The purpose of the statement is to inform users of this site with regard to the collection and use of personally identifiable information. Nothing herein should be construed to, nor does it, create any new or different rights than those available under existing state and federal laws. This policy only applies to information received through interaction between Charleston County and the public through the Charleston County Internet site.
Definition of Personally Identifiable Information
For the purposes of this statement, “personally identifiable information” means any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual who is the subject of the information. This includes information such as names, addresses, social security numbers and credit card numbers.
Personally Identifiable Information Not Routinely Collected
Users are not required to provide personal information simply to visit Charleston County Web sites or to download information. Government agencies may request personally identifiable information in order to provide requested specialized services, but such information is handled as it would be on an in-person visit to a government office.
Personally Identifiable Information that May Be Subject to Public Disclosure
In the state of South Carolina, laws exist to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by a government agency. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public’s right to access certain records in order to preserve the privacy of individuals. Such exemptions are authorized by both state and federal laws. Information collected by Charleston County, like information collected during an in-person visit to a government office, may be subject to inspection and copying by the public, unless such an exemption in law exists. In the event that there is a conflict between this Privacy Statement and a state or federal law governing the disclosure of public records, the applicable state or federal law shall control.
Use, Collection and Retention of Personally Identifiable Information
The IP (Internet Protocol) addresses of computers used to visit Charleston County Web sites are noted as part of the statistical analysis used to better design government services and improve access to them. However, Charleston County does not attempt to obtain personally identifiable information on individual users or to associate individual users with IP addresses.
Charleston County collects, retains, and uses personal information only where it is lawful and is essential to administer and to provide products, services and other opportunities requested by a constituent via the Charleston County Internet site. It is the policy of Charleston County to avoid the display of social security numbers on the Web sites to the fullest extent possible.
Some Charleston County applications create “cookies” to hold user information. These “cookies” are then sent to, and stored on, the user’s computer. Any Charleston County application or Web page that uses “cookies” will identify itself as such. This information is handled in the same way as other personally identifiable information obtained by Charleston County. No user information will be gathered through the use of “cookies” except that which is required to run the specific application(s) being accessed by the user via the Charleston County Internet site.
Use of Constituent E-mail Addresses
E-mail addresses obtained as a result of requests to Charleston County Web sites will not be sold or given to any organization outside of Charleston County agencies for marketing purposes. The information collected is subject to the access and confidentiality provisions of the State’s Freedom of Information Act and other applicable sections of the South Carolina Code of Laws and/or federal law. E-mail or other information requests sent to Charleston County Web sites may be maintained in order to: respond to the request, forward that request to the appropriate agency, communicate updates to the Charleston County website page that may be of interest to citizens, or provide the Web designer with valuable customer feedback to assist in improving the site.
Non-Charleston County Web Sites
Various Web sites will be linked through Charleston County. This includes Web sites of other governmental agencies, as well as Web sites of private entities. Many of these sites may not be subject to the South Carolina Code of Laws, or may operate under different privacy standards. Visitors to those Web sites are advised to check the privacy statements of those sites and be cautious about providing personally identifiable information without a clear understanding of how the information will be used.