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Minnesota Department of Health Website Privacy Policy

Privacy Notice Information

Thank you for visiting the Minnesota Department of Health Web site and viewing our privacy statement.  This statement addresses collection, use, security of and access to information that may be obtained through use of our site. This notice covers the following topics:

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The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is the developer and manager of the MDH website.  MDH is dedicated to protecting your privacy on-line. The following privacy statement outlines how individual information will be handled by MDH while using our services.

Protection of individual privacy is a primary concern, and is governed by Minnesota Statutes Chapter 13, GOVERNMENT DATA PRACTICES. MDH has created this privacy statement in order to demonstrate our firm commitment to privacy. The following discloses our information gathering and dissemination practices for this site;

Information Collected and Stored Automatically
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For site management functions, information is collected for analysis and statistical purposes. This information is not reported or used in any manner that would reveal personally identifiable information, and will not be released to any outside parties unless legally required to do so in connection with law enforcement investigations or other legal proceedings.

We use Log analysis tools to create summary statistics, which are used for purposes such as assessing what information is of most interest, determining technical design specifications, and identifying system performance or problem areas. Our website logs do not collect personally identifiable information, and we make no attempt to link them with the individuals that browse the MDH website. When you visit the MDH website and 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;
  3. The date and time you visited this site;
  4. The Web pages or services you accessed at this site; and
  5. The website you visited prior to coming to this website.

We also use Google Analytics to analyze traffic to our site. Google Analytics can be blocked or disabled by any visitor and the he or she will still have free access to all information on our site. Information about Google Analytics and how to opt-out is available on the Google Analytics website.

If during your visit to the MDH website you participate in a survey, fill out a Web form, or send an email, the following additional information will be collected:

  1. The email address and contents of the email; and
  2. Information volunteered to complete a Web form or 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 Minnesota Statutes Chapter 138.17, subd. 1 , and Minnesota Statutes Chapter 15.17 ; destruction, preservation, reproduction of records, prima facie evidence.

If you send us an email with a question or comment that contains personally identifiable information, or fill out a form that emails us this information, we will only use the personally identifiable information to respond to your request and analyze trends. This may be to respond to you, to address issues you identify, or to further improve our website. We may redirect your message to another government agency that is in a better position to answer your question. Survey information is used for the purpose designated.

Personal Information and Choice
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"Personal information" is information about a natural person that is readily identifiable to that specific individual. Personal information includes such things 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 email, filling out a Web form, 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 the MDH website.

If personal information is requested on the website 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 in that it may be subject to public access.

Public Disclosure
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In the State Of Minnesota, 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 including the privacy of individuals. Exceptions are provided by both State and Federal laws.

All information collected at this site becomes public records that may be subject to inspection and copying by the public, unless an exemption in law exists. Minnesota Statutes Chapter 13 and Minnesota Rules Chapter 1205 define Minnesota's Data Practices Act.

Access to and Correction of Personal Information
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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.

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Cookies are used on the site in the following cases. We use Google Analytics to analyze traffic to our site. Google uses first-party cookies. These cookies are used to store information, such as what time the current visit occurred, whether the visitor has been to the site before, and what site referred the visitor to the web page. These cookies are not shared across domains. See the Google Analytics overview for more information. Blocking these cookies will not affect access to our website.

We also use the GovDelivery subscription service which uses "session cookies." A session cookie is stored on the user's computer only until they close the browser. The session cookie allows the server software to keep the user logged in as they browse GovDelivery. The cookie is not shared with other websites, does not track or store personal information, and expires as soon as the user closes the browser. GovDelivery's privacy policy is available online for more information.

Secure applications at MDH, which require users to log in, may or may not contain cookies in order to track things such as passwords and session information.

Security, Intrusion, Detection Language
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The Minnesota Department of Health, as developer and manager of the MDH website, 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 MDH 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, or warranting as fail proof, the security of information provided via the MDH website.

Unauthorized attempts to deny service, upload information, change information, or to attempt to access a non-public site from this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under Title 18 of the U.S. Code to include the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act.

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The MDH website has links to other sites. These include links to websites operated by other State of Minnesota government agencies, other states, nonprofit organizations, private businesses and individuals. When you link to another site, you are no longer on the MDH website and this Privacy Notice will not apply. When you link to another website, you are subject to the privacy policy of that new site.

Neither the State of Minnesota, nor any agency, officer, or employee of the State of Minnesota warrants the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information published by this system, nor endorses any content, viewpoints, products, or services linked from this system, and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of such information. Portions of such information may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this system does so at his or her own risk.

MDH Website Contact Information
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To offer comments about the MDH website, or about the information presented in this Privacy Notice, you can contact The Minnesota Department of Health Webmaster:
Telephone: 651-201-5000
Fax: 651-201-4986
Mail: 625 Robert St. N., P.O. Box 64975, St. Paul, MN 55164-0975

Minnesota Department of Health
Last Updated May 27, 2011