Adopted February 20, 2002
The following outlines the policies for linking to, the use of, or copying
information from State of Texas agency Web sites and protecting the personal
information of members of the public who access state agency information through
a state agency Web site.
(1) Requirements Applicable to Those Linking to State Agency Web Sites
(A) Linking to State Agency Web Sites
Organizations and individuals (the site owner) are encouraged to link to
state agency information. Advance permission is not required before linking.
Links should be made using the appropriate base URL of
www.agency-identifier.state.tx.us or such other URL as the agency may use.
Because state agencies may change subpages at any time without notice, the
site owner should routinely verify links to state agency subpages.
(B) What Site Owners May Not Do in Linking to State Agency Web Sites
Site owners may not capture state agency pages within the site owner's
frames, present state agency Web site content as that of the site owner,
otherwise misrepresent the content of the state agency pages or misinform
users about the origin or ownership of the content of the state agency Web
site. Any link to a state agency site should be a full forward link that
passes the client browser to the state agency site unencumbered. The BACK
button should return the visitor to the site owner's site if the visitor
wishes to back out. Although the content of state agency Web sites is
available to the public, certain information on some state agency Web sites
may be trademarked, service marked, or otherwise protected as the state
agency's intellectual property, and all agency content is protected by federal
copyright laws. Use of protected intellectual property must be in accordance
with federal and state law and must reflect the copyright, trademark, service
mark or other intellectual property ownership of the state agency.
Site owners should not link to individual state agency graphics or tables
within state agency pages, especially in an effort to place the downloading
burden on the state agency servers. Such an action may be considered a misuse
of state resources. Site owners should contact the appropriate state agency to
request permission to use a copy of the state agency's graphics within the
site owner's pages.
Owners of sites linked to state agency pages shall use reasonable efforts
to ensure that persons with disabilities may access these sites.
(D) Copying and Use of Information by Web Site Owners Linking to State
Agency Sites Other than Universities
The information posted on a state agency Web site may be copied so long as
it is presented in a non-misleading way and does not imply that either the
site owner or the information, as it is presented on the site owner's Web
site, is endorsed by the State. Use of the information must identify the state
agency that is the source of the information, its Web address, the date the
information was copied from the state agency's Web site by the site owner and
must be accompanied by a statement that neither the site owner nor the
information, as it is presented on the site owner's Web site, is endorsed by
the State or any state agency. A state agency may not charge a fee to access,
use or reproduce information on its Web site or to link to information on its
Web site, unless specifically authorized to do so by the Texas Legislature.
To protect the intellectual property of state agencies, copied information
must reflect the copyright, trademark, service mark or other intellectual
property rights of the state agency whose protected information is being used
by the site owner.
(E) Copying and Use of Information by Web Site Owners Linking to University
Much of the information posted on University Web sites is owned by the
individual who posts it rather than by the University, pursuant to the
Universities' Intellectual Property Policies. Whether information is owned by
the University or by an individual, permission should be obtained from the
content owner for any use beyond Fair Use. Such materials may only be used in
accordance with any limitations requested by the owner.
(F) Links From a State Agency Web Site
A state agency that only provides links to other state agencies and
A state agency that provides links to private Web sites shall publish a
linking policy that includes its standards and criteria for linking to the
private Web site. State agencies are strongly encouraged to publish a
disclaimer policy that specifically disclaims liability and responsibility for
private Web site content. State agencies that link to private Web sites will
that identifies their specific policies.
(2) Protection of the Privacy Rights of Individuals by Non-Judiciary State
(A) Under Texas law, Chapter 559, Texas Government Code, unless a state
governmental body, other than a state governmental body that is part of the
judiciary, is allowed to withhold requested information from an individual
pursuant to Chapter 552, Texas Government Code (the Texas Public Information
Act), the individual is entitled to be informed about information collected by
the state governmental body about that individual.
(B) Each non-judiciary state governmental body that collects information
about an individual by means of a form that the individual completes and files
with the state governmental body in a paper format or in an electronic format
on an Internet site shall prominently state, on the paper form and prominently
post on the state governmental body's Internet site in connection with the
electronic form, that:
(i) with few exceptions, the individual is entitled on request to be
informed about the information that the state governmental body collects
about the individual;
(ii) the individual is entitled to receive and review the information;
(iii) the individual is entitled to have the state governmental body
correct incorrect information about the individual.
(C) Each non-judiciary state governmental body that collects information
about an individual by means of an Internet site or that collects information
about the computer network location or identity of a user of the Internet site
shall prominently post on the state governmental body's Internet site:
(i) what information is being collected through the site about the
(ii) what information is being collected through the site about the
computer network location or identity of a user of the state governmental
body's Internet site, including what information is being collected by means
that are not obvious.
(D) Each non-judiciary state governmental body must establish a reasonable
procedure under which individuals may have incorrect information about them
that is held by the state governmental body corrected. The correction
procedure may not unduly burden the individual seeking to have information
(E) Each non-judiciary state governmental body shall identify its
information collection practices and post that information in its Internet
site privacy and security policy.
The e-mail addresses of members of the public that are provided to
non-judiciary state governmental bodies for electronic communication with
state governmental bodies are confidential and may not be disclosed by state
governmental bodies unless the affected member of the public affirmatively
consents to the disclosure of his or her e-mail address.
(3) Requirements Applicable to State Agencies
(A) With the exception of confidential information, information protected
by laws designed to protect an individual's privacy interests, and information
not subject to disclosure under the Texas Public Information Act, state
agencies are encouraged to post information on the Internet, in an accessible
format. Information about the design and posting of information on state Web
sites is available at
(B) State agencies may not sell or release the e-mail addresses of members
of the public that have been provided to communicate electronically with a
government body without the affirmative consent of the affected member of the