liable for any inaccurate, defamatory, offensive or illegal materials found on other Web sites, and that the risk of injury or damage from viewing, hearing, downloading or storing such materials rests entirely with the user.




Amendments

This Policy became effective on October 21, 2008. Any amendments will be posted at this URL and will be effective when posted.




Columbia.sc.gov Contact Information

To offer comments about Columbia.sc.gov, or to comment about the information presented in this Privacy Notice, please use our feedback form.




Jurisdiction

Any person using this Web site or seeking access to information or materials on this system is agreeing to be subject to South Carolina jurisdiction. Any dispute arising from such access shall be decided under the laws and in the courts of South Carolina with venue in Richland County.