NAMUS TERMS OF USE AND PRIVACY POLICY

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) is a central repository for information related to missing, unidentified, and unclaimed persons throughout the United States. NamUs is a free online system that can be searched by criminal justice agencies and members of the general public in hopes of resolving their cases.

I. Privacy Policy

Here is how we handle information about your visit to our Web site:

A. Information Collected and Stored Automatically

If you visit our site to read or download information, we may collect and store the following information about your visit:
  • The name of the Internet domain (for example, "xcompany.com" if you use a private Internet access account, or "yourschool.edu" if you are connecting from a university's domain) and the IP address (a number that is automatically assigned to your computer when you are using the Internet) from which you access our site;
  • The type of browser and operating system used to access our site;
  • The date and time you access our site;
  • The Internet address of the Web site from which you linked directly to our site; and
  • The pages you visit and the information you request.

This information is primarily collected for statistical analysis and technical improvements to the site. This government computer system uses software programs to create summary statistics, which may be used for such purposes as assessing what information is of most and least interest, determining technical design specifications, and identifying system performance or problem areas. In certain circumstances, however, we may take additional steps to identify you based on this information and we may share this information, including your identity, with other government agencies.

B. If You Send Us Personal Information

You do not have to provide any personal information to visit this Web site. If you choose to provide us with personal information, such as by sending a message to an e-mail address on this Web site or by creating a user account, or filling out a form and submitting it through our Web site, we will use that information to respond to your message or to fulfill the stated purpose of the communication.

NIJ and NamUs do not collect or use information for commercial marketing. NIJ and NamUs do work with the media, however, as part of on-going efforts to find and identify missing persons. Information submitted and/or uploaded to NamUs may be shared with media outlets for promotional purposes consistent with NamUs’ mission.

NamUs may share information with contractors acting on its behalf or with other government agencies. In other limited circumstances, such as responses to requests from Congress and private individuals, we may be required by law to disclose information you submit. If you provide comments in response to a request for public comments we may make those comments as well as your identity available to the public in a publication or by posting them on our Web site. Where possible, we may give you more specific guidance at the point of collection regarding how your personal information may be used or disclosed.

In cases where a visitor to the NamUs Web site makes a report about a missing person and, in so doing, submits personally identifiable information, we save this information in the NamUs system. This saved information will be accessible to registered NamUs partners, including appropriate law enforcement agencies for investigation, missing persons clearinghouse coordinators, unidentified decedent investigators, and others whose missions align with the purposes of the system.

Electronically submitted information is maintained and destroyed according to the principles of the Federal Records Act and the regulations and records schedules of the National Archives and Records Administration, and in some cases may be covered by the Privacy Act and subject to the Freedom of Information Act. A discussion of your rights under these laws can be found here: http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/fed_prog/foia/foia.htm.

C. Cookies

"Cookies" are small bits of text that are either used for the duration of a session ("session cookies"), or saved on a user's hard drive in order to identify that user, or information about that user, the next time the user logs on to a Web site ("persistent cookies"). The NamUs Web site and its component sites do not use persistent cookies. Certain pages on the NamUs web site and its component sites use session cookies to provide streamlined navigation and for statistical analysis. The NamUs site also uses session cookies as part of a voluntary Web customer satisfaction survey that will appear to a small percentage of our Web site visitors as they leave the NamUs Web site. Session cookies are deleted from the NamUs servers soon after your session ends and are not collected or saved. You may set up your Web browser to inform you when cookies are set or to prevent cookies from being set. You may still use our Web site if you do not accept the cookies, but you may be unable to use certain cookie-dependent features.

D. Our Social Network Policy

NIJ is pleased generally to participate in open, un-moderated fora offered by commercial social networks sites, in order to increase government transparency, promote public participation, and encourage collaboration with NIJ. Please note that NIJ does not control, moderate, or endorse the comments or opinions provided by visitors to these sites. In addition, NIJ does not collect, maintain, or disseminate information posted there by the public.

E. Security

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this system employs software programs to monitor network traffic in order to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage.

II. Terms of Use

In using the NamUs Web site you agree (a) to provide accurate, current, and complete information as may be prompted by any registration forms and/or Missing Person reports; and (b) to be responsible for all use of your user account. Use of the NamUs Web site constitutes consent to the following Terms of Use. NIJ may terminate your user account, delete your profile and any content or information that you have posted on the system, and/or prohibit you from accessing NamUs for any reason and at any time in its sole discretion.

Users are advised that local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies routinely monitor the information provided to and uploaded onto the NamUs system. Anyone using this system expressly consents to such monitoring and is advised that if such monitoring reveals evidence of possible abuse, fraud, or criminal activity, such evidence may be provided to appropriate law enforcement officials. Unauthorized attempts to upload or change information on this server are strictly prohibited and may be punishable by law, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act of 1996.

A. Prohibited User Conduct

You shall not:
  • harvest or collect email addresses or other contact information of other NamUs users for the purpose of sending unsolicited emails or communications;
  • use the NamUs system in any unlawful manner or in any manner that could damage, disable, or otherwise impair the NamUs system or Web site;
  • register for more than one user account;
  • register for a user account on another’s behalf;
  • register on behalf of any group or entity;
  • impersonate any person or entity;
  • misrepresent yourself (e.g., name, age, residence, affiliation);
  • upload, post, or otherwise make available any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, solicitations, promotional materials, including “junk mail,” “spam,” or “chain letters”;
  • upload, post, or otherwise make available any material that contains any software virus or any other computer code, files, or programs designed to interrupt, destroy, or impair computer software, Web sites, computer hardware, or telecommunications equipment; or
  • intimidate or harass any person or entity about whom you learned by using the NamUs Website.

B. Links to Other Web Sites

The information posted on the NamUs Web site includes hypertext links or pointers to information created and maintained by other public and/or private organizations. NamUs provides these links and pointers solely for your information and convenience. When you select a link to an outside Web site, you are subject to the privacy, copyright, security, and information quality policies of that Web site. NamUs and NIJ:
  • DO NOT control or guarantee the accuracy, legality, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information contained on a linked Web site;
  • DO NOT endorse linked Web sites, the views they express, or the products/services they offer;
  • CANNOT authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites;
  • ARE NOT responsible for transmissions users receive from linked Web sites; and
  • DO NOT guarantee that outside Web sites comply with the accessibility requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Links to non-federal government sites will appear on a page notifying you that the sites are not controlled by NamUs or NIJ, or you will receive an intercepting (redirect) page indicating that you are leaving the NamUs site when you access such a link.

If you find a link that does not work, please e-mail questions@findthemissing.org or questions@identifyus.org or Todd Matthews at J.Todd.Matthews@UNTHSC.edu.

C. Linking to the NamUs Website

Links to the NamUs Web site are permitted. The use of the NamUs logo, however, is protected and requires advance written authorization as described below. The fact that a Web site links to the NamUs site does not indicate that NamUs or NIJ have any responsibility for the content of that site, nor does it constitute an endorsement of that site by NIJ.

D. Copyright Status and Citation

Information generated by NIJ that is in the public domain and may be reproduced, published, or otherwise used without NIJ’s permission. The use of any NamUs logos is protected and requires advance authorization, as described below. With respect to materials generated by entities outside of NIJ, permission to copy these materials, if necessary, must be obtained from the original source. For information on materials generated by external entities with NIJ funding, please refer to individual component policies. This copyright notice only pertains to the NamUs Web site. Appropriate citation to NamUs as the source of the information is appreciated.

E. Use of NamUs Logos, Insignia, and Name

NamUs is pending a registered trademark of the Department of Justice and is subject to the Department of Justice’s legal policies and disclaimers regarding the use of the Department’s seals and logos. The NamUs logo, name, and other insignia may not be used or reproduced without written permission. Requests for permission to use or reproduce the NamUs logo shall be referred to Todd Matthews at J.Todd.Matthews@UNTHSC.edu. Permission to use or reproduce the NamUs logo is granted on a case-by-case basis and involves the consideration of many relevant factors, including: the cost or benefit to NIJ; the unintended appearance of endorsement or authentication by NIJ; the potential for misuse; the effect on NIJ security; the reputability of the use; and the extent of control by NIJ over the ultimate use and distribution of any product(s) or publication(s) bearing the NamUs name, logo, or insignia.

F. Information Quality Guidelines and Maintenance

The Department of Justice has issued guidelines to help ensure the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of the information it disseminates to the public, including the information provided on this Web site. The Department’s information quality practices and procedures can be found at: http://www.usdoj.gov/iqpr/iqpr.html. The Department’s information quality guidelines include procedures for requesting corrections of disseminated information. NIJ will make every effort to correct errors brought to our attention.

The NamUs system may be temporarily unavailable for maintenance or other reasons.

G. Disclaimers of Liability and Endorsements

Although NIJ strives to make the information on this Web site as timely and accurate as possible, it makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of this site, and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in the contents of this site. No warranty of any kind, implied, expressed, or statutory, including but not limited to the warranties of non-infringement of third party rights, title, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or freedom from computer virus, is given with respect to the contents of this Web site or its links to other Internet resources.

The information appearing on this Web site is not intended to provide legal or other advice to any individual or entity. NIJ urges you to consult with your own legal advisor before taking any action based on information appearing on this site or on any site to which it may be linked. NIJ expressly disclaims liability for any action taken by any user of this site based on such information.

At times NIJ is required, because of a legal requirement such as the Freedom of Information Act or a court order, to post documents generated by third parties that may contain offensive, defamatory, or misleading or otherwise inappropriate content. NIJ disclaims responsibility for the content of these documents.

Reference in this site to any specific commercial product, process, or service, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by NIJ or NamUs.

This Terms Of Use Agreement was last updated on October 16, 2012.