Privacy Policy

The North Carolina Department of Commerce (“Department”) is pleased to provide information about its online Privacy Policy (“Privacy Policy”) to all visitors to the Department’s website at www.ThriveNC.com (“Site”).  Please be assured that we will use commercially reasonable efforts to protect the privacy of visitors to the Site.

Tracking Information

We collect certain non-personal information about visitors and their use of our Site.  For instance, our web servers collect the domain names, but not the email addresses, of visitors to our Site. This information is aggregated to measure number of visits, average time spent on the Site, web pages requested and viewed and other relevant statistics.  We also collect the following information:

The date and time the visitor accesses the Site. 

The length of time the visitor spends on the Site. 

The pages the visitor views on the Site. 

The universal resource locator (“URL”) of the website from which the visitor came, if applicable.

We collect this information to measure the total number of visitors to the Site (i.e., web site traffic volume), use of the Site, frequency of visits, type and time of transactions, type of browser and operating system, etc., to improve the content of our Site, to evaluate technical performance and to identify problem areas.  We aggregate this data with data on the web pages visited by other visitors to track overall traffic patterns.  We use this information to improve our Site by making it more responsive to the needs and preferences of our visitors.  This information does not identify you personally.  On occasion, we may provide this aggregate information to our vendors, potential advertisers or news agencies to demonstrate the amount of interest in the Site and to help us plan for technical infrastructure requirements.   

Types of Personal Information We Collect and How It Is Used

We collect personal information from our visitors on a voluntary basis only. Personal information may include name, address, phone number, email address and other relevant data. We do not require this personal information to obtain access to most of our Site, although we do reserve the right to require such information to the Site or parts of the Site should we deem it necessary or beneficial to do so in the future.  For instance, we do require certain personal information in order to properly respond to or to fulfill information requests.  We also collect the email addresses and certain personally identifiable information of those who communicate with us via email. We also collect certain personal information volunteered by visitors (such as any surveys we may conduct or have conducted on our behalf and/or Site registrations). 

Personal information will be collected from you only in order to process a request for information by you or for marketing and/or providing our services to you, including, without limitation, providing current and future information about the state of North Carolina. This information may be provided by contacting you via phone, mail or email.  In this regard, third-party vendors may be engaged by us to perform a variety of functions, such as providing technical services for the Site, assisting with marketing and fulfillment services for our services, etc.  These vendors may have access to personal information if needed to perform such functions. However, these vendors may only use such personal information for the purpose of performing that function, and may not use it for any other purpose.  When you contact us via email, we will only use the information to respond to your request, including, if we deem it necessary or beneficial, to occasionally redirect your message to another government agency or person who is in a better position to answer your question.  Other than as provided in this Privacy Policy, we do not sell, transfer or disclose personal information to third parties.

We reserve the right to use or disclose any information as needed to satisfy any law, regulation or legal request, to protect the integrity of the Site, to fulfill your requests or to cooperate in any law enforcement investigation or an investigation on a matter of public safety.

If you provided us with personal information through the Site, you have the option to request that we not contact you in the future. 

Cookies, Web Beacons and Other Technology Used on the Site

To enhance your experience on our Site, many of our web pages use cookies. Cookies are small text files that we place in your computer's hard drive to store your preferences and for record-keeping purposes. Cookies, by themselves, do not tell us your email address or other personal information unless you choose to provide this information to us by, for example, registering at our Site. Once you choose to provide our Site with personal information, this information may be linked to the data stored in the cookie. A cookie is like an identification card. It is unique to your computer and can only be read by the server that gave it to you.

Like most websites, we use cookies for a variety of purposes in order to improve our visitors’ online experience.  We use cookies to understand Site usage and to improve the content and offerings on our Site. For example, we may use cookies so that we remember you when you return to the Site and to personalize your experience on our web pages (e.g., to recognize you by name when you return to our Site).  We may associate personal information with a cookie file in that instance.  We also may use cookies to provide you tailored offers of services. Cookies are essential to the proper functioning of ThriveNC.com.

If you want to control which cookies you accept, you can configure your browser to accept all cookies or to alert you every time a website’s server offers a cookie. Most browsers automatically accept cookies. You can set your browser option so that you will not receive cookies, and you can also delete existing cookies from your browser.  Click on the “Help” section of your browser to learn how to change your cookie preferences.  If you disable all cookies, you may not be able to take advantage of all the features of this Site.

The only personal information our cookies can contain is information you supply yourself.  Our cookies cannot read data from your computer. If you would like more technical information about how cookies work, take a look at http://www.cookiecentral.com.

Our Site also employs a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. Web Beacons), that helps us better manage content on our Site by informing us what content is effective. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of web users. In contrast to cookies, which are stored on a visitor's computer hard drive, clear gifs are embedded invisibly on web pages and are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. We may tie the information gathered by clear gifs to our visitors’ personally identifiable information, but only to the extent this information is provided voluntarily by the visitor.

Our Site may employ or function with social media features, such as the Facebook “Like” button, and widgets, which are interactive mini-programs that may run on our Site. These features and programs may collect your IP address, which page you are visiting on our Site and may set a cookie to enable the feature or program to function properly. These features and programs are either hosted by a third-party or hosted directly on our Site. Your interactions with these features and programs are governed by the Privacy Policy of the company providing it.

Links to Other Sites

We may offer links to other websites, and the Department is not responsible for the policies and practices of other companies and any information not operated by us. If you visit one of these linked sites, you should review their Privacy Policy and other policies. 

Changes to our Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy is effective as of June 17, 2013.  From time to time, it may be necessary for us to change this Privacy Policy.  If we change our policy, we will post the revised version here, so we suggest that you check here periodically for the most up-to-date version of our Privacy Policy.  Rest assured, however, that any changes will not be retroactively applied and will not alter how we handle previously collected information.

Security Questions or Comments

We are committed to providing a secure, user-friendly Site that visitors can use without undue concern over security.  When we receive your information, we use commercially reasonable efforts, including the measures described above, to protect the security of your information on our systems.  However, no data transmission over the Internet or any wireless network can be guaranteed to be absolutely secure.  Therefore, we do not warrant or ensure the security of any information or materials sent to us online.  If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact at: info@nccommerce.com

Video Privacy

The videos produced by ThriveNC.com are designed to display some of the thriving businesses and people in North Carolina. People shown in the videos featured were filmed enjoying North Carolina’s public places or filmed on private property with the full permission of the property owner. Their appearance in the video does not constitute actual or implied endorsement of North Carolina or The North Carolina Department of Commerce.

Disclaimer

The North Carolina Department of Commerce has compiled content and information contained in this Site based on data provided by local economic development organizations and business entities. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, the North Carolina Department of Commerce makes no representations, guarantees or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or suitability of the information provided on the Site. All data is subject to change without notice.

The ThriveNC.com website contains links to other sites and we attempt to only link to sites that share our high standards and respect for privacy. Links to third-party websites are provided as a convenience for our Site visitors and do not constitute endorsement or control of their content.

Copyright

© 2013 North Carolina Department of Commerce.

301 North Wilmington Street, Raleigh, N.C.

 Business Development: 919.733.4977

Small Business Support: 800.228.8443

Additional questions or concerns about these policies should be directed to the contact page at ThriveNC.com.