Privacy & Security
The State of Montana respects each individual website user’s right to privacy. Any personal information that is collected will not be disclosed to any third party except as required by applicable law, unless the website user has expressly permitted the disclosure or “opted in” to allow the disclosure. The purpose of this statement is to inform website users of the use of information that may be collected while they are visiting this or any State of Montana website.
Citizens and businesses are not routinely asked to provide personal information to visit State of Montana websites or to download information. This includes mt.gov as well as agency websites. Government agencies may request personally identifiable information from you in order to provide requested specialized services, but such information is handled as it would during an in-person visit to a government office.
Montana law controls the level of access to personally identifiable information maintained in public records at state and local levels of government. Information that is generally available under Montana law may be posted for electronic access through mt.gov and associated agency websites.
Use of Constituent Email Addresses
Email addresses obtained as a result of a request to the state website will not be sold or given to other private companies for marketing purposes unless it is specifically stated when the email address is requested and the user “opts in” to having their email used in the stated fashion. The information collected is subject to the access and confidentiality provisions of Montana Code and Federal law. Email or other information requests sent to a state website may be maintained in order to respond to the request, forward that request to the appropriate agency, communicate updates to the state web page that may be of interest to citizens, or to provide the website designers with valuable customer feedback to assist in improving the site. Individuals will be provided with the ability to “opt in” at any time to receive communication regarding new service updates.
The state uses secured servers for conducting online transactions. All credit card and other payment information that is transmitted is protected by encryption technology, provided the website user’s browser is properly configured and the user’s computer is operating properly.
Data Security and Quality
The State of Montana is committed to data security and the data quality of personally identifiable information that is either available from or collected by governmental web sites, and has taken reasonable precautions to protect personally identifiable information from loss, misuse or alteration. Any third parties responsible for this information are committed to the same principles, and also are required by contract to follow the same policies and guidelines as the State of Montana in protecting this information. Unless otherwise prohibited by state or federal law, rule or regulation, the individual is granted the ability to access and correct personally identifiable information whether or not the information inaccuracy was accidental or created by unauthorized access.
Various non-state websites may be linked through mt.gov and other state maintained websites. Since the state has no control over these non- state websites, visitors to those sites are advised to check their privacy statements and be cautious about providing personally identifiable information without a clear understanding of how the information will be used. The state accepts no liability for other entities that are linked to the state’s websites. Visitors may also wish to consult privacy guidelines such as those recommended by the Online Privacy Alliance.
For information security purposes, the computer systems that host mt.gov and other state websites employ software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to compromise its devices. These attempts to cause damage could be subject to legal action.
All government websites that collect personally identifiable information from a website user will apply the following criteria:
- The website must identify who operates it.
- The website must provide the address and telephone number, as well as an email address, where a contact can be made.
- The website must give a general description of the types of third parties that may obtain the information that is being collected.
- The website must provide the website user the ability to “opt-in” for allowing their information to be used in other ways than for the purpose of the website.
The Office of the Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance uses Google Analytics to analyze web traffic. Google uses a cookie to collect anonymous traffic data.
For the purpose of this policy, the following definitions apply:
Government: The state which includes the State of Montana or any office, department, agency, authority, commission, board, institution, hospital, college, university, or other instrumentality of the state and political subdivisions of the state which includes any county, city, municipal corporation, school district, or other political subdivision or public corporation.
Personally Identifiable Information: Individually identifiable information about an individual collected online, including:
- A first and last name
- A residence or other physical address, including a street name and name of a city or town
- An email address
- A telephone number
- A social security number
- Unique identifying information that an Internet service provider or a government website operator collects and combines with any information described above.
Compliance shall be evidenced by implementing the policy as described above. Policy changes or exceptions are governed by the Procedure for Establishing and Implementing Statewide Information Technology Policies and Standards. Requests for a review or change to this instrument are made by submitting an Action Request form. Requests for exceptions are made by submitting an Exception Request form. Changes to policies and standards will be prioritized and acted upon based on impact and need.
Governmental Internet Information Privacy Act 2-17-550 through 2-17-553, MCA
If you have any questions about this privacy statement, please contact:
The Office of the Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance
840 Helena Avenue
Helena, MT 59601