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Privacy Policy

Thank you for visiting the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) Web site, and for reviewing our Internet privacy policy. The privacy policy, in brief, is clear: We collect no personal information about you when you visit this site unless you choose to provide it to us. Any information that we receive depends upon what you do when you visit the site. Further details of the policy are provided below.

Our Internet Privacy Policy Is:

  • You do not have to give us personal information to visit our site.
  • If you do nothing during your visit but browse through the Web site, reading or downloading information (such as forms and publications), our system gathers and stores certain information about your visit automatically. This information does not identify you personally. The system collects and stores the following information about your visit:
    • the Internet domain (for example, "," if you use a private Internet access account, or "" if you connect from a university’s domain) and Internet Protocol (IP) address from which you access our Web site (an IP address is a number automatically assigned to your computer by your Internet service provider);
    • the date and time you access our site;
    • the pages you viewed or files you downloaded;
    • the length of time that you are connected to our site; and
    • if you linked to our Web site from another site, that site's address.

We use this information for statistical purposes (e.g., to determine the number of visitors to different sections of the site, and areas of particular interest to visitors), and to help us understand how to improve the content and navigation of the site. We do not track or record information about individuals and their visits.

  • We do not use "cookies." (A "cookie" is a file placed on your hard drive by a Web site that allows it to monitor your use of the site, usually without your knowledge.)
  • If you choose to use this site to send an e-mail message with personal information (e.g., your name, e-mail address, telephone number, mailing address, or other unique identifier) to the Hatch Act Unit or USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act) coordinator, we may use the information that you give us to answer your message, to ask for clarification of a request or comment, or to help us provide you with information that you asked for (including from third parties, if necessary). Records of e-mail inquiries will be disposed of in accordance with National Archives and Records Administration guidelines.
  • We do not give, sell, or transfer personal identifying information to third parties for commercial marketing purposes.
  • Unauthorized attempts to change or destroy information on this Web site, or to upload information onto the site, are strictly prohibited. Such activities may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act of 1996. Except for possible law enforcement investigations of these activities, no efforts will be made to identify individual users or details of their visits.
  • We will only disclose system or personal information to third parties (including other government agencies) in accordance with the Privacy Act or other applicable federal law. In the vast majority of cases, disclosures will consist of statistical reports about usage of the site to senior OSC staff, the Office of Management and Budget, and Congress.

In Summary, If You Visit The OSC Web Site . . .

  • . . . to read or download information: You do not have to give us your name or other personal information. Our system will collect and store information about your visit for statistical purposes, in connection with analyses of and reports on usage of the site.
  • . . . to download forms: When you download a form, a Privacy Act statement about our use of any information that you may provide appears on the form. [Note: Forms cannot be completed and sent to us directly from our Web site. If you want to use a form found on the site, you need to download the form and mail it to OSC.]
  • . . . to send us an e-mail: In sending an e-mail request for an advisory opinion to the OSC Hatch Act Unit, or a question to the USERRA coordinator, you may be providing us with personal information in the caption or body of the message (e.g. your name, address, e-mail address). We may use that information to research and respond to your message. [Note: E-mail is not necessarily secure against interception. If your communication is very sensitive, or includes sensitive information, such as your social security number, you might want to send it by postal mail instead.)