The City of Philadelphia (the “City”) is committed to providing residents, visitors, and businesses with access to online government services. The City encourages users to visit the City’s official website, www.phila.gov (“Website”), to interact with City government. Phila.gov has various applications and services that facilitate a positive online experience. The nature of eGovernment services requires capture, storage, and management of user information. The City of Philadelphia values individual privacy and responsible management of personal information. Outlined in this document are the City’s policies related to Internet-based information gathering.
A user may provide personal information by interacting with forms, applications, emails, or by completing an online transaction. The City utilizes network security technology to protect users’ information against unauthorized use.
The City of Philadelphia collects general internet-based information for statistical purposes. Examples of the information collected include but are not limited to: what web browser (e.g., Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari) a user is using to access phila.gov; the user’s internet domain (www.yourcompany.com); time and date of the user’s visit, pages viewed, and the user’s IP address (unique computer identifier). 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 a user and address their requests.
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, etc. 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 website. Cookie management is controlled at the browser level. The user can turn off cookie transfer via the configuration option on 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 take reasonable measures to protect a user’s computer environment from highly unlikely cookie-related damage.
Third-party data sharing
The City reserves the right to share information with organizations under contract to act on the City’s behalf. Any information shared by the City with a contractual third party will be protected and used in accordance with the terms of the contract. Information may be shared with governmental and government-related agencies as outlined by various federal, state, and local government information laws.
The City of Philadelphia is committed to data security and the data quality of personally identifiable information (“PII”) that is either available from or collected by our Website. The City takes reasonable precautions to protect PII 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, to protect its confidentiality and will not retain your information longer than is necessary to complete the transaction. Where indicated on the Website, the City uses encryption technology to ensure the confidentiality of a user’s sensitive data (e.g., Name, Social Security Number, etc.). The City will not retain a user’s PII longer than is necessary to complete the user’s request or action. The City shall not be held liable for any injury caused by the disclosure of a user’s PII.
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;
- Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (“DBHIDS”);
- Emergency Medical Services (“EMS”), a division of the Philadelphia Fire Department; and
- Health and Welfare Benefits, a division of the Office of Human Resources.
Links to covered units’ notice of privacy practices: