Policies and Waivers
Please review the following NYSenate.gov policies and waivers.
- Information Submitted By Users
- Site Monitoring
Please note that although Senate websites may offer links to other websites of interest, the Senate disclaims any responsibility for their content, accuracy or services, and cannot vouch for their information practices. Once a link takes a user outside of the Senate website, the user is subject to the terms and conditions of such site.
Information Shared On Senate Websites
NYSenate.gov provides visitors with a many opportunities to share their opinions with their Senate representative, however a member account is necessary to for most of this activity. Visitors must provide their name, address, and email to create a member account. Additional information about themselves such age, top issue, and gender is optional.
Visitors may also associate NYSenate.gov accounts with their Facebook accounts. A Facebook-linked account makes it easier for visitors log in while providing an additional level of identification validation. NYSenate.gov receives only the Facebook account’s name and email address. No information or activity is sent to Facebook.
Once logged in, members can do things such as:
- Follow legislation
- Say Aye or Nay to Legislation
- Follow Issues
- Follow Committees
- Sign Petitions
- Complete Questionnaires
This information is shared with the senator that represents the member as determined by the member’s address. In the event that a new senator is elected to the district, the new senator will have access to that information. If a member changes their address, the senator that represents the new address will have access to the information shared by the member, and the former senator will not.
Members may also use the website to send a Direct Message to a senator. That message will only be shared with the senator to which it was directed.
Information provided by members on New York State Senate websites is not shared with any third parties outside of the New York State Senate except under the following exceptional circumstances:
- In order to comply with a court order, authorized law enforcement request, subpoena, or a Freedom of Information Law request
- In order to protect the health and/or safety of the public in an emergency situation
How This Information is Used
This website is intended to facilitate effective and efficient communication between citizens and their Senate representatives. Senators use the information shared by website members to better understand the issues and legislation that are important to the citizens they represent. They may also use the NYSenate.gov messaging system as well as other senate communication systems to communicate with members by email and postal mail.
Senate websites comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA), and do not knowingly contact or collect personal information from children under the age of 13.
A cookie is a tiny piece of data stored by a user's browser that helps a website or service recognize a user's unique computer. A user can remove or block cookies by changing the privacy settings on the Web browser.
‘Session Cookies’ are utilized by websites to personalize a user’s experience. Session cookies expire in a short period of time or when a browser window closes.
‘Persistent Cookies’ are utilized by websites to personalize a user’s experience from session to session. The Senate uses Persistent Cookies for (a) users who create accounts with the Senate’s Websites, and (b) third-party vendors utilized by the Senate’s Websites. Where possible, the Senate seeks to create options which allow a user access to the same content without Persistent Cookies.
In addition, the Senate may log (a) locations of computers or networks, otherwise known as ‘Internet protocol addresses’ or ‘IP addresses’, and/or (b) web traffic data, in order to analyze visitor trends regarding NY Senate websites.
We take reasonable precautions to protect our site and information collected on NYSenate.gov. Access to personally identifiable information is restricted to Senate employees as well as vendors and contractors that help support NYSenate.gov in a technical capacity.
Security best practices are to protect the information in our possession or control, along with NYSenate.gov itself. These practices include, but are not limited to: encrypting the transfer of personal information over the internet via Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), using high-strength firewalls and intrusion detection systems (IDS) to safeguard personal information, and maintaining strict technical controls and procedures to ensure the integrity of all data on NYSenate.gov.
We periodically review our processes and systems to verify compliance with industry best practices and to ensure the highest level of security for our website.
Terms of Participation Read More
The New York State Senate encourages visitors to participate on the NYSenate.gov website, and to use the site to express their opinions to their Senate representatives. Content on NYSenate.gov is freely available to the public, and does not require an account. However, interactive visitor tools such as saying ‘aye’ or ‘nay’ to bills, following bills/committees/issues, and direct messaging senators require visitors to create accounts. Visitors that log in to their accounts can also access a customized dashboard that provides updates on topics they are following, as well as messaging tools to communicate with his or her Senator.
To create an account on NYSenate.gov and use these interactive features, visitors must: 1) be 13 years of age or older, 2) provide a valid email address, and 3) provide a valid residential address. The email address is used to deliver account credentials, and the residential address is used to connect NYSenate.gov members with their Senate representatives. Senators may also use this information to share updates and information on topics relevant to visitors' interests; however, visitors may opt out of these communications.
Commenting is made available on some NYSenate.gov content. The Senate values the opinions and insights provided in those comments, and is committed to maintaining a relevant and respectful public dialogue. The following types of comments are considered inappropriate on NYSenate.gov: personal attacks, obscenity, profanity, commercial and/or self promotion, impersonations, campaign-related language, and discriminatory speech. Comments are reviewed and approved by a moderator before being published.
By participating on NYSenate.gov, participants acknowledge that he or she has read, understands, and agrees to the Terms of Participation.
Copyright Policy Read More
Text, Pictures and Graphics, Third-Party submissions, Senate Seal and Logo, and Senate generated Video on Senate websites are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license are defined as follows:
Text:A Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative "CC-By-NC-ND" with CC Plus "CC+" license. The CC+ waives attribution requirements and allows for the creation of derivative works and commercial usage provided that such derivative works and commercial usage do not relate to political fundraising.
Pictures & Graphics: A Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative "CC-By-NC-ND" with CC Plus "CC+" license. The CC+ waives attribution requirements and allows for the creation of derivative works and commercial usage provided that such derivative works and commercial usage do not relate to political fundraising.
Third Party Submissions "3rd Party Submissions:" A Creative Commons Attribution "CC-By" license. Please read our Terms of Participation.
Official Senate Seal & Logo: Continuation of the existing Senate copyright.
Video Not Containing Senate Floor Committee Hearing Proceedings: A Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative "CC-By-NC-ND" with CC Plus "CC+" license. The CC+ waives attribution requirements and allows for the creation of derivative works and commercial usage provided that such derivative works and commercial usage do not relate to political fundraising.
Video Containing Senate Floor, Committee Hearing Proceedings: Governed by Senate Rules, Rule XVI: Televising Senate Session:
Section 1. Any televised proceedings of sessions of the Senate shall be made available for statewide television broadcast, pursuant to the following:
a. All televised proceedings of the Senate session shall be unedited, except that only accredited news organizations, educational institutions, and public affairs documentary programs may utilize any portion of the Senate television feed.
b. No portion of the televised proceedings (either live or taped) authorized pursuant to this section may be utilized for:
(1) campaign or political purposes or to promote or oppose a ballot issue or the candidacy of any person for any elective office; or (2) any paid commercial advertisements.
Section 2. The televised proceedings of sessions of the Senate as provided for in section one of this Rule, in any form, shall be deemed the property of the New York State Senate.
Accessibility Read More
The Senate is committed to providing accessible content to ensure that all New Yorkers can participate in the legislative process. The content of this website aspires to adhere to guidelines of the New York State Office of Information Technology Services ("ITS") Policy NYS-P08-005, section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-112), as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
NYS ITS Policy NYS-P08-005
This policy establishes minimum accessibility requirements for web-based Information and Applications developed, procured, maintained or used by state entities. The benefits of the policy will be a more fully inclusive state workforce and increased availability of governmental services to all members of the public.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act; Americans with Disabilities Act
These federal laws require electronic and information technology to be accessible to people with disabilities, including employees and members of the public. The system should allow people with disabilities to have the same access to the information as those without disability or impairment, to ensure that communications with people with disabilities are as effective as communications with others.
Child Photo Waiver Read More
I grant consent for my child, ___________________, to have his or her picture taken or to be filmed with a New York State Senator or group of Senators.
I authorize any Senator(s) and/or the New York State Senate to publish such picture or video footage on any such Senator’s official Senate website and/or any official electronic or paper publication of such Senator or the Senate. This consent is not revocable.
This consent shall not allow any further publication or broadcast of such picture or video footage by any other party, or in any other location or format (e.g. campaign materials, social networking websites, etc.) without my advance written authorization.
Signature of Parent/Guardian
Please return signed waivers to the appropriate Senator at his or her office. Visit http://nysenate.gov/contact for contact information.
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