Internet Privacy Policy Glossary

Aggregate Information

The statistical information that may be collected by a Web site, or other source, but is not personally identifiable. Examples of Aggregate Information include but are not limited to demographics, domain names, and Web site traffic.


Process that establishes positive ID of a user, device, or other entity in a computer system. Reliable verification plays an important role in ensuring privacy.


A navigational program run on a client's computer for viewing World Wide Web pages. Examples include Netscape, and Microsoft's Internet Explorer.


A child is identified, according to the U.S. Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) is someone under the age of thirteen (13).


A small text file of information that certain Web sites attach to a user's hard drive while the user is browsing the Web site. A Cookie can contain information such as user ID, user preferences, archive shopping cart information, etc. Cookies can contain Personally Identifiable Information (as defined below).

Domain Name

The unique name that identifies a Web site. Example: "MedFair," in the Web address


Abbreviation for Electronic Mail. Messages, usually text, sent from one person to another via computer. E-mail can also be sent automatically to a large number of addresses (Mailing List). Encryption: The process by which data is converted into private code to ensure secure transmission.


Specialized software and/or hardware designed to prohibit unauthorized access to information on a computer network.

Home Page

The first page of a Web site. Also, the Web site that automatically loads each time you launch your Browser.


Any computer on a network that is a repository for services available to other computers on the network. It is quite common to have one host machine provide several services such as WWW and USENET.


Abbreviation for Hypertext Markup Language. A defined set of codes that comprise the World Wide Web's standard computer language.


A connection between 2 anchors. Clicking on 1 anchor will take you to the linked anchor. Can be within the same document/page or two totally different documents.


The vast collection of interconnected networks that all use the TCP/IP protocols and that evolved from the ARPANET of the late '60s and early '70s. The Internet (since July 1995) connects roughly 60,000 independent networks into a vast global internet.

Internet Protocol

The numbers that are translated into a domain name (e.g., The address is a string of four numbers separated by periods (such as used to represent a computer or other device on the Internet.


Another name for a hyperlink.

Log Files

A record of activity that stores and displays information not explicitly given by user. Examples of such information are date, time, IP address, HTTP status, bytes sent, and bytes received.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

Information that can be traced back to a specific individual user, e.g., name, postal address, e-mail address, telephone number, or Social Security number. Personal user preferences tracked by a Web site via a "Cookie" (see definition above) is also considered personally identifiable when linked to other Personally Identifiable Information provided by user on line. (Compare With Aggregate Information.)

Privacy Officer

Individual formally appointed by a designated approving authority to ensure that the provisions of all applicable privacy and security directives are implemented throughout the life cycle of an automated information system network.

Privacy Policy

The page or pages on a Web site that lay out its privacy policies, i.e., what personal information is collected by the site, how it will be used, whom it will be shared with, and whether you have the option to exercise control over how your information will be used.

Security Policies

The set of laws, rules, and practices that regulate how an organization manages, protects, and distributes sensitive information.

Third Party

Any person/organization except who is party of the company or the company's affiliate.


Abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator, the global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web. The first part of the address indicates what protocol to use, and the second part specifies the IP Address or the Domain Name where the resource is located.

Web Beacon

A small image in an HTML page with all dimensions set to 1 pixel. Because of its insignificant size, it is not visible; but it is used to pass certain information anonymously to third-party sites. Mainly used by advertisers. Can also be referred to as a Web Bug or an Invisible GIF.

Web Bugs

A small image in an HTML page with all dimensions set to 1 pixel. Because of its insignificant size, it is not visible; but it is used to pass certain information anonymously to third-party sites. Mainly used by advertisers. Can also be referred to as a Web Beacon or an Invisible GIF.


The person responsible for updating and maintaining a Web site for a company or organization.

Web Site

A collection of "pages" or files on the World Wide Web that are linked together and maintained by a company, organization, or individual. Anyone with a Web site may be considered a content provider or a publisher.