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Privacy Introduction

The privacy of our General Services Administration / Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) customers and affiliates has always been of utmost importance to FAS. Per our own policy for personal privacy, FAS will collect no personal information about you during your visit to our site unless you choose to provide that information via web-based forms or built in e-mail interfaces.

Although the following discussion may seem exhaustive, FAS wants to ensure that you, our customer, fully understand our policy with respect to your privacy. Our goal is to answer all questions concerning your privacy below.

Information Automatically Collected

During your visit to the FAS web sites, certain information is automatically collected that never identifies the individual but does provide system information, so that we can best manage the performance of our web environment.
  • The name of the domain from which you access the Internet (i.e.,, if you are connecting from an Erols account, or if you are connecting from Harvard University's domain)
  • The date and time you access our site
  • The Internet address of the web site from which you linked directly to our site.
  • The type of browser you are using to visit the site.

This information enables the FAS web environment to present its data using the best possible method. For example, a web site may look different when viewed by Microsoft's Internet Explorer versus Netscape's browser. Thus, our site determines which type of browser you have and presents the web page according to the best practice for that specific browser.

Date and Time information and the domain you visited us from provide performance statistics so that our engineers can better tailor the system based on geographical location and time of day visits.

Tracking links let us know how the customer found our site and the information provided by our site. This gives our web engineers insight on how they can better manage navigation and ensure that our customers find the information they are looking for.

How Does FAS Use Cookies?

A privacy statement cannot be complete without discussing the use of Internet cookies. A cookie is a small piece of information that is sent to your browser -- along with a Web page -- when you access a Web site. Your browser will only return this cookie information to the domain where the cookie originated (in this case, No other site can request it. A "persistent" cookie is a cookie that has been assigned an expiration value. When the expiration value is exhausted, the cookie is automatically removed. The term "persistent" means that the cookie exists in your browser even after you have shut down the session with the web site. Many sites use persistent cookies to track your progress through the system and retain information with respect to where you have visited on the site. "Non-persistent" cookies only manage the session while your browser is open. Once the browser is closed, the cookie disappears from your system. FAS web sites do not use persistent cookies.

Privacy and Correspondence Via E-mail

When you send us personally-identifying information (i.e. an electronic mail message containing a question or comment, or by filling out a site-form that e-mails us this information), we use this information to respond to your requests. We may forward your e-mail to other Government employees who are better able to answer you questions.

We want to make it clear that we will not obtain personally-identifying information about you when you visit our site, unless you choose to provide such information to us.

Personal Information Voluntarily Provided: The System of Records

In a system of records, where traditional paper collections of information are used to suppliment web based electronic forms, the personal record, in its entirety, whether electronic, paper or both are covered by the Privacy Act and will be treated as such.

As discussed above, information that a customer provides to us -- through our web site, mail, or some other method of transfer -- is held in confidence with FAS and is used only for the purposes of the business transaction it was intended for. Except for authorized law enforcement investigations and Freedom of Information Act requests, we do not share any information we receive with any outside parties.

Security, Intrusion and Detection

This is a Federal Government web site. For site security puposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this web system employes software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage.

Except for authorized law enformement investigations, no other attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits. Raw data logs are used for no other puposes and are scheduled for regular destruction in accordance with National Archives and Records Administrative Guidelines.

SSL Encryption

Those who have Internet access and plan to purchase products or services using their Government Purchase Card can be assured security is of the highest consideration with GSA. For this reason, GSA Advantage utilizes the industry standard Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology. SSL encrypts the transfer of information between your browser and our server. For your protection, you should be using a web browser that supports SSL encryption (such as Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4.0 or greater, or Netscape Navigator version 4.0 or greater).


Unauthorized attempts to upload or change 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. General Services Administration / Federal Acquisition Services will enforce the law to the greatest extent against any individual who tampers with the information available on this site.