Privacy Information

Section A. Introduction

Thank you for visiting the Washington State Department of Commerce website. This Privacy Notice addresses collection, use, and security of and access to information that may be obtained through use of our website. This notice covers the following topics:

  • Information collected and how it is used
  • Personal information and choice
  • Public access to information
  • Nondisclosure of certain personal or private Information
  • Review and correction of personally identifiable information
  • Cookies and applets
  • Security
  • Disclaimer
  • Contact information

Section B. Information Collected and How it is Used

If you do nothing during your visit to our website but browse, read pages, or download information, we will gather and store certain information about your visit. This information does not identify you personally.

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

  • The Internet Protocol Address and domain name used. The Internet Protocol address is a numerical identifier assigned either to your Internet service provider or directly to your computer. We use the Internet Protocol Address to direct Internet traffic to you. This address can be translated to determine the domain name of your service provider (e.g. or
  • The type of browser and operating system you used.
  • The date and time you visited this site.
  • The web pages or services you accessed at this site.
  • The website you visited prior to coming to this website.

The information we automatically collect or store is logged and used by Commerce only to improve the content of our web services and to help us understand how people are using our services. Commerce analyzes the website logs to determine how our website is being used, so that we may continually improve the site’s usefulness to the public.

What we collect if you volunteer information.

If during your visit to our website you participate in a survey, send an email, or perform some other transaction on-line, the following additional information will be collected:

  • The email address and contents for those who communicate with us vian Email.
  • Information volunteered in response to a survey.
  • Information volunteered through an on-line form for any other purpose.
  • We will use your email to respond to you, address issues you may identify, further improve our website, or forward the email to another agency for appropriate action.

Section C. Personal Information and Choice

You may choose whether to provide personal information on-line.

“Personal information” is information about a person that is readily identifiable to that specific individual. Personal information includes such things as an individual’s name, address, and phone number. A domain name or Internet Protocol address is not considered personal information.

We collect no personal information about you unless you voluntarily provide it to us by sending us Email, participating in a survey, or completing an on-line form. You may choose not to contact us by Email, participate in a survey or to provide any personal information using an on-line form. Instead you may call us at 360.753.7426 or send us a letter (Department of Commerce, PO Box 48300, Olympia, WA 98504-8300). Your choice not to participate in these activities will not impair your ability to browse the Commerce website and read or download any information provided on the site.

If personal information is requested on the website or volunteered by the user, state law and the federal Privacy Act of 1974 may protect it. However, this information becomes a public record once you provide it and may be subject to public inspection and copying if not protected by federal or state law.

If you believe your personal/private information is being used for a purpose other than what was intended when submitted, you may contact Commerce as shown in the Contact Information Section of this statement.

Users are cautioned that the collection of personal information requested from or volunteered by children on-line or by email will be treated the same as information given by an adult, and may be subject to public access.

Section D. Public Access to Information

In the state of Washington, laws exist to ensure government is open and the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by state government. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public’s right to access public records that serve various needs including the privacy of individuals. Both state and federal laws provide exceptions.

All of the information collected at this site becomes public record that may be subject to inspection and copying by members of the public, unless an exemption in law exists. RCW 42.56. 070(1) states that:

Each agency, in accordance with published rules, shall make available for public inspection and copying all public records, unless the record falls within the specific exemptions of subsection (6) of this section [RCW 42.56.070(6)], Chapter 42.56 RCW, or other statute which exempts or prohibits disclosure of specific information or records. To the extent required to prevent an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy interests protected by Chapter 42.56 RCW, an agency shall delete identifying details in a manner consistent with Chapter 42.56 RCW when it makes available or publishes any public record; however, in each case, the justification for the deletion shall be explained fully in writing.

In the event of a conflict between this Privacy Notice and the Public Records Act or other law governing the agency’s disclosure of records, the Public Records Act or other applicable law will control.

Section E. Non-Disclosure of Certain Personal/Private Information

Commerce may request/require you to provide certain personal/private information in order to conduct certain on-line transactions. The information is requested/required in order to complete such a transaction. You may choose not to provide this information, but if you choose not to provide it, we will be unable to process a transaction, and you will have to contact Commerce to accomplish the same function either in person or by mail.

Section F. Review and Correction of Personally Identifiable Information

You can review any personally identifiable information we collect about you by using the information in the Contact Information section at the end of this notice. You may recommend changes to your personally identifiable information you believe to be inaccurate by submitting an email or written request that credibly shows the inaccuracy. We will take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting access or making corrections. (RCW 43.105.310)

Section G. Cookies

Cookies are currently used on the left hand menu to expand menus. In order to navigate without using the left hand menu, please use the site map located in the top navigation bar, second row, far right.

Section H. Security

The Washington State Department of Commerce, as developer and manager of the Commerce website, has taken several steps to safeguard the integrity of its data and prevent unauthorized access to information maintained by us. These measures are designed and intended to prevent corruption of data, block unknown or unauthorized access to our systems and information, and to provide reasonable protection of private information in our possession.

This information should not be construed in any way as giving business, legal, or other advice, or warranting as fail-proof, the security of information provided via Commerce websites.

Section I. Disclaimer

The Commerce website has many links to other websites. These include links to websites operated by other government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private businesses. When you link to another site, you are no longer on the Commerce website and this Privacy Notice will not apply. When you link to another website, you are subject to the privacy policy of that new site.

Neither the state of Washington, nor any agency, officer, or employee of the state of Washington warrants the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any information published by this system, nor endorses any content, viewpoints, products, or services linked from this system, and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of such information. Portions of such information may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this system does so at his or her own risk.

Section J. Department of Commerce Contact Information

360.725.4000 or visit our Contact Us page.