Updated August 10, 2012
MayoClinic.com is committed to protecting your online privacy. We feel it is important for you to know how we handle the information we receive from you via the Internet. You can visit MayoClinic.com without revealing any personal information. However, you are required to provide an email address to subscribe to a newsletter.
How we and our affiliates collect and use personal information
MayoClinic.com may contain links to websites operated by third parties. MayoClinic.com has no control over the privacy policies and practices of such third party sites, and if you have any concerns, you are urged to review the terms of those sites for more information about the policies applicable to those sites.
We collect and log the Internet Protocol address (IP) of all visitors to MayoClinic.com. An IP address is a number automatically assigned to your computer whenever you access the Internet. IP addresses allow computers and servers to recognize and communicate with one another. We collect IP address information so that we can properly administer our system and gather aggregate information about how our site is being used, including the pages visitors are viewing. This aggregate information may be shared with advertisers, sponsors and other businesses. To maintain your anonymity, we do not associate IP addresses with records containing personal information. We will use IP address information, however, to personally identify you in order to enforce our legal rights or when required to do so by law enforcement authorities.
We require you to provide an email address to subscribe to a newsletter. If you subscribe, we may also use this email address to send you communications about other Mayo Clinic products and services. We may also share this email address with our third party email management vendor for purposes of delivering the newsletter to you; however, we do not share your email address with groups outside of Mayo Clinic for any marketing purposes.
Health tools information
You may need to provide personal information in order to use some of the health tools on our site. This information may include your answers to questions about your health status. We use this information to calculate risk. We don't store or share it.
You may be asked to complete surveys when you visit MayoClinic.com. We use information from surveys to better understand the needs of our users and to gather information about health care trends and issues. We generally do not ask for information in surveys that would personally identify you; if we do request contact information for follow-up, you may decline to provide it. If survey respondents provide personal information (such as an email address) in a survey, it is shared only with those people who need to see it to respond to the question or request, or with third parties who perform data management services for our site. Those third parties have agreed to keep all data from surveys confidential. Also, we may share information from surveys in an aggregated, de-identified form with third parties with whom we have a business relationship.
How we protect your personal information
All data that you enter on this site are encrypted with secure server software (SSL). The encryption means that your data are protected while they are being transferred over the Internet to our servers.
Once your data reach our servers, the same state-of-the art security software that guards our company's essential business data protects your data as well.
In addition to using the most secure technology available, we de-identify all data before they are used in any aggregate reporting that may be done.
What we provide to third parties
We may share your personally identifiable information with third parties who we have engaged to help us provide the services. In each case, we will ensure that these third parties have agreed not to use or disclose your personal information except to help us provide the services.
Except as noted above for newsletters and surveys, MayoClinic.com does not provide any third party access to your IP address and email address.
We may provide third parties with aggregate statistics about our visitors, traffic patterns and related site information. These data reflect site-usage patterns gathered during visits to our website each month, but they do not contain behavioral or identifying information about any individual member unless that member has given us permission to share that information.
Some of our advertisers may participate in the Facebook/Nielson program, which helps advertisers improve their measurement of advertising effectiveness. If you are a Facebook user and access a page on our site containing an ad from a participating advertiser, Facebook receives a random numeric code identifying the ad that was served to you. The ad is only identified to Facebook by the numeric code. Facebook does not receive information which identifies the product or the advertiser. Facebook, in turn, discloses only aggregate, de-identified information to Nielson and the advertiser, not any personally identifiable information from your Facebook profile. You can learn more about this program and find out how to opt out here: https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=211774365532736#What-is-the-Nielsen-partnership-with-Facebook-and-how-does-it-affect-me and here: http://www.nielsen-online.com/privacy.jsp?section=leg_scs.
Ads by Google
We use general traffic, site usage and length-of-stay information in reports to advertisers and firms with which we have a business relationship. This sort of information is shared only in aggregate and does not personally identify you.
This site is intended for adults age 18 and older. It is not intended for or designed to attract people under the age of 18. We do not collect personally identifiable information from any person we actually know to be under the age of 18.
E-mail communications, newsletter and related services
MayoClinic.com provides you with the opportunity to receive communications from us or third parties. You can sign up for a free email newsletter. You can unsubscribe from this newsletter at any time.
Email communication that you send to us via the email links on our site may be shared with a customer service representative, employee, medical expert or agent that is most able to address your inquiry. We make every effort to respond in a timely fashion once communications are received. Once we have responded to your communication, it is discarded or archived, depending on the nature of the inquiry.
The email functionality on our site does not provide a completely secure and confidential means of communication. It's possible that your e-mail communication may be accessed or viewed by another Internet user while in transit to us. If you wish to keep your communication private, do not use our email.
You may decide at some point that you no longer wish to receive communications from our site. To stop receiving communications, send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org or send regular mail to the following postal address:
Security and Privacy Officer
200 First St. SW
Rochester, MN 55905
If you have a complaint or problem, or if you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may email us by clicking the "Contact us" link at the bottom of any page. Please indicate the following reason for contacting us: I want to provide feedback about your site. Our Customer Service department will forward your complaint to the appropriate MayoClinic.com department for response or resolution. If you don't receive adequate resolution of a privacy-related problem, you may write to MayoClinic.com's security and privacy officer at:
Security and Privacy Officer
200 First St. SW
Rochester, MN 55905
If you've contacted MayoClinic.com about a privacy-related concern and you do not believe your problem has been addressed, you may file a complaint with the Mayo Clinic chief security officer by calling the Mayo Clinic general number at 507-284-2511 and asking for the chief security officer.