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FCC Privacy Policy

We respect your right to privacy and will protect it when you visit our website. This page explains how we handle information about you when you visit and use our site. The FCC provides this website as a public service - you do not have to provide any personal information in order to enter and browse. The extent and type of information we receive depends on what you do while you are visiting our website.

The FCC collects no personal information about you when you visit our website unless you specifically and knowingly choose to provide such information to us or as described below. If you choose to provide information to us, we use it only to fulfill your request for information or services.

Statistical Information Collected and Stored Automatically

Our website automatically records website usage information that we analyze statistically to track operational problems, to prevent fraud and to improve the effectiveness, security and integrity of the site. This information does not identify you personally and we do not use this information to track or record information about individuals. We will disclose this information to third parties only in aggregate form or as may be required by law. For each page that you visit, we collect and store the following technical information in what is called a web server log file:

  • Date and time of access
  • URL address of the FCC webpage visited
  • Internet domain and IP address from which our website was accessed
  • Type of browser and operating system used to access our site (if provided by the browser)
  • URL address of the referring page (if provided by the browser)
  • Completion or success status of the request for a web page or other on-line item
  • File size of the webpage visited

For the purpose of enabling better website design and a better user experience, we employ Google Analytics (a web service by Google, Inc.) to track site traffic and provide aggregate reports of how the public interacts with our website. Tier II session cookies, as detailed by OMB Memorandum M-10-22, are employed by Google Analytics in the form of client-side JavaScript code. In utilizing this analytics service, the FCC maintains its existing standards in regards to the sharing and disclosure of information, security and privacy safeguards for the data, and the data retention policy, each described below. Google Analytics analyzes website usage information automatically upon visits to FCC websites. Users who do not wish to have their visit information collected by Google Analytics may opt-out by downloading a browser extension or by disabling cookies in their browser settings. Opting-out of web measurements will still permit users to access the full website, with all included information and functionality.

Information That You Voluntarily Provide

If you voluntarily provide us with personal information, for example by sending an e-mail or by filling out a form and submitting it through our Website, you are indicating voluntary consent for us to use the information you are submitting to respond to your message and to help us provide you with the information and services that you have requested. We make every effort to disclose clearly how information is used at the point where it is collected so that our users can determine for themselves whether they wish to provide the information.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information. Your submission, including personal information, may be shared within the FCC as well as with other Federal or State agencies, or others if necessary to address matters raised in your submission as allowed by the Commission's systems of records or as otherwise required or authorized by statute, including requests from Congress, Freedom of Information Act requests from private individuals or companies, for law enforcement purposes, for routine agency uses subject to the Privacy Act, or under our access and public record rules.

If any personal information you provide will be maintained in an FCC Privacy Act system of records, you will be notified at the point of collection through a Privacy Act statement, as to whether providing information is mandatory or voluntary, and the effects of not providing all or any part of the requested information. The Commission works continuously to set out and implement procedures to regulate the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of Privacy Act-protected information. Visit our Privacy Act Web Page for complete information about our compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974, and information on how to file a Privacy Act request.

Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act of 1974, to the extent applicable, you have certain rights to obtain information about you or your company that may be in our records. For more information about the circumstances under which you can get and - if necessary - correct this information, visit our FOIA Web Page. You will get access to any information that the FOIA and Privacy Act require us to disclose to you.

Any comments that you submit to the FCC on a proposed rulemaking, petition, or other document for which public comment is requested will be made public, including any personally identifiable information you include in your submission. We may share non-personally identifiable information with others, including the public, in aggregated form, in partial or edited form, or verbatim.

We do not collect, give, sell or rent any personal information to third parties for commercial marketing.

Retention of Information. We may retain electronically submitted information as long as necessary to respond to your request, depending on the subject matter and according to the principles of the Federal Records Act and the regulations and records schedules approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Computer web server logs may be preserved as long as administratively necessary and are scheduled for destruction in accordance with guidelines approved by NARA. The information in the logs may be used at any time as necessary to prevent security breaches and to insure the integrity of the data on our servers.

If you use an on-line form to receive filing software or to register for informational e-mail updates, or for other purposes, information you provide may be retained so that we can notify you about changes or upgrades, where appropriate.

Security of Personal Information

We use commercial encryption techniques to protect the transmission and storage of the information you submit to us when you use one of our secure online forms. E-mail that you send to us is not necessarily secure against third-party interception or misdirection. For your own protection, you may wish to communicate sensitive information using a method other than e-mail.

For website security purposes and to ensure that our website remains available to all users, FCC computer systems that support the website use industry-standard methods and software to monitor and audit network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. Anyone visiting our website expressly consents to such monitoring and auditing.

Links To Other Sites

Our website contains links to the websites of other government, public and private organizations that are outside of our control. When you follow a link to another site, you leave the FCC site and your website interactions are no longer protected by our privacy policy. Before leaving the FCC website, a page will be displayed informing you that you are leaving our website. The FCC is not responsible for, and does not endorse the privacy or security practices and content of non-FCC websites.


A cookie is a piece of data stored by a website or service on a user's computer that allows the website or service to recognize the user's unique computer. You can remove or block cookies by changing the settings on your browser.

The FCC website sometimes uses cookies. These session cookies are temporarily stored on your computer's hard drive and are automatically erased after a specified period of time. Information from these cookies is not collected or saved. Some of the interactive sections of our website may set session cookies in temporary memory in order to provide streamlined navigation.

Some videos embedded in the FCC website may set a persistent cookie when you click to play the video. These cookies are stored on your computer's hard drive and allow the third party video provider to record and track the website that you have visited and which videos you have played. The third party video service provider uses this information, among other things, to maintain accurate statistics of video use and to customize the video service for individual users. Further information regarding the handling of these cookies is available in the privacy statements available on the video providers' websites. The Federal Government has guidelines for the use of persistent cookies. The goals of the guidelines are to enable the useful functioning of federal websites while protecting individual privacy. See OMB Guidance for Implementing the Privacy Provisions of the E-Government Act of 2002, M-03-22 (September 26, 2003), modifying M-00-13 (June 22, 2000), available online at Pursuant to these guidelines, the Chairman's Office has issued a waiver to allow this use of persistent cookies when you use the third party video players embedded on the Commission's website. This was done because a prohibition on the use of persistent cookies would bar the FCC at the present time from taking advantage of the enhanced video services possible through the use of commercial video service providers. If you would like to view a video without the use of persistent cookies, a link to download the video file is typically provided just below the video.

For the purposes of improving the services delivered via, all visitors will periodically be given the opportunity to provide feedback about the website. During periods when feedback is collected, a visitor's browser will automatically set a persistent cookie to register that a user has been presented with the opportunity to provide this feedback, and to avoid repeatedly requesting feedback on subsequent visits. Pursuant to these guidelines, the Chairman's Office has issued a waiver to allow this use of persistent cookies when regarding the website's feedback mechanism.

Interaction With Children

Our Website contains some pages that offer educational content to children. It is FCC policy, in compliance with the requirements of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), not to collect information online about or from children age 13 and under, except when it is needed to identify a submission or to answer a question. Under no circumstances will any of this information be used for another purpose or shared with third parties, nor will personally identifying information be published on the FCC website.

Personalization & Registration

Some FCC electronic filing systems allow you to customize how you interact with them in order to enhance customer service and add personalized functionality. In order to use these systems and make use of this functionality, entities doing business with the FCC must obtain an FCC Registration Number (FRN). This unique number is used to identify the entity's business dealings with the FCC. Visit the Commission Registration System Web Page to learn more about FRNs.

last reviewed/updated on March 02, 2011  

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