County of Santa Clara Website Privacy Policy

    Key Points:
    The County takes your privacy seriously, including when you visit
    County departments may choose to have more specific webpage privacy policies or statements.

    Thank you for visiting and reading this Privacy Policy (“Policy”).  The website includes the domain as well as all sub-domains within it (e.g., [ and provides a convenient "Front Door" to information and services available from the County of Santa Clara (“County”) by linking you to various other department websites.

    This Policy applies when you visit the County’s website.  In general, this Policy also applies to County departments that have their own webpages with addresses as part of the site.  However, some departments may post their own webpage privacy policies. In those cases, the more specific provisions of department webpage privacy policies would apply.

    This Policy includes explanations of:

    • What information we automatically collect
    • What information you voluntarily share with us
    • What kind of tracking can take place
    • Why we collect this information
    • How we share and disclose your information

    2.1 Information We Collect

    Key Points:
    We automatically collect several categories of information, including IP address, date and time of visit, and which pages you visit on our site.
    Analytics companies may use this information as well, typically in aggregate, to determine, for example, which web pages get the most or least traffic.

    When you access this website, we automatically collect several categories of information, including the following:

    • Your Internet Protocol (IP) address (a unique set of numbers and/or letters that generally identifies the network from which devices access the internet)
    • The referring address, if any (this would tell us the address of the website you used to get to, such as through a Google search or link)
    • The size and resolution of your monitor and the size of the browser window
    • The type of browser (e.g., Firefox, Edge, Chrome) used to access our site
    • The operating system (e.g., Windows, Mac OS, Unix) used to access our site
    • The city in which your IP address originates
    • The date and time of your visit, and the total time you spend on the site
    • The time you spend on each page and in what order those pages were visited
    • The internal links you click

    We provide this information to analytics companies including Siteimprove and Google Analytics.  They typically aggregate the information and present it in a format that allows us to quickly determine how many people are visiting the site, which pages are most popular, and other similar information.

    2.1.1 User Tracking

    Key Points:
    We do use website tracking technologies, such as cookies and pixels, to track visitors to the website. Other third-party services on our site may do so as well.

    We obtain some of the information described in Section 2.1 by using website tracking technologies to track your visit, which may include cookies, pixels, tags, beacons, and similar technologies.  These technologies allow us to provide website functionality and understand how you interact with the website.

    We also embed some content on our site using third-party web widgets and services such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Flickr.  These third parties may set their own cookies and similar technologies for functional and tracking purposes.  They may have their own privacy, security, terms of service, and accessibility policies applicable to the features they provide.  For more information about third-party services and their policies, please visit their websites.

    2.1.2 Why We Collect This Information

    Key Points:
    We typically use this information to help understand how users interact with the website, to maintain its functionality, and improve the user experience.

    We automatically collect this information typically in order to understand how users  interact with our website and promote its functionality.  For example, cookies and similar technologies can tell us the number of visitors the website receives, whether and how often individuals return, and what they look for when they arrive.  This helps us understand what people are looking for, which web pages are most useful, and other similar information that we can use to improve the experience of visiting   Cookies also help us maintain  communication between visitors’ computers and County servers.

    2.2 Information You Voluntarily Share

    Key Points:
    You can choose to share other kinds of information such as by filling out forms or paying for County services.

    In the course of accessing this website, you will have many opportunities to voluntarily share information with us.  For example, you may provide credit card or bank information when you pay your property taxes; or your name and contact information when you book a campsite; or providing your name, email, and address to receive a newsletter or other correspondence and interactions.

    2.2.1 Categories of Information

    Key Points:
    This information includes email addresses and payment details, among other categories.

    Depending on the transaction or service requested, the categories of information that you might share may include, but are not limited to:

    • Your email address and contents of the email
    • Financial information such as credit card or bank account numbers (e.g., to process payments for County services)
    • Social services details, such as seeking information on becoming a foster parent
    • Public safety information, such as paying a parking ticket
    • Other information that may be collected through an online form

    2.2.2 Why We Ask You to Share This Information

    Key Points:
    This information allows us to complete your online requests and transactions more efficiently.

    This information is used to fulfill the purpose for which you are providing the information, such as to complete your transaction or route requests to the appropriate department.

    3.1 General 

    Key Points:
    As a general principle, your information will not leave the County unless it's necessary and authorized by law.

    We will not share, sell, or otherwise disclose information you voluntarily share while accessing this website to third parties, except as authorized by law, or where you provide consent to complete a transaction you authorize, or to provide services you request.  For example, we may share information among County departments and other government agencies as necessary to provide services to you and when authorized by law.

    3.2 Service Providers

    Key Points:
    We may share your information with our authorized service providers as necessary to improve our website and to provide services to you.

    We engage authorized service providers to improve our website and to provide services to you, including for website analytics (as described above in Section 2.1) and credit card payment processing.  In order for these service providers to appropriately deliver services, we may share information with them that you provide during your visit to the County’s website.

    3.3 Public Records Law

    Key Points:
    Information collected and shared through the County’s website may be subject to a public records request under the California Public Records Act.

    The California Public Records Act (Gov. Code Section 6250 et seq.) exists to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to have access to records and information possessed by the government, unless an exception exists in federal or state law.  Information collected and shared through the County’s website may be subject to public access unless there is an exception.  Some of these exceptions help maintain the privacy of individuals.  In the event of a conflict between this Privacy Policy and the California Public Records Act or other law governing the disclosure or protection of information and records, the applicable law will control.

    3.4 Information Security

    Key Points:
    We protect your information using NIST-based cybersecurity standards.

    We apply security controls and protections developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to ensure the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of systems and data is maintained at all times.  These controls and protections are in addition to any that the Information Security Office would apply to a department on the basis of existing legal requirements (such as requirements related to protected health information) or policy.

    Key Points:
    If you go to another website from the site, that site’s privacy policy will apply.

    Our website contains links to the websites of organizations outside the County.  These websites are not within our control and may not follow the same privacy, security, or accessibility polices.  Once you link to another site, you are subject to the policies of that site, and you should contact the website owner/operator if you have any questions or concerns.  For more information, see the County’s Links Policy.


    Key Points: 
    This Policy may be revised from time to time, and we will let people who visit the webpage know when that happens.

    We may revise this Policy from time to time.  In the event of major substantive changes, we will provide a brief summary of those changes so that you can keep track of the differences between the latest version and prior version.





    Prior version of Santa Clara County Website Information Privacy Policy

    Last updated June 2016. 


    Revised and updated

    Finalized November 2019.  (Revisions focused on clarifying data collection practices and improving readability)


    Revised and updated

    Finalized December 2021.  (Updated to include new sub-domain naming conventions, clarified language on tracking technologies, and other general revisions)

    Key Points: 
    We welcome your questions and feedback.

    We welcome any questions or feedback you may have about this Policy. Please feel free to contact our Privacy Office at: [email protected].

    ©2023 County of Santa Clara. All rights reserved.