Privacy policy

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Web privacy policy

We take your privacy seriously, and we want you to know how we collect, use, share and protect your information. In addition to this privacy policy, users of the Mayo Clinic site should consult the Mayo Clinic site terms of use as well as any product specific terms and conditions that apply. Policies specifically related to patient information (protected health information, or PHI) submitted through Mayo Clinic's patient portal can be reviewed here. http://www.mayoclinic.org/global/patient-privacy.html

This policy applies to MayoClinic.org, MayoClinic.edu and other Web locations under Mayo Clinic's control.

What information we collect

We respect the right to privacy of all visitors to the Mayo Clinic site. We do not collect information that would personally identify you unless you choose to provide it. For example, if you choose to join the community at Mayo Clinic Online Community, the privacy policy and terms of use of that site apply. The personal information that you submit, such as on the appointment request form, is shared only with those people in the Mayo organization who need this information to respond to your question or request. Information submitted through Mayo Clinic's online forms may be collected to ensure technical functionality. It will also be utilized to address any inappropriate use of our website. We do not save personal information to use for other purposes, nor do we provide it to any other organizations.

Email communications, newsletter and related services

MayoClinic.org provides you with the opportunity to receive communications from us or third parties. You can sign up for a free email newsletter. You can unsubscribe from this newsletter at any time.

Email communications that you send to us via the email links on our site may be shared with a customer service representative, employee, medical expert or agent that is most able to address your inquiry. We make every effort to respond in a timely fashion once communications are received. Once we have responded to your communication, it is discarded or archived, depending on the nature of the inquiry.

The email functionality on our site does not provide a completely secure and confidential means of communication. It's possible that your email communication may be accessed or viewed by another Internet user while in transit to us. If you wish to keep your communication private, do not use our email.

You may decide at some point that you no longer wish to receive communications from our site. To stop receiving communications, send an email message to mayoinfo@mayoclinic.com or send regular mail to the following postal address:

  1. Security and Privacy Officer
  2. MayoClinic.org
  3. 200 First St. SW
    Rochester, MN 55905

Surveys

We occasionally survey visitors to our site. The information from these surveys is used in aggregated, de-identified form to help us understand the needs of our visitors so that we can improve our site. The information may be shared with third parties with whom we have a business relationship. We generally do not ask for information in surveys that would personally identify you; if we do request contact information for follow-up, you may decline to provide it. If survey respondents provide personal information (such as an email address) in a survey, it is shared only with those people who need to see it to respond to the question or request, or with third parties who perform data management services for our site. Those third parties have agreed to keep all data from surveys confidential.

IP addresses

The Web server automatically collects the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the computers that access our site. An IP address is a number that is assigned to your computer when you access the Internet. It is not truly personally identifiable information because many different individuals can access the Internet via the same computer. We use this information in aggregate form to understand how our site or advertisements from Mayo Clinic are being used and how we can better serve visitors.

Cookies and other tracking technology

We collect information about visitors to our site using "cookies" (see definition on Webopedia) and similar technology such as Web beacons, Web bugs, pixel tags, and so on. We use this technology to recognize a repeat visitor and offer the visitor a set of services or information requested in a previous visit. We use session cookies to track a visitor's path through our site during a visit, to help us understand how people use our site.

How we use the information we collect

We use the information we collect for things like:

  • Fulfilling orders and requests for products, services or information
  • Processing returns and exchanges
  • Tracking and confirming online orders
  • Delivering or installing products
  • Marketing and advertising products and services
  • Conducting research and analysis
  • Communicating things like special events and surveys
  • Establishing and managing your accounts with us
  • Identifying you on our websites and tailoring advertisements and offers to you (both on our websites and on other websites) based on your interactions with us in our stores and online
  • Operating, evaluating and improving our business

Data retention

We will retain your information for as long as your account is active or as needed to provide you services, comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements.

Except for authorized law enforcement investigations or other valid legal processes, we will not share any personally identifiable information we receive from you with any parties outside of Mayo Clinic.

We may share some information to third parties

We may share your personally identifiable information with third parties who we have engaged to help us provide the services. In each case, we will ensure that these third parties have agreed not to use or disclose your personal information except to help us provide the services.

Except as noted above for newsletters and surveys, Mayo Clinic does not provide any third party access to your IP address and email address.

We may provide third parties with aggregate statistics about our visitors, traffic patterns and related site information. These data reflect site-usage patterns gathered during visits to our website each month, but they do not contain behavioral or identifying information about any individual member unless that member has given us permission to share that information.

To help us determine the effectiveness of Mayo Clinic advertising, we work with Web analytics tools hosted by third parties who receive nonidentifiable information from your browser, including but not limited to the site or the advertisement you came from, your IP address, your general geographic location, your browser and platform information, and the pages you view within our site.

Use of cookies by advertisers

Our sponsors and advertisers and their ad servers may use cookies when you view pages on our site. They use those cookies to collect nonpersonal information as a way of measuring the effectiveness of their advertising, or to provide advertisements about goods and services that may be of interest to you or to avoid running the same ads to you over time. We do not control these third parties' use of cookies or how they manage the nonpersonal information they gather through them. However, our sponsors and advertisers have agreed that they will not collect any personally identifiable information from our site visitors while they are on MayoClinic.org. If you click on an advertisement on MayoClinic.org and visit a site maintained by one of our sponsors or advertisers, please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of that site. You should read the privacy policies of each site you visit to determine what information that site may be collecting about you.

Some of our advertisers may participate in the Facebook/Nielsen program, which helps advertisers improve their measurement of advertising effectiveness. If you are a Facebook user and access a page on our site containing an ad from a participating advertiser, Facebook receives a random numeric code identifying the ad that was served to you. The ad is only identified to Facebook by the numeric code. Facebook does not receive information that identifies the product or the advertiser. Facebook, in turn, discloses only aggregate, de-identified information to Nielsen and the advertiser, not any personally identifiable information from your Facebook profile. You can learn more about this program and find out how to opt out here: https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=211774365532736#What-is-the-Nielsen-partnership-with-Facebook-and-how-does-it-affect-me and here: http://www.nielsen-online.com/privacy.jsp?section=leg_scs.

Ads by Google

Note that Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on our site. Google's use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to our site users based on their visit to our site and other sites on the Internet. No personally identifiable information is collected as part of Google's process. Users may opt out of the use of this DART cookie by visiting Google's privacy document.

If you would like more information about these practices and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, visit the Network Advertising Initiative. Some ad servers allow you to opt out of anonymous data collection through the use of cookies. To do so, you must opt out of such data collection with each individual site. You can opt out of cookies for several ad servers by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative gateway opt-out site. At that site you can also review the privacy policies of those ad servers.

Everyday Health

Everyday Health may also use a third party ad network provider, Collective Media, to help present advertisements on this website. Third party ad serving enables Everyday Health to target advertisements on MayoClinic.org to you for products and services you might be interested in. These third party network advertisers, along with other advertisers and sponsors on the website, may use cookies, Web beacons (also called single pixel GIFs or action tags) or similar technologies (and, in the case of cookies, access them on your computer if you choose to have cookies enabled in your browser) to serve you advertisements tailored to interests you have shown by browsing on this and other sites you have visited, to determine whether you have seen a particular advertisement before, to avoid sending you duplicated advertisements and to serve you advertisements on other sites. In doing so, the provider collects nonpersonal data such as your browser type, your operating system, Web pages visited, time of visits, content viewed, ads viewed and other clickstream data. The use of third party cookies, Web beacons and similar technologies by these ad network providers is governed by each third party's specific privacy policy, not this one. Please visit Network Advertising Initiative to learn more about the information collection practices and opt-out procedures of third party ad networks we may use.

Protecting your privacy

Whether you are visiting the Mayo Clinic site or in one of our clinic locations, we use reasonable security measures to protect the confidentiality of personal information under our control and appropriately limit access to it. We use a variety of information security measures to protect your online transactions with us. The Mayo Clinic site uses encryption technology, such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), to protect your personal information during data transport. SSL protects information you submit via our website, such as ordering information including your name, address and credit card number. That being said, Mayo Clinic cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us, and you do so at your own risk. We have taken reasonable steps to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of personally identifiable information that you may provide. You should understand, however, that electronic transmissions via the Internet are not necessarily secure from interception, and so we cannot absolutely guarantee the security or confidentiality of such transmissions.

To further protect your privacy, you may choose to:

  • Stop receiving marketing or promotional emails, direct mail, phone and mobile marketing communications from Mayo Clinic
  • Update and correct your personal information
  • Cancel your account or request that we no longer use your information to provide you services

To do any of these, contact Mayo Clinic by one of the methods listed below.

If you reached this site via an ad from Mayo Clinic

If you come to a Mayo Clinic website via a Mayo Clinic advertisement, the ad may have been served to you based on your interests or selected for you based on your browsing activities. If you want to opt out of being served Mayo Clinic advertisements based on your browsing activity, you may opt out of cookies for multiple ad servers by visiting http://info.evidon.com/more_info/1936 and http://www.goodwaygroup.com/privacy.

Protecting children's privacy

We are committed to protecting children's privacy on the Internet, and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children.

Links to other websites

Our websites link to other websites, many of which have their own privacy policies. Be sure to review the privacy policy on the site you're visiting.

Privacy policy updates

We may need to update our privacy policy as technology changes and Mayo Clinic evolves. If we make significant changes to the privacy policy, we'll post a prominent message on our websites.

Contact information

  1. Security and Privacy Officer
  2. MayoClinic.org
  3. 200 First St. SW
    Rochester, MN 55905

If you've contacted the website about a privacy-related concern and you do not believe your problem has been addressed, you may file a complaint with the Mayo Clinic chief security officer by calling the Mayo Clinic general number at 507-284-2511 and asking for the chief security officer.

This policy was last updated October 2014.

Oct. 30, 2014