The City of Philadelphia (the “City”) is committed to providing residents, visitors, and business with access to government services online. We encourage the use of our official Website, www.phila.gov (“Website”), to interact with government. Phila.gov has various applications and services to facilitate a positive online experience. The nature of eGovernment services requires capture, storage, and management of user information. The City of Philadelphia feels strongly about its responsibility to the individual’s right to privacy. Outlined in this document are our policies related to information gathered via the Internet.
The City of Philadelphia does not collect personal information automatically from anyone visiting www.phila.gov. The user may provide personal information as a result of interacting with forms, applications, emails, or to complete an online transaction. The information offered voluntarily by the user will be protected against unauthorized use by anyone using the City’s existing network security technology.
The City of Philadelphia does collect general internet-based information for statistical purposes. The user’s browser type, internet domain (www.yourcompany.com), time and date of visit, pages viewed, and IP address (unique computer identifier) are examples of the type of statistical information collected. This information is collected automatically without user interaction. The data collected is used to better serve the users of www.phila.gov. The City reserves the right to forward user information to department(s) that can best serve the user and address their request.
Cookies are small data files that are transferred by a web application to the user’s hard drive. These files are used to store information related to the user, such as ID, passwords, et cetera. This information is provided by the user via interaction with a web application or site. Cookies do not access information on the user’s computer. Their primary purpose is to make the user’s experience more enjoyable on their next visit to the site. Cookie management is controlled at the browser level. The user can turn off cookie transfer via the configuration option of their browser. The applications on www.phila.gov may at times transfer cookies to the user’s hard drive. The City is committed to using cookie technology responsibly and will make every effort to protect the user’s computer environment from highly unlikely cookie-related damage.
Third-party data sharing
The City of Philadelphia does not share information provided by the user with third-party organizations. It does, however, reserve the right to share information with organizations under contract to act on the City’s behalf. Any information forwarded to the City from contractual third parties will be held in the strictest confidence and used only for the purposes identified in the capturing transaction. The relevant information may be shared with other government-related agencies as outlined by the various federal, state, and local government information laws, such as the Freedom of Information Act.
The City of Philadelphia is committed to data security and the data quality of personally identifiable information that is either available from or collected by our Website and has taken reasonable precautions to protect such information from loss, misuse, or alteration. When any online bill-pay application on the Website accepts credit cards or other particularly sensitive information for its online bill-pay services, it encrypts all ordering information, such as your name and credit card number, in order to protect its confidentiality, and will not retain your information longer than is necessary to complete the transaction. Unless a particular webpage on the City’s Website indicates that encryption technology is being used, the user should not assume that information uploaded through that web page to the City’s web server will be treated as confidential. If a user submits information to the City’s server through a webpage containing visible indicators of active encryption technology, the City will take all reasonable precautions to safeguard the confidentiality of such information, but shall nevertheless not be held liable for any injury caused by the disclosure of that information, whether caused by a security breach, accident, inadvertence, or any other act resulting in disclosure.
The City of Philadelphia has designated itself as a Hybrid Entity and the following parts of the City as Covered Units that must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”):
- Ambulatory Health Services, a division of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (“PDPH”);
- Philadelphia Public Health Laboratory, a division of PDPH;
- STD Control Program in the Division of Disease Control, a division of PDPH;
- Philadelphia Nursing Home, a division of PDPH;
- Office of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (“DBHIDS”);
- Emergency Medical Services (“EMS”), a division of the Philadelphia Fire Department;
- Health and Welfare Benefits, a division of the Office of Human Resources; and
- COVID Surge Facility, a temporary facility operated by PDPH and the Office of Emergency Management.
Links to covered units’ notice of privacy practices:
- Ambulatory Health Services (PDF)
- Philadelphia Public Health Laboratory (PDF)
- STD Control Program (PDF)
- Philadelphia Nursing Home (PDF)
- Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) (PDF)
- Emergency Medical Services (EMS) (PDF)
- Health and Welfare Benefits (PDF)
- HIPAA Notice for Liacouras Surge Facility (PDF)