Privacy Policy

When you visit nidcr.nih.gov, your privacy is important to us. We do not collect information that will allow us to identify you personally unless you choose to provide such information to us.

However, some basic information about visits to our website is automatically collected and stored. These data help us determine how many people are coming to the NIDCR site, how users typically find our site, and what information is of greatest interest to them. We use this data to improve our site and our visitors’ online experience.

Details about the information that is automatically collected and stored are provided below:

Types of Information Collected

  • Domain from which you access the Internet (Examples: xcompany.com or yourschool.edu)
  • IP address (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you go on the Web)
  • Name and version of your computer’s operating system and browser (Examples: Windows 10 and Internet Explorer 11)
  • Address of the website you came from (such as google.com)
  • Words or phrases you searched for
  • Pages you visited
  • How long you spend on our site

How NIDCR Collects Information

The NIDCR website uses Google Analytics measurement software to collect the information in the bulleted list in the Types of Information Collected section above. Google Analytics collects information automatically and continuously. No personally identifiable information is collected. NIDCR staff analyzes and reports on the aggregated data from Google Analytics. The reports are available only to NIDCR managers, members of the communications and web teams, and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties.

NIDCR also occasionally uses ForeSee Results' American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) online survey to collect opinions and feedback from a random sample of visitors. Information gathered from the survey is completely anonymous and is used to improve our site. Participation in the customer satisfaction survey is completely voluntary, and failure to respond will not affect your ability to access information on nidcr.nih.gov. The survey reports are only available to NIDCR managers, members of the communications and web teams, and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties.

NIDCR retains the data from Google Analytics and ACSI survey results as long as needed to support the mission of the NIDCR website.

How NIDCR Uses Cookies

The Office of Management and Budget Memo M-10-22, Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies, allows Federal agencies to use session and persistent cookies.

What is a Session Cookie?

A session “cookie” is a small piece of text generated by a web server and temporarily placed on your computer when you visit a website. A session cookie improves your experience on the site by letting the server know that you are connected and continuing your visit to the site. Session cookies do not collect any personally identifiable information about you. When you close your browser, the session cookies are deleted from your computer. This means the next time you visit the site, it will not “recognize” your computer or have information about any of your past visits to the NIDCR site.

The OMB Memo 10-22 Guidance defines our use of session cookies as "Usage Tier 1 - Single Session." The policy says, “This tier encompasses any use of single session web measurement and customization technologies.”

What is a Persistent Cookie?

A persistent cookie is also a small piece of text generated by a web server and placed on your computer when you visit a website. Unlike session cookies, persistent cookies are stored on your computer for longer periods.

NIDCR uses persistent cookies to enable Google Analytics to differentiate between new and returning visitors. Persistent cookies remain on your computer between visits to the NIDCR website until they expire.

We also use persistent cookies to ensure you do not receive repeated invitations to take the American Customer Satisfaction Index survey. Unless you delete them, these persistent cookies will reside on your computer for 30 days. Persistent cookies will not personally identify you or reveal whether you responded to the survey.

Persistent cookies allow us to gather anonymous summary demographic information about visitors, including gender, age range, and areas of interest for adults over the age of 18. We do this by using Google Demographic and Interests reports. When you visit a website that has partnered with the Google Display Network, Google stores a number in your browser using a persistent cookie to remember your visits. This number uniquely identifies a web browser, not a specific person. Browsers may be associated with a demographic category, such as gender or age range, based on the sites that were visited. This demographic information is used to help us better understand our visitors' interests and needs to more effectively develop content to serve you.

Most Internet browsers automatically accept persistent cookies. Although using persistent cookies creates a much better experience for you, this site will also work without them. If you don't want to accept cookies, you can edit your browser's options to stop accepting persistent cookies or to prompt you before accepting a cookie from the websites you visit. Here's how you can disable cookies and/or Google Demographic and Interests reports.

The OMB Memo 10-22 Guidance defines our use of persistent cookies as “Usage Tier 2—Multi-session without Personally Identifiable Information (PII).” The policy says, “This tier encompasses any use of multi-session Web measurement and customization technologies when no PII is collected.”

How to Opt Out or Disable Cookies

If you do not wish to have session or persistent cookies placed on your computer, you can disable them using your web browser. If you opt out of cookies, you will still have access to all information and resources at nidcr.nih.gov.

View instructions for disabling or opting out of cookies in the most popular browsers. Please note that by following the instructions to opt-out of cookies, you will disable cookies from all sources, not just those from nidcr.nih.gov.

How Personal Information is Protected

When inquiries are e-mailed to us, we temporarily store questions and e-mail addresses so we can respond electronically. Unless otherwise required by statute, we do not publicly identify anyone who sends questions or comments to our website.

You may also sign up to receive our e-newsletter via our website or request free oral health publications by using the online publication order form. The information you provide (name and e-mail address for the e-newsletter; name, address, and telephone number for ordering publications) is used solely for the purpose of sending you our newsletter or the publications you wish to receive.

If you order publications from us, we will share your name, address, other contact information and the titles of the publications you requested with our clearinghouse, which stores and distributes publications for us. This information is made available only to designated staff members or contractors who need access to online requests or response forms.

The personally identifiable information you provide to us via e-mail or through the online publication order form is retained for one year. If you receive the e-newsletter, we retain your e-mail address as long as you are subscribed.

If we store your personal information in a record system designed to retrieve information about you by personal identifier (name, personal e-mail address, home mailing address, personal or mobile phone number, etc.) so that we may contact you, we will safeguard the information you provide to us in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. Section 552a).

If NIDCR operates a record system designed to retrieve information about you in order to accomplish its mission, a Privacy Act Notification Statement should be prominently and conspicuously displayed on the public-facing website or form that asks you to provide personally identifiable information. The notice must address the following criteria:

  • NIDCR legal authorization to collect information about you
  • Purpose of the information collection
  • Routine uses for disclosure of information outside of NIDCR
  • Whether the request made of you is voluntary or mandatory under law
  • Effects of non-disclosure if you choose to not provide the requested information

NIDCR uses web measurement and customization technologies to help our websites function better for visitors and to better understand how the public uses the online resources we provide. All uses of web-based technologies comply with existing policies with respect to privacy and data safeguarding standards.

How NIDCR Uses Third-Party Websites and Applications

​Third-Party websites and applications are web-based technologies that are not exclusively operated or controlled by NIDCR, such as non-Government-hosted applications and those embedded on an NIDCR webpage that could cause personally identifiable information (PII) to become available or accessible to NIDCR, regardless of whether NIDCR solicits or collects it.

As part of the Open Government Directive, nidcr.nih.gov uses a variety of new technologies and social media options to communicate and interact with citizens. These sites and applications include popular social networking and media sites such as Addthis.com, Twitter, and YouTube. Outlined below are the applications NIDCR uses and their purposes. If any applications collect PII, we describe how NIDCR protects your information.

Third-Party Websites and Applications

GovDelivery Subscription Management: NIDCR uses GovDelivery to send e-newsletters, alerts and other messages to visitors who subscribe to them. The email subscriber lists are password protected by GovDelivery. Only the NIDCR managers who send newsletters, alerts, or memos via GovDelivery and the staff members who monitor the results of email initiatives have access to the subscriber lists. GovDelivery never allows access to the subscriber lists to anyone outside of NIDCR for any purpose. GovDelivery collects and provides non-identifying information about the number of messages sent, clicks, and open rates. This information is password-protected and only available to NIDCR managers, system owners, communications staff, web teams, and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties. View the GovDelivery Privacy Policy.

LinkedIn: NIDCR uses the “groups” feature on LinkedIn to engage with current and past employees and members of the public. In order to join an NIDCR group on LinkedIn, you must register for a LinkedIn account and provide your first and last name and e-mail address. Upon confirmation of your email address, you must provide LinkedIn with information regarding your employment, country, zip code, job title, etc. The amount of visible personal information will depend on your LinkedIn user privacy settings. You can completely avoid displaying any PII by not creating a LinkedIn account, not joining NIDCR LinkedIn groups, or not interacting with NIH LinkedIn groups in any way (i.e., private messaging, posting on group pages, etc.). Although NIH staff managing LinkedIn groups may view the information you provide when you submit a request to join NIH LinkedIn groups, NIH staff does not collect, use, or disclose any of this information. View the LinkedIn Privacy Policy.

Twitter: NIDCR uses Twitter to send short messages (up to 140 characters) -- or tweets -- to share information about NIDCR with visitors and respond to comments and inquiries sent via Twitter to NIDCR. While visitors may read the NIDCR Twitter feeds without subscribing to them, visitors who want to subscribe to (or follow) NIDCR Twitter feeds must create a Twitter account at http://twitter.com. To create an account, you must provide some personal information, such as name, user name, password and email address. Visitors have the option to provide additional personal information including a short biography, location or a picture. Most information you provide for a Twitter account is available to the public, but you can modify how much of your information is visible by changing your privacy settings at the Twitter.com website. NIDCR staff members monitor the number of subscribers and respond to comments and queries via Twitter, but the staff never takes possession of the personal information belonging to Twitter followers. NIDCR does not collect, maintain, disclose or share any information about people who follow NIDCR on Twitter. As a practice, comment moderator policy requires removal from the NIDCR Twitter pages of any comments that contain spam or are improper, inflammatory, or offensive. The information is then saved on a password-protected shared drive accessible to NIH managers, system owners, communications staff, web teams, and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties. Read the Twitter privacy policy.

YouTube: nidcr.nih.gov posts videos on YouTube to make them available to the public. You do not need to register with either YouTube or Google (YouTube owner) to watch NIDCR videos. When visitors watch videos, YouTube may record non-personally identifiable information about its site usage, such as channels used, videos watched, and data transfer details to improve its services. If you log on to the YouTube site before watching NIDCR videos, YouTube may associate information about your site use with your YouTube account. If you log on to YouTube and comment on an NIDCR video, any personal information you included when registering for your account will be visible to visitors who click on the comment. If you do not log in before watching NIDCR videos posted on YouTube, you cannot comment on NIDCR

Questions about Privacy?

Questions about NIDCR privacy policies should be sent to the: NIDCR Privacy Act Coordinator.

Kids' Privacy

Thank you for visiting the NIDCR website. We hope you have done so with the help of a parent or teacher because that is one of the best ways to explore the Internet and make sure that the sites you visit are educational and fun.

We are very interested in what you have to say. If you write to us or ask us a question, we use your e-mail address from your message to respond to you. It is up to you whether or not you tell us who you are. But please make sure it is okay with a parent or guardian before you do—and any other time you provide information online. If you are not sure it is okay with them, you can always come back and visit the site later, when you have their permission. While we cannot respond to your message without your e-mail address, you can still write to us and visit the website without providing any information about yourself.

Note to Parents: Please see our official Privacy Policy Statement for the information we collect and maintain.

Last Reviewed on
February 2018