The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) respects your privacy. We will make every reasonable effort to ensure that any personal information you provide to us is used only for the purposes stated below. While the policy presented here concentrates on information collected by the NSTA website, it also applies to personal information submitted by other means (mail, fax, phone, sign-up sheets, and so on).
Several areas of the NSTA website require that you send us personal information:
This information is received offline as well (mail, fax, phone). NSTA uses the demographic and professional information collected on membership, convention, and other forms for aggregate analysis, to personalize our member records for better service, and to create targeted mailing lists. This information is also included in convention attendee lists supplied to convention exhibitors and other responsible third parties.
In addition to the primary purpose stated or implied at the time the information is collected, we may use your postal mailing address to send you information about NSTA programs or products, surveys, etc. We provide our convention attendee data (including e-mail address, if supplied) to convention exhibitors and make it available to others. We also make our member data available to companies offering NSTA member benefits and to other responsible third parties. If you are not an NSTA member, you can opt out of NSTA and third-party mail by filling out an online form or by calling 1-703-243-7100. NSTA members: see the section below.
If you supply an e-mail address, we use it to confirm your order, follow up on a request, etc., as the context determines. We may also use it to keep you informed about NSTA programs and initiatives. On occasion we may use your e-mail address for a purpose indirectly related to the original context (e.g., e-mailing a customer satisfaction survey to those who have made purchases from the NSTA catalog or in the online store). With the exception of the convention attendee data, NSTA does not make its e-mail lists available to any third party. If you are not an NSTA member, you can opt out of NSTA's reuse of your e-mail address by filling out an online form or by calling 1-703-243-7100. NSTA members: see the section below.
Personal information is also collected in the following areas, but is not reused in any form for any "secondary" purpose:
Because of the special relationship we seek to maintain with our members, NSTA sends them periodic updates and announcements by e-mail. We may also make an occasional phone call (e.g., to clear up a problem or inquire about a lapsed membership).
NSTA members have their own online opt-out page where they can opt out of third-party print mailings and NSTA e-mail announcements; they can also specify their preferred phone number and mailing address.
Some areas of this website are restricted to NSTA members (e.g., journal articles, SciLinks keyword lookup) or participants in specific programs (see the sections below). These areas require users to log in, usually by supplying a surname and password. This login information is not collected or tracked; it is used solely to verify that a person is authorized to use a particular resource.
SciLinks is an NSTA program that provides textbook links to teacher-approved web pages. If teachers and their students (or parents and their children) register with SciLinks, teachers (parents) have access to activity reports for their students (children).
We collect a minimum amount of information from students—enough to identify them uniquely, such as first name, last initial, zip code. We also ask them a question that allows the system to automatically retrieve their password if they forget it. However, we have no way of contacting students who participate in SciLinks.
We request more information from teachers/parents to help us identify where SciLinks is being used and improve our services. We also offer teachers and parents the opportunity to add their e-mail address to a list for receiving news and information from NSTA.
Personal information about individuals is not made available to any third party for commercial or other use. Aggregate personal and usage data is shared with SciLinks partners and others.
One of the goals of the Building a Presence program is to create a network of science educators. To this end, personal information is collected and shared widely among program participants. NSTA may also use this data to keep participants informed about other NSTA initiatives. However, none of the information gathered is made available to any third party.
As a portal for professional development, the NSTA Learning Center [etc. (rewrite)].
Generally speaking, you can visit the NSTA website without revealing any personal information about yourself. We do keep a record of all server activity, which means that every page, image, or other type of file requested by your browser is written into a log file. Each entry in the log contains, among other things, information about the computer you're using to connect to the Internet (its "IP address") and about your browser (e.g., which version of Internet Explorer you're using). It does not, however, tell us anything about you personally. We use aggregate data from the web logs to determine how the site's resources are being used and to refine its navigational structure. If the need arises, we may use the logs to trace the source of abusive or illicit activity. We do not share our web logs with any outside party.
A "cookie" is a text file, stored on your computer, that includes information that identifies that computer and can be retrieved by our server to create a seamless browsing session. Most cookies used on the NSTA site are deleted when your browser is shut down or in a fixed amount of time, whichever occurs sooner. Members-only pages and other restricted areas use this type of cookie.
Several areas of the NSTA website use so-called "persistent" cookies. These files are retained on the user's hard drive after the browser is shut down. For example, the Discussion Board offers the option of using cookies so that a user doesn't need to log in again upon returning. The online store uses persistent cookies that contain some personal information that a user has supplied (e.g., first and last name) and shopping cart data (to allow one to resume an interrupted shopping session).
Most browsers accept cookies by default. If you set your browser to reject all cookies, these areas and others may not function properly. Most browsers have a setting whereby the browser alerts you when a server attempts to place a cookie on your hard drive; you are given the option of accepting or rejecting it.
NSTA's web server also places a persistent cookie used by our web log analysis software to identify returning visitors (actually, returning computers-see "Anonymous information collected" above). This is valuable to us in assessing the website's effectiveness.
For more information on cookies, visit this US government site.
Some areas of the NSTA website allow you to submit questions or express your opinions (e.g., the Discussion Board). As stated in our legal notice, all submissions become the property of NSTA.
Keep in mind that any information you post on the Discussion Board is immediately available to anyone with a web browser. Don't give out more information than what you would like everyone in the world to know. You can, of course, edit or delete the messages you post there.
It should be noted that the e-mail address you submit as part of the registration process for the Discussion Board is not visible and cannot be retrieved by a member of the public. That person can e-mail you, but the system hides your e-mail address; in fact, you will learn that person's e-mail address without revealing yours.