Welcome to this Washington State Department of Health website. Thank you for reading our Privacy Notice. This notice applies ONLY to information collected or provided when visiting a Department of Health publicly available website. It does not cover information the agency collects in other ways. This notice covers the following topics:

  • Information collected and how it is used
  • Personal information and choice
  • Public access to personal information
  • Review and correction of personally identifiable information
  • Cookies and Applets
  • Security
  • Disclaimer
  • Contact Information

Information collected and how it is used

What information do we collect when you browse this site?

When you browse or download information from our site, we gather some information about your visit. This information does not identify you personally, and is used only to help us understand our users and improve our site. State retention requirements for Internet logs are 6 months. The Department of Health never makes this information available for commercial use.

We automatically collect the following information each time you visit:

  • The Internet Protocol (IP) Address and domain name used. The IP Address is a numerical identifier assigned either to your Internet service provider or directly to your computer. The IP Address helps us direct Internet traffic to you.
  • The type of browser and operating system you used.
  • The date and time you visited this site.
  • The Internet pages or services you visited at this site.
  • The Internet site you visited before coming to this site.

What information do we collect if you volunteer it?

If you send an email, participate in an online survey, or provide other information using our site, the following may also be collected:

  • Your email address and contents of your email message (including attachments and signature blocks).
  • Contact information (address, telephone).
  • Organization that you represent.
  • Information volunteered in response to a survey.
  • Information volunteered through an online form for any other purpose.

The information collected is not limited to text characters and may include audio, video, and graphic information formats you send us. More specific information is available at the Department of Health Internet sites that ask you to provide information.

We use your email address to answer your questions, address your concerns, or forward to someone else for a response. Survey information is used for much the same purposes.

Personal information and choice

You may choose whether to provide personal information online.

Personal information is information about someone that can easily identify them. Personal information includes things like name, address, and phone number. A domain name or IP address is not considered personal information. The Department of Health may request personal information to conduct surveys, send publications, or tell you of changes to Department of Health webpages. In these cases, we need personal information to answer your request or include your information or comments in a formal legal process. In a legal process such as rule development, comments sent using the website cannot be included in the official record without personal information.

We do not collect personal information about you unless you voluntarily provide it by participating in an online survey, completing an online form, or sending an email using our website. If you choose not to use these tools, you will still be able to browse the Department of Health Internet site and read or download any information from it.

Collecting personal information from minors

The Department of Health website is a general audience site. Users are cautioned that personal information provided by minors becomes part of the public record and may be shared with the public if not protected by state or federal law. (See the next section of this notice, Public Access to Personal Information, for more detail pertaining to this issue.)

Public access to personal information

Any information provided to state government becomes public record and may be shared.

Washington state law gives the public the right to access most information held by state government.  Information created, received, used, or maintained by a public agency becomes a public record. Any personal information you provide using our website becomes part of the public record, and may be shared with the public if not protected by state or federal law. Click here for the language in state law RCW 42.56.070(1). If there is a conflict between this Privacy Notice and any state or federal law governing public records, the applicable law will control.

At present, the Department of Health’s websites do not require users to submit identifiable personal information. However, users may voluntarily submit personal information. Personal information provided by children online or by email cannot be identified by the website and will be treated the same as information given by an adult, and may be made available to the public under state law.

Review and correction of personally identifiable information

Any Department of Health site that collects personal information about you will contain specific instructions on how to review and correct this information; notify the contact person identified at that site. If you believe your information is incorrect, you may send a written request to the Privacy Contact that includes the reasons for your changes. If you believe that your personal information is being used for a purpose other than what was intended when submitted, you may contact the Privacy Contact in writing. In all cases, please be prepared to verify your identity before we allow access or make changes. We will attempt to respond and take action, where appropriate.

Cookies and Applets

Some Department of Health applications use “cookies” to better serve our users. Cookies are simple text files stored on your computer by your Web browser. They are temporary random identifiers that help personalize your browser session. Cookies do not contain personally identifying information and do not affect your privacy or security. You can refuse the cookie or delete the cookie file from your computer by using the method indicated when you access the application that uses cookies.

An “applet” is a subprogram that executes within another application that can be sent along with a webpage to a user to support certain functions, such as interactive animations, immediate calculations, or other simple tasks without having to access the host’s server. The Department of Health does not currently use applets.


You are on a public Internet site. The Department of Health uses current technology to protect personal information you provided through our website. When you enter a secure area of this site, you may be subject to monitoring and asked to provide a login name and password. Unauthorized attempts to upload, change, or destroy information on Department of Health websites are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under state law (RCW9A.52.110) and federal statutes including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act.

This information should not be construed in any way as giving business, legal, or other advice, or warranting as failproof, the security of information provided through any Department of Health-supported website.


The Department of Health website has links to many other Internet sites, including sites operated by other government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private businesses. When you link to a site operated by a different organization, this Privacy Notice will not apply and you are subject to the privacy policy of that new site. Be aware that not all websites have privacy notices and policies.

Links to external resources are provided as a public service, and do not imply endorsement by the Washington State Department of Health.

Neither the state of Washington, nor any agency, officer, or employee of the state of Washington warrants the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any information published by this system, nor endorses any content, viewpoints, products, or services linked from this system, and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of such information. Portions of such information may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this system does so at his or her own risk. Please contact DOH to validate information before using it as the basis for a legal action.

The Department of Health reserves the right to revise and update this Privacy Notice at any time by posting such revised Privacy Notice on the Department of Health home page.

Privacy Contact Information

Any questions about this privacy notice should be directed to:

DOH Privacy Officer
Department of Health
P.O. Box 47904
Olympia, WA 98504-7904
Email: [email protected]


Information presented by public agencies on this website is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline credits is requested. Information from this site may not be copyrighted and lists of individuals or directory information (including address, phone, or email) may not be used for commercial purposes.

Copyright Contact Information

Any comments about the You Can site or publications should be directed to:

Marijuana Prevention and Education Team
Department of Health
P.O. Box 47848
Olympia, WA 98504-7848
Email: [email protected]