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UTC Website Privacy Statement

Introduction

Thank you for visiting the UTC Web site and reviewing our Privacy Statement. This statement addresses collection, use and security of and access to information that may be obtained through use of this site. This notice covers the following topics:


Summary

When you visit our Web site, we collect information about your visit, but nothing that identifies you personally. We collect information that personally identifies you only if you volunteer it by placing it on one of our forms used to collect public comment, to initiate a consumer complaint, to request public records, or to request an Operation Lifesaver presentation. This personally-identifying information is used only for the purpose for which it is collected. This information may be public record, and therefore subject to inspection and copying upon request. You may contact the UTC to review and correct any information we may have that identifies you personally. Details of each of these topics are included below.

Information Collected and How it is Used

Information we collect if you only browse this site

If you do nothing while at our Web site but browse, read pages, or download information, we will gather and store certain information about your visit. This information does not identify you personally. We automatically collect and store the following information about your visit:
  • The Internet Protocol Address and domain name used. The Internet Protocol address is a numerical identifier assigned either to your Internet service provider or directly to your computer. We use the Internet Protocol Address to direct Internet traffic to you. This address can be translated to determine the domain name of your service provider (e.g. xcompany.com or yourschool.edu);
  • The type of browser and operating system you used;
  • The date and time you visited this site;
  • The Web pages or services you accessed at this site; and
  • The Web site you visited prior to coming to this Web site.

The information we automatically collect or store is used by the UTC only to improve the content at our Web site and to help us understand how people are using our services.

Information we collect if you volunteer it

If during your visit to our Web site you participate in a survey, send an email, or perform some other transaction on-line, the following additional information will be collected:
  • The email address and contents of the email, for those who communicate with us via email.
  • Information volunteered in response to a survey.
  • Information volunteered through an on-line form for any other purpose.

The information collected is not limited to text characters and may include audio, video, and graphic information formats you send us.

We use your email to respond directly to you, to address issues you identify in your email, to further improve our Web site, or to forward to another agency for appropriate action. Survey information is used to improve services delivered over the Web. Information from other on-line forms is used to gather information from you in support of the agency's work.

There are six on-line forms on our Web site by which we collect personal information:
  • The Public Comment form allows you to comment on a company's rate proposal or other matter before the commission. The information on the form is used to track public sentiment about the matter and to communicate with you about the commission's process in deciding the issue. Your name is required, but no contact information is required; if you provide no contact information, we will not contact you about the matter.
  • The Records Center E-filing Form allows you to electronically file documents with the UTC’s Records Center. It collects information about you and the documents you are filing to assist in the proper recording of the documents.
  • The Public Records Request form allows you to request copies of records held by the UTC. The information on the form is used to send you the records you request and to follow-up with you in the event there are questions about the details of your request.
  • The Consumer Informal Complaint form allows you to submit a complaint about your utility company. The Consumer Affairs section will then contact you and begin the process of resolving your complaint.
  • The Single State and Exempt interstate motor carrier registration forms allow you to request a new or to renew or supplement an interstate single state or exempt registration on-line. We collect the information required for the registration and needed to contact you and complete the transaction.
  • The Operation Lifesaver Presentation Request form allows you to request an Operation Lifesaver Presentation for your group or organization. The information requested on the form is used to contact you and complete the arrangements for the presentation.

Personal Information and Choice

You may choose whether to provide personal information on-line.

"Personal information" is information about a natural person that is readily identifiable to that specific individual. Personal information includes such things as an individual's name, address and phone number. A domain name or Internet Protocol address is not considered personal information.

We do not collect personal information about you unless you voluntarily provide it to us by sending us email, participate in a survey, or complete an on-line form. You may choose not to contact us by email, participate in a survey or to provide any personal information using an on-line form. Your choice to not participate in these activities will not impair your ability to browse the UTC Web site and read or download any information provided on the site.

If personal information is requested on the Web site or volunteered by the user, state law and the federal Privacy Act of 1974 may protect it. However, this information is a public record once you provide it, and may be subject to public inspection and copying if not protected by state or federal law.
If you believe that your information is being used for a purpose other than what was intended when submitted, you may contact the Public Records Officer, as shown in the Contact Information Section of this statement.

Users are cautioned that the collection of personal information requested from or volunteered by children on-line or by email will be treated the same as information given by an adult, and may be subject to public access.

Public Access to Information

In Washington, laws exist to ensure that state government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by state government. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public's right to access public records that serve various needs, including the privacy of individuals. Exceptions are provided by both state and federal laws.

All of the information collected at this site becomes public record that may be subject to inspection and copying by members of the public, unless an exemption in law exists. The provisions of RCW 42.56.070 Documents and indexes to be made public state that
    "(1) Each agency, in accordance with published rules, shall make available for public inspection and copying all public records, unless the record falls within the specific exemptions of *subsection (6) of this section, this chapter, or other statute which exempts or prohibits disclosure of specific information or records. To the extent required to prevent an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy interests protected by this chapter, an agency shall delete identifying details in a manner consistent with this chapter when it makes available or publishes any public record; however, in each case, the justification for the deletion shall be explained fully in writing."

In the event of a conflict between this Privacy Notice and the Public Records Act or other law governing the agency’s disclosure of records, the Public Records Act or other applicable law will be applied.

Review and Correction of Personally-Identifiable Information

You can review any personally-identifiable information we collect about you by using the information in the Contact Information section at the end of this notice. You may recommend changes to any of your personally-identifiable information which you believe to be inaccurate by submitting an email or written request that credibly shows the inaccuracy. We will take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting access or making corrections. See RCW 43.105.310 - Accuracy, Integrity and Privacy of Records and Information.

Security

The UTC, as developer and manager of this Web site, has taken several steps to safeguard the integrity of its data and prevent unauthorized access to information maintained by the UTC. These measures are designed and intended to prevent corruption of data, block unknown or unauthorized access to our systems and information, and to provide reasonable protection of private information in our possession.

This information should not be construed in any way as giving business, legal, or other advice, or warranting as fail proof, the security of information provided via the UTC's Web site.

Disclaimer

The UTC Web site has many links to other Web sites. These include links to Web sites operated by other government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private businesses. When you link to another site, you are no longer on the UTC Web site and this Privacy Notice will not apply. When you link to another Web site, you are subject to the privacy policy of that new site. Also, while we review Web sites that we link, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, reliability and timeliness of information contained in them. Any person who relies on information contained on a linked Web site must do so at their own risk.

The UTC makes every effort to ensure that documents and information provided via our Web site are accurate and provided in a timely manner. However, neither the UTC nor the State of Washington warrants the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of information published by this system. Consequently we shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of such information. Any person that relies on any information from this system does so at their own risk.

UTC Contact Information

To review your personal information, or request correction of your personal information:

Public Records Officer
Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission
1300 S Evergreen Pk Dr SW
P O Box 47250
Olympia, WA 98504-7250
360-586-1150 (fax)
360-664-1234
records@wutc.wa.gov

To offer comments about UTC's Web site:
webmaster@wutc.wa.gov

Staff contact: Kerry Barbour
Posted/updated: 07/20/2006

 

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