Thank you for visiting OPAL, New York State’s Online Permit Assistance and Licensing website! OPAL is a service provided by the Business Permit Assistance Unit of the New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS).
This website is designed to make it easier, faster, and more efficient for individuals and establishments to start a new business or expand their current business. ITS recognizes that visitors to this website are concerned about their privacy. ITS is committed to preserving your privacy when visiting this website.
For purposes of this policy, “personal information” means any information concerning a natural person, as opposed, for example, to a corporate entity, which, because of name, number, symbol, mark, or other identifier, can be used to identify that natural person. ITS only collects personal information about you when you provide that information voluntarily by sending an email or by initiating an online transaction, such as an application, a survey, registration, or order form.
Information Collected Automatically When You Visit This Website
When visiting this website, ITS automatically collects and stores the following information about your visit:
- The Internet Protocol address and domain name of your Internet service provider. The Internet Protocol address is a numerical identifier assigned
either to your Internet service provider or directly to your computer, which can be used to direct internet traffic to you;
- The type of browser and operating system you used;
- The date and time you visited this site;
- The web pages or services you accessed at this site;
- The URL or website address of the website you visited prior to coming to this website and from which any web page on this site was linked; and
- If you downloaded a form, the form that was downloaded.
None of the foregoing information is deemed to constitute personal information.
This information that is collected automatically is used to improve this website's content and to help ITS understand how people are using this
website. This information is collected for statistical analysis, to determine what information is of most and of least interest to our visitors, and
to identify system performance or problem areas. The information is not collected for commercial marketing purposes, and ITS does not sell or
distribute the information collected from the website for commercial marketing purposes.
Credit Card Security
Some applications on the OPAL site accept credit cards as payment. ITS ensures your security and privacy in two ways:
- We use the industry standard SSL strong encrypted connection.
- We do not store credit card information in our databases.
What is SSL?
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL 2048-bit) encryption makes it impossible for anyone to read your information in transit. For an additional layer of security, we do not store credit card numbers or expiration dates in our databases. The only information we maintain is the credit card transaction number given to us by PayPal, our credit card processing service company.
How Do I Know the Site is Secure?
You will know you are in the "secure" area of our site when you see the "http" portion of the website address in your browser change to "https." The "s" stands for "secure." In addition, both Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer use special symbols to indicate that you are in a website's secure area. Versions of Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer show a closed lock, as pictured below.
Cookies are simple text files stored on your web browser to provide a means of distinguishing among users of this website.
or enable your visit to this website. Temporary cookies do not contain personal information and do not compromise your privacy or security and are
erased during the operation of your browser or when your browser is closed.
The software you use to access the website allows you to refuse new cookies or delete existing cookies. Refusing or deleting these cookies may
limit your ability to take advantage of some of the features of this website.
Information Collected When You Email This Website or Initiate an Online Transaction Through This Website
If during your visit to this website you send an email to us, your email address and the contents of your email will be
collected. The information collected is not limited to text characters and may include audio, video, and graphic information formats you send to us.
The information is retained in accordance with the public record retention provisions in the State Arts and Cultural Affairs Law. Your email address
and the information contained in your email will be used to respond to you, to address issues you identify, to further improve this website, or to
forward your email to another agency for appropriate action. Your email address is not collected for commercial marketing purposes and ITS does
not sell or distribute your email address for any purposes.
During your visit to this website you may initiate a transaction such as an application, a survey, registration, or order form. The information,
including personal information, volunteered by you in initiating the transaction is used by ITS to operate ITS programs, which include the provision
of goods, services, and information. The information collected by ITS may be disclosed by ITS for those purposes that may be reasonably ascertained
from the nature and terms of the transaction in connection with which the information was submitted by you.
Currently, ITS does not knowingly collect personal information from children or create profiles of children through this website. People are
cautioned that the collection of personal information provided by any individual in an email or through an online transaction will be treated the same
as information given by an adult, and may, unless exempted from access by federal or State law, be subject to public access. ITS encourages parents
and teachers to be involved in children's Internet activities and to provide guidance whenever children are asked to provide personal information
Information and Choice
As noted above, ITS does not collect any personal information about you during your visit to this website, unless you
provide that information voluntarily by sending an email or initiating an online transaction such as an application, a survey, registration, or order
form. You may choose not to send us an email, respond to a survey, or complete an application or order form. While your choice not to participate in
these activities may limit your ability to receive specific services or products through this website, it will not prevent you from requesting
services or products from ITS by other means, and will not normally have an impact on your ability to take advantage of other features of the
website, including browsing or downloading most publicly available information.
Disclosure of Information Collected Through This Website
The collection of information through this website and the disclosure of that information are subject to the provisions of
the Internet Security and Privacy Act. ITS will only collect personal information through this website, or disclose such personal information, if the
user has consented to the collection and disclosure of such personal information. The voluntary disclosure of personal information to ITS by the
user, whether solicited or unsolicited, constitutes consent to the collection and disclosure of the information by ITS for the purposes for which the
user disclosed the information to ITS, as was reasonably ascertainable from the nature and terms of the disclosure.
However, ITS may collect or disclose personal information without user consent if the collection or disclosure is:
(1) necessary to perform the statutory duties of ITS, or necessary for ITS to operate a program authorized by law, or authorized by state
or federal statute or regulation;
(2) made pursuant to a court order or by law;
(3) for the purpose of validating the identity of the user; or
(4) of information to be used solely for statistical purposes that is in a form that cannot be used to identify any particular person.
Further, the disclosure of information, including personal information, collected through this website is subject to the provisions of the Freedom
of Information Law and the Personal Privacy Protection Law. Additionally, ITS may disclose personal information to federal or State law enforcement
authorities to enforce its rights against unauthorized access or attempted unauthorized access to ITS's information technology assets and any other
inappropriate use of its website.
Retention of Information Collected Through This Website
The information collected through this website is retained by ITS in accordance with the records retention and disposition
requirements of the New York State Arts and Cultural Affairs Law. Information on the requirements of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law may be found at
In general, the Internet services logs of ITS, comprising electronic files or automated logs created to monitor access and use of state agency
services provided through this website, are retained for one year and then destroyed. Information, including personal information that you submit in
an email or when you initiate an online transaction such as an application, a survey, registration form, or order form is retained in accordance with
the records retention and disposition schedule established for the records of the program unit to which you submitted the information. Information
Access to and Correction of Personal Information Collected Through This Website
Any user may submit a request to the ITS privacy officer to determine whether personal information pertaining to that user
has been collected through this website. Any such request shall be made in writing to the address below and must be accompanied by reasonable proof of
identity of the user. Reasonable proof of identity may include verification of a signature, inclusion of an identifier generally known only to the
user, or similar appropriate identification. The address of ITS's privacy compliance officer is:
The privacy compliance officer shall, within five (5) business days of the date of the receipt of a proper request:
(i) provide access to the personal information;
(ii) deny access in writing, explaining the reasons therefore; or
(iii) acknowledge the receipt of the request in writing, stating the approximate date when the request will be granted or denied, which date shall
not be more than thirty (30) days from the date of the acknowledgment.
In the event that ITS has collected personal information pertaining to a user through the state agency website, and that information is to be
provided to the user pursuant to the user’s request, the privacy compliance officer shall inform the user of his or her right to request that the
personal information be amended or corrected under the procedures set forth in section 95 of the Public Officers Law.
Confidentiality and Integrity of Personal Information Collected Through This Website
ITS limits employee access to personal information collected through this website to only those employees who need access
to the information in the performance of their official duties. Employees who have access to this information are required to follow appropriate
procedures in connection with any disclosures of personal information.
In addition, ITS has implemented procedures to safeguard the integrity of its information technology assets, including, but not limited to,
authentication, monitoring, auditing and encryption. These Security measures have been integrated into the design, implementation, and day-to-day
operations of this website as part of our continuing commitment to the security of electronic content as well as the electronic transmission of
The information contained in this policy should not be construed in any way as giving business, legal, or other advice, or
warranting as fail proof, the security of information provided via this website. For site security purposes and to ensure that this website remains
available to all users, ITS employs software to monitor traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or otherwise cause
damage to this website.
In order to provide visitors with certain information, this website provides links to local, State, and federal government
agencies, and websites of other organizations. A link does not constitute an endorsement of the content, viewpoint, accuracy, opinions, policies,
products, services, or accessibility of that website. Once you link to another website from this website, including one maintained by the State, you
Information provided on this website is intended to allow the public immediate access to public information. While all
attempts are made to provide accurate, current, and reliable information, ITS recognizes the possibility of human and/or mechanical error. Therefore,
ITS, its employees, officers, and agents make no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, currency, or suitability of the information
provided by this website, and deny any expressed or implied warranty as to the same.