Privacy & Policy

Privacy Statement

The City of Bethlehem (the “City” or “we”, “us”, or “our”) is committed to protecting your privacy and developing technology that gives you the most powerful and safe online experience. This Statement of Privacy applies to the Bethlehem-PA.GOV website and associated web and mobile applications (collectively, the “Site”) and governs data collection and usage. By using the Site, you consent to the data practices described in this statement.

Collection of your Personal Information

The Site collects personally identifiable information, such as your email address, name, home or work address or telephone number. The Site also collects anonymous demographic information, which is not unique to you, such as your ZIP code, age, gender, preferences, interests and favorites. The City is the sole owner of the information collected on the Site.

There is also information about your computer hardware and software that is automatically collected by the Site. This information can include: your IP address, Global Positioning System (GPS) location and information, browser type, domain names, access times and referring website addresses. This information is used by the City for the operation of the Site’s service, to maintain quality of the service, and to provide general statistics regarding use of the Site.

Please keep in mind that if you directly disclose personally identifiable information or personally sensitive data through the Site’s public message boards, this information may be collected and used by others.

The City encourages you to review the privacy statements of Web sites you choose to link to from the Site so that you can understand how those Web sites collect, use and share your information. The City is not responsible for the privacy statements or other content on Web sites outside of the Site.

Use of your Personal Information

The Site collects and uses your personal information to operate and maintain the Site and deliver the services you have requested. The Site also uses your personally identifiable information to inform you of other available City products or services available. The City may also contact you via surveys to conduct research about your opinion of current services or of potential new services that may be offered.

The City does not sell, rent or lease its customer lists to third parties. The City may, from time to time, contact you on behalf of external business partners about a particular offering that may be of interest to you. In those cases, your unique personally identifiable information (e-mail, name, address, telephone number) is not transferred to the third party. In addition, the City may share data with trusted third-party partners or contractors to help us perform statistical analysis, send you email or postal mail, provide customer support, arrange for deliveries, or provide other City services to residents, employees, customers, or businesses. All such third parties are prohibited from using your personal information except to provide these services to the City, and they are required to maintain the confidentiality of your information.

The Site does not use or disclose sensitive personal information, such as race, religion, or political affiliations, without your explicit consent.

The City keeps track of the Web sites and pages our customers visit within the Site, in order to determine what Site services in particular and what City services in general are the most popular. This data is used to deliver customized content and advertising within the Site to customers whose behavior indicates that they are interested in a particular subject area.

The City will disclose your personal information, without notice, only if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to: (a) conform to the edicts of the law or comply with legal process served on the City or the Site; (b) protect and defend the rights or property of the City; (c) provide City services through contracted-with third parties; and, (d) act under exigent circumstances to protect the personal safety of users of the Site, the City, or the public.

Use of Cookies

The Site uses "cookies" to help you personalize your online experience. A cookie is a text file that is placed on your hard disk by a Web page server. Cookies cannot be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you, and can only be read by a web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you.

One of the primary purposes of cookies is to provide a convenience feature to save you time. The purpose of a cookie is to tell the Web server that you have returned to a specific page. For example, if you personalize the Site, or register with the Site’s services, a cookie helps the Site to recall your specific information on subsequent visits. This simplifies the process of recording your personal information, such as billing addresses, shipping addresses, and so on. When you return to the Site, the information you previously provided can be retrieved, so you can easily use the Site features that you customized.

You have the ability to accept or decline cookies. Most Web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. If you choose to decline cookies, you may not be able to fully experience the interactive features of the Site’s services or Web sites you visit.

Security of your Personal Information

The Site secures your personal information from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. The Site secures the personally identifiable information you provide on computer servers in a controlled, secure environment, protected from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. When personal information (such as a credit card number) is transmitted to other Web sites, it is protected through the use of encryption.

Wherever we collect sensitive information, that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a lock icon in the address bar and looking for "https" at the beginning of the address of the Web page.

While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information.

The Site contains links to other sites/domains. Please be aware that the City is not responsible for the content or privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of any other site that collects personally identifiable information.

Changes to this Statement

The City will occasionally update this Statement of Privacy to reflect feedback from residents and customers. The City encourages you to periodically review this Statement to be informed of how the City and the Site are protecting your information.

Access to and Control Over Information

You can do the following at any time by contacting us by mail at the City of Bethlehem, 10 E. Church Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018:

  • The City releases data in accordance with the Right to-Know Law. You may follow these protocols to see what data we have about you, if any.
  • Express any concern you have about our use of your data.

Contact Information

The City and the Site welcome your comments regarding this Statement of Privacy. If you believe that the Site has not adhered to this Statement, please contact Bethlehem-PA.GOV at cobis@bethlehem-pa.gov or call us at 610-865-7000. We will use commercially reasonable efforts to promptly determine and remedy the problem.