The South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics (GSSM) respects the privacy of online visitors and members. When you register with GSSM for any reason and through any website form, we may ask for your name, address, telephone number and email address.

We will use your email address to provide you news and information about our projects, events, and news we believe will interest you. We may also use your zip code and state to send you email messages about upcoming fundraising events or activities in your area.

To make a contribution online, we also ask for your credit card number and its expiration date. This information is stored securely with our national providerĀ and is not retained in our records or on any local servers.

Overview

In general, GSSM's policies governing the collection and dissemination of personally identifiable information follow the same rules that would apply to an in-person visit to our campus, and are governed by the same state and federal laws that cover such visits. In addition, GSSM complies with the Family Educational Records Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Purpose

The purpose of the statement is to inform users of this site with regard to the collection and use of personally identifiable information. Nothing herein should be construed to, nor does it, create any new or different rights than those available under existing State and federal laws.

Definition of Personally Identifiable Information

For the purposes of this statement, "personally identifiable information" means any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual who is the subject of the information. This includes information such as names, addresses, social security numbers and credit card numbers.

Personally Identifiable Information Not Routinely Collected

Users are not required to provide personal information simply to visit the GSSM Web site or to access information. GSSM may request personally identifiable information in order to authenticate identities when requesting access to some types of information.

Personally Identifiable Information that May Be Subject to Public Disclosure

In the State of South Carolina, laws exist to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by a government agency. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public's right to access certain records in order to preserve the privacy of individuals. Such exemptions are authorized by both State and federal laws. Some information collected by GSSM may be subject to inspection and copying by the public, unless such an exemption in law exists. In the event that there is a conflict between this Privacy Statement and a State or federal law governing the disclosure of public records, the applicable State or federal law shall control.

The Family Privacy Protection Act of 2002 prohibits persons or private entities from using any personal information obtained from GSSM's Web site for commercial solicitation purposes. A person knowingly violating this prohibition is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to penalties specified in S.C. Code Ann. Section 30-2-50(D).

Use, Collection and Retention of Personal Identifiable Information

The Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of computers used to visit GSSM Web sites from off-campus Internet access sites are noted as part of the statistical analysis used to manage and improve GSSM's Web site. However, GSSM does not attempt to gain personally identifiable information on individual users or to associate individual users with IP such addresses. IP addresses obtained from computers connecting to GSSM's on-campus network are treated differently: they are associated with identifiable user information for the purposes of determining eligibility to access information resources and to investigate violations of GSSM's Appropriate Use Policy.

For users who are not students and not employees, GSSM retains, and uses personal information about site users only when they choose to subscribe to a GSSM service. GSSM collects, retains and uses personal information only when it is lawful and is essential to administer and to provide services requested by a constituent. Generally, such constituent groups are students and their families, alumni, prospective students and school supporters.

Use of Cookies

The GSSM Web site might create "cookies" on systems belonging to GSSM Web site visitors. Information stored in cookies is handled in the same way as other personally identifiable information. No user information will be gathered through the use of cookies except that which is required to run the specific application(s) being accessed by the user and to provide information that is used to improve the GSSM Web site.

Use of Constituent E-mail Addresses

E-mail addresses obtained as a result of requests to the GSSM Web site will not be sold or given to any organization outside of GSSM for marketing purposes. The information collected is subject to the access and confidentiality provisions of the State's Freedom of Information Act and other applicable sections of the South Carolina Code of Laws and/or federal law. E-mail or other information requests sent to the GSSM Web site may be maintained in order to: respond to the request, forward that request to the appropriate person or provide the GSSM Web designer with user feedback to assist in improving the site.

GSSM is committed to data security and the data quality of personally identifiable information that is either available from, or collected by, GSSM Web sites, and has taken precautions to protect personally identifiable information from loss, misuse or alteration. Any third parties responsible for this information are required to follow the same policies and guidelines as GSSM in protecting this information. Unless otherwise prohibited by state or federal law, rule or regulation, individuals will be given the ability to access and correct personally identifiable information maintained by the GSSM Web site that may be in error.

Non-GSSM Web Sites

Other non-GSSM Web sites may be linked through the GSSM Web site. Many of these sites may operate under different privacy standards. Visitors to those Web sites are advised to check the privacy statements of those sites and be very cautious about providing personally identifiable information without a clear understanding of how the information will be used.

Sharing Information with Third Parties

GSSM occasionally shares personally identifiable information about its students with contracted third parties for the purposes of offering products and services to GSSM families. Examples include photography services, online college counseling services and class ring distributors.

Limiting Access to Personally Identifiable Information

GSSM has taken steps to limit access to personally identifiable information to GSSM faculty and staff who require access in order to perform their assigned duties. GSSM has notified and instructed its staff of their responsibilities concerning the protection of personally identifiable information.

Inquiries and Comments

Users of the GSSM Web site who have questions about the GSSM privacy policy or who wish to discuss privacy issues should contact us.