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U.S. Government Accountability Office

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The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recognizes the importance of protecting the information collected in the operation of its web surveys, which are only used to collect unclassified information. We take steps to maintain the security of this information as described in the next section.

The degree of privacy that GAO will assure varies with each web survey project. The email message you received announcing a web survey or the home page of the web survey may contain a statement that describes the extent to which we will or will not make individually identifiable data from this survey available to the public through our reports or data archives.

If you have further questions about your privacy or the confidentiality of your answers, please contact the GAO staff listed on your web questionnaire's home page or our web survey support team.

Collecting Survey Data on the Internet

GAO assures the safe transmission of data between your computer and our web server by requiring you to use a web browser that supports 128-bit encryption. This prevents anyone who may intercept the communication from discovering the contents of our questions or your answers to those questions.

(Note: If your browser does not support 128-bit encryption, or if it has been disabled, please visit your browser software vendor's web site to obtain a software upgrade or to get instructions on how to enable this security. See Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Communicator, Mozilla, or other vendor web site for upgrade information.)

We also take steps to protect the data while it resides on our servers during the course of a web survey. We adhere to all applicable government standards for managing our equipment.

To further protect the data while the survey is ongoing, we

All data files that we obtain using a web survey become part of GAO's audit documentation for an audit engagement. For more information on how we protect these records, see Public Access to GAO Records. GAO's Chief Quality Officer is responsible for fulfilling requests for our audit documentation.

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