When you visit Topeka.org we treat your privacy very seriously. We want your web visit to be enjoyable and we want you to know that we would do nothing that would compromise your digital information.
What information is gathered when you visit Topeka.org?Tools are available to track all visitors as they travel through web sites. Topeka.org is no different. These tools show which page you enter on, what links you take while you are still on our web site, how long you are on each page, and when you leave our site. This information is used strictly for gathering usage statistics and to aid the City of Topeka I.T. staff in determining which pages are the most/least popular so we know where expansion may be needed. Since you do not have to "log in" to access our site you are not identified by name. We only know that someone visited our site on a particular date and time. We can also determine what type of computer is being used, what type of web browser you are using, the IP address of your internet service provider and other bits of information that we use to improve the performance of our web site based on our users' information.
What about when you ask for my name?Some of our web pages do require a name and other personal information (i.e. obtaining burning permits, paying your water bill on-line or subscribing to our electronic newsletters). No personal information gathered, including e-mail addresses, home addresses, etc., will be released to any third-party without your consent.
Occasionally we promote special events (conferences, seminars, public meetings) and we may require on-line registration. The information you provide is ONLY used for the stated purpose and not supplied to third parties.
What about "cookies"?Cookies are pieces of information generated by a Web server and stored in the user's computer, ready for future access. Cookies are embedded in the HTML information flowing back and forth between the user's computer and the servers. Cookies were implemented to allow user-side customization of Web information. For example, cookies are used to personalize Web search engines, to allow users to participate in WWW-wide contests (but only once!), and to store shopping lists of items a user has selected while browsing through a virtual shopping mall.
Essentially, cookies make use of user-specific information transmitted by the Web server onto the user's computer so that the information might be available for later access by itself or other servers. In most cases, not only does the storage of personal information into a cookie go unnoticed, so does access to it. Web servers automatically gain access to relevant cookies whenever the user establishes a connection to them, usually in the form of Web requests.
Cookies are based on a two-stage process. First the cookie is stored in the user's computer without their consent or knowledge. For example, with customizable Web search engines like My Yahoo!, a user selects categories of interest from the Web page. The Web server then creates a specific cookie, which is essentially a tagged string of text containing the user's preferences, and it transmits this cookie to the user's computer. The user's Web browser, if cookie-savvy, receives the cookie and stores it in a special file called a cookie list. This happens without any notification or user consent. As a result, personal information (in this case the user's category preferences) is formatted by the Web server, transmitted, and saved by the user's computer.
During the second stage, the cookie is clandestinely and automatically transferred from the user's machine to a Web server. Whenever a user directs her Web browser to display a certain Web page from the server, the browser will, without the user's knowledge, transmit the cookie containing personal information to the Web server.