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

  • IP Addresses- We collect and log the IP address of all visitors to Massgeneral.org. 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 manage our system and gather information about how our site is being used. This includes the pages visitors are viewing. 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, email address or telephone number.

If you submit to Mass General any personal information relating to other people, you represent that you have the authority to do so and permit us to use the information in accordance with this privacy policy. 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.

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
  • To personalize your experience and inform you about the treatments/services in which you have indicated an interest
  • To improve our website offerings and send you information and updates
  • To respond to your questions and requests and improve customer service
  • To administer a promotion, survey or other site feature
  • To communicate changes to our privacy policy or terms of use

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.

Data Security

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 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 may include event registration, newsletter signups, appointment requests and referral requests. The information required to complete the transaction is noted on each specific form. Although we provide robust security measures to protect the transmission of information, Mass General is not responsible if unauthorized parties gain access to the confidential information shared in the online forms.

Newsletter/Press Release Subscriptions

If you subscribe to a newsletter, publication, press release or RSS feed published by Mass General hospital and distributed by email or RSS feed, we will maintain your email address in a private distribution list unless you have selected to "opt-out.” Messages sent electronically do not include recipients' email addresses or any other personal information. Unsubscribe from Mass General email communications

Email Information

Occasionally, we will request personal information from you in order to deliver materials you have requested, respond to your questions or 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. 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.

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 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. 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 website without enabling cookies in your browser.

Login/Passwords

Some sections of the Mass General website may 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 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 website, provide content and information, and interact better with our patients and visitors.

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 has 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. If you have questions about this privacy policy or concerns about how we collect, use or protect your personal information, please contact us at feedback@massgeneralinfo.org.

Last updated: April 2015

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