Privacy Statement

Introduction

The purpose of this privacy policy is to inform you, a welcome user of this web site, as to what kinds of information this Department may gather about you when you use this web site, how the Department may use that information and whether the Department discloses it to anyone. The employees of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation respect your privacy and promise to abide by this policy and the relevant statutes regarding the confidentiality of your information.

User categories

Prior to the identification of the kinds of information the Department may collect, it is important to identify the users who may frequent the Department's web site. The confidentiality of information generally and the determination of the specific information which may be disclosed will vary among users and among the operating units within the Department. The users of this web site can be divided into three (3) categories: 1) the general public, 2) the regulated industries and their representatives, and 3) other governmental entities. These distinctions become important as the user reads the statutes about the Department's legal obligations regarding confidentiality and disclosure. This web site serves three (3) basic informational purposes: a) the dissemination of information regarding the organizational structure and the functions of this Department, b) links to additional information about the Department and Maine State Government in general, and c) the exchange of information between the users of the web site and the Department itself. The purposes of the web site directly correlate with the kinds of information this Department may gather about its users.

Information collection and use

The Department does not proactively gather names, home, business or email addresses, telephone number or any other data from contacts that we receive electronically. We obtain this information only if the user voluntarily provides it to the Department through email, electronic registration and licensing forms, electronic surveys, etc. Information provided on many licensing forms is available, in the form of registrant lists, to the public for a processing fee. At this point in time, the Department does not and will not sell information collected by the web site. Our web server software, however, does log the following information each time a user visits our web site:

Information
Definition
Date Date the visit occurred.
Time Time the visit occurred.
Client IP Unique Internet protocol (IP) address of the website user. The IP address recorded is normally that of the visitor's Internet service provider, e.g., aol.com if the user connects from an America Online account.
Server IP Unique Internet Protocol (IP) address of the Maine State Government web server accessed.
Remote logname If supplied (from identd, rarely available)
Remote username If document is access-controlled
HTTP status Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) error code. E.g., "404 Requested Page Not Found."
HTTP request URL Identifies the web page or file requested by the website user.
Bytes sent Amount of data sent from website user to the web server.
User agent Type of web browser or other client software that made request to the web server.
Referrer Uniform Resource Locator (URL) that referred to the requested file.
Protocol version Version of HTTP used by the user's web browser software.

The Department does not obtain specific information as to users of the web site, but the count of the number of users, in its aggregate, will be used to determine user receptivity to the content in our web site. We analyze this data to continually improve the value of the materials available on our site. Our web site logs are not personally identifiable and the Department does not attempt to link them with the users that browse our web site.

Contact information

To offer comments about the information presented in this Privacy Statement or to review or request correction of your personal information you may contact:

Melissa A. Hutchings
Commissioner's Office
Department of Professional & Financial Regulation
Telephone: (207) 624-8525
FAX: (207) 624-8690

Use of cookies

In order to better serve you, the user, we use cookies for certain types of online transactions.

Cookies are small text files which a web server may ask your web browser to store, and to send back to the web server when needed. Cookies may be used to store a transaction identifier or other information a user may provide. We use cookies in the following ways:

Complex transactions
Cookies are used to store and retrieve unique transaction identifiers or other computer-generated or user-provided information in complex, multi-page web applications. This allows us to distinguish between different users, and to use information provided at one stage of an application at a later time (for instance, items placed in a 'shopping cart' might need to be displayed on a later 'check-out' screen). When we use cookies in this way, the cookie is stored by the web browser (e.g. Netscape, Microsoft Internet Explorer) only temporarily. The cookie is destroyed at the end of the transaction or at the end of the browser session.

Customized services
Cookies may also be used to automatically identify a particular user to the system in order to provide a customized service, such as a personalized web page. In this case, a cookie containing a unique number identifying the user will be permanently stored on the web browser. We do not store sensitive information in such cookies, only a unique user identifier or generic preference values (e.g. color preferences) are stored.

We do not use cookies in order to track your visit to our website.

The "help" portion of the toolbar on most browsers will tell you how to prevent your browser from accepting new cookies or how to disable cookies altogether. However, cookies allow you to take full advantage of many of the Information Resource of Maine's (InforME) eGovernment services, and we recommend that you leave them turned on.

If you have further questions about cookies, contact the Computer Incident Advisory Capacity unit that monitors computer problems for the U. S. Department of Energy.

The U. S. Department of Energy issued a study on 03/12/98 of the risks to users of cookies, titled Information Bulletin I-034: Internet Cookies. For additional information on the subject contact the Center for Democracy and Technology.

Disclosure and confidentiality

The disclosure and confidentiality of information varies among users, the organizational units that receive information and the Maine statutes that govern the disclosure and confidentiality policies of those organizations. Within the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation there is the Bureau of Insurance, the Bureau of Financial Institutions, the Office of Consumer Credit Regulation, the Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation and the Office of Securities. Each organizational entity is governed by its own separate and unique disclosure statutes. To clearly understand how these statutes may impact you or other web site users, please click on the following appropriate organizational unit: Bureau of Insurance, Bureau of Financial Institutions , Office of Consumer Credit Regulation, Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation, Office of Securities.

This does not apply to any other state agency sites including the Board of Dental Examiners, the Board of Registration for Professional Engineers, the Board of Licensure in Medicine, the State Board of Nursing, the State Board of Optometry and the Board of Osteopathic Licensure.

Disclaimer

Neither this Department, nor any of the organizational components, officers or employees of this Department warrant the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information published on this Departmental website, nor endorses any products or services linked from this web site, and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of such information. Portions of the information may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this website does so at one's own risk.

This Privacy Policy does not apply to other Maine State Government web sites and non-Maine State Government web sites linked to this Department's website.

This privacy policy is subject to change
If the Department decides to change its Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on this web site so that every user can always know what information the Department is gathering, how it may be used and to whom it may be disclosed.

Confidentiality and disclosure statutes will be periodically updated. Therefore, we strongly recommend that users periodically refer to this web site to review the Privacy Policy for its most contemporary statements.

 

Last Updated: January 30, 2014