Effective Date: Dec. 21, 2017
We collect information you provide directly to us through the Sites. For example, we collect information when you create an account, subscribe to receive notifications, make a donation or a purchase, apply for a job, or otherwise communicate with us through the Sites.
Information We Collect Automatically
When you access or use the Sites, certain information about your use of the Sites may be collected automatically. For example, we may collect your IP address, device identifier, browser type, domain name, operating system characteristics, data regarding the device you’re using, and information about your visit, such as access times, duration, and how you arrived at the Sites. This usage information may be combined with Personal Information, in which case we would treat the combined information as Personal Information.
In addition to logging information about your visit, we may use various tracking mechanisms such as cookies, web beacons (also known as tracking pixels), and embedded scripts (collectively, “Tracking Technologies”) to automatically collect information about interactions with our Sites or e-mails.
Your Internet browser may include settings that permit you to block cookies or to be notified when cookies are placed. Please be aware that if you use these mechanisms to block or remove cookies, certain features and functions of the Sites may be unavailable or may not operate optimally.
- Web Beacons (also called “tracking pixels”) are small graphic images, also known as “Internet tags” or “clear gifs” that are embedded in web pages and e-mail messages. Web beacons may be used for various purposes, such as to count the number of visitors to the Sites, to monitor how users navigate the Sites, or to verify how many articles or links were actually viewed.
- Embedded Scripts are designed to collect information about your interactions with the Sites. These scripts are temporarily downloaded onto your computer from our web server, or the server of a third party with whom we work. They are active only while you are connected to the Sites, and are deleted or deactivated thereafter.
Information from Other Sources
How we may use your information
- Facilitate, manage, personalize and improve your online experience;
- Respond to your comments, questions and requests, provide customer service, send you informational notices, and contact you if we need to obtain or provide additional information;
- Manage your online account(s), including purchases, orders, payments, returns, and exchanges;
- Send you technical notices, updates, security alerts, and support and administrative messages;
- Communicate with you about products, services, offers, promotions, coupons, newsletters, and events and provide information we think will be of interest to you;
- Conduct research and analysis, including focus groups and surveys about current services or of potential new services;
- Prevent and address fraud, breach of policies or terms, and threats or harm; and
Send you advertisements and communicate with you regarding services, products, and events we think may interest you (for information about how to manage e-mail communications, see Your Choices below).
How we may share information
We may permit our agents, vendors, consultants, and other service providers to access information collected through the Sites to carry out work on our behalf. This includes a third-party service provider that assists us with processing credit card payments when purchases are made through the Sites. These third party service providers are prohibited from using Personal Information obtained in this manner for any purpose(s) other than to provide the services we have engaged them to perform. We also may share your information:
- To perform statistical analysis, send you e-mail or postal mail, or provide customer support;
- With our business partners, affiliates, and other third parties for purposes of sending their own marketing;
- With our affiliates for internal business purposes;
- If we are required to do so by law, regulation, or legal process (such as in response to a court order or subpoena);
- To fulfill requests by government agencies, such as law enforcement authorities;
- When we believe disclosure is necessary or appropriate to prevent physical harm or financial loss, or in connection with an investigation of suspected or actual illegal activity; or
- To enforce our policies, or protect rights, property, or safety.
We also may share your information in connection with, or during negotiations of, any proposed or actual merger, purchase, sale, or any other type of acquisition or business combination of all or any portion of our assets, or any transfer of all or a portion of our business to another company. We reserve the right to transfer any information we obtain through the Sites in the event we sell or transfer all or a portion of our business or assets (including in the event of a merger, reorganization, or liquidation).
Information you disclose publicly or to others
The Sites may include features, such as message boards, that allow you to freely submit information that can be viewed by others. We or others may store, display, reproduce, publish, distribute, or otherwise use such information (including the date and time you access the message board) in any media or format, and we may or may not attribute the content to you. Please keep in mind that if you post information on the Sites using these features, others have the ability to access and share that information with third parties.
Healthcare-related communications on message boards are not private and can be viewed by the community of cancer discussion participants who also use these features. MD Anderson is not responsible for the privacy, security, accuracy, use, or misuse of any information that you disclose, or that you receive from third parties, via message boards on the Sites.
Links to other websites
Analytics services, advertising and online tracking
Information about your use of the Sites and other websites may be collected using Tracking Technologies across time and services, and used for various purposes such as to associate different devices you use, and to deliver relevant and retargeted content, including interest-based ads.
Your web browser may have settings that allow you to transmit a “Do Not Track” signal when you visit various websites or use online services. Like many websites, the Sites are not designed to respond to “Do Not Track” signals received from browsers. To learn more about “Do Not Track” signals, click here.
Accessing and Changing Information.
With few exceptions, you are entitled on your request to be informed about the information MD Anderson collects about you. Under Sections 552.021 and 552.023 of the Texas Government Code, you are entitled to receive and review the information. Under Section 559.004 of the Texas Government Code, you are entitled to have MD Anderson Cancer Center correct information about you that is held by us and that is incorrect, in accordance with the procedures set forth in The University of Texas System Business Procedures Memorandum 32.
The information that MD Anderson Cancer Center collects will be retained and maintained as required by Texas records retention laws (Section 441.180 et seq. of the Texas Government Code) and rules. Different types of information are kept for different periods of time.
You can opt out of receiving promotional e-mails from us by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the email, or by changing your communication preferences when you log on to your account. Please note that your opt-out will not affect subsequent subscriptions or non-promotional communications from us, such as such as administrative and service announcements.
Tracking Technologies Generally
Regular cookies generally may be disabled or removed using tools available as part of most commercial browsers. In some instances, a browser may include settings that allow you to preemptively block cookies from being placed on your computer. Please be aware that if you disable or remove cookies and similar technologies, some parts of the Sites may not work properly. Also, if you revisit the Sites from a different computer or using a different browser, you may not be able to limit browser-based Tracking Technologies in the same way.
Analytics Services and Interest-Based Ads
The Sites use third-party web analytics services, such as Adobe Analytics and Google Analytics, to help us analyze how visitors use the Sites. For further information about Adobe Analytics and how they use analytics data, click here. To go directly to an opt-out tool for Adobe Analytics, click here. To learn more about opting out of data collection through Google Analytics, click here.
Certain advertising networks and exchanges participate in the Network Advertising Initiative (“NAI”). NAI has developed a tool that allows consumers to opt out of certain interest-based advertising delivered by NAI members’ ad networks. To learn more about opting out of such targeted advertising or to use the NAI tool, click here. Please be aware that such opt-outs do not affect non-targeted ads. We are not responsible for the effectiveness of, or compliance with, any third-parties’ opt-out mechanisms or programs, or the accuracy of their statements regarding their programs.
Your California privacy rights
California’s “Shine the Light” law permits customers in California to request certain details about how certain types of their information are shared with third parties and, in some cases, affiliates, for those third parties’ and affiliates’ own direct marketing purposes. Under this law, a business must either provide California customers certain information upon request, or permit California customers to opt-in to, or opt-out of, this type of sharing.
We may elect to share certain information about you that we have collected through the Sites with third parties for those third parties’ direct marketing purposes. If you are a California resident, you may request information about our compliance with this law by contacting us at PrivacyCompliance@mdanderson.org or by sending a letter to the Chief Privacy Officer at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Institutional Compliance Office, Unit 1640, P.O. Box 301407, Houston, TX, 77230-1407. Requests must include “California Privacy Rights Request” in the first line of the description and include your name, street address, city, state, and ZIP code. Please note that we are only required to respond to one request per customer each year, and we are not required to respond to requests made by means other than through the e-mail address or postal mail address listed here.
Your European Economic Area privacy rights
MD Anderson Privacy Disclosures for Users Located in the European Economic Area
Users Located in the European Economic Area:
If you are located in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway (the “European Economic Area” or “EEA”), please click here for additional information about the ways MD Anderson and its affiliates, may collect, use, and share information that can be used to directly or indirectly identify you.
The Sites are not targeted to children under the age of thirteen (13), however, we from time-to-time we may have special sections intended, in whole or in part, for children. As a State of Texas government agency that conducts not-for-profit educational programs, we need not comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) requirements. For more information regarding our privacy practices for these sections of the Sites, see any applicable program-specific supplemental privacy notice that is posted on those Site pages.
Any California residents under the age of eighteen (18) who have registered to use the Sites, and who have posted content or information on the Sites, can request that such information be removed from the Sites by contacting us at PrivacyCompliance@mdanderson.org or by sending a letter to the Chief Privacy Officer at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Institutional Compliance Office, Unit 1640, P.O. Box 301407, Houston, TX, 77230-1407, stating that they personally posted such content or information and detailing where the content or information is posted. We will make reasonable good faith efforts to remove the post from prospective public view or anonymize it so the minor cannot be individually identified. This removal process cannot ensure complete or comprehensive removal. For instance, third-parties may have republished the post and archived copies of it may be stored by search engines and others that we do not control.
We take reasonable measures to help protect personal information collected through the Sites from loss, theft, misuse, and other unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, or destruction. Nevertheless, transmission via the Internet is not completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of your information collected through our Sites.
Last Updated: January 2, 2019
What are cookies?
Cookies are small data files that are placed on your computer or mobile device when you visit a website. Cookies are widely used by online service providers in order to (for example) make their websites or services work, or to work more efficiently, as well as to provide reporting information.
Cookies set by the website owner or service provider (in this case, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and MD Anderson’s affiliates (collectively, “we” or “MD Anderson”) are called “first party cookies”. Cookies set by parties other than the website owner are called “third party cookies”. Third party cookies enable third party features or functionality to be provided on or through the website or service you are using (such as advertising, interactive content and analytics). The third parties that set these third party cookies can recognize your device both when it visits the Service in question and also when it visits certain other websites or services.
We use first party and third party cookies for several reasons. Some cookies are required for technical reasons in order for our Services to operate, and we refer to these as “essential” or “strictly necessary” cookies. Other cookies enable us and the third parties we work with to track and target the interests of visitors to our Services, and we refer to these as “performance” or “functionality” cookies. For example, we use tracking technologies information to analyze and track data, determine the popularity of certain content, deliver advertising and content targeted to your interests, better understand your online activity, associate different devices you use and deliver relevant and retargeted content, including interest-based ads. We use both session ID cookies and tracking cookies: session cookies make it easier for you to navigate websites, and they expire when you close your browser, whereas tracking cookies help us understand how you use websites and enhance your user experience and they remain on your hard drive for an extended period of time. Finally, third parties serve cookies through our Services for advertising, analytics, and other purposes. This is described in more detail below.
Cookies served through our Services
The specific types of first and third party cookies served through our Services and the purposes they perform are described in further detail below:
These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our Services and to use some of their features, such as access to secure areas. Because these cookies are strictly necessary to deliver the Services, you cannot refuse them without impacting how our Services function. You can block or delete them by changing your browser settings, as described in the “How can I control cookies?” section below.
Performance and Functionality Cookies
These cookies are used to enhance the performance and functionality of our Services but are non-essential to their use. For example, these cookies allow us to recognize you on our website during future visits, to measure web traffic, to offer you certain products or services, or to customize your visit. However, without these cookies, certain functionality may become unavailable.
Analytics and Customization Cookies
These cookies collect information that is used either in aggregate form to help us understand how our Services are being used or how effective our marketing campaigns are, or to help us customize our Services for you in order to enhance your experience.
Advertising (Targeting) Cookies
These cookies are used to make advertising messages more relevant to you and your interests. They also perform functions like preventing the same ad from continuously reappearing, ensuring that ads are properly displayed, and in some cases selecting advertisements that are based on your interests. For further information, see the “Targeted online advertising” section below.
Other tracking technologies
We and our third party partners may use other, similar technologies from time to time, like web beacons, tracking pixels (or “clear gifs” or “Internet tags”), embedded scripts, and other tracking technologies. These are tiny files that contain a unique identifier that enable us to recognize when someone has visited our Services, or in the case of web beacons, opened an e-mail that we have sent them. This allows us, for example, to count the number of visitors to our websites, to monitor the traffic patterns of users from one page within our Services to another, to verify how many articles or links were actually viewed, to deliver or communicate with cookies, to understand whether you have reached our Services from an online advertisement displayed on a third-party website, to serve targeted advertisements to you and others like you, to improve site performance, and to measure the success of marketing campaigns. While you may not have the ability to specifically reject or disable these tracking technologies, in many instances, these technologies are reliant on cookies to function properly; accordingly, in those instances, declining cookies will impair functioning of these technologies.
Targeted online advertising
We work with a variety of advertisers, advertising networks, advertising servers, and analytics companies (“Ad Partners”) that use different technologies to collect data about your use of the Services (such as pages visited, ads viewed or clicked on) in order to deliver relevant advertising.
These technologies may include the placement on our Services of cookies or web beacons, and other data collection technologies (as described in the How We Collect and Use Personal Information section of our Privacy Disclosures) by these Ad Partners to track how our Services are being used, to track where users go and what they do after they leave our Services, and to link various devices you may use, and to serve you more relevant ads. These advertisements may appear on our Services or other services that you visit.
For more information about how Ad Partners use the information collected by the technologies on our Services and about your options not to accept cookies placed by some of these companies on our Services, please visit the Digital Advertising Alliance’s (DAA’s) opt-out page. You may also opt out of additional third party advertising networks by going to the Network Advertising Initiative’s website and following the directions.
The opt-outs described above are device- and browser-specific and may not work on all devices. If you choose to opt-out through any of these opt-out tools, this does not mean you will cease to see advertising. Rather, the ads you see will just not be based on your interests. In addition, when you opt out using one of these methods, our Ad Partners will continue to collect information for any other purpose permitted by the DAA’s rules. You can opt out of future information collection from our Services by ceasing use of the Service or in the case of an application, uninstalling the application.
How can you control cookies?
You have the right to decide whether to accept or reject cookies.
Disabling Most Targeted Online Advertising: As discussed above, advertising networks offer you a way to opt out of targeted online advertising. If you would like to find out more information, please visit http://www.aboutads.info/choices/ or http://www.youronlinechoices.com.
Mobile Advertising: You can opt out of having your mobile advertising identifiers used for certain types of targeted online advertising, including those performed by us, by accessing the settings in your mobile device and following the most recent published instructions. If you opt out, we will remove all data about you and no further data collection or tracking will occur. The random ID we (or our third party partners) had previously assigned to you will also be removed. This means that if at a later stage, you decide to opt-in, we will not be able to continue and track you using the same ID as before, and you will for all practical purposes be a new user to our system.
Do Not Track: Some Internet browsers - like Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari - include the ability to transmit “Do Not Track” or “DNT” signals. Since uniform standards for “DNT” signals have not been adopted, our Services do not currently process or respond to “DNT” signals. To learn more about “DNT”, please visit All About Do Not Track.
Where can you get further information?
Users outside the United States and European Economic Area