Website Privacy Policy

Massachusetts General Hospital is committed to protecting the privacy and security of the users of this website.

This Privacy Policy will tell you what information we collect, how it is used and what your choices are. By using the Massachusetts General Hospital (“Mass General Hospital” or “Mass General”) website, you agree to acceptance of this Website Privacy Policy. Please read the following carefully before using the site.

Information Collection and Use

Information We Collect

When you view Mass General’s website, you do so anonymously. We do not collect any personal information that identifies you unless you specifically provide us with that contact information voluntarily. Personal information includes information that is unique to an individual, such as a name, address, social security number, e-mail address or telephone number.

The only personal information that Mass General obtains through its website is supplied voluntarily by website visitors. By submitting personal information, you grant Mass General the right to transmit, monitor, retrieve, store and use your information in connection with the operation of the website. Personal information is always stored in a secure database.

You might be asked to provide personal information, such as demographic information, if you choose to complete any of the online forms used for event registration, special events and promotions, appointment requests, login to personal information and to provide feedback. The information required to complete the transaction is noted on each specific form. Additional questions might be included to help us improve the services we offer.

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.

Requested information on voluntary forms is used to provide the services that you request, such as event registration, special events and promotions, appointment requests, login to personal information and to provide feedback.

Only authorized staff at Mass General have access to your information, including those who need the information provided to perform a specific task. All Mass General hospital employees are required to attend training on patient privacy and confidentiality.

Data Security

Mass General makes every 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 by Secure Socket Layer 128-bit encryption software. (Encryption is a common method used to transmit sensitive data across the Internet. Encryption temporarily makes the text unreadable during the time it is being transmitted over the Internet.) This is an industry standard.

Although we endeavor to protect your personal information, Mass General cannot warrant 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.

Online Forms

Forms provided on Mass General’s website are meant for feedback or general purposes only, and they do not request confidential health information. Although every attempt is made to provide security measures in the transmission of information, patients should not use online forms to submit confidential health care or other information. Mass General is not responsible if unauthorized parties gain access to the confidential information shared in the online forms. To protect your privacy, please do not use online forms to communicate information that you consider confidential.

Newsletter/Press Release Subscriptions

If you subscribe to a newsletter, publication, press release or RSS feed published by Mass General hospital and distributed by e-mail or RSS feed, we will maintain your e-mail address in a private distribution list. Messages sent electronically do not reveal recipients' e-mail addresses or any other personal information.

Mass General will only send messages to those who have opted to subscribe and who have provided their e-mail address to us directly.

E-mail Information

Occasionally, we will request personal information from you in order to deliver requested materials, respond to your questions or provide information. Mass General retains personal information on file, but does not share, sell, license or transmit this information with third parties or external vendors unless required to do so by legal, judicial or governmental proceedings. If you e-mail us, your e-mail information will not be used outside of this system without your permission. We do not use your e-mail address for any other purpose.

Please note that e-mail 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 e-mail to communicate information that you consider confidential.

Cookies

The Mass General website uses “cookies” to determine the number of times a page on the website has been accessed. Cookies are small computer files that a website can transfer to your computer. Examples of information we collect include how often someone visits our site and their activities while on our site. We use this information in the aggregate to understand how our visitors as a group use different resources. These reports do not contain any personally identifiable 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 website without enabling cookies in your browser.

Login/Passwords

Some sections of the Mass General website require login identifiers and/or passwords. You are responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure that no unauthorized person has access to your password or account login information. It is your sole responsibility to control the use of login information and passwords, to authorize, monitor and control access to and use of your website account and password and to inform the website promptly of any need to deactivate a password.

Third-Party Vendors/Content Providers

Mass General occasionally will engage reputable third-party vendors to help us manage our website, provide content and information and enable us to interact better with our patients and visitors. Mass General never shares any personally identifiable information you provide when requesting information with third parties, except as required by law.

Links to External Websites

This Website Privacy Policy applies only to the Mass General website. In order to provide website users with other helpful information, the Mass General website contains links to other websites. However, Mass General provides no authority over external organizations’ websites and this policy does not apply to external sites that are provided as links. We encourage you to read the Privacy Policies on any external websites before providing them with personal information.

Changes to This Policy

Mass General reserves the right to change or update this Website Privacy Policy from time to time without notice, so please review it periodically to keep informed of any changes

Accessibility at Mass General

Mass General is dedicated to being as accessible and accommodating as possible for patients, visitors and staff with disabilities.