Internet privacy is an issue that we take very seriously. Healthline is committed to protecting your privacy. We believe it’s important for you to know what information is being collected about you, how that information is being used, with whom it’s being shared, and how to contact us if you have additional questions or concerns.
What Information Does Healthline Collect, and How Is It Used?
Information gathered online can generally be categorized as either anonymous or personally identifiable. Anonymous information is information that can’t be traced back to a specific individual. For example, Healthline knows what searches are made every day at each of its websites, but does not know the names, email addresses, or phone numbers of the people searching.
Personally identifiable information is information that allows us to identify you. This information can include your name, address, phone number, email address, etc. It’s our belief that you’ll find it beneficial at times to provide us with certain personal information so that your experience with Healthline is more personally relevant to you and/or delivered directly to you (e.g., a newsletter).
Who Collects Anonymous Information on Healthline.com?
Currently, Healthline, DoubleClick (Healthline's ad server and a division of Google), Google (via its Google Analytics service), the Trade Desk, and various advertisers and other ad technology companies collect anonymous information on Healthline.com. These are Healthline's partners.
Information collected includes the visitor's ISP domain name (e.g., whether the user is logged on from aol.com or whitehouse.gov), referral data (e.g., the address of the last URL a user visited prior to clicking through to the Healthline website), and browser and platform type (e.g., Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 browser on a Windows XP platform). In addition, Healthline and other partners collect anonymous information on search queries and pages viewed, which generally is associated with a browser's cookie (see below for more on cookies).
Finally, Healthline utilizes Google Analytics to count, track, and aggregate visitors' activity into our analysis of general traffic flows at our sites (e.g., tracking where traffic comes from, how traffic flows within Healthline properties). For more information on Google Analytics privacy practices, see: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/6004245?hl=en. For more information on the Trade Desk, see: http://thetradedesk.com/general/privacy-policy.
In addition, we may merge information about you with the data of a larger group of users, which then may be shared on an aggregated basis with our advertisers. However, Healthline will not disclose your individual identity or personal data without your permission. When Healthline does present aggregated information to outside companies, no one will be able to identify or contact you.
The entities collecting this anonymous information use it to improve the overall quality of the online experience, including product monitoring and improvement, and targeted advertising on and off Healthline.com. You should know that some of our partners (or the partners of our partners) may connect anonymous information collected on our site(s) with your identity if you have provided your identity to those partners or partners of partners (e.g., you may have provided data to an ecommerce site which knows your identity and can connect that identity with your behavior on a Healthline site through the placement of a web beacon).
In the case of certain services, such as Facebook and Twitter, you will be asked if you wish to share information between Healthline and the service.
If you wish to opt out of the use of anonymous data or the ability of third-parties to connect your anonymous data on a Healthline site with your personal identity, you can opt out in two ways: (1) You can disable cookies — although this may negatively affect your online experience, as most sites require cookies for very basic browsing. (2) You can opt out of data use with each individual partner through the Network Advertising Initiative gateway opt-out site: http://www.networkadvertising.org/optout_nonppii.asp. At that site you can also review the privacy policies of those ad servers.
For users wishing to prevent use of their information for targeted advertising on Healthline sites, we recommend opting out of Google (which powers direct advertising on Healthline sites) and/or check “all” to opt out of targeting from all participating companies. Healthline sites do not respond to web browser “do not track” signals.
If you would like more information about any rights you may have, you may notify us in writing at Healthline, Attn: Customer Service, 660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107 or at the email address below.
Cookies are a standard Internet technology that allows a web server to both store and retrieve information on a user's system. Healthline and the partners listed above use browser cookies to anonymously associate collected information with a specific computer browser.
If you have provided personally identifiable information to a third party, that third party may be able to associate anonymous information collected on Healthline and stored via the third party’s cookie with your identity. However, utilizing this information to target specific individuals is considered against self-regulatory practices per the Network Advertising Initiative.
Healthline and partner web servers automatically ask new users whether their browsers will agree to accept cookie files. If a visitor accepts, the web server will be able to identify the user's cookie and associate collected information with that cookie, either on the user's computer or on a server.
Some Healthline web pages use web beacons in conjunction with cookies to compile aggregate statistics about website usage. A web beacon is an electronic image, called an action tag, or single pixel (1x1), or clear GIF.
Web beacons enable Healthline and its partners to place or read a cookie (subject to the user's permission per the above section), as well as collect the time and date of a page view, and a description of the page where the web beacon is placed. Users have the option to render some web beacons unusable by rejecting their associated cookies.
Third-Party Media Companies
We use third-party advertising companies and exchanges to serve ads. These third-party ad servers and exchange providers may use web beacons and cookies to help present, better target, and measure the effectiveness of their advertisements. They use data (such as sites visited and browser type) gathered over time and across their networks of webpages to determine or predict the characteristics and preferences of their audience.
If you would like more information about this practice, as well as your choices about not having this information used for online behavioral advertising by these ad networks, click here: http://networkadvertising.org/consumer/opt_out.asp.
Our sponsors and advertisers have agreed that they will not collect any personally identifiable information from our site visitors while they’re on Healthline. If you click on an advertisement on Healthline 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 those sites. You should read the privacy policies of each site you visit to determine what information that site may be collecting about you.
Gathering and Using Personally Identifiable Information
We collect personally identifiable information that you provide to us when you sign up for a newsletter or other service, when you register as a member of Healthline and/or update your member profile, and when you allow certain third-party services such as Facebook to share information with Healthline. We use the personally identifiable information that you supply to: 1) provide you with the specific services you select; 2) conduct market and advertising research where your personal information may be anonymized and matched with similarly anonymized third-party data to enable aggregate analysis; 3) send you emails about website updates, which may include new features and enhanced functionality.
Personally identifiable information is only shared with third parties bound by strict confidentiality and security requirements and under contract to Healthline, or in anonymized fashion as described above (for research), or when Healthline has your permission to do so. Healthline occasionally sponsors sweepstakes, contests, or other events that require the collection, processing, and storage of individual contact and demographic information that may or may not be shared with participating sponsors. As part of such a sponsored program, the registrant's personal contact and demographic information will not be released to third party or nonparticipating organizations without the user’s consent, and Healthline will request that co-sponsors of such events maintain the privacy of the registrant’s information.
When appropriate, users will be given the opportunity to receive information from third-party organizations in connection with services or events offered by Healthline. This option may be made available through Healthline's registration and/or through registration processes maintained by a participating third party. In all cases, you will be informed before you register for the event of service that a third party will be receiving the registration information you provide, and you will have the option not to participate in any service or event that requires third-party involvement.
As a general rule, Healthline does not make a practice of de-identifying personal information on any kind of regular schedule.
Who Does Healthline Share the Information It Collects With?
Healthline uses third-party companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use certain information about your visit to our websites in order to provide advertisements to our websites. Our third-party advertiser may place or recognize a unique cookie on your browser.
Healthline also does work with third parties to "append" information to the personal information Healthline collects (e.g., to append age or gender based on a user’s email address). Healthline stores the information it collects on its servers and employs industry-recognized security measures to protect it. On a regular basis, Healthline does employ third parties to verify and audit its security measures.
Other than when shared under contract and with confidentiality and security provisions or for research purposes (e.g., when your information is anonymized), Healthline does not provide third-party access to your personal information, except in the aggregate — and only after the information has been de-identified. Healthline will not disclose the contact or demographic information of any individual user to advertisers or any other outside organization without the express permission of the individual.
Each email newsletter and special offer sent by Healthline contains an easy, automated way for you to cease receiving our email newsletters. One click of the mouse is all that is required: The system automatically excludes you from future mailings without needing additional human intervention.
To unsubscribe, click the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email newsletter from Healthline. If you do not have Internet access, please reply to your Healthline email and type the word "UNSUBSCRIBE" in the subject line. Healthline will not rent, sell, or barter your email address to third parties, nor will we share your name with marketing partners, unless you check a special box on our site to request third-party offers sent from Healthline.
Members of MyHealthline may also elect to receive news alerts and blog alerts via email. To change mailing frequency or to unsubscribe from news alerts or blog alerts, MyHealthline members should log into their accounts to update their preferences.
On occasion, Healthline will make available to potential advertisers and research firms aggregated results from research it has conducted on its user base. Once again, Healthline will only provide such demographic information on an aggregated basis, and does not disclose individual member profiles without user consent.
Special Policy with Regards to Information from Children Under Age 13
In accordance with the Federal Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, Healthline will never knowingly request personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 13 without parental consent. When we do receive information (with parental consent) from users under the age of 13, we will never voluntarily share their personally identifiable information with third parties, regardless of their stated preference given at registration.
Effective: September 2015. Material changes to this policy will be posted here.
If you have additional questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that while we’re happy to answer general questions, in order to protect the privacy of our users, we do not answer specific questions about the information collected about specific users (including users who may request access to the information collected on themselves).
Online privacy is in the regulatory purview of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). For more information or to lodge a complaint, please visit the FTC's consumer response center: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/.