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NIDCD Privacy Policy

Q. What information is collected about visitors to the NIDCD site?

A. You can visit our web pages without telling us who you are. We collect statistics about how people access and use our site, but we do not identify you personally. We use this data only in the aggregate and analyze it as a whole. We also collect search terms to learn the topics that are of most interest to visitors using our search tools. These search terms are not associated with individual users.

Q. How is the information used?

A. To help us improve our site, we gather information about how it is used. We analyze this information by looking for usage trends rather than at individual visits. For example, we look at the total number of users and the parts of the site that are accessed most and least frequently. This information allows us to improve the way the site is designed, making it easier for you to find what you need.

Q. Does this site use Cookies?

A. With one exception, NIDCD uses only "session" cookies, which do not collect information about you, but only about your browser session. These cookies make it easier for you to use the dynamic features of our Web site. Session cookies are destroyed automatically shortly after you close your browser—they are not permanently stored on your computer. The only "persistent" cookie (i.e., one that is not deleted after your session ends) marks whether you have taken our customer satisfaction survey; this way you will not be shown the survey again during future sessions.

Q. How are e-mails to NIDCD used?

A. When inquiries are e-mailed to us, we store the question and the e-mail address so that we can respond electronically. Unless otherwise required by statute, we do not publicly identify people who send questions or comments to our web site. We will not obtain information that will allow us to identify you personally when you visit our site, unless you choose to provide us with such information.

E-mail sent to NIDCD may be seen by a number of people responsible for answering questions. Occasionally, an information specialist who answers the mail may forward your question to an NIDCD scientist or employee who may help provide information for the response.

We do not forward your mail to other organizations. You should be aware, though, that e-mail is not necessarily secure against interception. If your communication contains sensitive or personal information, you may want to send it by postal mail.

To protect your privacy, be sure to close your browser completely after you have finished conducting business with a Web site that uses cookies. If you are concerned about the potential use of information gathered from your computer by cookies, you can set your browser to prompt you before it accepts a cookie. Most Internet browsers have settings that let you identify and/or reject cookies.

Q. Whom can I contact for information about NIDCD's web privacy policy?

A. If you have questions or comments about our privacy statement, write to:


National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Celebrating 20 years of research: 1988 to 2008