Privacy policy

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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.

Oct. 30, 2014