Thank you for visiting plainlanguage.gov. We are committed to respecting your right to privacy and will protect it when you visit our website.
Information stored and collected automatically
As with many federal websites, plainlanguage.gov is hosted by the General Services Administration (GSA). GSA collects limited information about visits to plainlanguage.gov. This information is used to measure the number of visitors to the various sections of our website and identify performance or problem areas. Authorized individuals may also use this information to help us develop the site, analyze patterns of usage, and to make the site more useful. We do not share or sell visitor data for the purposes of advertising, marketing, or any other commercial purpose. This information is not used for associating search terms or patterns of site navigation with individual users. The information that is automatically collected and stored concerning your visit includes:
- the name of the domain from which you access the Internet (such as, hhs.gov if you are connecting from a HHS domain)
- the date and time of your visit
- the pages you visit on plainlanguage.gov
- your internet protocol (IP) address
- the address of the website you came from if it linked you directly to plainlanguage.gov
- search terms that you enter into the plainlanguage.gov search tool
When you visit a website, its server may generate a piece of text known as a cookie to place on your device. The cookie, which is unique to your browser, allows the server to remember specific information about your visit while you’re connected.
There are two types of cookies — single session (temporary) and multi-session (persistent). Single session cookies last only as long as your Web browser is open. Once you close your browser, the session cookie disappears. Persistent cookies are stored on your device for longer periods. Both types of cookies create an identifier that is unique to your device. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum M-10-22, Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies allows federal agencies to use both session and persistent cookies to improve the delivery of services.
We use session cookies for technical purposes, such as to allow better navigation through our site. These session cookies are set by GSA or a contractor acting on GSA’s behalf and let the server hosting plainlanguage.gov know that you are continuing a visit to our site. Our use of session cookies qualifies as “Usage Tier 1—Single Session,” as defined in the OMB M-10-22 guidance.
We use persistent cookies to understand the differences between new and returning visitors to plainlanguage.gov. Persistent cookies remain on your device between visits to our site until they expire or are removed by the user. As discussed below under “Google Analytics,” our use of persistent cookies qualifies as “Usage Tier 2—Multi-session without personally identifiable information,” as defined in the OMB M-10-22 guidance. The policy states, “This tier encompasses any use of multi-session Web measurement and customization technologies when no [personally identifiable information] is collected.” We do not use persistent cookies to collect personally identifiable information.
If you do not want to accept cookies, you can edit your browser’s options to stop accepting persistent cookies or to prompt you before accepting a cookie from the websites you visit. For more information, see the Web Measurement and Customization Opt-Out instructions.
plainlanguage.gov participates in the U.S. Digital Analytics Program, which uses a unified Google Analytics account for federal agencies. This program helps agencies understand how people find, access, and use government services online.
The Digital Analytics Program is a hosted shared service provided by the GSA’s Office of Products and Platforms, and the protocol and information collected are the same for all websites participating in the program. As a participant in the program, this website’s traffic data is automatically reported to GSA.
Google Analytics is a third-party web measurement and customization technology as defined in OMB M-10-22. Here is how it works: Google Analytics sets one or more cookies on your computer so that it can recognize your computer if you visit the plainlanguage.gov website in the future. These cookies do not collect personally identifiable information. This is considered a Tier 2 usage, as defined in the OMB guidance.
Google Analytics does not collect personally identifiable information through its cookies. The program does not track individuals and anonymizes the IP addresses of visitors. Common Questions about DAP (FAQ) provides more information about how Google Analytics handles IP addresses. According to GSA’s Common Questions About DAP, “none of the federal government data tracked as part of the Data Analytics Program will be shared with or available to Google’s corporate advertising partners.”
A limited number of authorized individuals will have user accounts that will allow them to log in to the Google Analytics dashboard and view or run reports regarding visits to plainlanguage.gov and the other web metrics available from the DAP. You can view web metrics at https://analytics.usa.gov/.
Visitors who choose to disable this web measurement tool will still have full access to plainlanguage.gov. While the details vary from browser to browser, most modern browsers can be set up to accept, reject, or request user intervention when a site asks to set a cookie.
Information you share with us
Users of this website may send the Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) feedback or report an issue by sending an email to email@example.com. If you choose to send us your personally identifiable information, we will only use that information to respond to your message. We only share the information you give us with another government agency if your question relates to that agency, or as otherwise required by law. plainlanguage.gov never collects information or creates individual profiles for the purposes of advertising, marketing, or any other commercial purpose. We do not create or store lists of email addresses or other information to deliver email alerts, newsletters, or otherwise send marketing messages or contact individuals. When you contact us, any personally identifiable information you provide is voluntary. Please do not include sensitive personally identifiable information or other sensitive information in the content of your email.
Children and privacy
We do not have information specifically for children on our website. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act governs information gathered online from or about children under the age of 13. This site is not intended to solicit or collection information of any kind from children under age 13. If you believe that we have received information from a child under age 13, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions about privacy