Thank you for visiting the Federal Election Commission (FEC) website and reviewing our privacy and security statement. This webpage outlines our privacy and security policy as it applies to our site as well as third-party sites and applications that the FEC uses.
The Privacy Program at the FEC is overseen by Co-Chief Privacy Officers Gregory R. Baker (Deputy General Counsel-Administration) and Edward W. Holder (Acting Deputy Staff Director/Deputy Chief Information Officer). The Agency's Privacy Act regulations, codified at 11 CFR 1.1, et seq. may be found on the Commission's website at: http://www.fec.gov/law/cfr/cfr_2009.pdf. The Commission's current systems of records notices may be found in Volume 73, No.1 of the Federal Register, or on the Commission's website at: http://www.fec.gov/law/cfr/ej_compilation/2008/notice_2007-28.pdf.
If you would like to make a Privacy Act records request, or have any privacy-related complaints, comments, questions or concerns, please contact the Privacy Program at:
Federal Election Commission Attn: Co-Chief Privacy Officers 999 E Street, NW Washington, DC 20463
By Electronic Mail
The privacy of our customers has always been very important to the FEC. Our concern for your privacy continues in the electronic age. When you visit the FEC website, we do not collect any personally identifiable information (PII) about you, unless you choose to explicitly provide it to us.
How the FEC Collects Information
You do not have to give us personal information merely to visit our site. We collect detailed information about you (i.e., more than your internet address), like your name, e-mail address, affiliation with a political committee, etc., only if you specifically and knowingly provide it to us. Information is collected for statistical purposes and we sometimes perform analyses of user behavior in order to measure customer interest in the various areas of our site. We will disclose this information to third parties only in aggregate form or as may be required by law. We do not sell any personal information to a third party. However, information retained by us may be subject to requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), though PII contained in the information will not be disclosed under FOIA.
Information the FEC Automatically Collects
If you do nothing during your visit but browse through the website, read pages, or download information, we will gather and store certain information about your visit automatically. This information does not necessarily identify you personally. We automatically collect and store only the following information about your visit:
The Internet domain (such as “xcompany.com”, “yourschool.edu”, or “agency.gov”) and IP address (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you are surfing the Web) from which you access our website;
- The date and time you access our site;
- The pages you visit;
- Whether you successfully received the document or image file you requested;
- The type of browser you are using;
- The site from which you linked to our site; and
- The size of the document you received.
We use this information to help us make our site more useful to visitors -- to learn about the number of visitors to our site and the types of technology our visitors use. We do not track or record information about individuals, organizations or their visits.
To better serve our visitors, we use technology to track new and returning visitors’ actions while on the website. These small files are commonly referred to as “cookies.” Our cookies do not collect any PII. 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 session and persistent cookies. When you visit any website, its server may generate a piece of text known as a “cookie” to place on your computer. The cookie allows the server to “remember” specific information about your visit while you are connected. The cookie makes it easier for you to use the dynamic features of webpages. Requests to send cookies from the FEC’s webpages are designed to collect information about your browser session only; they do not collect personal information about you.
There are two types of cookies, single session (temporary) and multi-session (persistent). Session cookies last only as long as your Web browser is open. Once you close your browser, the cookie disappears. Persistent cookies are stored on your computer for longer periods. OMB Memorandum M-10-22 defines conditions under which Federal agencies may use session and persistent cookies, and categorizes them in “tiers” to identify their characteristics.
How Are Temporary “Session” Cookies Used?
We use “Tier 1” session cookies for technical purposes such as improving navigation through our website. These cookies let our server know that you are continuing a visit to our website. The “session” cookie is not permanently stored on your computer. The cookie and the information about your visit are automatically destroyed shortly after you close your browser to end the session.
How Are “Persistent Cookies” Used?
We use “Tier 2” persistent cookies to help us recognize new and returning visitors to the FEC website. Persistent cookies remain on your computer between visits to the FEC website until they expire. We do not use this technology to identify you or any other individual website visitor. For example, the FEC uses persistent cookies in association with a voluntary customer satisfaction survey conducted by a third party, ForeSee. These surveys obtain feedback and data regarding visitors’ satisfaction with our website, but they do not collect any personally identifying information. If you are randomly selected to participate in this survey, a persistent cookie is stored on your computer’s hard drive for 90 days to preclude a new invitation during that time. We also use persistent cookies to enable the Google Analytics tool to measure how new and returning visitors use our website over time. These persistent cookies do not collect any personally identifying information, and the information that is collected is only used to improve our website.
How to Opt Out or Disable Cookies
You may control permissions for cookies on this or any other website by adjusting your individual browser settings for customized privacy protection – see http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml for helpful guidance. Please note that by following the instructions to opt out of cookies, you will disable cookies from all sources, not just those from the FEC’s website. You can still use the FEC’s website if you do not accept the cookies, but you may be unable to use certain cookie-dependent features.
Information Collected from E-mails and Web Forms
If you choose to provide us with personal information, as in e-mail with a comment or question, or by filling out a form with your personal information and submitting it to us through our website, we use that information to respond to your message and to help us get you the information you have requested. Electronic mail is not secure. Therefore, we suggest that you do not send personal information to us via e-mail, especially social security numbers. We may share information you give us with contractors acting on our behalf or with another government agency if your inquiry relates to that agency. The FEC does not collect or use information for commercial marketing. We do not share our e-mail with any other organizations, unless we receive a request from an organization conducting a civil or criminal law enforcement investigation.
Electronically submitted information is maintained and destroyed according to the requirements of the Federal Records Act and the regulations and records retention schedules approved by the National Archives and Records Administration, and in some cases may be covered by the Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information Act. A discussion of your rights under these laws can be found at www.USA.gov.
Official FEC Pages on Third-Party Websites
The FEC currently maintains official FEC accounts on third-party websites (e.g., YouTube and Twitter). Your activity on third-party websites is governed by the security and privacy policies of the third-party sites. You may wish to review the privacy policies of the sites before using them in order to understand how the information you make available on those sites will be used. Please note that the FEC does not collect or maintain information posted to these third-party websites.
For security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, our website also employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and The National Information Infrastructure Protection Act of 1996.