Privacy Practices

This statement explains the privacy practices for web sites and activities for Distance Minnesota (DM) and its Auxiliary Service Partners, and addresses: [1] Online support centers, [2] email correspondence, [3] web-based promotions and [4] anti-spam protections.

If you feel the stated practices are not being followed, please contact the System Director.


Website purpose, administration, and hosting

What is the website purpose? Websites serve as customer information and service hubs. Each branded hub is tailored to the needs of DM or Auxiliary Service Partner clientele. Each hub provides: [1] Information, [2] tools for self-serving, and [2] access to personalized assistance.

Who administers and hosts the website? The customer service websites hosted through Oracle Service Cloud® are administered through staff that are employed through Minnesota State system and located at the Distance Minnesota Consortium Office/Online Support Center.

What policies affect the website privacy practices? To learn more about the data security and hosting policies affecting the website, see [1] the Minnesota State system board Policy 5.23 Security and Privacy of Information Resources, and [2] the Oracle Service Cloud® Privacy When Hosting Statement.

What other websites does Distance Minnesota operate? The Website Inventory contains a list of all websites that are operated by DM for the DM consortium and auxiliary service partners. The list contains the partner name, the main URL, any additional promoted URLs and main referring site URLs.

Methods of collection, types and use of information

How is information collected? Two methods are used: (1) automatic collection and (2) forms completed by users.
What information is collected automatically, and how is it used? The following information is collected during site visits:

a)     Cookies: The website uses cookies. These are small text files stored on site user computer browsers that tell the server the computer is transacting a returning visit. Cookies do not collect or store personally identifiable information.

b)     Log Files and Click Path Tracking: JavaScript tracking software is used on website pages to document web site usage. Log files and click path tracking collects and stores information relating to server requests and site traffic. Neither log files or click path tracking contain any personally identifiable information.

c)     Information Use: Information is used to [a] correct specific errors or problems with the web site, [b] improve the information, [c] improve usability of the most popular and least popular areas of the sites, [d] identify terms or keywords users used on search engines, and [b] enhance site visibility.

d)     What information is collected on forms and how is it used? Basic directory information is collected through web forms and used for exchanging communications through RightNow Technologies®:

·     Requests for More Information, Referrals and Support Event Registration: Basic directory information is needed to process these types of customer-generated requests. Requests for more information initiate delivery of a short series of predetermined messages. Included with each message is information on how to opt out if future communications are not wanted.

·     Enhanced Customer Support: Answers to frequently asked questions are accessible to any site visitor. Other enhanced services such as Chat, Ask a Question, and Sign Up to provide Answer Feedback require users to provide basic directory information. The information is used to: [1] Route a question to assigned support agent, [2] associate the question with the appropriate customer service history, [3] assist support staff in replying with quick and accurate responses, and [4] provide a unique login to My Stuff.

·     Email Alert, Email Notification, and Email Newsletter Registration: Basic directory information is needed to respond to requests with information tailored to the user interests or needs.

·     Referrals: Referrals are made in response to user requests. NO information will be provided to others without prior consent. Basic directory information and other voluntary data is used to make user-requested referrals to key contacts.

Changing or updating personal information

How is automatically collected information changed?

a)     Cookies: Cookies are not required to use the web site. Though most web browsers accept cookies by default, an individual user may change web browser preferences settings to notify when a cookie is requested or set or display accept or reject cookies options. Many browsers also have a setting that will reject all cookies without prompting the user. Users interested in changing browser settings should consult the browser help feature.

b)     Log Files and Click Path Tracking: Log files are normal occurrences in operation of a web server. Log files do not contain personal identification information. Collection can be prevented only by not visiting the site. JavaScript click path tracking may be blocked or disabled, however this may produce some irregular behavior that may make some portions of the site (e.g., request forms) more difficult to use.

How is submitted information changed or updated? Directory and select supplemental information may be changed by: [1] Revising and resubmitting web forms, [2] contacting staff, [3] using My Stuff tools, and [4] using the opt-in/opt-out page links included in promotional mailings.

Maintaining data security

How is customer service information processed with RightNow Technologies® protected? The RightNow Technologies® hosting contract held by the Minnesota State system indicates that RightNow Technologies® takes three precautions to protect user information: [1] RightNow Technologies® protects information both online and offline using standard security best practices such as firewalls, encryption, and intrusion detection. [2] RightNow Technologies® performs full backups every week on the entire file system and incremental backups on a daily basis. [3] RightNow Technologies keeps all hosting servers physically secure in world-class hosting data centers.

How is information submitted through College or University Admission Application, Course Registration Information or other Minnesota State colleges and universities forms protected? Information submitted in admission applications and noncredit and credit course registrations is collected over a secure Internet connection maintained by the Minnesota State system and is subject to system data practices and only accessible to authorized agency staff.

How is information about children protected? The website does not knowingly collect information from children under the age of 16. The website is designed for prospective and current college students, corporate users, business professionals and/or other special adult populations (e.g., veterans, service members).

How is information collected through links to outside sites and resources protected? The website offers links to recommended websites. Individuals visiting any recommended sites should review the specific privacy policies and practices of the recommended site before submitting any directory or other personal information.


What purposes does email serve? Email is used for three purposes: [1] To reply to requests for help received online, [2] to complete follow up to requests received by phone, and [3] to distribute communications.

Who sends email? The Email Sender List annotates the email addresses from which communications have been sent.

To whom is email sent? Mailings are sent to individuals who opt-in or to those individuals with whom there is an ongoing relationship (e.g., prospect, applicant, registered student, alumni, military service member, veteran, accountholder, etc.).


What purposes do promotional communications serve? Promotional communications provide recipients with general information, details on special events and other timely information.

What promotions have been sent? The Communications List provides an overview of sent communications within the year.

How are promotional communications delivered? Promotional communications on various topics are delivered onscreen and by email.

Who sends promotional communications? The Email Sender List annotates the email addresses from which communications have been sent.


What is the commitment to anti-spam? A strong commitment exists to assisting customers by effectively delivering legitimate email and preventing spam email.

Mailing list maintenance

How are mailing lists maintained? Mailing lists are maintained in the following ways:

a)     Notifications on Planned Maintenance and Upgrades: Users may sign up or subscribe to receive notifications about planned maintenance and upgrades.

b)     Promotional Mailings and Newsletter Subscriptions: Interested parties may subscribe to promotional mailings and newsletters. Special mailings are sent to specific contact lists provided by Auxiliary Service Partners.

c)     Periodic Notifications and Announcements: Web site users can request information on relevant topics of interest. e.g.: Announcements, college applications, registrations, program information, financial aid, faculty training, teaching tips, due dates, and other pertinent topics.

d)     Promotional Mailings and Newsletters: Signups for human-interest stories, testimonials, event information, and announcements are available at the website.

e)     Other Email Notifications: Mailings to media contacts may include press releases, human-interest stories, event information, and announcements.

f)      Answer Update Notifications: Visitors accessing Answers can request automated notifications be sent when a specific answer is updated.

g)     Transactional emails: Automated email confirmations are sent when a form is completed requesting information or assistance.

h)     Customer support incidents and responses: Responses to requests for assistance are handled through email.

Changing subscription preferences

How can customers change subscription preferences? Preferences for specific subscriptions can be changed in the following ways:

a)     Notification and Mailing Lists: Users can unsubscribe by activating the unsubscribe feature included on each communication.

b)     Answer Update Notifications: Users can unsubscribe from your answer notifications through the “My Stuff” area.

c)     Transactional Emails: Transactional emails are sent by request, so there is no need to unsubscribe from these one-time mailings.

d)     Customer support incidents and responses: As responses are replies to requests for support, there is no need to unsubscribe from these interactive mailings.


As a condition of the right to use Oracle Service Cloud®, there is an agreement not to use the software to send unsolicited commercial email and to not conceal the sender identity, to provide their end users with a user friendly means to opt-out of email communications, and to not engage in activities that are reasonably likely to lead to spam complaints. License conditions give RightNow Technologies® the right to investigate spam infringements, and to suspend or terminate licenses.

Delivery Management

The directors for operations regularly review and adopt best practices promoted by Oracle Service Cloud® in the form of white papers, webcasts, and consulting engagements, train and supervise staff and monitor compliance with privacy practices.

Questions, concerns, or complaints

Questions, concerns or complaints can be conveyed by phone, email or US Mail.

What is the phone number to call? Call the toll-free or international number available in the Contact Us area of the website, or dial 651-201-1302.

What is the email address? Write to

What is the US Mail address? Write to Online Support Center, 900 MN-34, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501 USA