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Customer Care and Privacy

California State Department of Parks and Recreation (PARKS) knows that you care how information about you is collected and shared, and we appreciate your trust that we will do so carefully and sensibly. The information PARKS collects from our customers helps us personalize and continually improve your experience using either our PARKS' public website ( or our PARKS' online store website (  Our PARKS' public website in the past has also been

This notice describes PARKS' privacy policy.

1.  What information does PARKS collect?
2.  What about session identifiers or cookies?
3.  What does PARKS do with the information collected?
4.  How does PARKS protect your privacy?
5.  Links to other websites
6.  Notification of changes
7.  Online purchases by minors

1.   What information does PARKS collect?

Information you give us:

PARKS receives and stores most of the information you enter at any of our websites. 

At PARKS’ online store website, we record your name, mailing address, phone number, email address and purchase order. However, the PARKS’ online store website does NOT store any credit card information.  Rather, PARKS uses the information the customer provides for such purposes as fulfilling the customer order, responding to customer requests, customizing future shopping experiences for the customer, and communicating with the customer to resolve any errors or omissions.

At PARKS’ public website, we predominantly collect non-personal information related to website search criteria and navigation. This information is used to provide an efficient and somewhat customized experience.  PARKS also may collect an email address and other information provided by the visitor through our Webmaster Email system. This is a link located at the bottom of each page and provides a means of communicating comments, issues, and inquiries concerning this site. These email addresses and information supplied in this system are retained long enough to provide adequate resolution of the issue or inquiry.

PARKS may ask users to provide us the following types of information in order to use some of the features on our websites:

Feature Type and Purpose of Information Collected

Event Registration PARKS may occasionally offer special events or programs that may include a form for online registration. As part of the registration process, you may be asked to provide contact information (such as name, address, and email address). PARKS will use this information to contact you about the special event or program for which you have expressed interest. In addition, PARKS may also use your email address to contact you about future events either through individual email or through a newsletter.

Online Store Orders You must provide contact information (such as name, address, and email address) to order products from the PARKS’ online store website. This information is used to fill customers’ orders. If PARKS has trouble processing an order, this contact information is used to get in touch with the user. In addition, PARKS may also use your email address to contact you about new products being offered at our online store either by individual email or through our newsletter.

PARKS does NOT store any of your credit card information on our web servers. Your credit card information is automatically encrypted and transferred directly to our payment provider (Verisign) during the order process and is never viewed by any person. The Verisign software notifies us that your account is valid and has the available credit, and then places a 'hold' upon your account for the amount of the purchase. Upon shipment, the Verisign software then authorizes the 'capture,' or transfer, of your funds to our account.

Newsletters You may provide contact information (such as name and email address) to receive free periodic email newsletters from PARKS that will keep you up-to-date on our State Park system. PARKS will not share your email address with other businesses or organizations, although our email newsletters may be sponsored by and include messages from businesses or organizations that support PARKS.

There are a number of ways you may be subscribed to one or more of our newsletters: 1) you may explicitly ask to be subscribed to a newsletter; 2) you have given us your email address when registering for an event or by communicating via email with PARKS in the past, 3) you have made a campsite or tour reservation through our web reservation agent, or 4) you have made a purchase from our online store.

When you subscribe to an email newsletter a simple customer profile may be created for you. At your option, you may provide us with additional information about you such as your address, occupation, and age. PARKS may also include additional survey questions in the profile to help us understand how we can improve your experience when you visit a California State Park. Every email newsletter PARKS sends to you will include an option to allow you to modify or delete information in your profile.

You will be offered an opportunity to unsubscribe from our email newsletter every time you receive an email newsletter from us.

Email (e.g., Webmaster, questions) To enable us to respond to email inquiries, a user is requested to provide contact information (e.g., email address, phone number).

Also, like nearly all e-commerce sites, PARKS requires our customers to supply us with a valid email address when making a purchase at our online store. PARKS uses this to provide you with an automatic email confirmation that your order was received. PARKS will also notify you with a second email when your order is shipped.

Automatic Information

Our web server software also automatically logs and stores certain types of information whenever you visit one of PARKS' websites.  This information is NOT cross referenced to the user's actual identity.

The following information is logged each time someone visits any of our websites:

Information Definition

Date Date the visit occurred.
Time Time the visit occurred.
Client IP Unique Internet Protocol address of the website visitor. A proxy or other such equipment that connects the user to the Internet through their Internet Service Provider (ISP) will sometimes mask this.
Server IP Unique Internet Protocol address of web server accessed. This will always be the IP address of the PARKS’ web server. PARKS does not and cannot track sites you visit other than our websites.
HTTP Status HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) error code.  E.g., “404 Requested Page Not Found.”
HTTP Request URL Identifies the web page or file requested by the website visitor.
Bytes Sent Amount of data sent from the web server to website visitor during that connection.
Bytes Received Amount of data sent from website visitor to the web server.
User Agent Type of web browser or other client software that made request to the web server.
Referrer Uniform Resource Locator (URL) that referred to the requested file.
Protocol Version Version of HTTP used by the visitor’s web browser software.

2.   What about session identifiers or cookies?

A cookie is a small text file containing a unique identification number that a website sends to your computer's web browser. While you visit a particular site, a cookie may be used to track the activities of your browser as well as provide you with a consistent, more efficient experience. There are two common types of cookies: persistent and non-persistent

The “help” portion of the toolbar of most browsers will tell you how to prevent your browser from accepting new cookies, how to have the browser notify you when you receive a new cookie, or how to disable cookies altogether. Be aware, if you disable cookies on your browser you will not be able to shop at PARKS’ online store and some of our interactive web applications (i.e., Find A Park) may not function properly.

A number of companies offer utilities designed to allow you to visit websites anonymously. Although PARKS may not be able to provide you with a personalized experience at our websites if we cannot recognize you, we want you to be aware that these tools exist.

Persistent cookies

Persistent cookies are stored on your computer's hard drive where they remain resident until they are either deleted or they reach a predetermined expiration date. Persistent cookies are most commonly used to provide visitors with a customized experience by recording preferences such as how a visitor prefers to have his/her web pages displayed. Additionally, cookies are commonly used to gather statistical information such as the average time spent on a particular page. This kind of information is valuable for several reasons, including providing insight on how to improve the design, content and navigation of a website.

Please be aware that PARKS uses a persistent cookie when you visit our online store.
The use of a persistent cookie will allow you, as our customer, to return to PARKS’ online store to view your order history or to place another order without typing in address information again. Note: your credit card information is not stored on PARKS’ server. Because PARKS does not save it, you must reenter your credit card information with each new purchase.

Non-persistent cookies

Non-persistent cookies do not permanently record data and they are not stored on your computer's hard drive. Rather, non-persistent cookies are stored in memory and are only available during an active session. Once a session ends, the cookie disappears. Non-persistent cookies are used primarily for technical reasons such as providing seamless navigation.

How PARKS’ websites use session identifiers (“persistent” or “non-persistent” cookies)

PARKS may use session identifiers or “non-persistent cookies” when you visit our websites. The use of the session identifier provides you with better customer service and security by allowing you to be recognized throughout the website, ensuring that your session cannot be “hijacked” or impersonated by hackers or other malicious internet users.

The session identifier contains no user identifiable information. Our web server randomly generates a unique character string (a non-persistent cookie) and sends it to your PC each time you visit the website. Once you are finished using the application, the cookie is flushed from your browser memory. The session identifier is flushed from PARKS’ web server memory after 20 minutes of user inactivity. Upon subsequent visits to the website, you will receive a new randomly generated session identifier. This provides enhanced security and data integrity. Again, this information is NOT cross-referenced to our customers by name or address, or any other personal identifiers, but rather is gathered for security reasons and to determine traffic patterns to our websites. PARKS does not use cookies to collect personal data about you.

3.   What does PARKS do with the information collected?

PARKS works with other companies and individuals to perform functions on our behalf. Examples include delivering packages and processing credit card payments.  These companies and individuals have access to personal information needed to perform their functions, but may not use it for other purposes.

PARKS does not and will not sell your information or distribute it to anyone outside PARKS.

PARKS uses the information gathered to help us improve our websites.  For example, by tracking how many people visit our websites, when they visit, and the pages they visit, PARKS can balance resources so the maximum number of visitors can obtain the information they need.  Additionally, by tracking what client software is being used (e.g., browser), we can avoid using features that visitors cannot view or use.

4.   How does PARKS protect your privacy?

Our PARKS’ websites use the latest technology for secure transactions, Secured Socket Layers (SSL); our web servers are protected by firewalls; and confidential information does not reside on servers accessible by the public.

Any information acquired by PARKS, including information collected electronically on any of our websites, is subject to the Information Practices Act of 1977 (beginning with Section 1798 of the Civil Code).

In addition, electronically collected personal information is exempt from requests made pursuant to the California Public Records Act (beginning with Section 6250 of the Government Code).

Your Option to Have Your Information Discarded Upon Request

You have the option of having your personal information retained by PARKS discarded without reuse or distribution upon request.  To make such request, please email, or contact PARKS’ Helpdesk at (916) 657-2907.

5.   Links to other websites

PARKS’ websites may contain hyperlinks to other websites.  These other websites are not under our control, and PARKS is not responsible for the privacy policies of any linked website or any link contained in a linked website.  PARKS provides hyperlinks as a matter of information only. PARKS uses a third party reservation agent to process campsite and tour reservations.  PARKS encourages our users to read the privacy statement associated with the website of our third party reservation agent at:

This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by PARKS-operated websites.  PARKS encourages our users to read the privacy statements of any website that collects personally identifiable information.

6.   Notification of changes

If PARKS decides to change our privacy policy, we will post a link to any proposed change on our home page 30 days prior to implementation.  If PARKS is going to use users’ personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time of collection, we will provide users with a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner.

7.   Online purchases by minors

The PARKS’ online store does not sell products for purchase by minors. PARKS sells some children’s products for purchase by adults. If you are under 18 years of age you may use the online store only with the permission and involvement of a parent or guardian.

If you have any questions....

General questions or concerns unrelated to the Privacy Policy should be sent to as any unrelated topics can not be responded to by the Privacy Officer.

For technical questions regarding this website, please contact the webmaster at