Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

The effective date of this Privacy Policy is March 31, 2017

Overview:

This website has been placed by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) on behalf of itself and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the co-developers of Plan Bay Area.   MTC and ABAG are each an “Agency” and are collectively referred to as “the Agencies.”  MTC wishes to provide visitors to the Plan Bay Area website (the Website) an understanding of how MTC handles personally identifiable information (PII) collected in connection with their Website visits. Among other things, this Privacy Policy explains the types of information collected, the third parties with whom MTC may share this information, and the process by which visitors are notified about material changes to this Policy. 

Definitions

The following definitions apply:

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) PII identifies or describes a person or can be directly linked to a specific individual. Examples of PII include but are not limited to, a person’s name, mailing address, email address, and telephone number.

Aggregate Data Aggregate Data is statistical information that is derived from collective data and relates to a group or category of persons from which PII has been removed.  Aggregate Data is generally used by MTC for statistical analysis, reporting, improving the content of MTC’s web services, and helping MTC understand how people are using Website services.  Aggregate Data may be shared with third parties and published in any publically-available media.

Collection of Personally Identifiable Information

The information MTC collects depends upon what the visitor does when visiting the Website.  MTC collects PII from the visitor only if he or she volunteers to use a service and the collection of the information is necessary to deliver the specific service, such as to respond to the visitor’s questions or to provide written materials or program updates that the visitor has requested.   In general, this information may include an individual’s name, address, phone number and email address. 

The Website allows visitors to participate in the Plan Bay Area Open Forum operated and hosted by Peak Democracy.  When the visitor subscribes, he or she will be taken to a website operated by Peak Democracy. Any information, including PII such as name, street address, and email address, the visitor provides to Plan Bay Area Open Forum is subject to Peak Democracy's privacy policy and Terms of Service, which MTC encourages the visitor to review.   Links to Peak Democracy’s privacy policy and Terms of Service can be found on the Plan Bay Area Open Forum webpages.  The Agencies are not responsible for Peak Democracy's Privacy Policy, its Terms of Service or its use of personal information. Additionally, any comments the visitor makes are subject to public disclosure.

How MTC Uses Personally Identifiable Information

MTC uses the PII provided in order to provide the visitor with the service(s) he or she has requested.

Third Parties With Whom MTC May Share Personally Identifiable Information

Comments and inquiries, which usually contain some PII such as name and email address, may be shared with third parties for review, comment, and/or action in order to appropriately respond to the specific concern.

Please note that, once provided, all comments and inquiries may be considered public records subject to public inspection.  Comments relating to Plan Bay Area will be published on the Website and/or included in written or electronic format in any publically-available media.

In addition, PII may be disclosed to third parties, as required to comply with laws or legal processes served on one or more of the Agencies. 

IP Addresses

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique string of numbers that is assigned to a visitor’s computer, router or mobile device by his or her internet service provider.  When the visitor accesses the Website, agency servers collect the visitor’s device’s IP address, the time and date of the visit, and the pages he or she visits.  This information is used to help diagnose and resolve system errors and to otherwise administer the Website.   This information may be shared with third party service providers for these purposes.

Website Usage Metrics 

The Website uses a third party traffic measurement service called Google Analytics to gather and compute website usage metrics.  Google Analytics collects users’ IP addresses and the pages the users are visiting.   Google Analytics may set a cookie that will enable it to function properly.  To find out more about Google Analytics’ privacy principles, visit the Google Analytics Privacy and Security Page at https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/6004245?hl=en.  

Security

Servers are designed with a combination of software, hardware and/or physical security measures in place to prevent unauthorized access.   This should not, however, be deemed in any way as warranting or guaranteeing the security of the information provided on the Website.   In addition, there is a risk that unauthorized third parties may engage in illegal activity by such things as hacking into MTC’s security system or by intercepting transmissions of PII over the internet. 

Updating Personally Identifiable Information

Visitors whose PII is included in the Plan Bay Area mailing list can review and update their PII at any time by emailing info@PlanBayArea.org or info@mtc.ca.gov or by calling the MTC Public Information Officer at 415-778-6757. 

Cookies

The Website stores “cookies,” which are small data elements that a website can store on a visitor’s computer or mobile devices when he or she visits.  A cookie file contains information that can identify information such as the IP address of the computer and network that a visitor uses to browse the Website, network traffic patterns, and browser software and operating system versions in order to customize the browsing experience and functionality of the Website.   The visitor can refuse cookies or delete the cookie from his or her computer using any of the widely available methods

Once a visitor leaves the Website, the privacy policy of other websites visited or linked-to from the Website should also be reviewed to understand how these external sites utilize cookies and how the information that is collected through the use of cookies on these websites is utilized.

Third-Party Websites and Applications

The Website may contain links to third-party websites operated by entities that may or may not be affiliated with MTC. These web links may be referenced within content, or placed beside the names or logos of the other entities.  In addition, third-party websites may exist that reference the Website.  MTC does not disclose PII to these third-party websites.

WARNING: Once a visitor enters external websites (whether through a service or content link or directly through a third-party website), the Agencies are not responsible for the privacy practices of those other websites.   Please review all privacy policies of external websites you may visit from links on the Website before using or providing any information to such other websites.

Children’s Privacy

If a visitor to the Website tells us that he or she is under the age of 13, MTC does not collect any PII from that person.

Changes to This Privacy Policy

Material Changes – MTC will inform visitors if material changes are made to this Privacy Policy, in particular, changes that expand the permissible uses or disclosures of PII allowed by the prior version of the Privacy Policy. If MTC make material changes to the Privacy Policy, MTC will notify visitors by means of posting a conspicuous notice on the Website that material changes have been made.

Immaterial Changes - MTC may also make non-substantive changes to the Privacy Policy, such as those that do not affect the permissible uses or disclosures of PII. In these instances, MTC may not post a special notice on the Website.

If MTC decides to make any change to the Privacy Policy, material or immaterial, MTC will post the revised policy on the Website, along with the date of any amendment.

MTC reserves the right to modify this Privacy Policy at any time, so the Privacy Policy needs to be reviewed frequently by visitors.

When MTC revises the Privacy Policy, the "last updated" date at the top of the Privacy Policy will reflect the date of the last change. We encourage visitors to review this Privacy Policy periodically.

Contact Information

MTC welcome comments on this Privacy Policy. Also, if there are questions about this statement, please contact the MTC Privacy Officer at privacyofficer@mtc.ca.gov or call 415-778-6700.