City of Beaumont, Texas
Policy on Privacy and Linking
Subject: Privacy and
August 10, 2004
Customer privacy is important to
the City of Beaumont. To clarify how the City protects its
customer's privacy, this notice explains the City's on-line
information practices and the choices the customer's can make
that determine how their information is collected and used by
This notice is easily identified and accessed from
www.cityofbeaumont.com and all its
peripheral URLs - e.g.,
ci.beaumont.tx.us All citizens are
free to contact city staff to discuss how their personally
identifiable information is stored and used.
This policy governs all
information collected or submitted on the City of Beaumont web
site. In some areas of the municipal web site, citizens and
visitors can order goods or services, make information requests,
or access other public information resources. The types of
personal information the city collects at various points in the
city web site include:
Personal and/or business names
Specific information to describe
a complaint or request information
Credit/Debit Card information
Parking ticket identification
The primary reason that the city
collects and maintains citizen information is to serve you and
administer your customer relationship with the City.
City staff's use the information you provide about yourself when
completing a transaction you initiate over one or more of the
internet services on
This information is only used to
complete the transaction requested by the customer. The city
does not share this information with outside parties except to
the extent necessary to complete your order.
The city does not sell
information about current or former citizens to any third
parties, and it does not disclose it to third parties, unless
necessary to process a transaction.
The city offers a number of
query-based applications that citizens, businesses, and visitors
alike may use to access public records. Some information is
public by law.
City staffs cannot legally hide
or refuse access to this information to interested parties.
However, access to this type of information is not new. All
parties currently have access to the information.
The City of Beaumont internet
services use email addresses to answer email we receive from
you. We also use your email address when you request enrollment
in public newsletters and list-server-based email notices.
This is an automated process and
citizens and businesses may opt out of inclusion at any time by
adjusting their profile information. All email addresses
collected by the city will remain private and will not be
distributed to any other parties for any reason.
The city values opinions and
comments from citizens, so we may occasionally conduct on-line
surveys. Participation in these surveys is entirely optional.
Typically, the information is aggregated and used to record
citizen opinions on important community issues. Survey
participants are anonymous unless otherwise stated in the
Citizens may be concerned about
how Texas' Open Records Act (TRA) applies to personal
information provided to the city. TRA prohibits the disclosure
of addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and personal
The purpose of the TRA is to
allow the public access to documents that are generated by the
public entity. By contrast, information provided to the city by
a private individual is not subject to the TRA. Consequently,
the city cannot be required to provide your information to any
Customers can transact financial
business with the city through various e-commerce applications
municipal staffs have developed. To protect this information,
the city applications are designed not to store information on
cookies on your computer and are designed not to pass session
variables between screens.
Furthermore, the City uses
credit card verification services, up-to-date encryption
technologies, and the like to maintain a standard, high level of
protection for your information. Finally, the city server
environment is setup with current, periodically tested security.
In summary, to prevent
unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and to ensure the
correct use of information you provide, the City of Beaumont has
put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial
procedures to safeguard and secure the information it collects.
Cookies - What are
cookies? Cookies are small pieces of information that a web site
transfers to an individual's hard drive for record-keeping
purposes. Cookies may make web surfing easier for you by saving
your preferences while you are at our site.
We never save passwords or credit card information in cookies.
An IP address is a number that
is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you are
surfing the web. Web servers, the big computers that "serve up"
web pages, automatically identify your computer by its IP
address. IP addresses are often used to track a user's session.
The City does not collect IP addresses.
Protecting the privacy of the
very young is especially important. For this reason, the city
will not knowingly collect or maintain information from its Web
site from individuals under the age of 13.
Also, no part of
structured or marketed towards anyone under 13. One aspect of
the city's web advertising policy consists of a standard not to
accept advertising from any company whose goods or services are
not legally obtainable by children. This includes advertisements
from cigarette, alcohol, and sexually oriented businesses or
The City encourages parents to
take an active role in their children's use of the internet and
to spend time on-line with their children. Children may ask
their parents to submit a request for information on their
In the event that a child does
provide us with personal information, a parent or guardian of
that child should contact the City at the email address or phone
number listed at the bottom of this statement to identify the
information which needs to be removed.
Citizens can access their
personally identifiable information on-line if they create a
profile. Profiles are a tool provided to the public so they may
sign up for email notifications of public construction projects,
parks and recreation activities, and general city news. Profiles
are not required in order for citizens to have access to the
entire city web site. It is an optional benefit citizens may
select to keep up to date with the latest city news and
Transactional information is not
held by the City. Once service companies the city has contracted
with have cleared the transaction, the city purges an
individual's personally identifying information from its
internet servers. Some information will be kept and included
with the transaction where it must be forwarded to business
To protect your privacy and
security, the City also takes reasonable steps to verify your
identity before granting access or making corrections.
At anytime, you can unsubscribe
from the City's email distribution list(s) by accessing your
user profile. As a citizen with an active member profile, you
will occasionally receive email updates from us containing City
news and information.
We hope you will find these
updates interesting and informative. Of course, if you would
rather not receive them, you may adjust your member profile
accordingly at any time and you will be promptly removed from
any further mailings.
The City's web page contains
links to other web sites. Please note that when you click on one
of these links, you are entering another web site for which the
city has no responsibility. We encourage you to read the privacy
statements of all such sites as their policies may be materially
different from the City's Privacy Statement.
Please refer to the City's
Linkage Policy for more information. The city may disclose
citizen profile information if required to do so by law, court
order, as requested by other government or law enforcement
authority, or in the good faith belief that disclosure is
otherwise necessary or advisable when we have reason to believe
that disclosing the information is necessary to identify,
contact or bring legal action against someone who may be causing
interference with our rights or properties, whether
intentionally or otherwise, or when anyone else could be harmed
by such activities.
Any material changes in the way
the City uses personal information will be described in future
versions of this Privacy Statement.
Please note that the internet is
an evolving medium. If we need to change our policy at some
point in the future, we will post changes before they take
effect. Of course, our use of information gathered while the
current policy is in effect will always be consistent with
current policy, even if we later change that policy.
August 10, 2004
The City of Beaumont has created a municipal web site at
www.cityofbeaumont.com. This policy
specifically addresses links created on the site.
The city's web site contains
links to other sites, which allow you to leave the city's site.
Please be aware that the internet sites available through these
links, and the materials that you may find there, are not under
the control of the city. Therefore, the city cannot and does not
make any representation to you about these sites or the
materials and/or information available there.
The fact that the city has made
these links available to you is not an endorsement or
recommendation to you by the city of any of these sites or any
materials found there. The City of Beaumont is providing these
links only as a convenience to you.
Please be aware that the City is
not responsible for the privacy practices of those sites when
linked to them through the city site. Users must be aware that
when they leave the city site via links to other sites, that the
information found is beyond the scope of city control. These
other sites may send their own cookies to users, collect data,
or solicit personal information.
Visitors should read the privacy
statements of those sites where they collect personally
identifiable information. This City of Beaumont privacy
statement pertains only to the web site(s) under its sole
Any links contained on the
City's web site, including hyperlinks, buttons, and referral
devices of any nature, are for the convenience of the visitor
only. The city does not endorse or recommend any third party web
site, product, or services, unless otherwise noted. To avoid
misinterpreted relationships to any third party, it is the
policy of the City that links to outside sites be text only.
No icons, logos, or other
corporate symbols may be placed on the Beaumont municipal web
site without an official agreement between the city and the
The City respects the value of
providing contact information to community resources. When
organizations make an official request to the city for inclusion
on the city web site, municipal staff will review the request
using a standard set of criteria.
That criteria may include, but
is not limited to, the requesting organization's non-profit
status, positive contribution to the community,
relevance/relationship to providing City services and
certification in some area of public service which primarily
serves the Beaumont metropolitan area. If accepted, the third
party will be asked to provide a contact name, telephone number,
address, and email address, along with a short description of
the services offered on the external site to be linked.
The City will always honor a
legitimate request to remove a link from its web site.
To avoid the appearance of city
endorsement of political content, links shall not be made to
sites that are associated with, sponsored by or serving a
candidate for elected office, any political party or
organization supporting or seeking to defeat any candidate for
elective office or any ballot proposal.
The City will adhere to the
state statute restrictions regarding the Fair Campaign Practices
Act and all associated sections (Article 45; 1-45-107(1)(a)(l)).
Certain private commercial sites
maintain and display information which provide a public or
community service, or other ancillary static or interactive
information to aid the public, which is not generally available
through a governmental agency due to the cost of compiling,
maintaining and/or displaying such information.
To support the cost of
compilation and maintenance of this information, these private
commercial sites may include advertising or promotional material
in the information display.
Although the city neither
supports nor endorses entities advertised or promoted on such
sites, it recognizes that a public benefit is served by
providing the underlying information to assist city residents.
Accordingly, links to such sites
which contain this information, but also display commercial
advertising or promotional material, may be included on
departmental web pages when the department director has made a
good faith determination that:
The department's independent
replication of the information targeted for linkage is
infeasible due to financial or other considerations; and
No non-commercial site provides the
information targeted for linkage; and
The information targeted for
linkage is critical to a service provided by the department; or
The information targeted for
linkage is a vital enhancement to the department's mission.
Links to such institutions are
permitted on departmental web pages when the site contains
information that enhances services provided by the department.
To avoid the appearance of city
endorsement of any religious related content, links shall not be
allowed to sites that are associated with religious or similar
Links to sites containing
inappropriate material are expressly prohibited.
City departments shall routinely
check links on their web pages to ensure they are functional and
contain no material which violates this policy.
The city Information Services
Manager is authorized to order removal of material from
department web pages which is non-compliant with these adopted
Third Party Web Sites -
may provide links to our web site only on the following terms:
May link to the home page of the
City's web site by using the plain text name of "The City of
Beaumont" or some variant approved by the City's division of
No person or organization is
authorized to incorporate any content of any form from the
city's web site into any other web site by any means, including
by in-lining or framing, without expressed written permission
from an executive of the City of Beaumont. Requests for
exceptions may be sent to the City's Technology Services
Division (please refer to How to Contact Us below).
Links to our web site from third
party web sites should not in any way suggest that the City has
any relationship or affiliation with that party, or that the
municipal government endorses, sponsors, or recommends the
information, products, or services of that site without
expressed written permission from an executive of the City of
The City has the right to ask you
to remove your link to our homepage if it is perceived to be
confusing, misleading or damaging in any way.
The City municipal government
reserves the right to refuse third parties legal permission to
link to the municipal web site.
Any grant of linking permission
must be obtained from the City of Beaumont before being added to
any third party web site.
City reserves the right at all times to rescind linking
permissions to any and all third party web sites.