PATH Privacy Policy Notice

Thank you for visiting the PATH Study Web site. Protecting your privacy is very important to us, as reflected in our Privacy Policy, detailed below.

Policy as of September 1, 2013

  • We do not collect any personally identifiable information (PII) about you during your visit to PATH Web site unless you choose to provide that information to us.
  • Any PII you chose to provide is fully protected.
  • Non-PII information related to your visit to our Web site may be automatically collected and temporarily stored. This data can help us better understand how the public uses the site and how to make it more helpful. We collect information from visitors who read, browse, and/or download information from our Web site. The PATH Study never collects information for commercial marketing or any purpose unrelated to PATH's mission and goals.

NOTE: For more information on your health information privacy and security rights or the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, please visit

Types of Information Collected

When you browse through any Web site, certain information about your visit can be collected. We use this information to measure the number of visitors to our site and its various sections and to help make our site more useful to visitors.

We automatically collect and temporarily store the following type of information about your visit:

  • The name of the domain you use to access the Internet (for example,, if you are using an American Online account, or, if you are connecting from Stanford University's domain);
  • IP address (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to a computer when surfing the Web);
  • Operating system of your computer and information about the browser used when visiting the site;
  • The date and time of your visit;
  • The pages of the Web site you visited;
  • Address of the Web site that connected you to the PATH Web site (such as not government site or not government site)

How PATH Collects and uses Information

The PATH Study Web site uses Google Analytics measurement software to collect and aggregate the information listed above in the bulleted Types of Information Collected section above. Google Analytics collects information automatically and continuously. No personally identifiable information (PII) is collected.

This data is used to create reports and analyses which are used to help us make our site more useful to visitors. These data and reports are only available to web managers and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties. Again, there is no PII included in this data. PATH retains the data from Google Analytics as long as needed to support PATH's mission.

How PATH Uses Cookies

When you visit any Web site, its server may generate a piece of text known as a "cookie" to place on your computer. The cookie allows the server to "remember" specific non-PII data about your visit while you are using and navigating the Web site. A cookie may also make it easier for you to use the dynamic features of Web pages.

The Office of Management and Budget Memo M-10-22, Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies (PDF, 106KB) allows Federal agencies to use session and persistent cookies.

Session and Persistent Cookies: There are two types of cookies: single session (temporary) and multi-session (persistent). Session cookies are temporary text files that last only as long as your Web browser is open. Once you close your browser, the cookie disappears. Persistent cookies are stored on your computer for longer periods.

Cookies from PATH Study Web pages only collect information about your browser’s visit to the site; they do not collect personal information about you.

  • Session Cookies: We use session cookies for technical purposes such as to enable better navigation through our site. These cookies let our server know that you are continuing a visit to our site. The OMB Memo 10-22 Guidance defines our use of session cookies as Tier 1 Single Session which is defined as: "any use of single session web measurement and customization technologies."
  • Persistent Cookies: These are cookies that are stored on your computer and expire 2 years after your last visit to PATH Study Web site. After 2 years, they are automatically deleted from your computer. According to the OMB Memo 10-22 Guidance, our use of persistent cookies is defined as Tier 2 Multi-session without Personally Identifiable Information (PII) which "encompasses any use of multi-session Web measurement and customization technologies when no PII is collected." We use persistent cookies to enable Google Analytics to differentiate between new and returning PATH Web site visitors. We also use persistent cookies to collect non-PII data about users who visit our Web sites and to test variations of our site design and content to optimize our Web sites.

How to Opt Out or Block Cookies

If you do not wish to have session or persistent cookies placed on your computer, you can set your browser to block them. If you set your browser to block cookies you will still have access to all information and resources at the PATH Study Web site.

Instructions for disabling or blocking cookies in the most popular browsers are located at Please note that by following the instructions to opt-out of cookies, you will disable cookies from all sources, not just those from PATH Study Web site.

How Personal Information Is Protected

You do not have to give us personal information to visit the PATH Study Web site. However, if you choose to provide us with additional information about yourself through an e-mail message, form, survey, etc., we will only retain the information as long as needed to respond to your question or to fulfill the stated purpose of the communication. If we store your personal information in a record system designed to retrieve information about you by personal identifier (e.g. email address) so that we may contact you, we will safeguard the information you provide us in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. Section 552a).

Note that all communications addressed to PATH are maintained, as required by law, for historical purposes. These communications are archived on a monthly basis.

The PATH Study Privacy policy is adapted from the NIH Privacy Policy. For further information about the NIH privacy policy, please contact the NIH Senior Official for Privacy by calling (301) 451-3426 or visiting

Exit Disclaimer Policy

  • This graphic notice (not government site) next to a link on the PATH Study Web site indicates that the link leads to another site that is not a federal government website.
  • PATH Study links to external websites to supplement the information found on PATH’S Web site. However, PATH cannot guarantee the accuracy of information provided on external websites.
  • You will be subject to the external website’s privacy policy when you leave PATH’s Web site.

Intrusion Detection

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, we employ software programs to monitor traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. In the event of authorized law enforcement investigations, and pursuant to any required legal process, information from these sources may be used to help identify an individual.

Third-Party Applications

There may be third-party applications and/or services embedded on this site to improve its functionality. Our integration of these products is intended to provide a seamless user experience. Where applicable, privacy policies particular to these applications are provided.


PATH does not disclose, give, sell or transfer any personal information about our visitors, unless required for law enforcement or by statute.

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