We do not collect any personal identifiable information (PII), without your explicit consent.
Here is how we handle your information when you visit our website:
Information Collected and Stored Automatically
When you browse through this website, read pages, or download information, we may
gather and store certain information about your visit automatically. We may your technologies
to gauge your browsing habits or web surfing history to improve the information presented to
The information we store does not identify you personally. We automatically collect and store only
the following information about your visit:
Internet domain and IP address from which you access our website. For example, if you access our
website from school, we see "schoolname.edu" and the school's IP address;
- The type of browser and operating system used to access our site;
- The date and time you access our site;
- The pages you visit; and
- If you linked to the USDA website from another website, the address of that website.
We use this information to help us make our site more useful, to learn about the number of
visitors to our site, the types of technology our visitors are using to visit our website, and to
present relevant information to you based on your website browsing requests.
We do not track your web activities beyond your browing our website. We do not cross
reference your browing habits with other entities, and we do not sell or give away your
information to other entities.
Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
COPPA applies to
to the online collection of personal information from children under the age 13. USDA complies with COPPA
and does not knowingly collect personal information about children.
When you visit some websites, their web servers generate pieces of information known as cookies. Some
cookies collect personal information to recognize your computer in the future.
Cookies are small files that web servers place on a user's hard drive that helps a website or service. There are
two types of cookies:
Session cookies, also known as transient or per session cookies, serve technical purposes,
like providing seamless navigation througha website. They are stored in temporary memory
and are only available during an active browser session. Once you close your browser, the
Persistent cookies, also known as permanent or stored cookies, are used to collect
identifying information about a user, such as user name, web surfing behavior or user
preference for a specific website. These cookies operate until they expire or a user deletes them.
We may use both types of cookies to improve our on-line services to you.
You can disable cookies by adjusting the settings on your web browser.
You Send Us Personal Information
If you choose to provide us with personal information, as in an e-mail to our staff, or by filling out
a form and submitting it to us through our website, we use that information to respond to your message.
This also helps us to locate the information you have requested. We treat e-mails the same way that we
handle paper-based correspondence sent to USDA. We are required to maintain many documents under
the Federal Record Act for historical purposes, but we do not collect personal information for any purposes
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, nor will the information you provide be shared with
any private organizations. USDA does not collect information for commercial marketing.
Information presented on this website is considered public information and may be distributed
or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested.
For site security purposes and to ensure that this website service remains available to all users,
USDA employs monitoring technology to identify unauthorized attempts to upload, change, or
otherwise cause damage to USDA information or systems.
Raw data logs are scheduled for regular destruction in accordance with the Computer Fraud and
Abuse Act of 1986 and with
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) General Schedule 20 (PDF, 142 KB)
Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this website are strictly
prohibited and may be punishable under the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act
Privacy Impact Assessment
A privacy impact assessment (PIA) is an analysis of how information is handled:
(i) to ensure handling conforms to applicable legal, regulatory, and policy requirements
regarding privacy, (ii) to determine the risks and effects of collecting, maintaining and
disseminating information in identifiable form in an electronic information system,
and (iii) to examine and evaluate protections and alternative processes for handling
information to mitigate potential privacy risks.
The E-Government Act requires federal agencies to conduct PIAs for electronic information systems
and collections and, in general, make the assessment results publicly available.
Machine-Readable Privacy Policies, Platform Privacy Preferences (P3P)
The privacy provisions of the E-Government Act of 2002 require agencies to have both
users about whether site privacy practices match their personal privacy preferences. P3P is the
The USDA uses third-party services such as Facebook, Google, and YouTube to communicate
and interact with the public. You may encounter these services as separate websites
(for example, the USDA Facebook page, or as applications embedded within the USDA's websites.
These services are controlled and operated by third parties, and are not government websites or
applications. By interacting with USDA through these third-party services, you may be providing
non-government third parties access to your personal information which can be used to distinguish
or trace your identity. Any information collected by a third-party service is subject to the privacy
policies of the third-party service provider. These third-party services may, for example,
use persistent (multi-session) cookies.
Generally, USDA does not collect, disseminate, or maintain any personally identifiable information
about you maintained by third party sites. However, you should be aware that USDA may read, review,
or rely upon information that you make publicly available or the USDA on these services (for example,
comments made on the USDA's Facebook page), as authorized or required by law.
Please note that these third-party services supplement USDA's traditional communication and
outreach efforts. Should you have concerns about communicating with USDA via these channels,
please use traditional channels to contact us.