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 City of Beaumont, Texas

Policy on Privacy and Linking

P
olicy Number: 7.3
Subject:
Privacy and Linking

Effective Date:
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 the city.

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
Addresses
Email addresses
Telephone numbers
Fax numbers
Specific information to describe a complaint or request information
Credit/Debit Card information
Parking ticket identification numbers
Permit identifications

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
www.cityofbeaumont.com.

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 survey.

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 financial information.

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 requesting party.

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.

The City does not use cookies. 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
www.cityofbeaumont.com is 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 persons.

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 behalf.

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 announcements.

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 units.

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.

Policy Number: 7.4
Subject:
Linking Policy
Effective Date:
August 10, 2004

The City of Beaumont has created a municipal web site at
ci.beaumont.tx.us or 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 control.

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 third party.

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 organizations.

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 guidelines.

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 Information Services.
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 Beaumont.
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.
The City reserves the right at all times to rescind linking permissions to any and all third party web sites.
 

 

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 P.O. Box 3827 Beaumont, Texas 77704-3827 |   409.980.8311  |  2009  City of Beaumont, Texas  | All Rights Reserved