NOAA, Ocean Explorer Privacy Policy

The Ocean Explorer website is managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (view NOAA Privacy Policy External Link). Direct administration of the computer systems is handled by the National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Information presented on these pages is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate photo and image credits is requested.

Visitor information collected by the web servers is necessary in order to share their contents with visitors. (View visitor rights under the Privacy Act External Link). The technical information collected (see example below) identifies what part of the website a visiting computer wishes to reach and where to send the requested information once it is found. For site management, this technical information is also used for statistical analysis. Summary statistics are used for such purposes as assessing what information is of most and least interest, identifying usage trends over time, determining technical design specifications, and identifying system performance or problem areas. This website collects no personally identifiable visitor information unless the visitor chooses to provide it.

Any additional visitor information collected on the site is for a specific purpose identified on the site. Submitting voluntary information constitutes visitor consent to the use of the information for the stated purpose.

Electronic mail sent to addresses listed on this website is treated no differently than any other electronic mail. All electronic mail transactions are handled by electronic mail servers, and do not pass through this website, nor are they monitored or recorded by this site in any way.


Links to Other Sites External Link

This site may have links to the websites of other federal agencies. There may be links to private organizations, with their permission. Once you go to another site, you are subject to the privacy policy of the new site. It is always a good idea to read the privacy policy of any website that you visit.


Retention of 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, and in some cases information submitted to us may become an agency record and therefore might be subject to a Freedom of Information Act request.


Sharing of 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.

We may also share information collected during your visit with non-federal entities, but only if your inquiry requires accessing data from that external entity. All of our sites that require such external access will be clearly identified to help you make an informed choice.

Specifically, information collected during your visit may be shared with the following specific non-governmental entities:

- Twitter. We offer a Twitter widget on our site that accesses a widget service in order to provide you with a current list of the latest Ocean Explorer 'tweets.'

- Flickr. We offer a Flickr widget on our site that accesses in order to provide you with a current list of the latest Ocean Explorer images posted on the Flickr service.

- Google. We offer a YouTube playlist on our site that accesses (the parent company of YouTube) in order to provide a current list of the latest Ocean Explorer YouTube videos.


Third-party Social Media Tools

We use third-party social networking/social media tools as a supplemental channel to promote awareness of Ocean Explorer and NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research activities, events, news, and information. Those tools include:

Facebook exit icon External Link. Facebook is a social networking website where users can connect and interact with other people. We typically post something new on our wall every workday to keep you up-to-date with Ocean Explorer happenings. Please note that you are subject to Facebook’s privacy policy exit icon External Link when visiting our Facebook page.

YouTube exit icon. YouTube is a video sharing service. The videos we share on YouTube are copies of those that appear elsewhere on the Ocean Explorer website. Please note that you are subject to YouTube’s privacy policy exit icon External Link when visiting our YouTube page.

Flickr exit icon. Flickr is a photo sharing service. The images that we share on Flickr are copies of those that appear elsewhere on the Ocean Explorer website. Please note that you are subject to Flickr’s privacy policy exit icon External Link when visiting our Flickr page.

Twitter exit icon External Link. Twitter is a microblogging service to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of short, frequent posts. We typically tweet once each business day about content on the Ocean Explorer website. Please note that you are subject to Twitter’s privacy policy exit icon External Link when visiting our Twitter page.

Google™ Earth/Google™ Maps exit icon. Google Maps and Google Earth map information and photographic imagery are used under license by Google. Ocean Explorer data presented using Google Maps/Google Earth are in the public domain and made available in open standard KML/KMZ format. The map information and photographic imagery contain trade names, trademarks, service marks, logos, domain names, and other distinctive brand features. This does not imply an endorsement of Google, Google Maps, or Google Earth products or services by the Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. Under the terms of the license, you are permitted to copy or use the Google Maps/Google Earth images on your site so long as Google Maps/Google Earth trade names, trademarks, service marks, logos, domain names, and other distinctive brand features are not deleted or in any manner altered. Please note that you are subject to Google’s privacy policy exit icon External Link when using this service.

Google Analytics exit icon External Link. This site uses Google Analytics, a third-party web measurement and customization technology as defined and organized by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), “Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies exit iconExternal Link (OMB M-10-22). Google Analytics places a small file on your computer, commonly called a "cookie," so that it can recognize your computer if you visit in the future. This cookie does not collect personal identifying information. This is considered a Tier 2 service in the OMB guidance.

Google Analytics does not collect personally identifiable information through their cookie and does not combine, match, or cross-reference information with any other information. Please review Google’s privacy policy External Link for additional information.

Visitors who choose to disable this web measurement will still have full access to While the details vary from browser to browsers, most modern browsers can be set up to accept, reject, or request user intervention when a site asks to set a cookie. Google Analytics uses a cookie that begins with: _utm

AddThis exit icon. AddThis is a social sharing service that allows site visitors to easily share content from most National Ocean Service website pages via a 'sharing bar.' Dozens of social sharing sites and services are available. Please note that you are subject to the AddThis privacy policy exit icon External Link when using this service.


Social Media Comment Policy

NOAA Ocean Explorer does not discriminate against any views; however, we do reserve the right to delete comments posted to our social media accounts that:

In short: We don’t edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. Please be respectful of others. Do not abuse the privilege of participating in our public, family-friendly forums. Repeat violators of any of these guidelines risk being blocked from commenting on all NOAA Ocean Explorer social media websites.

Reporters are asked to send questions to the OER’s Public Relations through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions as comments via social media outlets.

We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will generally occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted twice per week or as time is available during business hours.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment.



This website does not use persistent tracking technologies including web "cookies."

Cookie disclaimer: “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 the user logs on the a website (“persistent cookies”). NOAA does not use persistent cookies or any other persistent tracking technology. However, for some videos that are visible on, a “persistent cookie” is set by third party providers when you click to play a video. These videos are identified with a link to a cookie disclaimer under the video and are used by the third party provider to collect statistics on the number of unique web visitors viewing specific videos. A waiver has been issued by the White House Counsel's Office to allow for the use of these types of persistent cookies by third parties on the White House website and the Ocean Explorer website is following the White House example by providing an alternative method for viewing these videos. If you would like to view a video without the use of persistent cookies, click on the other links that read “download.” If you experience any difficulties, please contact

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system employs hardware and software to monitor network traffic and to identify unauthorized attempts to add or alter information, or otherwise cause damage or interfere with information delivery. Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, no attempt is made to identify individual users or their usage habits. Raw data logs may be stored indefinitely for use in statistical analysis or to protect the security and integrity of the computer system.

Unauthorized attempts to add information or alter information on this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act.

Please note that other National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration websites may have different information collection practices. If interested, please consult their site-specific privacy statements for details on such policies.

If you have any questions or comments about the information presented here, please forward them to


Example of information collected by this website

Web servers keep a record of their activity in a log file. Every time a visiting computer requests a file from the Web server, a log entry is recorded. A typical log file entry for the Ocean Explorer website looks like this:

10/04/00 13:19:18 OK 200 Mozilla/4.75 (Macintosh; U; PPC) "" :welcome.html 15208

What this entry means: