Privacy Policy

We are committed to protecting your privacy and securing the information provided to us when you access our website and applications. This Privacy Policy describes the information that is made available to us when you visit or our official accounts on third-party websites and social media accounts, what information we collect, and how we use the information you provide when you visit to browse the site, obtain information or conduct transactions.

Information Collected and Stored Automatically

When you visit, we will automatically collect and store the following information about your visit:

  • Name of the Internet domain (for example, "" if you use a private Internet access account or "" if you are connecting from a university's domain).
  • IP address (a number that is automatically assigned to your computer when you are using the Internet) from which you access our site.
  • Type of browser and operating system used to access our site.
  • Date and time you access our site.
  • Internet address of the website from which you linked directly to our site.
  • Country and state from which you access our site.
  • Pages you visit and the information you request.
  • Search terms you used to get to our website from an external search engine and terms you used on our site using our search engine.

This information is collected as part of a systems log file that is used internally for technical improvements and site management. We collect this information to create summary statistics to assess what information is of most and least interest to the public, improving visitor experience and identifying system performance or problem areas. We also use the information to measure the number of visitors to the different sections of our website to help us make our site more useful.

The primary purpose of collecting this information is not to track individual visitors to this site. However, in certain circumstances—such as defacement, threats or potential criminal activity—the Department may be required by federal law to take additional steps to identify who is using this information. Additionally, the information collected may be shared with other agencies when required by federal law, executive order or regulation.

Personal Information You Voluntarily Provide

You do not have to provide personal information to visit our website. If you choose to provide personal information by sending a message to an email address on this website, submitting a form through our website, or filling out a questionnaire or guestbook, we will use the information you provide to respond to you or provide the service you requested.

Please do not send us sensitive information, such as your credit card or social security numbers, via email. Internet communications are not always secure. It is possible that a third party may intercept the information, and we cannot guarantee its security over email. You may wish to consider other means to securely send sensitive personal information to us.

We use personally identifiable information to protect you and provide better service (e.g., correcting broken links that you have identified or providing the information that you have requested). Any information that we collect via a questionnaire or a guestbook may be subject to disclosure. We will handle your information as required by the Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information Act to ensure the greatest protection of your personal privacy.

Where feasible, visitors will be provided with an additional privacy notice on websites and forms where the Department requests personal information. Privacy notices will include a brief description of the Department’s practices with respect to the collection, use, maintenance or dissemination of any personal information that is requested or provided. In some cases, the information you provide may be covered by the Privacy Act of 1974. Please visit the DOI Privacy Program page for information on how information is collected and maintained under the Privacy Act of 1974.

We may share personal information with contractors acting on behalf of the Department; another federal agency to respond to your inquiry, protect against security threats or as required by law; or to a third-party such as:

  • A bank or United States Department of the Treasury account, which must receive payment for a transaction that you initiated.
  • A company that we have contracted to assist us with specific services, including electronic commerce or donations, and which agrees not to sell or use personal information for other purposes.
  • A legal authority if we suspect that you are attempting to change or otherwise damage this web site, or you are using it in violation of federal or local laws.
  • Congress or a court in response to a subpoena.

The Department of the Interior does not collect or use information for commercial marketing purposes.

Information Collected for Website Measurement and Customization Technologies (Cookies)

A cookie is a small file that transfers to your computer when you visit a website to allow it to remember specific information about your session. Your computer will only share the information in the cookie with the website that provided it, and no other website can request it. There are two types of cookies, session and persistent. Session cookies last only as long as your web browser is open. Once you close your browser, the cookie disappears. Persistent cookies store information on your computer for longer periods of time.

DOI websites may use session cookies for technical purposes, such as to enable better navigation through the site, or to allow you to customize your preferences for interacting with the site. A few DOI websites may also make use of persistent cookies to remember you between visits. For example, you can save your customized preference settings for future visits. Each DOI site that uses persistent cookies identifies itself as doing so. If you do not wish to have session or persistent cookies stored on your machine, you can turn them off in your browser. However, this may affect how some Interior websites function. provides instructions for "opting-out" of web measurement and customization technologies, through disabling cookies on your web browser.

Links to External Sites

Our website has links to other federal agencies and organizations. Once you access another site through a link that we provide, you are subject to the privacy policy of that site. The privacy policies and procedures described here do not apply to any external sites. We encourage you to read the privacy policies of any site you link to from ours, especially if you share any personal information. Please visit the DOI Linking Policy for more information on the Department’s linking standards.

Children’s Online Privacy

DOI is committed to protecting the privacy of children online.  DOI neither asks for nor collects personally identifiable information from children under 13 on Department websites designed with children as their primary audience. Please visit the DOI Children’s Privacy Policy page for more information.

Third-Party Websites and Applications 

The Department maintains official accounts on third-party websites and applications to interact with the public, increase government transparency, promote open government and provide access to information.    

DOI makes the essential information that it shares on third-party sites available on is the official source of information from the Department of the Interior. DOI may share information with private organizations as part of a service that provides visitors to with a better experience.  We use information provided by third-party tools to improve our web presence and end-user experience. Certain Department webpages may contain embedded content and applications from third-party website and application service providers. 

The Department may request that you voluntarily provide information through these official accounts such as registering for an event hosted by the Department. If you use a site outside the Department of the Interior, you are subject to the privacy and security policies of that site. These third-party websites and application service providers may collect the information you voluntarily provide, in accordance with their terms of service and privacy policies. The Department does not control what these third-parties service providers do with the information they collect from visitors. You should review the third-party service provider’s terms of service and privacy policies before using it to understand how and when the third-party service provider collects, uses or shares information you make available by using its services.  

Please visit our DOI Social Media Page for a directory of official Department of the Interior social media accounts, such as those on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. The Department uses these social media sites to share information. The Department posts videos, images and news events on these sites to provide alternative opportunities to disseminate information and content to the public. 

Your use of official DOI accounts on third-party websites and applications may cause personally identifying information to become available or accessible to the Department. For example, information may become available to the Department when a user provides, submits, communicates, links, posts or associates information with official DOI accounts through “liking,” “friend-ing,” responding to tweets or commenting on content.

The Department may collect and maintain personally identifiable information you make available on these official DOI accounts on third-party website and applications consistent with the Privacy Act, the Federal Records Act and other applicable laws. You may also view the Department’s Privacy Impact Assessments for more information on the Department’s use of third-party and social media platforms. 

Privacy policies for third-party social media platforms with official DOI accounts may be viewed at the links below.

Email Subscriptions

The Department maintains lists of subscribers who request periodic email updates.  The email subscription service allows visitors to the DOI website to receive notifications by email when new information is available.  If you sign up for these automatic updates you will only receive notification of changes to the web pages you specify and may unsubscribe at any time. You will be asked to provide your email address and the updates you would like to receive. Providing this information is voluntary; however, it is necessary in order to participate in this email subscription service. We do not sell, rent, exchange or otherwise disclose our list of subscribers to external organizations.  

This service is provided by a DOI contractor, which will use the information you provide to deliver the notifications you have requested and to update your subscription preferences. We will have access to the information you provide. We will not share your personal information with third parties for promotional purposes. 

Website Security

To maintain site security and ensure this service remains available to all users, the Department’s information systems and systems operated by contractors on behalf of the Department use software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, DOI makes no other attempts to identify individual users or their usage habits. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this site are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, as amended.

We use virus protection measures on our computer systems and regularly update the software. These computer security measures maintain our computer systems and ensure that all files that we develop or post on our web servers are virus-free. When you download a file from our site, it is possible, though unlikely, that the data may contract a virus and become corrupted before it reaches your computer. The Department of the Interior is not responsible for files that may become corrupted as the data travels the Internet.

Vulnerability Disclosure Policy

The Department is committed to ensuring the security of the information provided by visitors to our website. The Vulnerability Disclosure Policy provides guidance to security researchers for conducting vulnerability discovery activities directed at our public facing websites and to convey our preferences on submitting discovered vulnerabilities. 

The Vulnerability Disclosure Policy describes the systems and types of research covered by the policy and other guidelines for submitting vulnerability reports. Reports may be submitted anonymously by members of the public, or reporters may voluntarily provide their name and email address to facilitate communication with DOI on reported vulnerabilities and steps taken to lessen vulnerabilities. Names and contact information will not be shared without express permission, unless required under federal law. Providing contact information is voluntary, there is no impact to individuals who choose to submit reports anonymously. Both anonymous reports and reports with contact information will be processed similarly, but if you submit reports anonymously, you will not receive feedback on our follow up actions. 

Copyrights, Restrictions and Permissions Notice

Please visit the Copyrights, Restrictions and Permissions Notice page for information on copyrights, intellectual property, trademarks, endorsements, rights of publicity, restriction of liability and other related topics.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or comments about our privacy policy, please contact us by phone at 202-208-1605, by e-mail at, or by mail at:

U.S. Department of the Interior

Privacy Office

OS/OCIO, Room 7112

1849 C Street, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20240

Visit the DOI Privacy Program web page to learn more.


Updated August 31, 2022


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