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Privacy and Security Policy

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) maintains this web site as a public service. This policy describes TREC's privacy and security practices regarding information collected from visitors to the site, including what information is collected and how that information is used. The policy applies to all pages beginning with www.trec.state.tx.us

Please note that all information collected or maintained by TREC is subject to the provisions of the Texas Public Information Act (Chapter 552, Texas Government Code). With certain exceptions (see Ch. 552, §137(c)) the email addresses of members of the public who communicate with state agencies through the Internet are confidential under Texas law.

Collection, Use and Release of Information

Personally identifiable information contained in a question or comment sent to TREC in an e-mail message or submitted in an online form is used by TREC to respond to the request and/or to analyze trends. With the exception of e-mail addresses, such information may be subject to required public disclosure under the Public Information Act. TREC may redirect the message to another government agency or government employee who is in a better position to answer the question.

Web-Based Forms

TREC uses web-based forms for such purposes as collecting survey data and comments, providing online license renewal/application services, and providing an electronic means for TREC licensees to modify portions of their information on file and to add or update their email listcast preferences. Each web-based form contains a link to this privacy policy.



Server Logs & Log Analysis Tools

TREC uses server logs and log analysis tools to create summary statistics about web site usage to improve site management. The statistics are used for purposes such as assessing what information is of most interest to users, determining technical design specifications, and identifying system performance or problem areas.

The following information may be collected for this analysis:

Client IP Address - To help count unique visitors.
Method - Request method used.
Uniform Resource Identifier (URI or URL) - Location of a resource on the server.
Query string of the URL - Anything after the question mark in a URL.
Protocol - Transport protocol and version used.
Bytes Sent/Received - Length, in bytes, of request from client, and of data sent to client.
Time Taken - To complete client's page request.
Host - Client network's hostname, if DNS available.
HTTP header, "user-agent" - Type of browser used, the browser version, and the operating system it is running on.
HTTP header, "referer" - Page from which the user/client accessed the current page.
Cookie - Identifying data stored on client's machine, making stateful web applications possible.

TREC monitors network traffic for site security purposes and to ensure that the site remains available to all users. Unauthorized attempts to upload information, change information on this site, or otherwise cause damage are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under Texas Penal Code Chapters 33 (Computer Crimes) or Chapters 33A (Telecommunications Crimes). Except as may be required for authorized law enforcement investigations, no attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits. TREC does not use raw data logs for any other purposes; however, it is possible that parts of raw data logs could be determined to be open records by the Office of the Attorney General. If such a determination were made subsequent to a Public Information Act request for the logs, TREC would be required to disclose parts of the logs deemed open by the Office of the Attorney General.

Cookies and Web Bugs

The TREC web site uses cookies to provide interactive pages, such as web-based forms and surveys, and to improve the effectiveness of TREC's web-based applications. Some parts of the TREC web site gather basic information about the user's web browser capabilities and settings, to ensure the ability of the client browser to make full use of particular web applications (such as the online license renewal/application services).

Disclosure of Information (e.g., Email Addresses)

Licensee emails, submitted on applications for the purpose of communicating with the agency, are not withholdable under section 552.137(c)(5) of the Public Information chapter of
 GOVERNMENT CODE
 TITLE 5. OPEN GOVERNMENT; ETHICS
 SUBTITLE A. OPEN GOVERNMENT
 CHAPTER 552. PUBLIC INFORMATION
 SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Here is the pertinent excerpt from Chapter 552.137(c)(5):

Sec. 552.137. CONFIDENTIALITY OF CERTAIN E-MAIL ADDRESSES. (a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, an e-mail address of a member of the public that is provided for the purpose of communicating electronically with a governmental body is confidential and not subject to disclosure under this chapter. .
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(c) Subsection (a) does not apply to an e-mail address:
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(5) provided to a governmental body for the purpose of providing public comment on or receiving notices related to an application for a license as defined by Section 2001.003(2) of this code, or receiving orders or decisions from a governmental body.

Corrections

An individual who submits information in electronic format through this web site is entitled, on request, to receive and review the information that TREC collects about the individual, and to have TREC correct the information. To do this, please please send e-mail to , or call TREC at (512) 936-3000.

For Additional Information

Additional information regarding privacy and security policies is provided in the Privacy and Security Policy Guidelines at http://www.dir.texas.gov/standards/srrpub11-privacy-policy.htm. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission also provides information for educating consumers and businesses about the importance of personal information privacy at http://www.ftc.gov/privacy/.







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