Many people have concerns about privacy on the Internet. These concerns are legitimate, as it is not always made clear to Internet users what information is being collected about them. Typically, most sites collect the IP address or host name of the computer accessing the site, the page accessed, the time that access occurred, the kind of browser being used, and the URL of the page that referred you to that page. This URL is typically used to discover which sites are providing the most visits to a given page or site. Some sites also set cookies. (See “WHAT ARE ‘COOKIES’ AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?” below for more on cookies.)
For more general information on privacy, see the About Privacy page on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) web site ( http://ftc.gov/privacy/ ).
THE INFORMATION OSO TECHNOLOGIES COLLECTS:
For anyone accessing OSO Technologies’ web sites:
The IP address or hostname of the computer, the page accessed, the time that access occurred, which kind of browser is used, and the URL of the page that referred you to that page. We use this URL to find out which sites are providing the most traffic to a given page or site.
For OSO Technologies Customers:
OSO Technologies keeps a log of who dialed in to OSO Technologies and how long they were connected. This is used strictly for billing purposes. OSO Technologies does not routinely keep a log of which IP addresses or host names anyone connects to. OSO Technologies reserves the right to do so in the process of investigating system malfunction, resource abuse, illegal activities, or Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) violations.
We also keep a log of Service Support Center calls. This is used to help us identify problems and better serve our customers.
In the case of OSO Technologies Premium Services, OSO Technologies keeps a log of each query, stored by the username that the user logged in with. For users of the MVD Title/Lien Program, each transaction is saved and an archive of past transactions is saved. Some, but not all, of this query information is printed on your bill every month. None of this information is shared with third parties other than the owners of the data.
Giving subscriber information to third parties:
OSO Technologies has a long-standing policy of not disclosing any subscriber information to third parties. In the unlikely event that this changes, demographic and personal data provided to OSO Technologies by subscribers will not be distributed, sold, or given to any other organization without prior notification of the individuals referred to by the data.
Right to Privacy on OSO Technologies’ Systems:
OSO Technologies considers user-produced data stored on its servers or crossing its network to be the property of the subscriber who created it. The degree to which this content is made public is under the sole discretion of the creator. Contents of this data will not be reviewed, edited, archived without notice, replicated or otherwise investigated or altered in the normal course of business. OSO Technologies reserves the right to do so in the process of investigating system malfunction, resource abuse, illegal activities, or AUP violations.
Electronic mail is a private electronic message sent by or to a customer in correspondence with another person having Internet mail access. Contents of this e-mail will not be reviewed, edited, archived without notice, replicated or otherwise investigated or altered in the normal course of business. OSO Technologies reserves the right to cooperate fully with local, state, or federal officials in any investigation concerning or relating to any Mail transmitted on through OSO Technologies’ servers, although of course we require proper legal documentation (ie, a subpoena) before doing so.
Emailing address policies:
OSO Technologies considers the email address of its subscribers to be under their complete control for the duration of our business relationship. OSO Technologies will not provide lists of email addresses to any outside agency, nor will OSO Technologies use the email addresses of its subscribers for unsolicited inclusion in mailing lists, or for the purpose of sending unsolicited marketing materials to subscribers. All OSO Technologies internal mailing lists will be administered as double-opt-in mailing lists, and subscribers who have opted in can cancel their subscription automatically at any time by following instructions referenced in the mailing list management information (included in welcome messages, and possibly also in associated help web pages, and on periodic mailing list subscription management reminder emails). OSO Technologies cannot guarantee that subscribers’ email addresses will not be used for mailing lists or unsolicited email originating from networks outside its control, but our policies are intended to both prevent that and to enable us to assist in correcting these sorts of abuses when it is reported that they have occurred on our network in violation of our policies. OSO Technologies staff will, in general, take every effort to avoid viewing the contents of subscribers’ email boxes, and will do so only in conjunction with supporting our userbase, analyzing and/or correcting service problems, investigating reports of abuse, or cooperating with properly authorized law enforcement organizations in the course of criminal investigations.
OSO Technologies’ Premium Services:
Some of OSO Technologies’ Premium Services contain individually identifiably information relating to people. We comply with all legislation relating to this: specifically, we restrict (and in some cases, provide partial access to) the MVD title lookup based on the legislation passed to comply with Federal law. Here is the relevant section , §66-20-7.1 NMSA 1978 (Motor Vehicle Code Confidentiality). All MVD lookup users must fill out and sign the MVD Application for Approval. This must be approved by OSO Technologies before anyone can use the MVD data.
For Premium Services available under the LegalNet program, this disclaimer applies: “Data is ‘AS IS’. Solicitation using data is forbidden. Data use is subject to NMSA 1978, §14-3-15.5 (1995)”
OTHER POLICY ISSUES:
Resale of collected data:
Demographic and personal data provided to OSO Technologies by subscribers will not be distributed, sold, or given to any other organization without prior notification of the individuals referred to by the data.
OSO Technologies does not exercise editorial control over the content of e-mail, chat sessions, Usenet news postings, web pages, or other content produced by OSO Technologies subscribers. Subscribers are solely responsible for such content. Enforcement of OSO Technologies AUP is performed only after noncompliant content is brought to our attention; OSO Technologies exercises no proactive monitoring or editorial oversight at the time of content creation, publication or transmittal. OSO Technologies editorial oversight is restricted solely to company-generated, official content.
OSO Technologies’ legal liability is strictly limited to items over which it retains editorial control.
WHAT ARE “COOKIES” AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?
Cookies are little bits of data sent from a web site to the browser. They usually contain such data as a unique number, the name of the site that sent the cookies, and the date that the cookie will expire.
Cookies were invented by Netscape to solve a basic problem: without cookies, it’s very hard for a web server to remember who you are from page to page. The connection to the server is shut down after each page is done. This makes doing things like shopping carts very difficult.
There are two kinds of cookies:
Session cookies are only stored by your web browser for as long as you’re running your browser. As soon as you close your browser, these cookies vanish. These cookies are typically used by shopping carts and sites that use dynamic layouts such as ASP, Java, and ColdFusion.
Several of OSO Technologies’ sites use session cookies. These include our DPS Accident Reports web site, as well as OSO Technologies webmail.
Persistent cookies are designed to let a web site remember information from one visit to the next. At first glance, these cookies might seem to “remember” you, but they really only uniquely identify the web browser.
This means that if you have log-in information for a site stored in a cookie, anyone using your browser can log in as you, unless that site requires you to enter a password each time you access it.
Also, if you use a different browser, either on another computer or even on the same computer, that other browser doesn’t know about any of your cookies used by your normal browser. For example, if you normally use Internet Explorer, but then use Netscape, Amazon.com will not greet you by name until you log in, in which case a cookie is sent to Netscape too.
OSO Technologies sites that use persistent cookies include our Accident Reports site. This only occurs if you register for an account. This cookie is used to fill in your username to make it easier to log in. Use of this cookie is not required to use the site.
Third Party Cookies:
A more controversial use is third-party cookies by advertising networks. An example will help clarify:
You visit the www.yahoo.com web site. You might think you would only get a cooke from Yahoo, but you’d be wrong. The page has links to an ad network that sends your browser a cookie. doubleclick.net is the most common source.
This cookie contains a unique number. From then on, whenever you visit another site in the network, such as www.hotmail.com, it will ask your browser if it has a cookie containing that unique number.
Whether this unique number is tied to any personally identifying information such as your name or e-mail address depends on whether you entered that information into a site on that network. Eventually, a central computer in the network is sent all the cookie information which allows an analysis of which sites on that network you visited and when.
Starting with Internet Explorer 6, you can tell your browser to accept only Session cookies and First Party cookies. This means that cookies that are sent by ad networks are not accepted, because they are third party cookies. In other words, you are accepting only cookies from the site you are current visiting.
If you wish to do this, click on Tools, Internet Options, and select the Privacy tab. Click on the Advanced button, and check First-Party cookies Allow, Third Party cookies block, and check Always allow session cookies. Click OK twice and you should be back to the browser. Not that this does *not* delete any cookies you already have.
Netscape 6 or higher also features similar features.
This setting allows you to still use features such as Amazon.com remembering who you are, Yahoo or Hotmail remembering who you are, and also allows you to visit many dynamic sites that will work better,still without any tracking by ad networks.