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Thank you for visiting the Office of the Insurance Commissioner's web site and reviewing our Privacy Notice. This statement addresses collection, use and security of and access to information that may be obtained through use of our web site. This notice covers the following topics:

Information collected if you only browse this site.

If you do nothing during your visit to our web site but browse, read pages, or download information, we will gather and store certain information about your visit. This information does not identify you personally. We automatically collect and store the following information about your visit:

  1. The Internet Protocol Address and domain name used. The Internet Protocol address is a numerical identifier assigned either to your Internet service provider or directly to your computer. We use the Internet Protocol Address to direct Internet traffic to you. This address can be translated to determine the domain name of your service provider (e.g. xcompany.com or yourschool.edu);
  • The type of browser and operating system you used;
  • The date and time you visited this site;
  • The web pages or services you accessed at this site; and
  • The web site you visited prior to coming to this web site.

The information we automatically collect or store is used by The Insurance Commissioner's office only to improve the content of our web services and to help us understand how people are using our services.

What we collect if you volunteer information

If during your visit to our web site you participate in a survey, send an e-mail, or perform some other transaction on-line, the following additional information will be collected:

  1. The e-mail address, and contents of e-mail, for those who communicate with us via e-mail.
  2. Information volunteered in response to a survey.
  3. Information volunteered through an on-line form for any other purpose.

The information collected is not limited to text characters and may include audio, video, and graphic information formats you send us.

We use your email to respond appropriately. This may be to respond to you, to address issues you may identify, to further improve our web site, or to forward the email to another agency for appropriate action. Survey information is used for policy development or educational purposes. Information from other on-line forms is used to properly handle your request.

Personal Information and Choice

You may choose whether to provide personal information on-line.

"Personal information" is information about a natural person that is readily identifiable to that specific individual. Personal information includes such things as an individual's name, address, and phone number. A domain name or Internet Protocol address is not considered personal information.

We collect no personal information about you unless you voluntarily provide it to us by sending us e-mail, participating in a survey, or completing an on-line form. You may choose not to contact us by e-mail, participate in a survey or to provide any personal information using an online form. Your choice to not participate in these activities will not impair your ability to browse The Office of the Insurance Commissioner's website and read or download any information provided on the site. You can contact the agency by mail, fax or telephone.

If personal information is requested on the web site or volunteered by the user, state law and the federal Privacy Act of 1974 may protect it. However, this information is a public record once you provide it, and may be subject to public inspection and copying if not protected by federal or state law.

If you believe that your personal information is being used for a purpose other than what was intended when submitted, you may contact the Public Records Manager as shown in the Contact Information Section of this statement.

Users are cautioned that the collection of personal information requested from or volunteered by children on-line or by email will be treated the same as information given by an adult, and may be subject to public access.

Public Access to Information

In the State of Washington, laws exist to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by state government. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public's right to access public records that serve various needs including the privacy of individuals. Exceptions are provided by both state and federal laws.

All of the information collected at this site becomes a public record that may be subject to inspection and copying by members of the public, unless an exemption in law exists. RCW 42.17. 260(1) states that:

Each agency, in accordance with published rules, shall make available for public inspection and copying all public records, unless the record falls within the specific exemptions of subsection (6) of this section RCW 42.17.260(6), RCW 42.17.310, RCW 42.17.315, or other statute which exempts or prohibits disclosure of specific information or records. To the extent required to prevent an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy interests protected by RCW 42.17.310 and RCW 42.17.315, an agency shall delete identifying details in a manner consistent with RCW 42.17.310 and RCW 42.17.315 when it makes available or publishes any public record; however, in each case, the justification for the deletion shall be explained fully in writing.

In the event of a conflict between this Privacy Notice and the Public Records Act or other law governing the agency's disclosure of records, the Public Records Act or other applicable law will control.

Nondisclosure of Certain Personal/Private Information

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner may require you to provide certain personal information in order to assist you. You may choose not to provide this information, but if you choose not to provide it we will be unable to properly handle your request, and you will have to contact us by mail, in person, or telephone.

The following laws may prevent The Office of the Insurance Commissioner from disclosing personal information about you except as necessary to properly handle your request.

Review and Correction of Personally Identifiable Information

You can review any personally identifiable information we collect about you by using the information in the Contact Information section at the end of this Notice. You may recommend changes to your personally identifiable information you believe to be inaccurate by submitting an e-mail or written request that credibly shows the inaccuracy. We will take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting access or making corrections. (RCW 43.105.310).

Cookies and applets

In specific areas of the Office of Insurance Commissioner website cookies and applets are used.

Applets are software tools downloaded to your computer to work with the software you have. Applets are intended to enhance your browsing experience by enabling you to view information in a unique manner or enable access to information that your computer would otherwise be unable to access without the applet.

Session cookies are used within the E-Tax area of the OIC website.

Security

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner takes precautions to safeguard personal information you provide through our web services.

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 The Insurance Commissioner's web site.

Disclaimer

The Insurance Commissioner's web site has many links to other web sites. These include links to web sites operated by other government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private businesses. When you link to another site, you are no longer on the Insurance Commissioner's web site and this Privacy Notice will not apply. When you link to another web site, you are subject to the privacy policy of that new site.