At Mass General, we are committed to protecting the privacy and security of visitors to our websites. This Privacy Policy will tell you what information we collect, how it is used and your options as you interact with our sites. By using the Mass General websites, you agree to acceptance of this 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, 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.
  • We may use web analytics and tag management services and tools service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”) and other third parties to collect certain information relating to your use of the Site. Google Analytics uses “cookies”, which are text files placed on your computer, and tags (such as tracking codes and event codes) to help us analyze how users use the site. You can find out more about how Google uses data when you visit our Site by visiting “How Google uses data when you use our partners' sites or apps” (located at https://policies.google.com/privacy).

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 websites.

Patients can opt to create a Partners Patient Gateway account. Partners Patient Gateway is a secure portal available for patients to manage their health. Features include reviewing test results, managing appointments, messaging your doctor, renewing your prescriptions and paying your bill. Before creating an account, please review the Terms of Use available on their website (https://patientgateway.partners.org/public).

Transfer in the Event of Sale or Change of Control

If you use our website and provide us with information, you agree that your information may be transferred to and stored on servers outside of Massachusetts and the United States. If you are a resident of a country other than the United States you consent to the transfer of such data to the United States for processing by us in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

If the ownership of our business changes or we need to transfer assets relating to our Site to a third party, we may transfer your personal information to the new owner. Your information would remain subject to the promises made in the applicable Website Privacy Policy unless you specify otherwise.

Your Consent

In addition to the sharing described elsewhere in this Policy, we may share personal information with companies, organizations or individuals outside of Mass General and its affiliates when we have your consent to do so. By using our Site, you consent to the collection, use and sharing of this information as described in this Policy.

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
  • 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 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.

Users in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland

EEA or Switzerland residents are entitled to the rights under Chapter III of the EU General Data Protection Regulation or Section 2 of the Swiss Federal Act on Data Protection with respect to the processing of your personal data, which include the right to access and rectify and to request erasure of personal data. Please contact us at feedback@massgeneralinfo.org with your request. In order to verify your identity, we may require you to provide us with personal information prior to accessing any records containing information about you.

Online Surveys

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/subscription-preferences-center.html or click the “unsubscribe” or “manage your email preferences” link in the email you have received.

Email Information

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/subscription-preferences-center.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.

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

This Website Privacy Policy applies only to the Mass General websites listed above. In order to provide website users with other helpful information, Mass General websites contain 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.

Contact Us

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: September 2018