An official website of the United States government

Privacy Policy

We are committed to the privacy of our visitors. We collect no personal information about you when you visit our website unless you choose to provide that information to us. 

Here is how we handle information about your visit: If you do nothing during your visit but browse through the website, read pages or download information, we will gather and store certain information about your visit automatically for use in site management and security purposes. We use Google Analytics measurement software to collect and analyze this information because it helps us to better design our websites to suit your needs. We may also automatically collect information about the web content you view in the event of a known security or virus threat. This information does not identify you personally. 

We automatically collect and store information such as the following concerning your visit: 

  • The Internet domain (for example, “xcompany.com” if you use a private Internet access account, or “yourschool.edu” if you connect from a university’s domain);
  • Your IP address (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you are surfing the Web) from which you access our website.
  • The type of browser and operating system used to access our site;
  • The date and time you access our site;
  • The pages you visit; 
  • Your username, if it was used to log in to the website; and
  • If you linked to our website from another website, the address of that website.

We use this information to help us make our site more useful to visitors — to learn about the number of visitors to our site and the types of technology our visitors use. 

Information protection

We take precautions to maintain the security, confidentiality, and integrity of the information we collect as directed by the Privacy Act of 1974, the E-Government Act of 2002, and the Federal Records Act. Such measures include access controls designed to limit access to the information to those that need it. We also employ various security technologies to protect the information stored on our systems, and we routinely test our security measures to ensure that they remain operational and effective.

We hold our contractors and other third-party providers to the same high standards that we use to ensure the security, confidentiality, and integrity of personal information they may have access to in the course of their work completed on behalf of the Department.

Information that you voluntarily provide

We do not collect personally-identifiable information unless you choose to provide it to us. If you provide us with personally identifiable information (e.g., by sending an e-mail or by filling out a form and submitting it through our website), we use that information only to respond to your message and to help us provide you with the information and services that you request. Submitting voluntary information constitutes your consent to the use of the information for the stated purpose. If you choose to not provide certain information we may not be able to complete the requested service. When we do request information from you, we will explain why we need it and how we will use it in a separate “Privacy Notice.” We do not collect or use information for commercial marketing.

If you send us an email

Many of our programs and websites allow you to send us an email. We will use the information you provide to respond to your inquiry. We will only send you general information via email. You should be aware that email may not necessarily be secure against interception. Therefore, we suggest that you do not send sensitive personal data (such as your Social Security number) to us via email. If your intended email communication is very sensitive, or includes information such as your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number, you should instead send it by U.S. mail. Another alternative may be submission of data through a secure web page, if available.

Electronic mail messages may be considered Federal records if they meet the definition of records in the Federal Records Act (44 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.). This means that emails you send us will be preserved and maintained for varying periods of time if those emails meet the definition of Federal records. Electronic messages that are not records are deleted when no longer needed.

How information is used

The information we collect is used for a variety of purposes. We make every effort to disclose clearly how information is used at the point where it is collected, so that our users can determine for themselves whether they wish to provide the information.

Sharing of your information

We may share the information you give us with another government agency if your inquiry relates to that agency. In other limited circumstances, such as responses to requests from Congress and private individuals, we may be required by law to disclose information you submit. Before you submit personally identifiable information, such as on an online form, you will be advised as to the purpose and how the information will be used.

You can learn more about how we share information on our Privacy Act Systems of Records Notices page. 

Retaining information

We destroy the information we collect when the purpose for which it was provided has been fulfilled — unless we are required to keep it longer by statute or official policy. Electronically submitted information is maintained and destroyed according to the principles of the Federal Records Act and the regulations and records schedules approved by the National Archives and Records Administration. In some cases information submitted to us may become an agency record and, therefore, might be subject to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Data Analytics

Our teams use data analytics, the science of analyzing raw data, to improve our websites based on how real people use them.  

The primary data analytics program that we utilize is the Digital Analytics Program (DAP), a unified Google Analytics account created for the federal government. This program aims to improve the user’s experience and help government agencies understand how people find, access, and use government services online. Neither us nor Google have access to the specifics of your particular site visits.  Our employees can only see the aggregate data from all users for a particular time period. We may share the aggregate data with our partners and contractors to help improve visitor experiences; however, none of the federal government data tracked as part of the Digital Analytics Program is shared with Google’s corporate advertising partners. The program does not have any processes in place to collect personal information and agencies cannot pass any personal information into the program’s account.  In addition, the program’s code anonymizes IP addresses at the earliest available point, and the original IP address is not stored at any point. 

 On November 8, 2016, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a memorandum on Policies for Federal Agency Public Websites and Digital Services, which requires executive branch federal agencies to implement the Digital Analytics Program JavaScript code on all public facing federal websites.  Visitors to our websites can expect to have aggregate information collected upon their website visits and utilized by us to enhance their customer experience. 

For more detailed information on the Digital Analytics Program, please contact dap@support.digitalgov.gov.

Third-Party Websites and Applications

The Department maintains official pages or accounts on several third-party websites, including social media, in order to better engage with the American public and foreign constituencies to promote awareness of our activities, events, news, and information.

Your activity on these third-party sites is governed by the security and privacy policies of the third-party sites. We do not use third-party sites to solicit and collect personal information. Users of third-party sites are often sharing information with the general public, user community and/or the third-party operating the third-party site. You should review the privacy policies of third-party sites before using them to ensure that you understand how your information may be used. You should also adjust privacy settings on your account on any third-party site to match your preferences. 

We use the ForeSee Results’ American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) online survey on an ongoing basis to obtain feedback and data on visitors’ satisfaction with the state.gov website. This survey is optional and does not collect personal information. We may use other limited-time surveys for specific purposes, which are explained at the time they are posted.


The Department’s Bureau of Global Public Affairs (GPA) uses the GovDelivery service to deliver email bulletin messages to self-subscribed users.  GPA’s Office of Global Web Platforms serves as the executive agent for the Department’s GovDelivery Service and controls who at the Department has access to send email bulletins, create or delete topics.

GovDelivery is a web-based e-mail subscription management system that allows a member of the public (user) to subscribe to news and information on www.state.gov. The GovDelivery user selects specific topics that interest them. Whenever information on that topic is made available by the Department, the user that has subscribed to that topic receives an email.  The user’s subscription profile consists of their email address and the topics they wish to receive email updates for.  The user may customize and manage their subscription profile in order to receive exactly the types of information they desire, and they may cancel their subscriptions at any time.

Users engaging the Department’s GovDelivery system expect privacy protections while interacting with the Department. We will only use the email addresses provided by the users to send email messages related to the topics selected by the user in the GovDelivery system. We will not use the GovDelivery service to: 1) send email messages not related to the topics selected by the user; 2) actively seek personally identifiable information; and 3) search for or by personally identifiable information without a waiver from our Privacy Office.  To the extent a user posts or sends personally identifiable information to the Department’s GovDelivery system, we will use the minimum amount necessary to accomplish a purpose authorized by statute, executive order, or regulation.

Neither the Department nor GovDelivery may share a user’s subscription profile (including email address) without a waiver from the Privacy Office.


“Cookies” are small bits of text that are either used for the duration of a session (session cookies) or saved on a user’s hard drive in order to identify that user or information about that user the next time she/he logs onto a website (persistent cookies). If you do not wish to have session or persistent cookies stored on your machine, you can turn cookies off in your browser. You will still have access to all information and resources at our websites, but turning off cookies may affect the functioning of some websites. Be aware that disabling cookies in your browser will affect cookie usage at all other websites you visit as well.

Interaction with Children Online

This website may offer educational content to children under 13 years old. If a Department website intends to collect information about children under 13 years old, we will provide information and instructions consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The web page will specify exactly what the information will be used for, who will see it, and how long it will be kept.

Visiting Other Websites

This site may have links to the websites of other federal agencies, international agencies, private organizations, and some commercial entities. Once you go to a site other than ours, you are subject to the privacy and security policies of the new site. It is always a good idea to read the privacy policy of any website that you visit. We do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information contained in a linked site. We also do not endorse the organizations or individuals maintaining sites that we link to, any views they express or any products/services they offer.

Privacy Policy Contact Information

We welcome feedback if you have any questions regarding our privacy policy or the use of your information. Our privacy compliance materials, Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA) and Systems of Records Notices (SORN), are available at www.state.gov/privacy. For additional information about our Privacy Policy, please contact the Privacy Office at privacy@state.gov or mail us at:

Office of Global Information Services
Privacy Office – A/GIS/PRV
State Annex 9
U.S. Department of State
Washington, DC 20006

Updated June 2020


View our Social Media Terms and Conditions

1. Acceptance of Terms

Welcome to the U.S. Embassy in Austria’s social media sites! The U.S. Department of State provides this service to you, subject to the following Terms of Use (“TOU”), which may be updated by the Department of State from time to time without notice to you. You can review the current version of the TOU at any time on this page.

2. Purpose

The purpose of the U.S. Embassy in Austria’s social media channels is to inform and educate Austrian audiences about the United States and the U.S.-Austrian relationship.

3. Description of service

This page outlines the privacy notices, terms of use, and disclaimer for all social media sites run by the U.S. Embassy in Austria, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Flickr. Please note that users must also adhere to Facebook’s TOU, which can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/policies.

The Public Affairs section at the U.S. Embassy in Austria manages its Facebook platform. It provides members with a variety of features, including but not limited to: video and photo sharing, discussion forum, messaging, chat, and notifications of developments in the U.S.-Austrian relationship. The U.S. Department of State reserves the right to alter the types of features that the U.S. Embassy in Austria provides at any time with no notice to network members.

4. Facebook’s Privacy Policy

By using or accessing Facebook, and this site, you are accepting the practices described in the Facebook Privacy Policy. For more information on Facebook’s privacy policy, go to http://www.facebook.com/terms.php#/policy.php.

The Information Facebook Collects

When you visit Facebook you provide them with two types of information: personal information you knowingly choose to disclose that is collected by Facebook and Web Site use information collected by Facebook as you interact with our Web Site.

When you register with Facebook, you provide them with certain personal information, such as your name, your email address, your telephone number, your address, your gender, schools attended and any other personal or preference information that you provide to them. The U.S. Embassy in Austria does not store any of this personal information nor any additional member information beyond that which is already stored for your account by Facebook.

You post User Content (as defined in Facebook’s Terms) on the Site at your own risk. Although Facebook allows you to set privacy options that limit access to your pages, please be aware that no security measures are perfect or impenetrable. We cannot control the actions of other Users with whom you may choose to share your pages and information. Therefore, we cannot and do not guarantee that User Content you post on the Site will not be viewed by unauthorized persons.

5. Security

Participation in the U.S. Embassy in Austria’s social media channels is voluntary. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your login, and are fully responsible for all activities that occur under your login. You agree to (a) immediately notify the U.S. U.S. Embassy in Austria community manager of any unauthorized use of your login or account or any other breach of security, and (b) ensure that you exit from your account at the end of each session. The U.S. Department of State cannot and will not be liable for any loss or damage arising from your failure to comply with this Section.

6. Member conduct

You understand that all information, data, messages or other materials (“Content”), whether publicly posted or privately transmitted, are the sole responsibility of the person from which such Content originated. This means that you, and not the U.S. Department of State, are entirely responsible for all Content that you post, email, transmit or otherwise make available via the site. The U.S. Department of State does not control the Content posted except as described below and, as such, does not guarantee the accuracy, integrity or quality of such Content. You understand that by using the Service, you may be exposed to Content that is offensive, indecent or objectionable. Under no circumstances will the U.S. Department of State be liable in any way for any Content, including, but not limited to, for any errors or omissions in any Content, or for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of any Content posted, emailed, transmitted or otherwise made available via the site.

You agree to not use the site to:

  • post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any Content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortuous, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable;
  • harm minors in any way;
  • impersonate any person or entity;
  • forge headers or otherwise manipulate identifiers in order to disguise the origin of any Content transmitted through the site;
  • post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any Content that you do not have a right to make available under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (such as inside information, proprietary and confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under nondisclosure agreements);
  • post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any Content that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other proprietary rights (“Rights”) of any party;
  • post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letters,” “pyramid schemes,” or any other form of solicitation;
  • post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any material that contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment;
  • disrupt the normal flow of dialogue or otherwise act in a manner that negatively affects other users’ ability to engage in exchanges;
  • interfere with or disrupt the site or servers or networks connected to the site, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of networks connected to the site;
  • intentionally or unintentionally violate any applicable local, state, national or international law;
  • stalk or otherwise harass another; or
  • collect or store personal data about other users.

You acknowledge that the U.S. Department of State does not pre-screen all Content, but that the U.S. Department of State and its designees shall have the right (but not the obligation) in their sole discretion to edit, delete, refuse or move any Content that is available via the site. Without limiting the foregoing, the U.S. Department of State and its designees shall have the right to remove any Content that violates the TOU or is otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of any Content, including any reliance on the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of such Content.

You acknowledge and agree that the U.S. Department of State may preserve Content and may also disclose Content if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such preservation or disclosure is reasonably necessary to: (a) comply with legal process; (b) enforce the TOU; (c) respond to claims that any Content violates the rights of third-parties; or (d) protect the rights, property, or personal safety of the U.S. Department of State, its users and the public.

You understand that the technical processing and transmission of the site, including your Content, may involve (a) transmissions over various networks; and (b) changes to conform and adapt to technical requirements of connecting networks or devices.

You agree that if you post content that contains statements or depictions of violence against a person, group of people, or country, that the Department of State will report this incident and its content to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

7. Special admonitions for international use

Recognizing the global nature of the Internet, you agree to comply with all local rules regarding online conduct and acceptable Content. Specifically, you agree to comply with all applicable laws regarding the transmission of technical data exported from the United States or the country in which you reside.

8. Content submitted or made available for inclusion on the site

The U.S. Department of State does not claim ownership of Content you submit or make available for inclusion on the site. The Department only claims ownership over self generated content created by the Department of State for inclusion on this site. It does not take responsibility for the inclusion of third party links or other third party content such as articles.

9. Indemnity

You agree to indemnify and hold the U.S. Department of State, and its affiliates, officers, agents, grantees or other partners, and employees, harmless from any claim or demand, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, made by any third party due to or arising out of Content you submit, post, transmit or make available through the site, your use of the site, your connection to the site, your violation of the TOU, or your violation of any rights of another.

10. No resale of service

You agree not to reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, resell or exploit for any commercial purposes, any portion of the site, use of the site, or access to the site.

11. General practices regarding use and storage

You acknowledge that the U.S. Department of State may establish general practices and limits concerning use of the site, including without limitation the maximum number of days that message board postings or other uploaded Content will be retained by the site, and the maximum number of times (and the maximum duration for which) you may access the site in a given period of time. You agree that the U.S. Department of State has no responsibility or liability for the deletion or failure to store any messages and other communications or other Content maintained or transmitted by the site. You further acknowledge that the U.S. Department of State reserves the right to change these general practices and limits at any time, in its sole discretion.

12. Modifications to service

The U.S. Department of State reserves the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the site (or any part thereof). You agree that the U.S. Department of State shall not be liable to you or to any third party for any modification, suspension or discontinuance of the site.

13. Termination

You agree that the U.S. Department of State, in its sole discretion, may terminate your access to the site, and remove and discard any Content within the site, for any reason, including, without limitation, for lack of use or if the U.S. Department of State believes that you have violated or acted inconsistently with the letter or spirit of the TOU. The U.S. Department of State may also in its sole discretion and at any time discontinue providing the site, or any part thereof. You agree that any termination of your access to the site under any provision of this TOU may be effected without prior notice, and acknowledge and agree that the U.S. Department of State may immediately suspend your access to the site. Further, you agree that the U.S. Department of State shall not be liable to you or any third-party for any termination of your access to the site.

14. Links

The U.S. Embassy in Austria may provide, or third parties may provide, links to other websites or resources. You acknowledge and agree that the U.S. Department of State is not responsible for the availability of such external sites or resources, and does not endorse and is not responsible or liable for any Content, advertising, products, or other materials on or available from such sites or resources. You further acknowledge and agree that the U.S. Department of State shall not be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with use of or reliance on any such Content, goods or services available on or through any such site or resource.

Facebook may contain links to other websites. The U.S. Department of State is not responsible for the privacy practices of other web sites. Your are encouraged to be aware when you leave our site to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects personally identifiable information. This Privacy Policy applies solely to information collected by Facebook.

15. English Language

In order to assure that members adhere to the TOU, the language of the U.S. Embassy in Austria sites is English. Content posted in languages other than English may be subject to removal. An accurate translation into English must be provided if a member chooses to post content in other languages.

Terms of Use, Notices and Revisions

We reserve the right to change our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use at any time. If we make changes, we will post them and inform the community of the changes. If we make significant changes to this policy, we will notify you through notice on our home page. We encourage you to refer to this policy on an ongoing basis so that you understand our current privacy policy.

Contacting the Website

If you have any questions about this privacy policy, please contact the U.S. Embassy in Austria social media Community Managers via our contact form.