The Commonwealth of Massachusetts/Massachusetts Gaming Commission

Website Security Policy

Effective: 05/01/2013

Welcome to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) website. Your privacy is one of our top priorities. The following policy applies only to the use of the MGC website. As you navigate the website, you will see links that, when clicked, will take you to websites operated by other entities, such as social media and news providers. These websites have individual privacy policies tailored to the interactions available through each site. In particular, please note that although some of the social media pages used by the MGC might appear to be part of this website, some of these sites are actually hosted by a third party provider. Thus when visiting these third party social media and news websites, you are subject to different privacy policies and terms of service. We strongly suggest that you read the privacy policies for each external website that you visit through a link appearing on this site.

A Privacy Partnership.

Your privacy with respect to the use of the MGC website results from a partnership between the Commonwealth and you, the user. At this website, we attempt to protect your privacy to the maximum extent possible. However, because some of the information that we receive through this website is subject to the Public Records Law, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 66, Section 10, we cannot ensure absolute privacy. Information that you provide to us through this website may be made available to members of the public under that law. This policy informs you of the information that we collect from you at this website, what we do with it, to whom it may be disseminated, and how you can access it. Based on this information, you can make an informed decision about your use of this website. You can maximize the benefits of your privacy partnership with the Commonwealth by making informed decisions about whether to share personally identifiable information with us through this website.

Personally Identifiable Information.

We use the term “personally identifiable information” to mean any information that could reasonably be used to identify you, including your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, Social Security number, birth date, bank account information, credit card information, or any combination of information that could be used to identify you.

Information Voluntarily Provided by You.

This website collects voluntary information from you only through the e-mails that you send through this website using the web based forms. The MGC also collects voluntary information you send directly to the MGC by clicking on an email link appearing on this website. E-mails sent by you to the MGC, either directly or through this website, may contain personally identifiable information.

Information Automatically Collected and Stored by this Website.

This website does not collect cookies nor store any information not voluntarily provided by you. The MGC does collect usage data through Google Analytics™.

Usage Data

Google Analytics™ collects information about how individuals use this website, such as how often users visit this site, what pages they visit when they do so, and what other sites they used prior to coming to this website. We use the information we get from Google Analytics only to improve this website. Google Analytics collects only the IP address assigned to you on the date you visit this website, rather than your name or other identifying information. We do not combine the information collected through the use of Google Analytics with personally identifiable information. Although Google Analytics plants a persistent cookie on your web browser to identify you as a unique user the next time you visit this website, the cookie cannot be used by anyone but Google. Google’s ability to use and share information collected by Google Analytics about your visits to this website is restricted by the Google Analytics Terms of Use and the Google Privacy Policy. You can prevent Google Analytics from recognizing you on return visits to this website by disabling cookies on your browser.

Dissemination of Your Personally Identifiable Information.

We do not sell any personally identifiable information collected through this website or submitted to the Commonwealth in conjunction with using functions on the website, and there is no direct or online public access to the information. However, once you voluntarily submit personally identifiable information to us related to your use of the Portal, its dissemination is governed by the “Public Records Law,” the “Fair Information Practices Act (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 66A),Executive Order 504 , and other applicable laws and regulations. For this reason, part or all of the information you send us may be provided to a member of the public in response to a public records request. There are pieces of information, such as credit card numbers, TIN, username, or password that are not considered public for the purposes of a public records request. For more information on types of data exempted from disclosure under the Public Records Law, please read the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Public Records Law.

In addition, the information that you voluntarily submit will be disclosed only to Commonwealth employees or officials, or those under contract with the Commonwealth, with a “need to know” for purposes of fulfilling their job responsibilities. The information will be used for such purposes as; answering your questions, responding to any requests for assistance, generating summary statistics about usage, auditing applications and detecting fraud, aiding in the planning, design and development of the MGC website, and fulfilling the Commonwealth’s legal obligations.

Information that you submit voluntarily through this website or over email where such information is publically available, including your name, city or town, and the substance of anything that you provide to the MGC may be disseminated further by being posted online at this website or be publicly discussed by a member of the MGC. Where appropriate, we may provide the information you submitted voluntarily through an e-mail to the person or company that is the subject of your inquiry, or to a government agency responsible for the matters referred to in your communication.

Your Access and Opportunity to Correct.

The “Public Records Law” and the “Fair Information Practices Act” provide you certain rights to get information about you that is in our records. To learn more about the circumstances under which you can get and correct this information, please click on the above references to these laws.

Security.

Because information sent to the Commonwealth is not encrypted, you should not send messages containing information that you consider highly sensitive. We use standard security measures to ensure that information provided by you, including your personally identifiable information, is not lost, misused, altered, or unintentionally destroyed. Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, no attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits.

Special Protections Against Misuse Of Personally Identifiable Information Within Commonwealth Offices.

In 2008, Governor Deval Patrick issued Executive Order 504, which enhanced the privacy protection given to any information about you as a named individual held by the Executive Department of state government. Executive Order 504 limits the collection and dissemination of personally identifiable information within the Executive Department and requires Executive Department agencies to greatly enhance the security and integrity of such data. This website complies with Executive Order 504, so all of the personally identifiable information that you submit to this website is given the privacy protections set forth in Executive Order 504.

Social Media

To highlight our commitment to transparency in government, MGC has launched several web based tools for outreach, education and information. These tools are not intended to replace the channels currently in place for press and constituent communication. Rather, these tools are meant to augment our ability to educate, empower, and inform the residents of Massachusetts.

Please note, that Records Retention Law of the Commonwealth requires the MGC to preserve records created or received by a state employee. Pursuant to this retention requirement comments posted or messages received via an official state agency page on a third-party website (such as an official agency profile on a social network) will be treated as state governmental records and may be permanently archived. Information that you submit voluntarily through social media websites associated with this agency where such information is publically available, including your name, city or town, and the substance of anything that you post may be disseminated further by being posted online at this website or be publicly discussed by a member of the administration.

The MGC uses YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to publically share information with the public. The MGC does not collect any data from these social media websites that have not been voluntarily provided by the user. We suggest that you read the privacy policies for each social media website to determine how your information will be used by that website.

Policy changes.

We will post substantive changes to this policy at least 30 days before they take effect. Any information we collect under the current privacy policy will remain subject to the terms of this policy. After any changes take effect, all new information we collect, if any, will be subject to the new policy.

Contact Information.

For questions about your privacy while using this website, please contact Elaine Driscoll, Director of Communications, elaine.driscoll@state.ma.us.

Definitions:

Cookies are files that a website can place on your computer. A cookie file contains unique information that a website can use to track such things as your password, lists of Web pages you have visited, and the date when you last looked at a specific Web page, or to identify your session at a particular website. A cookie file allows the website to recognize you as you click through pages on the site and when you later revisit the site. A website can use cookies to “remember” your preferences, and to record your browsing behavior on the Web. Although you can prevent websites from placing cookies on your computer by using your browser’s preference menu, disabling cookies may affect your ability to view or interact with some websites.

An “Internet Protocol Address” or “IP Address” is a series of numbers that identifies each computer and machine connected to the Internet. An IP address enables a server on a computer network to send you the file that you have requested on the Internet. The IP address disclosed to us may identify the computer from which you are accessing the Internet, or a server owned by your Internet Service Provider. Because it is machine-specific, rather than person-specific, an IP address is not, in and of itself, personally identifiable information.

Social Media. A social media website is a website or a social media application that is usually maintained by an individual and has regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. A social media identity is a specific user identity that has been registered on a third party social media site and is associated with the MGC. Government social media sites or identities typically provide forums for commentary or news on topics related to the government agency that hosts the social media site or has secured the social media identity. A typical social media site combines text, images, and links to other websites including blogs, wikis, and other media related to the topic and enables readers to leave comments in an interactive format.

“Weblog” or “Blog”. A weblog or blog is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Government blogs typically provide commentary and news on topics related to the government agency hosting the blog. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to the topic, and enables readers to leave comments in an interactive format.

“Wiki”. A wiki is a website that uses collaboration software to enable the creation of a number of interlinked web pages. Many authors can contribute to the website and upload content to the site. Government wikis typically provide a venue for commentary and discussion regarding topics related to the government agency hosting the wiki. A typical wiki combines text, images, and links to other web pages outside the wiki also related to the topic, and enables readers to leave comments in an interactive format.

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