Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

This International Biosecurity and Prevention Forum (the “IBPF”) Web Portal is a website (the “Site”) created and managed by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (the “FBI”). The Site was created to allow the professional international community to collaborate and easily access biosecurity and bioterrorism prevention and response information, to include news, resources, projects and best practices. This policy covers personally identifiable information (“PII”) collected or stored by the IBPF on its server(s) in relation to the Site. Consistent with its data retention policy, the Site collects and retains the least amount of PII necessary to fulfill the IBPF’s operational needs. The FBI’s general legal authority to collect records, 28 U.S.C. § 534, and its general administrative authority, 5 U.S.C. § 301, provide the authority for information collection on this Site.

Here is how we handle information about your visit to this Site:

A. Information Collected and Stored Automatically

If you visit our site to read or download information, we (the FBI) automatically collect and store the following information about your visit:

  • The name of the domain (for example, “xcompany.com” if you use a private Internet access account or “yourschool.edu” if you are connecting from a university’s domain) and IP address (a number that is automatically assigned to your computer when you are using the Internet) from which you access the Site;
  • The type of browser and operating system used to access the Site;
  • The date and time you access the Site;
  • The Internet address of the website from which you linked directly to the Site; and
  • The pages you visit and the information you request on the Site.

B. If You Send Us Personal Information

You do not have to provide any personal information to visit the public portion of this website. If you choose to identify yourself by sending an e-mail message to an address on this Site or by filling out a form or membership request and submitting it through this Site, we will use that information to respond to your message or to fulfill the stated purpose of the communication. The FBI does not collect or use information for commercial marketing.

As a stipulation to obtaining membership and gaining access to the secure portion of this website, you must provide your personal information via an online registration process. The information that you provide may include your name, affiliated organization, email address, phone number and biographical information. We may also collect information about you from other sources, such as public records or bodies, or private organizations in order to verify your identity. After entering your information, you will receive informational communications from us. Depending on your requests for services from the IBPF, additional information may also be collected. It is at your discretion and determination whether to provide personal information to us.

We may share information you give us with contractors acting on our behalf or with another government agency if your inquiry relates to that agency. In other limited circumstances, such as responses to requests from Congress and private individuals, we may be required by law to disclose information you submit. If you provide comments in response to a request for public comments, we may make those comments as well as your identity available to the public in a publication or by posting them on our website. Where possible, we may give you more specific guidance at the point of collection regarding how your personal information may be used or disclosed.

Electronically submitted information is maintained and destroyed according to the principles of the Federal Records Act and the regulations and records schedules of the National Archives and Records Administration and in some cases may be covered by the Privacy Act and subject to the Freedom of Information Act. A discussion of your rights under these laws can be found at http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/fed_prog/foia/foia.htm.

Remember that e-mail is not necessarily secure against interception. If your communication is sensitive or includes personal information, you may prefer to send it by postal mail instead.

C. Use of the Information

1. Your Control of Your Profile

By default, only your name, your email address, and the name of your affiliated organization are available to everyone visiting the secure side of this IBPF site. You can alter your profile to display more or less information to all secure side visitors as you choose. The FBI is not responsible for any use of your personal information by parties with whom you have chosen to share such information.

2. Your Control Over Member Submitted Content

Personal information (name, organization) is collected so that, when you use the Secure Side, you may provide Member Submitted Content (as defined in the Terms of Use) and communicate with other parties. Other users of the Secure Side will see messages and documents you submit to the Secure Side. We are not responsible for any use of your Member Submitted Content by parties with whom you have chosen to share such content.

3. Periodic Contacts

We may occasionally use your name and email address to send you notifications regarding the Site or information consistent with the mission of the IBPF.

4. Other Permitted Uses of Your Information

We may disclose part or all of your personal information if we determine, in good faith, that the law requires or compels such disclosure, or in accordance with the FBI Bureau Mailing Lists system of records notice, JUSTICE/FBI-003, 70 Fed. Reg. 7513, or the Bureau’s blanket routine uses, 72 Fed. Reg. 3410, including to a federal, state, local, joint, tribal, foreign, international, or other public agency/organization, where such disclosure serves law enforcement interests.

We may disclose aggregated data and statistics in order to describe the Site to prospective members, organizations, and other third parties, and for other lawful purposes. This allows us to gather and publish statistics about users, to improve our website and to enhance our services.

5. Your Choices

We do not require you to provide personal information in order to visit the public portion of this Site. However, if you choose not to provide personal information, your ability to use all of the Site’s services, including the Secure Side, will be limited and you may not receive the information that you request. By choosing to provide personal information, you agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

Access and control over most personal information submitted by you to the Site is available through an account management link. You may modify or delete select portions of your profile information by using the account management link. Removed information may persist in backup copies. If you provide comments or discussions to the Secure Side, you cannot remove such communications.

6. Access to Your Personal Data

FBI records can be requested through both the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act. Please read this page carefully to ensure you are making the correct request. The Freedom of Information Act allows any person—except fugitives, federal agencies, and foreign intelligence agencies—to request information about organizations, businesses, investigations, historical events, incidents, groups, or deceased persons. The Privacy Act allows U.S. citizens and lawfully admitted aliens to request information on themselves or another living person. To use the FOIA or Privacy Act to request information held by the IBPF, please visit https://www.fbi.gov/foia/requesting-fbi-records.

D. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)

The Site is not designated nor intended to collect information from children under the age of 18. The FBI is especially concerned about protecting children’s privacy. We hope parents and teachers are involved in children’s Internet explorations. It is particularly important for parents to guide their children when children are asked to provide personal information online. We do not knowingly collect information from children under the age of 18. If you are younger than age 18, you may use our Site only with the permission and involvement of your parent or guardian. If a child chooses to provide personally identifying information to us through e-mail or otherwise, it will only be used to enable us to respond and will not be retained.

E. Cookies

“Cookies” are small bits of text that are either used for the duration of a session (“session cookies”) or saved on a user’s hard drive in order to identify that user, or information about that user, the next time the user logs on to a website (“persistent cookies”). Certain pages on the IBPF website and its subdomains use persistent cookies to provide streamlined navigation and for statistical analysis. We also use session cookies as part of a voluntary web customer satisfaction survey that will appear to a small percentage of our website visitors as they leave the FBI’s site. Session cookies are deleted from the FBI’s servers soon after your session ends and are not collected or saved. Our customer satisfaction survey uses a persistent cookie that is stored on your computer’s hard drive. This cookie ensures that we won’t invite you to take a customer satisfaction survey within 90 days of completing a survey.

You can set up your web browser to inform you when cookies are set or to prevent cookies from being set. You can still use our website if you do not accept the cookies, but you may be unable to use certain cookie-dependent features. You can find directions to help you disable cookies in some of the most popular desktop browsers and mobile browsers by following the instructions on the USA.gov web measurement and customization opt out help site.

F. Security, Intrusion, and Detection

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, all network traffic is monitored in order to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or otherwise cause damage or conduct criminal activity. To protect the system from unauthorized use and to ensure that the system is functioning properly, individuals using this computer system are subject to having all of their activities monitored and recorded by personnel authorized to do so by the FBI (and such monitoring and recording will be conducted). Anyone using this system expressly consents to such monitoring and is advised that if such monitoring reveals evidence of possible abuse or criminal activity, system personnel may provide the results of such monitoring to appropriate officials. Unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or otherwise cause damage to this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under applicable federal law.

We maintain a variety of physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards to protect your personal information. For example, we use commercially reasonable tools and techniques to protect against unauthorized access to our systems. Also, we restrict access to Personal Information to those who need such access in the course of their duties for us. Your own efforts to protect against unauthorized access play an important role in protecting the security of your personal information. You should be sure to sign off when finished using a shared computer, and always log out of any site when viewing personal information. We may have links to other outside websites that we do not control. We are not responsible for the content or privacy policies of these sites, and users should check those policies on such sites.

G. Disclaimer for Hypertext Links

Neither the FBI nor its contributors are responsible for the content of any off-site pages that are referenced by or that reference to the IBPF’s website. The user specifically acknowledges that neither the FBI nor its contributors are responsible for any defamatory, offensive, misleading, or illegal conduct of other users, links, or third parties and that the risk of injury from the foregoing rests entirely with the user. Links from the IBPF website on the World Wide Web to other sites or from other sites to the IBPF website do not constitute an endorsement by the FBI or IBPF. These links are for convenience only. It is the responsibility of the user to evaluate the content and usefulness of information obtained from other sites.

H. Disclaimer for FBI Information

All information provided by the FBI or IBPF on this website is made available to provide immediate access for the convenience of interested persons. While the FBI and IBPF make reasonable efforts to the ensure accuracy, relevance, timeliness, and completeness of the information on this website, human or mechanical error remain possibilities. Therefore, the FBI and IBPF do not guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of the information. Neither the FBI, nor any of the sources of the information, shall be responsible for any error or omission, or for the use of, or the results obtained from the use of this information.

I. Disclaimer of Endorsement

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, processes, or services by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. government.

J. Changes to Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to modify or amend this Policy at any time by posting the revised privacy policy on the Site. Therefore, each time you access the Site, you should note the date this Policy was last modified. If you do not or cannot agree to the amended Policy, your only option is to cease all use and access of the Site.

K. How to Contact Us

If you would like to request additional information regarding this Policy, or have questions regarding the same, please visit our Contact Us page. For more details, please read the Privacy Policy for the U.S. Department of Justice website, which also applies to the FBI: http://www.justice.gov/doj/privacy-policy.


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