Last updated: October 26, 2023
Also note that while we attempt to protect the privacy of your information, some of the information we collect or receive through our Website may be subject to the Maine Freedom of Access Act M.R.S.A. Title 1, Chapter 13 (“FOAA”), so we cannot guarantee the complete privacy of any information that you provide to us or that we collect from you. Accordingly, such information may be made available to members of the public under FOAA where required.
Information we collect
We collect two types of information from users of our Website: “Personal Information,” which is information that can be used to identify you (such as your name or your email address), and “Aggregate Information,” which is information that cannot be used to identify you (such as frequency of visits to the Website or your browser type).
Information you provide to us
We collect Personal Information that you voluntarily provide to us when you use our Website. For example, you may provide us with your contact information such as your email address, your name, the content of your communication, or other Personal Information when you choose to submit such information to us through email, an online form, or other methods. If you interact with us on social media, we may collect your social media profile information, your communications with us, and your communications and posts on our social media pages.
If you sign up for our newsletter or mailing list, we collect the information you submit and you are signing up to receive communications from us. We also collect information when we interact with individuals at in-person events, workshops, and when we communicate through other means, such as by mail.
In connection with our NextGen 529 savings plan and lending programs, we also receive records from public sources, including contact information of potential recipients, and from financial organizations associated with our NextGen 529 savings plan and our lending programs.
If you create an account on our Website, you may be required to provide certain information such as your loan number, email address, phone number, and the last four digits of your Social Security number. You may provide additional information to us through your account and through any online portals that we may make available.
Information We Automatically Collect
When you use our Website, we automatically receive and collect information from your device. This information includes the following:
- Information about your device, such as the operating system, hardware, system version, Internet Protocol (IP) address, device ID, and device language.
- The specific actions that you take when you use our Website, including but not limited to the pages and screens that you view or visit, search terms that you enter, and how you interact with our Website.
- The time, frequency, connection type, and duration of your use of our Website.
- Information regarding your interaction with email messages, for example, whether you opened, clicked on, or forwarded the email message.
- Identifiers associated with cookies or other technologies that may uniquely identify your device or browser (as further described below).
- Pages you visited before or after navigating to our Website.
If we have collected your Personal Information through our “Careers” page in response to a job opening, you are giving us permission to use and retain your Personal Information for the purpose of evaluating your application for employment consideration for the specific position that you applied to, as well as other roles at FAME and at other Maine state agencies. This Personal Information may be processed and stored by a third-party talent tracking solution provider as well as with vendors, consultants, and other service providers who need access to such information to carry out work relating to the recruitment process on our behalf.
Aggregate Information Collected
Aggregate Information is information that does not identify you. Aggregate Information may be collected when you use our Website, independent of any information you voluntarily enter. Additionally, we may use one or more processes to de-identify information that contains Personal Information, such that only Aggregate Information remains. We may collect, use, store, and transfer Aggregate Information without restriction (subject to applicable law).
Cookies And Analytics
- Analyze our web traffic using an analytics package.
- Identify if you are signed in to the Website.
- Test content on the Website.
- Store information about your preferences.
- Recognize when you return to the Website.
Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better Website by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us. You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This setting may prevent you from taking full advantage of the Website.
We may use third parties, such as Google Analytics or other analytics providers, to analyze traffic to our Website. Google Analytics does not create individual profiles for visitors and only collects aggregate data. To disable Google Analytics, please download the browser add-on for the deactivation of Google Analytics provided by Google at http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=en. To learn more about privacy and Google Analytics, please consult the Google Analytics overview provided by Google at https://policies.google.com/privacy?hl=en#intro.
Although we do our best to honor the privacy preferences of our visitors, we are not able to respond to Do Not Track signals from your browser.
We use session-replay technologies provided by third parties to record your interactions with the Website to help us diagnose problems and improve our Website. These technologies allow us to watch a DVR-like visual video playback of user sessions on our Website and capture your activities such as your clicks, mouse movements, scrolls, and keystrokes/key touches when you use our Website, and may collect personal information from and about you.
We may also participate in interest-based advertising using similar technology. This means that you may see advertising on our Website tailored to how you browse, or you may see advertising for us or our services on other websites based on your browsing behavior across websites. Some websites where we may advertise belong to ad networks that use your web browsing history to choose which ads to display on their network websites. Other websites where you see our ads may use interest preferences that you have chosen on those sites, as well as registration and other information about you, to choose which ads to display to you. Some internet browsers, websites, and mobile devices offer opt-outs for interest-based advertising. Please refer to the website that you are visiting, your browser and/or your device settings for additional information
You can opt-out of receiving interest-based ads from third parties who are members of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) or who follow the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising by visiting the opt-out pages on the NAI website (https://optout.networkadvertising.org/?c=1) and DAA website (https://youradchoices.com/choices-faq).
Social Media Advertising
We may display targeted ads to you through various social media platforms. These ads are typically sent to groups of individuals who share traits, including likely commercial interests and demographics. For more information, we encourage you to review the policies of each social media platform.
How We Use Your Information
Our use of your information and Personal Information is subject to state and other applicable laws regarding information use, disclosure and retention, including FOAA. In general, however, we use information to provide our Website, operate FAME, communicate with you, and provide products, services, and information that you request from us. This includes but is not limited to the following:
- Provide, operate, improve, maintain, and protect our Website.
- Establish your account if you create one.
- Facilitate your use of our NextGen 529 savings plan program, if applicable.
- Facilitate your participation in our lending programs, if applicable.
- Provide you with technical and other support.
- Send you updates, communications, and other information about FAME and our Website, and products and services of third parties that we think you may be interested in.
- Send you notices and alerts.
- Conduct research, analytics, and monitor and analyze trends and usage.
- Contact you and respond to your inquiries.
- Enhance or improve user experience, FAME, and our Website, including the safety and security thereof.
- Personalize our Website to you.
- As necessary to comply with any applicable law, regulation, subpoena, legal process, or governmental request.
- Enforce contracts, including investigation of potential violations thereof.
- Detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues.
- Protect against harm to the rights, property or safety of FAME, our users, or the public as required or permitted by law.
How we share your information
We do not rent or sell your Personal Information.
We share information, including Personal Information, in certain circumstances with third parties through operation of our Website and our agency. Below we explain when that happens. We also disclose information and Personal Information when required by applicable law, including FOAA.
NextGen 529 Plan and Other Lending Programs
For details about our sharing of information in connection with our NextGen 529 plan and other lending programs, please see applicable privacy notices here.
We may transfer Personal Information to third parties for the purpose of providing the Website or operating FAME. For example, we may transfer your Personal Information to third-party service providers to assist with providing the Website, and to communicate with you.
We may also transfer your Personal Information to third parties under the following circumstances: (i) to comply with a legal requirement, law, subpoena, judicial proceeding, court order, governmental request, or legal process; (ii) to investigate a possible crime, such as fraud or identity theft; (iii) when we believe it is necessary to protect the rights, property, or safety of FAME or other persons, or (iv) as otherwise required or permitted by law, including any contractual obligations of FAME.
As Directed by You and with Your Consent
We also share Personal Information with companies, agencies, organizations or individuals outside of FAME at your direction or when we have your consent to do so.
Access to Information
FOAA grants the people of Maine a broad right of access to public records while protecting legitimate governmental interests and the privacy rights of individual citizens. To learn more about FOAA and to make a request for information, please visit https://www.maine.gov/foaa/index.htm.
How Do We Protect Your Information
We take the security of your Personal Information very seriously. We use reasonable administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to secure the Personal Information you share with us. Despite these safeguards and our additional efforts to secure your information, we cannot promise or guarantee that hackers, cybercriminals, or other unauthorized third parties will not be able to defeat our security and improperly collect, access, steal, or modify your Personal Information.
The Website may contain hyperlinks to websites operated by other government agencies and by other third parties, which may include social media features, such as social media buttons or links. We provide such hyperlinks for your reference and convenience only. We do not control such websites and are not responsible for their content or the privacy or other practices of such websites. It is up to you to read and fully understand their privacy policies. Our inclusion of hyperlinks to such websites does not imply any endorsement of the material on such websites. If you are submitting information to any such third-party through our Website, you should review and understand that party’s applicable policies, including their privacy policies, before providing your information to the third-party.