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by MaloneC — last modified 2011-01-06 14:16

Privacy and Security Policy

Your Visit to the Provocative Questions Web Site is Private and Secure
When you visit the Provocative Questions Web site, we do not collect any personally identifiable information (PII) about you, unless you choose to explicitly provide it to us. We do, however, collect some data about your visit to our Web site to help us better understand public use of the site and to make it more useful to visitors. This page describes the information that is automatically collected and stored.

How NCI Collects Information
When you browse through any Web site, certain information about your visit can be collected.  NCI uses the Google Analytics program to collect information automatically and continuously. No personally identifiable information (PII) is collected. We use this information to measure the number of visitors to our site and its various sections and to distinguish between new and returning visitors to help make our site more useful to visitors.

The NCI staff conducts analyses and reports on the aggregated data from Google Analytics. The reports are only available to NCI Web site managers, members of their Communications and Web Teams, and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties.

NCI retains the data from Google Analytics results only as long as required by law or needed to support the mission of the Provocative Questions Web site

How NCI 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.

When you visit any Web site, its server may generate a piece of text known as a "cookie" to place on your computer. The cookie allows the server to "remember" specific information about your visit while you are connected. The cookie makes it easier for you to use the dynamic features of Web pages. Requests to send cookies from NCI’s Web pages are designed to collect information about your browser session only; they do not collect personal information about you.

There are two types of cookies, single session (temporary) and multi-session (persistent). Session cookies last only as long as your Web browser is open. Once you close your browser, the cookie disappears. Persistent cookies are stored on your computer for longer periods.

How are Temporary "Session” Cookies Used?
We use session cookies for technical purposes such as improving navigation through our site.  These cookies let our server know that you are continuing a visit to our site.  The "session" cookie is not permanently stored on your computer. The cookie and the information about your visit are automatically destroyed shortly after you close your browser to end the session.

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.” 

How Are "Persistent Cookies" Used?
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 persistent cookies in addition to temporary session cookies. 

We use persistent cookies to help us recognize new and returning visitors to the Provocative Questions Web site.  Persistent cookies remain on your computer between visits to the Provocative Questions Web site until they expire. We do not use this technology to identify you or any other individual site visitor.

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 the Provocative Questions Web site provides.

Instructions for disabling or opting out of cookies in the most popular browsers are located at . Please note that by following the instructions to opt-out of cookies, you will disable cookies from all sources, not just those from the Provocative Questions Web site.

How Is Personal Information Protected?
You do not have to give us personal information to visit the Provocative Questions Web site.

If you choose to provide us with additional information about yourself through an e-mail message, form, survey, etc., we maintain the information only as long as needed to respond to your question or to fulfill the stated purpose of the communication.

For further information about the NIH privacy policy, please contact the NIH Senior Official for Privacy at, call (301) 451-3426 or visit

NCI does not disclose, give, sell, or transfer any personal information about our visitors, unless required for law enforcement or by statute.

Site Security
The Provocative Questions Web site  is maintained by the U.S. Government. It is protected by various provisions of Title 18, U.S. Code. Violations of Title 18 are subject to criminal prosecution in federal court.

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, we use software programs to monitor traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or otherwise cause damage. In the event of authorized law enforcement investigations, and pursuant to any required legal process, information from these sources may be used to help identify an individual.

Related Policies

Disclaimer of Endorsement and Liability
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) does not endorse or recommend any commercial products, processes, or services. Therefore, mention of commercial products, processes, or services on NCI's Provocative Questions Web site cannot be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

The NCI Provocative Questions Web site may provide links to other Internet sites for informational purposes and the convenience of its users. When users select a link to an external Web site, they are leaving the Provocative Question Web site and are subject to the privacy and security policies of the owners/sponsors of the external site.
NCI does not endorse organizations that sponsor linked, external Web sites. In addition, NCI does not endorse products or services that such organizations may offer. Furthermore, NCI does not control or guarantee the currency, accuracy, relevance, or completeness of information found on linked, external Web sites.

NCI cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials published on linked, external Web sites. Users must request authorization from the sponsors of those Web sites.

NCI is not responsible for transmissions users may receive from linked, external Web sites.

NCI does not guarantee that linked, external Web sites comply with Section 508 (Accessibility Requirements) of the Rehabilitation Act.

Press releases or other materials meant for public use will not be posted on the NCI Provocative Questions Web site unless developed by or for NCI or the National Institutes of Health.


Accessibility Policy
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is committed to providing access to all individuals--disabled or not--who are seeking information on its Web sites. To provide this information, the NCI Web site has been designed to comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (as amended).

Section 508 requires that all individuals with disabilities (whether they are federal government employees or members of the general public) have access to and use of information and data comparable to that provided to individuals without disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed.

Any individual using assistive technology (such as a screen reader, Braille reader, etc.) who experiences difficulty in accessing information on this Web site, should send an e-mail to or call NCICB Application Support at 301-451-4384 or toll free: 888-478-4423 for assistance. The nature of the accessibility problem and contact information should be included in any e-mail or telephone message. If the accessibility problem involves a particular Web page, including the URL (Web address) of the page would be helpful. A member of the NCI staff will contact individuals with accessibility problems as soon as possible to assist them and to provide them the information sought.

Web Site Linking Policy
We encourage individuals and organizations to link to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Provocative Questions Web site. The source can be cited as follows:

The NCI Provocative Questions Web site (
The Provocative Questions Web site is periodically revised, and content may be deleted or moved. We try to ensure that existing links will redirect to the new page(s).

Links from NCI Provocative Questions Web Site to Other Web Sites
The NCI Provocative Questions Web site may include links to external Web sites. These links are for your convenience and to supplement Provocative Questions Web content. In general, NCI links to:

  • Other federal agencies.
  • NCI partners (such as a cancer center or clinical trial cooperative group).
  • Organizations with which we have a formal relationship (such as a Memorandum of Understanding, license, or development agreement).

Selection of external links is at NCI discretion and does not imply endorsement of external organizations, their products and services. NCI does not guarantee the currency, accuracy, relevance, or completeness of information found on linked, external Web sites. We link to government information according to our linking policy, whether or not the other Web site links to us.

We reserve the right to remove links to external Web sites that no longer meet our content needs.

Periodic Link Review
NCI periodically reviews internal and external links to ensure that they are still functional and valuable, but you may occasionally encounter a broken link. If so, please send a message to

Copyright and Reuse of Graphics and Text
You May Reuse Information from the NCI Provocative Questions Web Site
Most of the information on the Provocative Questions Web site is in the public domain and is not subject to copyright restrictions. No special permission is required to use or reproduce public domain material.

However, any reproduced material should acknowledge NCI as the originator and the Provocative Questions Web site as the source. The source can be cited as:
The NCI Provocative Questions Web site (

You Do Not Need Permission to:

  • Use text from NCI information products in your own materials.
    • However, you cannot use the registered trademark logos for NCI, NIH, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), or PDQ in your materials because NCI has not reviewed or approved your product.
  • Translate text from NCI products into other languages.
    • However, you cannot use the NCI, NIH, DHHS, or PDQ logos on your translations because NCI has not reviewed or approved your translations.
  • Link to NCI Web sites.

You Do Need Permission to Use Registered Trademarks and Copyrighted Material:

  • NCI's logo is trademarked and cannot be used without consent.
    • Questions regarding use of the NCI logo should be directed to the NCI Office of Communications Services at
  • Artwork, graphics, and text developed for NCI by private-sector designers, photographers, and writers under contract to the federal government are owned by the originators. Generally, copyrighted materials will include a copyright statement.
    • Permissions, including credit line and/or fees for use of privately owned material, must be negotiated directly with the private-sector contractor, independent of the government.
    • To inquire about the ownership of NCI materials or to obtain contractor contact information, send an e-mail to the NCI Office of Communications Services at or write to:

Office of Communications Services
Office of Communications and Education
National Cancer Institute, NIH, DHHS
Room 3066
6116 Executive Boulevard
Rockville, MD 20892-8322
Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552 provides individuals with a right to access information in the possession of the U.S. federal government. The government, however, may withhold information covered by 9 exemptions and 3 exclusions contained in the Act.

Before submitting a request under FOIA, individuals should try to determine whether the information sought is already in the public domain and whether it is or may be held by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). NCI has a wealth of information available in both published and electronic formats. A search of NCI's Web Site,, can be helpful in locating information and lists of available publications.

If data produced under an NCI grant are sought, the data will be released under FOIA only if specific requirements are met.
It is important to note that FOIA allows agencies to recover part of the costs associated with responding to requests. Department of Health and Human Services regulations describe specific rules for fees, requesting a fee waiver, and reducing fees.

Questions about FOIA and requests for information held by NCI can be directed either to the NCI FOIA Office or to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) FOIA Office.
The NCI FOIA Office is located at:


Building 31, Room 10A48
31 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: 301-496-2999
Fax number: 301-435-2931

The NIH FOIA Office is located at:


Building 31, Room 5B35
31 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: 301-496-5633
Fax number: 301-402-4541


NCI Comment and Question Submittal Policy


Where question submittal and commenting is supported on this or any other Web site owned or administered by the National Cancer Institute, we encourage you to share your thoughts as they relate to the topic being discussed. We review and post comments according to the policy below. We reserve the right not to post comments, or to remove comments, that are inconsistent with our policy, at our complete discretion.

The views expressed in comments reflect those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or the federal government.

Comments that include the following are prohibited:

  • Vulgar, profane, or abusive language; personal attacks of any kind; inappropriate religious, sexual, political, or racial references; unsupported accusations.
  • Endorsements of commercial products, services, organizations, or other entities.
  • Endorsements of political parties, candidates, or groups.
  • Content that infringes on copyrights.
  • Solicitation of funds.
  • Comments on any ongoing investigation of any sort.
  • Procurement-sensitive information related to any current/future NCI acquisitions.
  • Surveys, polls, questionnaires, etc., subject to OMB Paperwork Reduction Act clearance.
  • Reporters' questions – all media inquiries must be directed to the NCI Office of Media Relations (

In posting your comments or other work to a Web site owned or administered by NCI, you irrevocably grant NCI permission to copy, distribute, make derivatives, display or perform your work publicly and free-of-charge.

Remember that your posts are public. When posting, please do not include information (e.g., social security numbers) in the text of your comment that personally identifies you in a way you do not intend. Additional guidance as to how NCI regards privacy issues can be found at our Privacy and Security Policy page.

We welcome your comments at any time. However, given the need to responsibly manage federal resources, reviewing and posting of comments will generally occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted at other times will be reviewed and posted as soon as possible.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.


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