Laws exist to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by the City. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public's right to access public records. These exceptions serve various needs including maintaining the privacy of individuals. Federal, state and local laws provide exceptions.
Information we automatically collect
If you visit our website to browse, read, or download information, your web browser automatically sends us (and we may retain) information such as the:
- apparent Internet Protocol ("IP") address of your Internet Service Provider ("ISP") and/or your computer, if your computer has an IP address assigned directly to it;
- apparent Fully Qualified Domain Name ("Domain Name") of your Internet Service Provider ("ISP") and/or your computer, if your computer has a domain name assigned directly to it;
- type of browser (such as, for example Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) used and the operating system resident on a user's computer;
- date and time a user visited the site;
- web pages accessed at the site, as well as any applications used and forms data;
- Uniform Resource Locator ("URL") of the site which a user visited prior to this site (if detectable), if such user did not connect directly to this site, or use it as a homepage or "Portal".
How we use the information we automatically collect
We will use this data to help us maintain this site, e.g., to determine the number of visitors to different sections of our site, to determine patterns of use of the site, to ensure the site is working properly, to help us make our site more accessible and useful, and to generally add and improve services offered on this site. In order to accomplish these goals, from time to time, we may conduct statistical analysis of the data we collect. In the interest of transparency, we publish aggregate data regarding the use of the open data portal and our content.
We will not use this information to identify individuals, except for site security or law enforcement purposes or where otherwise authorized or required by law or legal proceedings. We do not collect this data for commercial or marketing purposes.
What personal information is
"Personal information" is information about a natural person that identifies or describes an individual, including, but not limited to, his or her name, social security number, physical description, home address, home telephone number, education, financial matters, and medical or employment history, readily identifiable to that specific individual.
What personal information we collect
We may collect certain information that you voluntarily provide to us which may contain personal information. For example, we may collect your name, address, email address, user name and other contact information when you register and set up an account, contact us by e-mail, fill in and submit an online form, or contact us by other means for any reason. 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 website. Personal or demographic information may also be collected if you provide such information in connection with creating a dataset, user profile or group, leaving comments, posting content, sending an email or message to another user or participating in any interactive forums or features on the site.
How we use the personal information we collect
In general, the purposes for which we use the information we collect include, but are not limited to, the following:
- to facilitate your use of, and our administration and operation of, this site;
- to provide you with information or services you request or to inform you about other information or services;
- for the purpose for which the information was provided, such as to respond to your emails, submissions, comments, requests or complaints;
- to process your requests;
- to investigate a problem reported to us via this site;
- to send informational updates and conduct outreach on topics such as, but not limited to, public benefits and services and upcoming events;
- to share information among City departments, agencies or offices or other government agencies for the limited purpose of facilitating services and benefits, in accordance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations; and
- disclosure of such information pursuant to a request made under Freedom of Information Law, the California Public Records Act, the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance or court order, if such information is not protected by federal, state, or local law.
Choices you have regarding the use of your personal information
How your personal information is shared with third parties
We are not responsible for the actions of Service Providers or other third parties, nor are we responsible for any additional information you provide directly to these Service Providers or other third parties, and we encourage you to become familiar with their practices before disclosing information directly to them. Note that nothing herein restricts the sharing of aggregate information, which may be shared with third parties without your consent.
We may disclose personal information in the good faith belief that we are lawfully authorized or required to do so, or that doing so is reasonably necessary to comply with the law or with legal process or authorities, respond to any claims, or to protect the rights, property or safety of the City, our users, our employees or the public, including without limitation to protect the City or our users from fraudulent, abusive, inappropriate or unlawful use of our site.
Links to other web sites
Who can see the personal information I post on this site
You understand that when you use this site, information you post in any interactive areas of the site, as well as any information you share with individuals through the site, will be available to us, to other users and in some cases may be publicly available, depending on the applicable privacy settings. We recommend you be cautious about giving out personal information to others or sharing personal information on the site. We are not responsible for unauthorized access to your data or personal information or for the actions of any third parties with whom you share personal information or who have obtained your personal information from the site.
What steps we take to protect personal information online
In certain instances, you may have the opportunity to receive or create a password to access or submit personal information. When you are finished with an application or applications that are password protected, you should exit the relevant page(s). If the browser used to access said password protected pages is a publicly-accessible browser, you should close down the entire session and, if applicable or possible, flush any temporary caches or other areas where such a password might be stored subsequent to use, and log out of all applications.
We have endeavored to put into place reasonable security measures in an effort to protect personal information while it is under our control. Please be aware, however, that no system or security measure is perfect or impenetrable. 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 this site. We are not responsible for unauthorized access to your data or personal information or for the actions of any third parties with whom you share personal information or who have obtained your personal information from the site.
User's consent to monitoring
The act of using the site constitutes the user's express consent to the City's monitoring of all uses of the system. If such monitoring reveals possible evidence of criminal activity or any other unauthorized use, system administration personnel may provide your information to law enforcement or other officials, as authorized or required by law or legal proceedings.
We may automatically collect certain information through the use of "cookies." Cookies are small data files that are stored on a user's hard drive at the request of a website to enable the site to recognize users who have previously visited them and retain certain information such as customer preferences and history. If we combine cookies with or link them to any personal information, we would treat this information as personal information.
If you wish to block, erase, or be warned of cookies, please refer to your browser instructions or help screen to learn about these functions. However, if a browser is set not to accept cookies or if a user rejects a cookie, some portions of this site may not function properly. For example, you may not be able to sign in and may not be able to access certain features or services.
Web bugs (aka web beacons)
We may use web bugs on our web pages or in any html e-mail generated by use of the portal, or otherwise sent from this site. We will not use web bugs for any purpose other than to identify site performance needs; to ensure compatibility with the technology used by visitors to this site; and to generally add and improve services offered on this site.
Are there special protections for children?
No applications on this site specifically solicit information from minors or seek to determine whether the visitor is a minor. Consequently, because such information will not be specifically identified as being from minors, users of this site should be aware that personal information submitted by minors will be subject to being treated in the same manner as information given by an adult and may become subject to the Freedom of Information Law, the California Public Records Act or the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance.