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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)


Protecting your privacy is very important to us. Our website links out to other NIH sites, federal agency sites and occasionally to private organizations. Once you leave the primary site, you are subject to the privacy policy for the site(s) you are visiting. We do not collect any personally identifiable information (PII) about you during your visit to NIH websites unless you choose to provide it to us. We do, however, collect some data about your visit to our website to help us better understand how the public uses the site and how to make it more helpful. We collect information from visitors who read, browse, and/or download information from our website. NIAAA never collects information for commercial marketing or any purpose unrelated to the NIAAA mission and goals.


When you visit the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) website (, the following information is stored:

  • Domain from which you access the Internet
  • IP address (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to a computer when surfing the web )
  • Operating system and information about the type of browser used when visiting the site
  • Date and time of your visit
  • Pages you visited
  • Address of the website that connected you to the website (such as or

We use this information to measure the number of visitors to our site and its various sections and to help make our site more useful to visitors. Unless it is specifically stated otherwise, no additional information will be collected about you.

When inquiries are e-mailed to us, we store the question and the e-mail address information so that we can respond electronically. Unless otherwise required by statute, we do not identify publicly who sends questions or comments to our website. We will not obtain information that will allow us to personally identify you when you visit our site, unless you chose to provide such information to us.

How NIAAA Collects Information

The NIAAA website uses Google Analytics measurement software to collect the information in the bulleted list in the Types of Information Collected section above. Google Analytics collects information automatically and continuously. No personally identifiable information is collected. NIAAA staff analyzes and reports on the aggregated data from Google Analytics. The reports are available only to NIAAA managers, members of the communications and web teams, and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties.

NIAAA also occasionally conducts online customer satisfaction survey to collect opinions and feedback from the site visitors. No personally identifiable information is collected. Information gathered from the survey is completely anonymous and is used to improve our site. Participation in the customer satisfaction survey is completely voluntary, and failure to respond will not affect your ability to access information on The survey reports are only available to NIAAA managers, members of the communications and web teams, and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties.

NIAAA retains the data from Google Analytics and survey results as long as needed to support the mission of the NIAAA website.


When you visit some websites, their web servers generate pieces of information known as cookies. The use of cookies on the NIAAA website fall into two categories, based on the length of time they remain active:

Session cookies are used for technical purposes, such as enabling better navigation through the site, facilitating the use of user accounts, and generating aggregated statistics about how the website is used. There are two types of session cookies:

  1. Single-session cookies last only as long as a web browser is open.  Once the browser is closed, the data files on your computer are deleted. Information collected from per-session cookies will not be disclosed to third parties.  For these technical purposes, per-session cookies are enabled by default.  Under the framework of OMB M-10-22, this qualifies as a Tier 1 use.
  2. Multi-session cookies last beyond a single session of browsing a website; this allows a website to recognize a computer or user for defined amount of time.

Persistent cookies. We use persistent cookies to enable Google Analytics to differentiate between new and returning visitors by analyzing the data collected through the session and persistent metrics cookies.  The third-party analytics provider does not receive personally identifiable information through these cookies and does not combine, match, or cross-reference information with any other information.  Please review the third-party analytics provider’s privacy policy for additional information.

The OMB Memo 10-22 Guidance defines our use of persistent cookies as "Usage Tier 2—Multi-session without Personally Identifiable Information (PII).”  The policy says, "This tier encompasses any use of multi-session web  measurement and customization technologies when no PII is collected."

NIAAA generally does not access or store the raw information collected through these cookies.  We do view aggregate statistical analyses prepared by our third-party analytics provider, but these analyses do not include any personally identifiable information. We do not sell, rent, exchange, or otherwise disclose this information to persons or organizations outside the NIH.

How to Opt Out or Disable Cookies: If you do not wish to have session or persistent cookies placed on your computer, you can disable them using your web  browser. If you opt out of cookies, you will still have access to all information and resources at Instructions for disabling or opting out of cookies in the most popular browsers are located at Please note that by following the instructions to opt-out of cookies, you may be disabling cookies from all sources, not just those from You can also delete cookies stored in your browser at any time.


Third-Party websites and Applications are web-based technologies that are not exclusively operated or controlled by NIAAA, such as hosted applications and those embedded on an NIAAA web page that could cause personally identifiable information (PII) to become available or accessible to NIAAA, regardless of whether NIAAA solicits or collects it.

Social Media: NIAAA uses the social media platforms Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to share messages about NIAAA health information and research news with visitors and respond to comments and inquiries. While NIAAA analyzes aggregate user data to inform content strategy, it does not collect, maintain, disclose or share any information about individuals who follow social media feeds (review the NIH privacy policy). NIAAA follows a social media comment policy, which includes the removal of posts that contain spam or are improper, inflammatory, off-topic or offensive. Note that some social media platforms require you to create an account to view content—doing so may require you to provide personal information, with an option to provide additional information. Some of this information may be publicly available. Learn more about how these platforms handle your privacy and data here: Twitter Privacy Policy; Facebook Data PolicyInstagram Data Policy

GovDelivery Subscription Management: NIAAA uses GovDelivery to send e-newsletters, alerts and other messages to visitors who subscribe to them. To subscribe to an NIAAA product, you must provide an email address and indicate your subscription preferences, including the items you want to receive. The email subscriber lists are password protected by GovDelivery. Only the NIH managers who send newsletters, alerts or memos via GovDelivery and staff members who monitor the results of email initiatives have access to the subscriber lists. The GovDelivery privacy policy is available at:

Alcohol and Your Brain, Meta App Lab Virtual Reality (VR) Application: NIAAA does not collect any personal information from use of the Alcohol and Your Brain VR application for Oculus headsets, While NIAAA analyzes aggregate user data to inform content strategy, it does not collect, maintain, disclose or share any information about individuals who use this application. NIAAA does not share any information with third parties who support this application, nor do we receive any information about you from those third parties. Meta is the owner of App Lab for Oculus, and you can learn more about how the Meta VR Products (Oculus devices) and Meta VR Services handles your privacy and data here: Note: In accordance with Meta’s recommendations regarding Oculus headsets, this application is for use by people ages 13 or older.

Questions about NIH privacy policies should be sent to the NIAAA Privacy Act Officer through the NIAAA Web Master.


Also - you can view the NIH Privacy Policy at

For further information about NIH privacy policy, please visit


Last reviewed May 2021

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