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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality www.ahrq.gov
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MEPS Privacy Policy Notice

 
Thank you for visiting the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s MEPS Web site and for reviewing our privacy policy.

This Web site is maintained as a public service to provide information on healthcare research and quality from our Agency, a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

We collect no personal information about you when you visit our Web site unless you choose to provide that information to us.

Information Automatically Collected and Stored

When you browse through any Web site, read pages, or download information, certain information about your visit can be collected. We automatically collect and temporarily store the following information about your visit, but this information does not identify you personally:

  • The name of the domain you use to access the Internet (for example, aol.com, if you are using an America Online account, or stanford.edu, if you are connecting from Stanford University's domain).
  • The type of browser and operating system you use to access our site.
  • The date and time of your visit.
  • The pages you visited.
  • The address of the Web site you came from, if you were referred from another site.
We use this information for statistics on the traffic to our site, to find out about general user interest in various areas of our site, and to help us make our site more useful to visitors.

We track the keywords that are entered into our search engine and the browse terms used to measure interest in specific topics, but we do not monitor which terms a particular user enters.

No additional information is collected about your visit, and we do not record information about individual behavior or use of the site.

Use of Cookies

The MEPSnet page and the breadcrumbs feature on this site use session-based cookies. These bits of information are stored temporarily in your computer’s random access memory (RAM) as a line of text. When you close your browser, the cookie is destroyed and no trace of it remains on your hard drive.

The MEPSnet session-based cookies are necessary for the MEPSnet interactive query system to work. MEPSnet stores information about the selections a user has made within the system. This information is stored on the server and associated with an id number. The information is stored so that a returning user can restore his or her selections using the id number. No information is stored on the user's browser or elsewhere that could be used to associate an individual with a set of stored selections.

The breadcrumbs session-based cookies are used solely as a method to enhance the user experience for those visiting the site.

Personally Provided Information

You do not have to give us personal information to visit our Web site.

If you choose to provide us with additional information about yourself through an e-mail message, form, etc., we use that information only to respond to your message or to fulfill the stated purpose of the communication. The information provided is handled on a confidential basis within the Agency.

However, e-mail is not necessarily secure against interception. If your message is sensitive, you may prefer to send it by postal mail instead.

All communications to the Web site mailbox and customer feedback form are archived on a monthly basis, and destroyed on an annual basis.

Disclosure

AHRQ does not disclose, give, sell, or transfer any personal information about our visitors, unless required by law enforcement or statute.

Intrusion Detection

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, we employ software programs to monitor traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. Such attempts are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act.

Systems of Records

Electronically submitted information is maintained and destroyed according to the principles of the Federal Records Act and regulations and guidance from the National Archives and Records Administration, and in some cases may be subject to the Privacy Act. If information that you submit is to be used in a Privacy Act system of records, there will be a Privacy Act Notice provided.

Links to Other Sites

Our Web site has links to other Federal agencies. We also have selected links to other Web resources. The privacy policy described here does not necessarily apply to those other sites. Once you link to another site, you are subject to the privacy policy of that site.

 

 
   Page last revised:  July 24, 2006