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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Privacy Information
Privacy Office

The U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Web Site Privacy and Security Policy

Privacy Policy


Thank you for visiting the Securities and Exchange Commission’s web site and reviewing our Privacy Policy. The privacy of visitors to our web site is of the utmost importance to the SEC. At the SEC web site we collect personal information only if you voluntarily choose to provide it to us. You do not have to give us personal information to visit our site.

Information presented on is considered public information and may be copied or further distributed by users of the web site.

Information Collected and Stored Automatically

If you choose not to provide us with personal information but merely browse our site or download information, we will collect certain information automatically for site management purposes. The SEC's web site will automatically collect the following information, as applicable:

  • IP addresses;
  • Type of Internet traffic associated with a specific IP address;
  • Type of Internet traffic associated with a specific time or event;
  • Types of events;
  • The location associated with an event (such as apparent nation of origin);
  • Host names;
  • Malicious software identification; and
  • Caller Identification logs, which provide a caller's apparent phone number.

This data is used in summary form for statistical purposes, to assess system performance, identify problems with agency systems, and to improve the site for users. In the event of computer security incidents, such data may be further refined manually to allow computer security specialists to identify Internet service providers and, in extreme cases, individuals attacking the agency.

Website Measurement and Customization Technologies (e.g. Cookies) Policy

The SEC uses web measurement and customization technologies, commonly known as “cookies”, to collect information about users’ visits to our site. Use of these technologies makes our web site function better for you and allows us to better understand how the public is using the web site. Cookies are files placed on your hard drive by a web site that allows the web site to monitor your use of that site, usually without your express knowledge.

Some cookies collect personal information to recognize your computer in the future. That is not the case at the SEC’s web site, where we use only non-persistent cookies or "per-session cookies” also known as “Tier 1 web measurement and customization technologies”. These cookies do not collect personal information on users and they are not stored on your computer’s hard drive. They are stored only in memory during an active browser session, and they are erased as soon as you close your browser after visiting our web site.

The SEC uses a third-party analytics provider (currently Google Analytics) to analyze the data collected through the non-persistent cookies or per-session cookies. Google Analytics does not receive personally identifiable information through these cookies and does not combine, match, or cross-reference information with any other information. . The data is automatically sent from a cookie on your machine or device to the provider’s system which immediately aggregates that data. The cookie and any data related to a particular visit to our web site are deleted from your computer immediately after the session ends.

The SEC uses the aggregated data for internal purposes and discloses to SEC employees and contractors who have a “need-to-know” in the performance of their official duties.

We employ safeguards to maintain the security, confidentiality, and integrity of the information we collect on our site. To view a listing of our Privacy Impact Assessments for our electronic systems and collections, including those utilizing web measurement and customization technologies please visit our privacy page at .

You may opt out of having cookies installed on your machine or device by changing the setting of your browser to block them. For instructions on how to block cookies from common browsers and additional information please visit: .

If you chose to block these technologies you will continue to have access to comparable information and services on our web site.

If You Send Us Personal Information

We do not collect personal information for any purpose other than to respond to your inquiries or complaints. Any personally identifying information you provide is voluntary. If you choose to provide us with personal information—like filling out a Contact Us form, with an e-mail address and zip code, and submitting it to us through the web site— we use it to fulfill a request you make or to assist us in carrying out our mission; it may be disclosed to others for such purposes. We only share the information you give us with another government agency if your question relates to that agency, or as otherwise required by law. In some circumstances, including requests from Congress or private individuals, we may be required by law to disclose the information you submit. Our web site does not collect information or create individual profiles for commercial marketing.

While you must provide an e-mail address and zip code for a personal response to any incoming questions or comments to, we recommend that you NOT include any other personal information, especially Social Security Numbers. The Social Security Administration offers additional guidance on protecting your Social Security Number.

E-Mail Policy

You may send us electronic mail (e-mail) containing your personal information, comment, question, or complaint. If you send us e-mail, we may store your name and address in order to respond. With the exception of comments made specifically in response to a Request for Comments issued by the SEC for rulemaking purposes (see the Current SEC Rulemaking page), we do not share your e-mail with any other outside organizations except for authorized law enforcement investigations or in assisting investors with complaints and inquiries. Comments made in response to a Request for Comments incident to rulemaking are public information and are posted on the site in the rulemaking section.

What are Your Rights under the Privacy Act of 1974?

Under the Privacy Act of 1974, federal agencies must not disclose any “record” which is contained in a “system of records” to any person, or to another agency, except at the written request of, or with the prior written consent of, the person to whom the record relates. There are exceptions for certain disclosures within the Government and disclosures required by statute.

A “record” is any item, collection, or grouping of information about a person that an agency maintains and that contains the person’s name, or some other identifying number, symbol, or feature assigned to the person by the agency (e.g., a fingerprint or a photograph).

A “system of records” means a group of “records” under the control of an agency from which the agency actually retrieves information by a person’s name or by the identifying number, symbol, or feature that the agency has assigned to the person. Because of this actual retrieval requirement, not all personal information collected online is covered by the Privacy Act.

Other major provisions of the Privacy Act require the SEC to:

  • Publish a system of records notice in the Federal Register explaining the existence, character, and uses of any new or revised system of records;
  • Maintain in its records only information about you that is relevant and necessary to accomplish a purpose of the agency required by law;
  • Keep information about you accurate, relevant, timely, and complete to assure fairness in dealing with you; and
  • Allow you, upon request, to access, review, and request amendment of your information held in a system of records.

Principal Purpose and Routine Uses of Information

Our principal purpose for requesting information from you is to respond to inquiries and complaints from you and other members of the public.

As required by the Privacy Act of 1974, all routine uses are published in SEC systems of records notices, found on the SEC Privacy Office web site. As stated in the routine uses in SEC systems of records notices (where applicable), the SEC may also use your information to determine whether any person has violated, is violating, or is about to violate the federal securities laws or rules that the SEC enforces, such as the rules of the securities exchanges and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. The SEC may use the information you provide in legal proceedings. If the information points to violations of other laws or regulations, we may turn it over to other government agencies, including United States Attorneys and state prosecutors. In order to preserve integrity of the investigation, we generally do not disclose to you whether we have done so or not.

The SEC will not agree to limit its use of your information in any way not required by law, unless the SEC or its staff explicitly agrees to do so in writing.

Authority for Collecting Information

The SEC is authorized to request information from you by various laws: Sections 19 and 20 of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Section 321 of the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, Section 42 of the Investment Company Act of 1940, Section 209 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and Title 17 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 202.5.

COPPA Information

If a visitor under the age of 13 uses this Web site, no personally identifiable information is collected from them unless the information is voluntarily submitted as a request for information or services. The information supplied is used to respond to the user’s inquiries or to provide services requested by the user.

Links to Other Web Sites

This web site contains hypertext links to information created and maintained by other organizations. These links are provided for your convenience. The SEC does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of any information. If you go to other web sites through these links, our privacy and security policy no longer applies to you and you are subject to the privacy and security policy of the new sites.

Internet Security Policy

By using this site, you are agreeing to security monitoring and auditing. For security purposes, and to ensure that the public service remains available to users, this government computer system employs programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or to otherwise cause damage, including attempts to deny service to users.

Unauthorized attempts to upload information and/or change information on any portion of this site are strictly prohibited and are subject to prosecution under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act of 1996 (see Title 18 U.S.C. ยงยง 1001 and 1030).

False Statements and Documents

If you choose to furnish us with information that you know to be false or misleading, you may be prosecuted for any violations of federal law. Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code provides as follows:

Whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact, or makes any false, fictitious or fraudulent statements or representations, or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

The information you give the SEC may be used against you in any federal, state, local or foreign administrative, civil or criminal proceeding brought by the SEC or any other agency. You may refuse, in accordance with the rights guaranteed to you by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, to give any information that may tend to incriminate you or subject you to fine, penalty or forfeiture.

Please do not use the SEC seal or any of the other logos or artwork from this site. In addition, please be advised that the EDGAR logo and the EDGAR and EDGARLink names are the SEC's registered trademarks. You may not use them in connection with an EDGAR-related business without a license from the SEC.

Modified: 03/16/2012