Export.gov Web Site Privacy Policy

Note: Export.gov is managed by the International Trade Administration and follows its privacy policy.

International Trade Administration Web Site Privacy Policy

Effective Date: November 15, 2011

Privacy Policy

Thank you for visiting an International Trade Administration (ITA) website, a service of the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. ITA promotes U.S. exports and American manufacturing and services industries, protects U.S. business interests abroad, safeguards American industries and jobs against unfair trade, and enforces U.S. trade laws. In support of these activities, ITA maintains three major websites: Trade.gov, the corporate ITA website; Export.gov, the U.S. Government’s trade portal for exporters; and BuyUSA.gov for foreign buyers. These and other websites maintained by ITA are collectively referred to below as “ITA websites.” These websites may occasionally collect personal information from our customers.

This policy establishes how we will handle information we learn about you from your visit to our site. Please be assured that the privacy of our visitors is of utmost importance to us. We collect no personally identifiable information about you when you visit our site unless you choose to provide that information to us.

The specific practices outlined in this privacy statement apply to websites maintained by or on behalf of ITA. Other organizations within the Department of Commerce and federal government may have slightly different practices, though the overarching commitment to your privacy will always be the same. You are encouraged to review the privacy policies of other organizations when visiting their websites.

Some of our Web pages contain links to websites outside ITA, including those of other federal agencies, state and local governments, and private organizations. Please be aware that when you follow a link to another site, you are then subject to the privacy policies of the new site.

Your Rights under the Privacy Act: Information concerning the Privacy Act can be found on the following website: http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/fed_prog/foia/foia.htm

Automatic Collections: When a computer is used to access information on ITA managed websites, the following basic information is automatically received and stored by our web servers:

  • Internet Protocol (IP) Address.  A computer’s IP address establishes its location on the internet and allows other computers to send it content and other information;
  • The internet domain name when a computer accesses the internet through a domain, such as from a corporation (“xcompany.com”) or university ("yourschool.edu");
  • The date, time, and duration of a website visit;
  • If a computer accesses a page on an ITA website via a link on another page, the URL of that referring, non-ITA page;
  • Information about the computer set-up, such as the type and version of web browser (e.g., Internet Explorer 8.0, Mozilla Firefox 5.0), operating system (e.g., Unix, Mac OS, MS Windows), Java support (yes or no), Flash version (e.g., 10.1 r85), screen resolution (e.g., 1280x800), and connection speed (e.g., DSL, T1);
  • The specific pages a computer accesses when it requests information from  ITA websites;
  • The completion status of those requests (e.g., success or failure); and
  • The amount of data (measured in number of bytes) transmitted from  the ITA website to a computer.

The International Trade Administration does not use this information to identify or track the browsing of individual users.  We do use it to generate aggregate statistics about how ITA websites are used.  We may retain this information indefinitely and use it at any time and in any way necessary to prevent security breaches and to ensure the integrity of the data on our servers.

We do not sell, rent, exchange, or otherwise disclose this information to persons or organizations outside the Department of Commerce.  In some cases, we may share the information with other federal agencies in response to lawful law enforcement requests or to protect ITA websites from security threats.

First-party Website Measurement and Customization Technologies: The International Trade Administration uses web measurement and customization technologies to make its websites function better for visitors and to better understand how the public is using the website.

This means that when you visit a page on an ITA website, the internet browser on your computer may download and save a small file (commonly called a “cookie”) so that our website can recognize your specific computer and browser when you use ITA websites in the future.  The International Trade Administration does not use technologies that track your interactions on non-ITA websites.

These technologies fall into two categories, based on the length of time they remain active:

  • Single-session cookies last only as long as a web browser is open.  Once the browser is closed, the data files on your computer are deleted.
  • Multi-session cookies last beyond a single session of browsing a website; this allows a website to recognize a computer or user for defined amount of time.

ITA websites use the following web measurement and customization technologies (defined and organized per the Office of Management and Budget’s “Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies” (OMB M-10-22)):

  • Session cookies are used for technical purposes, such as enabling better navigation through the site, facilitating the use of user accounts, and generating aggregated statistics about how the website is used. Under the framework of OMB M-10-22, this qualifies as a Tier 1 use.
  • ITA websites may set persistent cookies to measure website metrics, such as which pages are popular and how often people visit the website. These cookies do not collect personal identifying information.  Under the framework of OMB M-10-22, this qualifies as a Tier 2 use.

The International Trade Administration uses a third-party analytics provider (currently Google Analytics) to analyze the data collected through the session and persistent metrics cookies.  The third-party analytics provider does not receive personally identifiable information through these cookies and does not combine, match, or cross-reference ITA information with any other information.  Please review the third-party analytics provider’s privacy policy for additional information.

These cookies collect information similar to that automatically received and stored on the servers hosting ITA websites; they do not collect personal indentifying information.  The International Trade Administration generally does not access or store the raw information collected through these cookies.  We do view aggregate statistical analyses prepared by our third-party analytics provider, but these analyses do not include any personally identifiable information.  We do not sell, rent, exchange, or otherwise disclose this information to persons or organizations outside the Department of Commerce.  In some cases, we may share information with other federal agencies in response to lawful law enforcement requests or to protect ITA websites from security threats. 

Some pages on ITA websites may include web content or functionality from third parties, such as embedded videos hosted by non-ITA services.  For example, as of November 15, 2011, content or functionality from the following third parties may be present on some ITA web pages:

  • YouTube.com;
  • Twitter.com; and
  • Facebook.com

These third parties may use web measurement and customization technologies (such as cookies) in conjunction with the provision of this content or functionality.  You should consult the privacy policies of these third parties for further information.  We do not knowingly use third-party tools that place a multi-session cookie prior to the user interacting with the tool, for example by playing an embedded video.  If you become aware of a third-party tool on an ITA website that places a multi-session cookie prior to any user interaction, please contact us at http://trade.gov/contact.asp.

How the Information is Used: We use the information collected to measure the number of visitors to the different areas of our sites, and to help us make our sites more useful to visitors. The information is periodically analyzed to determine traffic through our servers, the number of pages served, the level of demand for pages and topics of interest, identify pages that may have technical problems and other things of a similar nature in order to provide the highest quality and easiest to use website.

 How Long is the Information Retained: We will retain data the technology makes available only as long as required by law, or specific program need as specified by the National Archives and Records Administration’s General Records Schedule 20, which pertains to Electronic Records or other approved records schedule as applicable.

Opt-Out Instructions: If you are concerned about the potential use of the information gathered from your computer by cookies, you can set your browser to prompt you before it accepts a cookie. You can remove or block the use of web measurement and customization technologies by changing the setting of your browser to block cookies as described at https://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.

Privacy Act System of Records: ITA websites do not maintain any Privacy Act System of Records (PASOR) as defined by the Privacy Act.

Interaction with Children: ITA websites do not provide content to children and do not collect personally identifiable information from these visitors. Therefore, the requirements of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is not incorporated in this privacy policy.

Personal Information via Forms: Some of our sites provide forms allowing visitors to submit search engine queries, questionnaires, feedback, or other information. Some of these forms may request personally identifiable information (e.g., name, address, e-mail address) for specific purposes, such as when the submitter is requesting a personal response, registering for a conference, or subscribing to a mailing list. All information submitted by visitors is voluntary.

We may store non-personally identifiable information we collect (such as search engine queries and anonymous survey responses) indefinitely to help us better understand and meet the needs of our visitors. We may share non-personally identifiable information with others, including the public, in aggregated form (for instance, in a list of our most popular search engine queries), in partial or edited form (such as in a report summarizing responses to a questionnaire), or verbatim (for example, in a complete listing of survey responses).

Before collecting personally identifiable information, we will prominently disclose:

  • why we are requesting the information;
  • how it will be used;
  • how long it may be retained; and
  • under what conditions, and with whom, it may be shared.

Consent to Information Collection /Sharing: Generally, we will not share any personally identifiable information you give us with any other government agency, private organization, or the public, except with your consent or as required by law. By pressing the "submit" button, each visitor constitutes consent to use the information for purposes stated in this policy.

How e-mail is Handled: By sending us an electronic mail message (for example, an e-mail message containing an official Freedom of Information Act request), you may be sending us personally-identifying information. In these cases, we may retain the information as long as necessary to respond to your request or otherwise resolve the subject matter of your e-mail. Please be aware that email is not necessarily secure from interception or misdirection. For your own protection you may wish to communicate sensitive information using a method other than email.

Information Protection: We want to be very clear: regardless of the information being transmitted to any part of ITA, we will protect all such information consistent with applicable law including, but not limited to, the Privacy Act of 1974 and the Freedom of Information Act.

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage to the information on our websites. 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.

Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, no other attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits. Raw data logs are used for no other purposes and are scheduled for regular destruction in accordance with National Archives and Records Administration General Schedule 20.

The International Trade Administration may share information received from its websites with other Federal agencies. For example, if a breach of our IT security protections were to occur, the information collected by our servers and staff could be shared with appropriate law enforcement and Homeland Security officials.

International Trade Administration Endorsement Policy: links to websites outside the U.S. Federal Government or the use of trade, firm, or corporation names within ITA websites are for the convenience of the user. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the International Trade Administration or U.S. Commerce Department of any private sector website, product, or service. For more information, please review our full endorsement policy.

  Notice to Visitors!

  The link you have chosen will take you to a non-U.S. Government website.

  If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site

  Export.gov is managed by the International Trade Administration and external links are covered by its website  disclaimer statement.

  Notice to Visitors!

  The link you have chosen will take you to a non-U.S. Government website.

  If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site

  BuyUSA.gov is managed by the International Trade Administration and external links are covered by its website disclaimer statement.