Skip to content
DOT tab

Transportation and Climate Change Clearinghouse

Privacy Policy

Thank you for visiting the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) website. We are committed to respecting your right to privacy and will protect it when you visit our website.

This Privacy Policy explains our online information practices only, including how we collect and use your personal information. It covers information collected on this RITA website. Our Privacy Policy does not apply to third party websites that you are able to reach from our website, nor does it cover practices of other elements within DOT. We encourage you to read the Privacy Policies of third parties and other DOT websites to learn how they collect and use information about you.

What information do we collect automatically online?

When you visit our website, we collect information about your visit that does not identify you personally. We collect the type of computer, browser, and web service you are using. We also collect the date, time, RITA pages you visit, and if you linked to our website from another website, the address of that website. Collecting this information helps us design the RITA website to suit your needs.

What additional information do we collect about you online?

When you visit our website, we may request and collect the following categories of personal information from you:

  • Contact information if you submit a question, request, or comment.
Why do we collect your information online and how do we use it?

Our principal purpose for collecting personal information online is to provide you with the information you need and want, and to facilitate the use of our website.

We will only use your information for the purposes for which you have provided this information, or for the purposes required under the law. (In order to learn more about how we provide choices to you regarding our use of your information, visit the "Do we give you choices on how we use the information you provide us?" section in this Privacy Policy.)

Generally, our uses of information collected online include:

  • Responding to your questions or requests;
  • Replying to your "feedback" comments;
  • Managing your access to restricted areas of the website; or
  • Fulfilling your requests for reports, publications, subscriptions, and other similar information.
How, and with whom, do we share the information we collect online?

We may share personally identifiable information you provide to us online with appropriate representatives within the Department of Transportation's Operating Administrations and related entities, other federal government agencies, or other designated RITA representatives as needed to facilitate your request or transaction.

Additionally, we may be required by law to share information we collect with authorized law enforcement, homeland security, and national security entities (also see the "What are your rights under the Privacy Act of 1974?" section in this Privacy Policy).

Do we give you choices on how we use the information you provide us?

Throughout our website, we will let you know whether the information we ask you to provide is voluntary or required. By providing personally identifiable information, you are granting us consent to use this personally identifiable information for the primary purpose for which you are providing it. Additionally, we will ask you to grant us consent before using your voluntarily provided information for any secondary purposes, other than those required under the law.

How long do we keep your information?

For business mailing addresses, we retain your information indefinitely and it does not get removed unless you send a request to

For personal mailing addresses, we usually keep your personally identifiable information for up to 45 days. After 45 days, we will maintain only your e-mail address in the event we need to contact you concerning your publication order.

What are our information practices for children?

Our website does not intentionally collect information from children under the age of 13. If we choose to collect personal information from children, we will comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Do we use cookies or other tracking devices?

A "cookie" is a small text file that is stored on your computer and makes it easy for you to move around a website.

We use cookies to store your text size preferences.

How do we secure your information we collect online?

We are committed to properly securing the information we collect online. To help us accomplish this, we take the following steps:

  • We employ internal access controls to ensure that the only people who see your information are those with a need to do so to perform their official duties;
  • We train relevant personnel on our privacy and security measures so that our personnel know what is required for compliance;
  • We physically secure the areas where we hold hard copies of the information we collect online;
  • We regularly back up the information we collect online to insure against loss;
  • We use technical controls to secure the information we collect online as appropriate, including but not limited to: Secure Socket Layer (SSL), encryption, firewalls, and password protections;
  • We periodically test our security procedures to ensure personnel and technical compliance; and
  • We employ external access safeguards to identify and prevent unauthorized attempts of outsiders to hack into, or cause harm to, the information in our systems.
  • Tampering with RITA' website is against the law. If anyone tries to tamper with it, they may be punished under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act.
What are your rights under the Privacy Act of 1974?

The Privacy Act of 1974 protects personal information the federal government collects and stores in a "systems of records" (SOR). A SOR is information an agency controls that can be retrieved by name or some other personal identifier. The Privacy Act regulates how the government can disclose, share, provide access to, and maintain the personal information that it collects. Not all information collected online is covered by the Privacy Act.

The Privacy Act's major provisions require agencies to:

  • Publish a Privacy Act Notice in the Federal Register explaining the existence, character and uses of a new or revised SOR;
  • Keep information about you accurate, relevant, timely, and complete to assure fairness in dealing with you; and
  • Upon request, allow you to access and review your information held in a SOR and request amendment of the information if you disagree with it.

When RITA collects information from you online that is subject to the Privacy Act (i.e., information to be kept in a SOR), we will provide you, through a link on the web page from which we collect information, access to our Privacy Act Notice. This Privacy Act Notice will inform you what portion of the information is maintained and retrieved by your name or other personal identifier.

Each Privacy Act Notice will also notify you of the following:

  • The authority for and purpose and use of the collection of information subject to the Privacy Act;
  • Whether providing the information is voluntary or mandatory; and
  • The effects on you if you do not provide any or all of the requested information.

Also, DOT has conducted Privacy Impact Assessments on some systems.

How do you find out more about, or comment on, our privacy practices?

For more information on our privacy practices, or for comments and concerns, please contact:

Bob Monniere
Attorney Advisor
Research and Innovative Technology Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
E35-330, RTC
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-5498 (tel)
202-366-3671 (fax)

Top of page