- Information We Collect
- How We Use This Information
- Data Security
- Online Surveys
- Newsletter/Press Release Subscriptions
- Email Information
- Cookies, Tracking and Interest-based Advertising
- Third-Party Vendors/Content Providers
- Links to External Websites
- Contact Us
Information Collection and Use
Information We Collect
- IP Addresses – We collect and log the IP address of all visitors to MassGeneral.org, M.MassGeneral.org and Advances.MassGeneral.org. An IP address is a number automatically assigned to your computer whenever you access the Internet. IP addresses allow computers (including mobile devices and tablets) and servers to recognize and communicate with one another. We collect IP address information so that we can properly manage our system and gather information about how our site is being used. This includes the device and browser you are using, location data, the pages you are viewing and your interactions on the page. Your IP address may be associated with records containing personal information.
- Personal information includes information that is unique to an individual, such as a name, address, job title, communication preferences, email address or telephone number.
How We Use This Information
Mass General uses the information you provide to fulfill online requests, process credit card information and respond to customer service inquiries, or in other ways as required by law.
We may use your information to:
- Help us improve the services we offer
- Personalize your experience and inform you about the treatments/services in which you have indicated an interest
- Tailor digital advertisements on third-party sites based on your interactions on our sites
- Improve our website offerings and send you information and updates
- Respond to your questions and requests and improve customer service
- Administer a promotion, survey or other site feature
Only those who need the information provided to perform a specific task have access to your information. These are authorized members of the Mass General workforce, who are required to attend training on patient privacy and confidentiality. In some cases, third parties contracted by Mass General may have access to your information to perform a specific task, for example, to send you an e-newsletter.
Mass General makes every reasonable effort to ensure that your personal information remains as secure as possible. Accordingly, we prevent unauthorized access by a secure firewall and use of security technologies to protect the integrity and privacy of any personal information you provide.
As an additional security measure, your personal information is also encrypted during transmission using appropriate technology including Transport Layer Security. (Encryption is a common method used to protect transmission of sensitive data across the Internet.) This is an industry standard.
Although we work hard to protect your personal information, Mass General cannot guarantee the security of any information you transmit to us through online applications, and you do so at your own risk. Depending on the nature of the inquiry, your communication could be discarded or archived. If you wish, you can contact us instead by telephone at the numbers provided throughout our site.
Occasionally we may request feedback on our websites to better understand how we can improve what information we present and how we present it. These surveys do not ask questions that could personally identify you. We may ask for contact information to follow-up, but you can decline to provide that information. Information that you provide in a survey may be shared with employees or third parties to aggregate the data. Those third parties have signed confidentiality agreements.
Newsletter/Press Release Subscriptions
If you subscribe to a newsletter or publication published by Mass General and distributed by email, we will maintain your email address and information about how you engage with our content, in a secure database unless you have selected to “opt-out.” Messages sent electronically do not include recipients’ email addresses or any other personal information. To unsubscribe from Mass General email communications, visit https://pages.connect.massgeneral.org/manage-your-email-subscription.html or click the “unsubscribe” or “manage your email preferences” link in the email you have received.
Occasionally, we will request personal information from you in order to deliver materials you have requested, respond to your questions or requests, or to provide information. Mass General keeps personal information on file, but does not share, sell, license or transmit this information to third parties or external vendors unless required to do so by legal, judicial or governmental proceedings, or in order to provide the services requested. To unsubscribe from Mass General email communications, visit https://pages.connect.massgeneral.org/manage-your-email-subscription.html.
Please note that email is considered a nonencrypted (and therefore nonsecure) form of communication, and it can be accessed and viewed by others without your knowledge and permission. For that reason, to protect your privacy, please do not use email to communicate information that you consider confidential.
If you receive an email that looks like it is from Mass General and asks for your personal information, do not respond. This may be a scam or “Phishing” email intended to steal your information. Mass General will never request your password, user name, credit card information or other personal information through email.
Cookies, Tracking and Interest-based Advertising
The Mass General websites use “cookies”, tracking pixels and related technologies. Cookies are small data files that a website can transfer to your computer. Examples of information we collect include how often someone visits our site and what they do while on our site. We use this information in the aggregate to understand how our visitors as a group use different resources and to help us improve our site. We also collect information about the activity of individual website users. This information may be used to target related Mass General advertisements to you on other third-party sites. For users who have opted in to receive updates or other information from Mass General via email, these reports may contain personal information.
Most Internet browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can set your browser to refuse them or to alert you when they are being sent. You can access the information on the Mass General websites without enabling cookies in your browser.
You can opt out of receiving all interest-based advertisements on the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) website: http://www.aboutads.info/choices. Please note that if you delete your cookies or upgrade your browser after having opted out, you will need to opt out again. Further, if you use multiple browsers or devices you will need to opt out on each browser or device.
European Union and Switzerland residents should visit the European DAA by visiting: http://www.youronlinechoices.eu/
Canadian residents should visit the DAA of Canada by visiting: http://youradchoices.ca/choices/
Third-Party Vendors/Content Providers
Mass General never shares any personal information you provide when requesting information with third parties, except as required by law or in order to provide the services requested. Mass General occasionally will engage reputable third-party vendors to help us manage our websites, provide content and information, and help us interact better with our patients and visitors.
Links to External Websites
Changes to This Policy
Last updated: June 2018