Privacy Statement

 

The Institute for Health Research is committed to protecting the privacy of users of this Web site. We will use and disclose the information you provide to us as stated in the following Web Site Privacy Statement.

Web Site Privacy Statement

This Web site has security measures in place to help protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of information under our control. These measures may include encryption of data using the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) system and using a secured messaging service when we send you personal information electronically. Despite these measures, the confidentiality of any communication or material transmitted to or from us via this site by Internet or e-mail cannot be guaranteed. We do not sell or rent personal information about visitors to this site or customers who use the site. At your discretion, you may contact us at the mailing address or telephone number listed in the "Questions, complaints, and contacts" section at the end of this Privacy Statement.

Revisions to the Privacy Statement

We may revise this Privacy Statement from time to time as we add new features or as laws change that may affect our services. If we make material changes to our Privacy Statement, we will post notice of this on our Web site. Any revised Privacy Statement will apply both to information we already have about you at the time of the change, and any personal information created or received after the change takes effect. We include a version number on this Privacy Statement consisting of the date (year, month, and day) it was last revised. We encourage you to periodically reread this Privacy Statement, to see if there have been any changes to our policies that may affect you.

Web site visitor data

The Institute for Health Research may gather data on Web site activity, such as how many people visit the site, the pages they visit, where they come from, how long they stay on the site, etc. The data are collected on an aggregate, anonymous basis, which means that no personally-identifiable information is associated with the data. These data help us improve site content and overall usage. The information is not shared with other organizations for their independent use.
Collecting and using personal information
Except as disclosed in this Privacy Statement, we do not collect any identifiable information about visitors to this site or our customers who use this site. The policies, sources, and uses of information are outlined in all the sections that follow:

Web logs

We may maintain Web logs that record data about all visitors and customers who use this site and store this information. These logs may contain the Internet domain from which you access the site (such as aol.com, abc.org, etc.); the IP address which is automatically assigned to your computer when you get on the Internet (a static IP address may be identifiable as being connected to you, while a dynamic address is usually not identifiable); the type of browser and operating system you use; the date and time you visited the site; the pages you viewed on the site; the address of the Web site you linked from, if any. If you sign on to this Web site to use its secured features, our Web logs will also contain an individual identifier and show the services you have accessed.

All Web logs are stored securely, and may only be accessed by Institute for Health Research employees or designees on a need-to-know basis for a specific purpose. The Institute for Health Research uses Web log information to help us design our site, to identify popular features, to resolve user, hardware, and software problems, and to make the site more useful to visitors.
Internet cookies

We may place Internet "cookies" on the computer hard drives of visitors to this Institute for Health Research Web site. Information we obtain from cookies helps us to tailor our site to be more helpful and efficient for our visitors. The cookie consists of a unique identifier that does not contain information about you or your health history. We use two types of cookies, "session" cookies and "persistent" cookies.

A session cookie is temporary, and expires after you end a session and close your Web browser. We may use session cookies to help customize your experience on our site, maintain your signed-on status as you navigate through our features, and to track your "click path" through our Web pages.

Persistent cookies remain on your hard drive after you've exited from our site, and we may use them for several reasons. We may use this type of persistent cookie with a "Web beacon" (see below). Persistent cookies will not contain any personal information about you.

You may have software on your computer that will allow you to decline or deactivate Internet cookies, but if you do so, some features of this site may not work properly for you. For instructions on how to remove cookies from your hard drive, go to your browser's Web site for detailed instructions. In addition, further information regarding cookies may be available on other Web sites or from your Internet service provider. Firefox and Internet Explorer are two common browsers.

Web beacons

We may also occasionally use "Web beacons" (also known as "clear gifs," "Web bugs," "1-pixel gifs," etc.) that allow us to collect non-personal information about your response to our e-mail communications, and for other purposes. Web beacons are tiny images, placed on a Web page or e-mail, that can tell us if you've gone to a particular area on our Web site. For example, if you've given us permission to send you e-mails, we may send you an e-mail urging you to use a certain feature on our Web site. If you do respond to that e-mail and use that feature, the Web beacon will tell us that our e-mail communication with you has been successful. We do not collect any personal health information with a Web beacon, and do not link Web beacons with any other personal health information you've given us.

Since Web beacons are used in conjunction with persistent cookies (described above), if you set your browser to decline or deactivate cookies, Web beacons cannot function.

E-mails

The Institute for Health Research may use a third-party vendor to help us manage some of our e-mail communications with you. While we do supply this vendor with e-mail addresses of those we wish them to contact, your e-mail address is never used for any purpose other than to communicate with you on our behalf. When you click on a link in an e-mail, you may temporarily be redirected through one of the vendor's servers (although this process will be invisible to you) which will register that you've clicked on that link, and have visited our Web site. The Institute for Health Research never shares any information, other than your e-mail address, with our third-party e-mail vendor, which does not share these e-mail addresses with anyone else.

Even if you have given us permission to send e-mail to you, you may revoke that permission at any time by following the "unsubscribe" information at the bottom of the e-mail.

Evaluation and research

We may periodically ask users to complete surveys asking about their experiences with features of the Web site. Our surveys ask visitors for demographic information such as age, gender, and education, but will not request that users provide specific information about any medical condition. We use survey information for research and quality improvement purposes, including helping the Institute for Health Research to improve information and services offered through the Web site. In addition, users giving feedback may be individually contacted for follow-up due to concerns raised during the course of such evaluation. Demographic information and Web log data may be stored for future research and evaluation.

Disclosures

We may disclose personal information to any person performing audit, legal, operational, or other services for us. We will use information which does not identify the individual for these activities whenever feasible. Information disclosed to vendors or contractors for operational purposes may not be re-disclosed to others by such a vendor or contractor.

We may disclose personal information when required to do so by a subpoena, court order, or search warrant. We may disclose personal information as we deem it appropriate to protect the safety of an individual or for an investigation related to public safety or to report an activity that appears to be in violation of law. We may disclose personal information to protect the security and reliability of this site and to take precautions against liability.

Opt out

If a user makes a request to receive information in an ongoing manner through this Web site by providing their e-mail address (for example, requesting a subscription to one of our online publications), a user may make a request to discontinue future mailings. Similarly, if you receive information about an Institute for Health Research service through e-mail, you may make a request to discontinue receiving similar messages in the future. All such materials sent to you by e-mail will contain information about how to opt out.

Questions, complaints, and contacts

If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, our policies and practices concerning this site, your rights under this statement, and your dealings with the Institute for Health Research Web site, you can contact us.

Last updated: May 26, 2011