Services and Web Sites Covered
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Information We Collect
Information We Collect from Unregistered Visitors
Information We Collect When You Register
Continuing Medical Education
When you participate in a Continuing Medical Education (CME) or a Continuing Education (CE) activity through the Services, you may be asked to provide personally identifiable information such as your name and mailing address. In addition to personally identifiable information, aggregated non-personally identifiable information about the activities undertaken by CME/CE participants is recorded. Information that you provide in connection with your participation in CME/CE activities, either when registering or requesting credit, may be used in several ways:
- Medscape is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education to provide continuing education to physicians, nurses and pharmacists, respectively. As an accredited entity, Medscape is required to periodically submit aggregated data about CME/CE participants and the CME/ CE activities that Medscape certifies. Medscape also provides personally identifiable information to other accredited CME/CE providers who certify CME/CE activities offered through the Services, as necessary for their fulfillment of their reporting obligations to the ACCME and other accrediting bodies. These reports may include personally identifiable information about you and credits issued to you, for the purpose of maintaining records that you can request from the accredited provider for up to six (6) years; and
- Supporters of CME/CE activities will receive only aggregated data about CME/CE activities that they support.
The Medscape editorial staff has access to files containing personally identifiable information, including evaluation forms and aggregated CME /CE participant information. These files can be accessed in order to respond to your questions or comments. Medscape may also use personally identifiable information, including registration information and evaluation data, in assessing educational needs and evaluating its education activities.
Information from Outside Sources
We may collect additional information about registered users from third party sources to assist us in providing the Services. For example, we use such information to verify and update registration information and confirm licensure status.
- Tools: Clinical tools may be available through the Services. These tools may require you to provide information for the tools to operate. These tools may store information that you provide on our servers.
- Additional Forms and Emails: We may also ask you to provide additional information after you register if you want to obtain additional services or information or to resolve complaints or concerns.
Most browser software can be set to reject all cookies. If your browser is set to reject cookies, websites that are cookie-enabled will not recognize you when you return to the website, and some website functionality may be lost. The Help section of your browser will tell you about your options for managing your cookies.
We may use web beacons and cookies to serve you targeted advertisements when you visit other websites owned and operated by WebMD. We may also use web beacons to track who has opened our emails. Web beacons are tiny graphic image files, embedded in a website page that notify the home server (which can belong to the host website, a network advertiser, or some other third party) on a non-personally identifiable basis that some interaction has taken place. This notice may also result in a cookie being set on your device, as described above.
WebMD contracts with third parties whose web beacons may be placed on the WebMD Sites to assist WebMD in targeting its advertising that is served to you on websites that are not owned and operated by WebMD. These web beacons place cookies on your browser in order to enable these third parties to collect non-personally identifiable information about you. These third parties have agreed not to use any non-personally identifiable information that they may collect through their use of these cookies except to deliver advertisements on our behalf. If your browser is set to reject cookies, this non-personally identifiable information will not be sent to these third parties. Also, in connection with its sale of advertising, WebMD may allow a third party to place a cookie on your browser to enable advertisers to recognize your browser on a non-personally identifiable basis in order to deliver an advertisement to you when you visit a WebMD Site. These advertisers are not permitted to collect any information based on your visits to a WebMD Site.
Certain Ad Servers and third party firms that facilitate the serving of advertisements based on your browsing activities on the Internet allow you to prevent them from collecting data or serving advertisements through the use of their cookies. In order to do so, you must opt-out of such data collection with each individual website. Currently, you can opt-out of Cookies for several Ad Servers and marketing analytics firms by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative gateway opt-out website. This website will also allow you to review the privacy policies of these Ad Servers and marketing analytics firms.
Mobile Device Application
We are committed to protecting the privacy of children. The Professional Sites and Services are designed and intended for use by adults, and are not intended for, nor designed to be used by children under the age of 18. We do not collect personally identifiable information from any person we know is under the age of 18.
Uses and Disclosures We Make of Information
We create aggregate data about users of our Services for product development and improvement activities. We also use it for market analysis. We may provide information about users of our Services in aggregate form to third parties. For example, WebMD may tell a client what percentage of registered users of the WebMD Health Professional Network reside in a particular geographical area or specialize in a particular clinical area, or what percentage of participants in a market research survey selected a particular response to a survey question. When aggregated information is provided to a third party, it is pooled with many individual records and stripped of any data that could be used to identify an individual. Any third party that receives aggregated information must agree not to attempt to re-identify the people it belongs to. Depending on our agreement with the third party, we may or may not charge for this information.
Marketing and Advertising
In addition to aggregate information (discussed previously), we each may each share some kinds of personally identifiable information with third parties as described below.
- Market Research: From time to time, we may invite you to participate in sponsored or unsponsored market research surveys as further described above. We may provide aggregate information from the survey results to third parties including the survey sponsor, if applicable. If you receive remuneration for participating in a sponsored survey, we may be required to provide the sponsor with personally identifiable information about you for its recordkeeping and regulatory reporting purposes. We will not provide any sponsor with your survey responses on an identifiable basis unless we obtain your consent prior to your participation in the survey. If you participate in a survey administered by a third party market research company, this company may identify you when you participate in the survey. We require these companies to agree that they will not provide the survey sponsor with personally identifiable information about you based on your participation in the survey, nor will they market to you based on such participation.
- Sponsored Programs: When you use WebMD's Services through a WebMD Site, newsletter, Medscape Mobile or other means, you may be presented with advertisements and opportunities to engage in industry-sponsored informational programs consisting of sponsor-selected materials ("Sponsored Programs"). All advertisements and Sponsored Programs (including any links to Sponsored Programs) will be identified to you by the label Advertisement, Information from Industry, Sponsored, WebMD Professional or some similar designation indicating that the content has been selected by a third-party sponsor. Examples of Sponsored Programs include information resources featuring branded or unbranded commercial content, interactive programs that provide information about medical conditions, treatments and products, multi-media presentations including video featuring a key opinion leader and safety and regulatory information resources. We may make Sponsored Programs available to you through email or on-site media units, all of which will be identified as described above.
When you choose to engage in a Sponsored Program, you may be asked to provide personally identifiable information (e.g., postal address, telephone number, e-mail address, etc.) which may be used to supplement information about you that we have already received during member registration. In addition, we may collect information in connection with a transaction that you have requested (e.g., sample request, sales rep visit, etc.), responses to Sponsored Program questions, and/or gift requests and issuance. Even if you do not provide us with personally identifiable information, we collect non-personally identifiable information about your use of Sponsored Programs through cookies and web beacons, as described above.
The personally identifiable information that you provide when you engage in a Sponsored Program will be used to provide the services you have requested or authorized, respond to your questions, provide you the specific services you select and to send you emails about new programs and selected information from our sponsors as it relates to your specialty or area of clinical practice. You may also receive invitations to engage in other Sponsored Programs from the same sponsor. When you are exposed to an advertisement through the Services, whether on a WebMD Site or Medscape Mobile, in a newsletter or through some other means, and when you engage in a Sponsored Program, e.g., access a sponsored information resource or open a Sponsored Program e-mail from WebMD Professional, WebMD may identify you by name to the sponsor of the advertisement or Sponsored Program and/or its agents on the sponsor's behalf, as well as to potential sponsors of advertisements and Sponsored Programs that may be provided to you through the Services. We may also provide such third parties with your specialty and country where you reside, based on your registration profile. We will not provide these third parties with your personal contact information such as email or postal address. We are not responsible for how these third parties use your information and manage your privacy. Further, we may use non-personally identifiable information for research purposes, and we may provide this information in the aggregate to third parties. For example, we might inform third parties regarding the number of users of a Sponsored Program and the activities they conduct while engaged in the Program.
- Legal Requirements: We may release account and other personally identifiable information when we believe release (1) is required to comply with valid legal requirements such as a law, regulation, search warrant, subpoena or court order; or (2) is reasonable in response to a physical threat to you or others, to protect property or defend or assert legal rights. In the event that we are legally compelled to disclose your personally identifiable information to a third party, we will attempt to notify you unless doing so would violate the law, court order or government instruction.
- Consent: We may release personally identifiable information to a third party in accordance with your consent, subject to the purposes and limits that we disclose when we request your consent. For example, when you choose to participate in a Sponsored Program, we may provide certain personally identifiable information to the sponsor of such program and to potential sponsors of programs, as further described above.
If we discover that a third party inadvertently disclosed personally identifiable information about any of our users, we will take immediate action to prevent further occurrences.
Security of Information
We have implemented technology and security policies, rules and other measures to protect the personal data that we have under our control from unauthorized access, improper use, alteration, unlawful or accidental destruction, and accidental loss. We also protect your information by requiring that all our employees and others who have access to or are associated with the processing of your data respect your confidentiality.
We use security methods to determine the identity of registered users, so that appropriate rights and restrictions can be enforced for that user. Reliable verification of user identity is called authentication. We use both passwords and usernames to authenticate users. Users are responsible for maintaining their own passwords.
Employees are required to keep your information private, as a condition of their employment with us. Only selected, authorized employees are permitted to access health information.
Access to Information and Choices
Correction of Information We Have About You
If you believe that there are errors in the registration information associated with your account, you may edit your personal profile any time that you like. You can directly edit your user profile on the Professional Site on which you initially registered. Requests for deletion of your record may result in your removal from the registry, but we may keep certain demographic information about you for product improvement purposes. You may contact Customer Support and ask for the changes that you would like to make.
Use of your Information Outside of the EEA
WebMD and Medscape are located in the United States. We will collect, store, and process information about your use of the Services in countries outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) as necessary for our legitimate business purposes. By using the Services, you consent to such collection, storage and processing outside of the EEA. We will take reasonable steps to ensure your information is adequately protected.
Privacy Questions or Concerns
For privacy questions or concerns about one of our Web sites or Services, please contact MedscapePrivacy@webmd.net.
Effective date: February 14, 2013