Privacy and Security Policy
This policy addresses the collection, use, and security of information obtained from visitors to Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) websites.
The THECB is committed to ensuring the privacy and accuracy of your confidential information. Except as otherwise provided by applicable state or federal law, we do not actively share personal information gathered from our Web servers. However, some information collected from our websites, including the summary server log information, e-mails sent to the websites, and information collected from Web-based forms, may be subject to disclosure under the Texas Public Information Act or other applicable state or federal laws. This means that while we do not actively share information, in some cases we may be compelled by law to release information gathered from our Web servers.
As part of our commitment to maintain the privacy of our Web users, the THECB has developed this privacy statement. The statement has two purposes:
- To educate users about privacy issues.
- To inform users about specific privacy policies and guidelines employed by the THECB.
Texas public universities also comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). For more details on FERPA, currently enrolled students should see their institution's catalog.
Our websites contain links to external websites. The THECB is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of the external websites to which we link.
Information we Gather
Our Web servers generate logs that contain the following information:
- Internet address of computer being used
- Web pages requested
- Referring Web page
- Browser used
- Date and Time
- Status of your request
- Method of your request
Generally, the data is used in aggregate by system administrators and Web content managers to tune the website for its efficiency and is not ordinarily associated with specific individuals. Raw data from the Web server logs is only shared with the content manager of the Web site. Summary reports produced from the logs help Web publishers determine what Web browsers and pages are most popular. For example, if the aggregate reports show a particular webpage is very popular or used more by freshmen than by seniors, we use this information to customize the content of that page and make it easier to find. However, as consistent with applicable state and federal law, the information we gather may be made available for audit or investigation purposes to the State Auditor's office, any external auditors selected by THECB, as well as any auditors selected by the United States.
Cookies are small pieces of data that may be stored by the Web browser. Cookies are often used to remember information about preferences and pages you have visited. For example, when you visit some sites on the web you might see a "Welcome Back" message. The first time you visited the site a cookie may have been set on your computer; when you return, the cookie is read again. You can refuse to accept cookies, can disable cookies, and remove cookies from your hard drive. In Netscape Navigator, choose Edit and Preferences to manage your cookie settings, in Internet Explorer select Tools and Internet Options.
Security and Accuracy of Confidential Information
The THECB does its best to ensure that the personal information obtained from you is accurate. You may review the information saved or submitted via our websites at any time up to the point when it is purged from the database.
Although no computer system is 100% secure, the THECB has deployed extensive security measures to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information under their control. Certified independent security specialists audit these security measures and respective systems.
The THECB may hold information collected about you through our websites. With few exceptions, you are entitled on your request to be informed about the collected information. Under Sections 552.021 and 552.023 of the Texas Government Code, you are entitled to receive and review the information. Under Section 559.004 of the Texas Government Code, you are entitled to correct information held by us about you that is incorrect. You may correct information held by the THECB by writing to Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, P. O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711, Attn: Web Services or use our Contact Us page. The information that is collected about you will be retained and maintained as required by Texas records retention laws (Section 441.180 et seq. of the Texas Government Code) and rules. Different types of information are kept for different periods of time.
Sharing of Information
The THECB does not share information with other parties or gather information from other private data providers. Unless specifically required under public information requests filed under the Texas Public Information Act, it is against THECB policy to release confidential information gathered through the Web, such as pages visited, or personalized preferences.
Consistent with FERPA, the THECB does not release personal student information to other parties unless they receive explicit written authorization to do so.
Open Records Requests
Except for educational records governed by FERPA, all information collected via our Web sites, including the summary server log information, e-mails sent to the Web site, and information collected from Web-based forms, may be subject to the Texas Public Information Act.
For questions regarding this privacy statement, or if you believe that your personal information has been released without your consent, or if you wish to correct information held by the THECB, please send a comment via our Inquiries link at Inquiries/Technical Website Questions.