Principles for Privacy and Confidentiality
The following principles reflect the Collin-Fannin County Medical Society's (CFCMS) commitment to maintain the website visitor's rights to privacy and the confidentiality of personal information. In this context, privacy refers to the right of the individual site visitor to choose whether to allow personal information to be collected, by the host site (in this case, CFCMS) or by third parties, and to know what type of information is collected and how that information is used. Confidentiality is the right of an individual to not have personally identifiable information disclosed to others without that individual's express informed consent.
The Internet has the potential to allow information about website use to be tracked in aggregate (which can help site developers understand site use and improve the experience of the viewer) and at the individual user level. Individual user information can improve the visitor's experience of the site by permitting personalization of the site related to the individual's particular interests or concerns. The CFCMS, however, takes extensive measures to ensure the safety and security of its website servers and to guard against divulging private information.
The CFCMS believes that all website visitors should have the opportunity to opt in or out of allowing personal information to be tracked. In addition, the CFCMS believes that website visitors should know who (i.e., the site organization or third party) is tracking personal information and the types of personal information that are tracked and should have the right to opt out of such information being collected at any time.
- The website does not collect name, e-mail address or any other personal information unless voluntarily provided by the visitor after the visitor is informed about the potential use of such information. The CFCMS collects and stores the name of the domain and host from which users access the Internet: (e.g., yahoo.com or oklahoma.edu); the Internet protocol (IP) address of the computer being used; the browser software operating system used; the date and time users access the website; and, the Internet address of the website from which they linked directly to the website. The CFCMS uses this information to measure the number of visitors to the different sections of the website, and to help make the website more useful.
- The process of opting-in to any functionality that includes collection of personal information includes an explicit notice that personal information will be saved, with an explanation of how the information will be used and by whom. The opt-in statement is not embedded in a lengthy document and is explicit and clear to the viewer.
- The CFCMS may collect, retain and use personal information about website visitors when the CFCMS believes that such information would be useful in providing website visitors with products, services and other opportunities, provided such use adheres to these principles and is within bounds of current regulations and law (http://www.ftc.gov/privacy/index.html). Individuals may agree to have such personal information collected or may choose not to, with the understanding that opting-out of having such information collected prevents the website from being tailored to their particular needs and interests.
- Names and e-mail addresses of website visitors are not provided or released to any third party without the website visitor's express permission.
- E-mail information, personal information about specific visitor's access and navigation and information volunteered by website visitors, such as survey information and website registration information, may be used by the CFCMS to improve the website but are not shared with or sold to other organizations for commercial purposes without the website visitor's express permission. Such information may; however, be released to local, state or federal law enforcement officials when requested under the appropriate law or laws.
- The CFCMS will use e-mail addresses voluntarily provided by website visitors to notify them about updates, products, services, activities or upcoming events. Website visitors who do not wish to receive such notifications via e-mail may opt-out of receiving such information at any time.
- Names and office addresses of CFCMS members are made available only for standard communication purposes that are germane to the practice of medicine.
- Nonidentifiable website visitor data may be collected and used in aggregate to help shape and direct the creation and maintenance of content and to determine the type of advertisement to be seen by website visitors while on the CFCMS website.
- A cookie is a small file stored on the website user's computer or server and is used to aid page navigation. Two types of cookies are commonly used. A session cookie is a temporary file created whenever a website is accessed and is self-terminated based either on an expiration date (i.e., 3 hours from creation of the cookie) or by closing the browser. A persistent cookie is a permanent file and must be deleted manually. Cookies referred to in the context of these guidelines are persistent cookies. A cookie function may be used on the website to track visitor practices to help determine which website features and services are most important and guide editorial direction. The cookie makes it possible for the user to access the website without requiring entry of a user name, allows the user to view different restricted areas of the website without reregistering, and allows the user to personalize the website for future use. Users who do not desire the functionality created by the cookie have the option of disabling the cookie function on their browser.
- E-mail messages sent to a website may not be secure. Website visitors are discouraged from sending confidential information by e-mail. Website visitors sending e-mail accept the risk that a third party may intercept e-mail messages.
- Market research conducted by the website or its agent(s) to enhance the website is clearly identified as such.
- E-mail alerts and newsletters contain an "unsubscribe" option.
Last modified: February 27, 2024