What is – and is not – personal information? What is meant by “de-identified” information and “aggregated” information?
When we use the term “personal information”, we are referring to information that can be readily used to identify a specific living person. Examples of personal information that we might wish to collect from you might include your name and your street or e-mail address. All of those items of information can be used to identify you.
Information that relates to you, but cannot be used to identify you, is not “personal information.” So, for example, your state of residence is a piece of information about you, but it is not, by itself, “personal information.” However, if we collect your street address and your state of residence and we put them together in our systems, we would treat both pieces of information as “personal information” because, when taken together, they can be used to identify you.
Why does MEDA collect personal information?
We collect personal information to improve your experience as a user of our websites and also to improve others’ experience as well. Sometimes the personal information that we collect enables you to use online resources or obtain communications about topics of interest to you. Personal information collected online also can help us improve our products and services, or design other features and resources that individuals would like to see us offer. We analyze the personal information that we collect so that we can identify and offer new products and services.
How do we collect personal information?
We collect personal information online through websites and other sponsored resources. Sometimes, we work with other companies that collect personal information at our request. When we work with another company, our work together is regulated by an agreement that, among other things, requires that company to properly protect the personal information it collects for us.
What tools does MEDA use to collect personal information?
Tools used from time to time to collect personal information include:
Direct Collection. In other words, we collect personal information from you by asking you to fill in an online form or participate in an interactive display. Contact details – your name, street address, e-mail address, telephone number, birth date, etc. – are often collected directly. So is health status, so that we can provide you with information that is more likely to be relevant to you.
Web Beacons. These are tiny graphics that are similar to cookies. They collect information that cannot be used to identify you personally, like the addresses of websites that you view, the website that you visited just before you came to our website, or the link that you clicked on to reach our website. Sometimes Web Beacons are used to monitor whether certain email messages are opened.
Clickstream Data. As you use the Internet, a “trail” of electronic information is left at each website you visit. This information is sometimes called “clickstream data”, and it can be collected and stored by a website’s server. Clickstream data is not “personal information” – it cannot be used to identify you. However, it can provide information about the type of computer and browsing software that you use, and it can identify the address of the website link that you used to reach our website. Clickstream data can be “aggregated” or combined with clickstream data from other people to anonymously determine how much time visitors spend on each page of our websites and how visitors navigate through our websites. Having this information and sharing it with business partners and advertisers can help us tailor our websites to better meet visitors’ needs.
Does MEDA collect personal information from children?
In general, our websites are not directed at children and most of the online services that we offer are designed for adults, age 18 or older. Where requests for information about a medication are permitted by law, people requesting information about a medicine that is indicated for use in children must be 18 years old or older.
How does MEDA ensure that the information that we have about you is correct? Can you correct it?
Where offered, you may also update personal information about you online by modifying information that you previously entered into a Web form or data fields on our website. Otherwise, to gain access to personal information about you that we have collected online, and to keep it accurate, complete and current, you may contact us at [email protected]. You may not always be able to access the information that has been collected; where permitted by law, your ability to access and correct personal information will be limited where we believe it would interfere with our ability to fulfill legal or ethical obligations or address legal claims. Access and correction also will not be allowed if it would result in disclosure of a third party’s personal information, or lead to a breach of contract or disclosure of trade secrets or other protected business information.
How does MEDA store and secure personal information?
We strive to protect personal information as it is transmitted from your computer to our online resources and servers. Due to the open nature of the Internet, we cannot guarantee that our interactions with you, and yours with us, will be free from unauthorized access by third parties. We protect our servers and data with a firewall and endeavor to protect personal information in our possession, custody or control from unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration or destruction. Employees and business partners with access to your personal information must have a business-related “need to know” in order to perform their job functions for us. However, we also depend on you to help secure your information by protecting your own copies of passwords and related access codes for our online resources.
Who has access to your personal information?
Does MEDA share your personal information with third parties?
Can you choose whether and when to share personal information with MEDA?
You do have some choices about whether and when to share personal information with MEDA.
- If you do not want to provide any personal information to MEDA online, you can decline to enter personal information into forms or data fields on websites. You can also refuse to use personalized services offered by online resources. However, you do need to bear in mind that some online resources are only available to people who do choose to provide their personal information.
- If you do provide some personal information online, some MEDA online resources may ask you if we can use and disclose your personal information to add you to contact lists, and to identify other services and promotions of possible interest. You can manage proposed additional uses of personal information about you by giving or withholding permission (e.g., by “checking” or “un-checking” boxes or “radio buttons” on Web forms). Also, you can change your communication preferences. For example, if you no longer wish to receive a communication, you can contact us at [email protected].
- MEDA online resources use tracking technologies like cookies to remember your personal preferences and selections. Tell us if you want us to use these tools to ‘remember’ you and give you more services by “checking” or “un-checking” options or “radio buttons” on our Web forms, or responding to survey questions appropriately. Please note that we cannot selectively “turn on” or “turn off” certain tracking technologies like “cookies” to accommodate individual user preferences. Depending on the Web browser you use, you may be able to control the use of certain tracking technologies by adjusting your browser settings. Remember: certain features on our websites and certain online resources may work better with cookies active or enabled, so you may lose some functionality if you turn off cookies and tracking technologies.
- If you would like to opt-out of cookies placed by business partners that deliver e-mail communications for us, or place advertisements for us on other websites, please follow instructions provided by the Network Advertising Initiative at http://www.networkadvertising.org/optout_nonppii.asp