- What information we collect about you
- What choices you have about your information
- How we use your information
- How and with whom we may share the information we have about you
- How we protect your information
- How to contact us with questions or concerns
We may collect "Personal Information" about you – such as your name, address, telephone number, email address or health information – in the following ways:
- When you register for or update an existing profile on our web sites or Apps or register for the WebMD Health Manager;
- When you use certain interactive tools and services (e.g., the Ovulation/Pregnancy Calendar or Symptom Checker);
- When you sign-up for newsletters or other communications from WebMD;
- When you use our "Email a Friend" service;
- When you participate in an online survey; or
- When you provide personal information in a community area or other public forum.
We may collect "Non-Personal Information" – information that cannot be used to identify you – via Cookies, Web Beacons, WebMD mobile device applications and from external sources, even if you have not registered with or provided any Personal Information to WebMD.
Most browser software can be set to reject Cookies, and you can opt out of Cookies for several Ad Servers by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative gateway opt-out site.
You can click on the Ad Choices logo at the bottom of every page of the WebMD web sites to stop tailored advertising from WebMD.
We may use information we collect about you to:
- Administer your account;
- Provide you with access to particular tools and services;
- Respond to your inquiries and send you administrative communications;
- Obtain your feedback on our sites and our offerings;
- Statistically analyze user behavior and activity;
- Provide you with more relevant content and advertisements;
- Conduct research and measurement activities; or
- Send you personalized emails or secure electronic messages pertaining to your health interests, including news, announcements, reminders and opportunities.
We may combine Personal and Non-Personal Information collected by WebMD about you, and may combine this information with information from external sources. Third parties may also use Non-Personal Information in order to display advertising that reflects the interests and preferences of our user community.
WebMD will not disclose any Personal Information about you unless specifically agreed to you by you or:
- To comply with legal requirements, such as a law, regulation, search warrant, subpoena, or court order;
- To our vendors and suppliers in the course of their provision of products or services to WebMD;
- In the event of a corporate change in control resulting from, for example, a merger, a sale of assets, or bankruptcy; or
- In special cases, such as in response to a physical threat to you or others.
WebMD does not make your Personal Information available to third parties for their marketing purposes.
We have put in place technical, physical, and administrative safeguards to protect the Personal Information that we collect.
You can also contact WebMD's Privacy Office at:
Attn: Office of Privacy
1201 Peachtree Street, NE
400 Colony Square, Suite 2100
Atlanta, GA 30361
Information Collected About You
Newsletters & Emails to You
At registration and at various times as you use the WebMD Web Sites, you will be given the option of providing us with Personal Information in order to receive recurring informational/promotional newsletters – such as a newsletter relating to a specific health condition – via email from WebMD and/or directly from third parties. In the WebMD Health Community, you can also click the "Watch This Discussion" link in any Health Community posting, and WebMD will send you an email summary of each day's postings in that Community.
When you sign up for our email newsletters or at any time, you can choose to opt out of receiving additional promotional newsletters from WebMD or our Sponsors.
You can unsubscribe from a newsletter by:
- Following the directions included at the bottom of the newsletter.
- Logging in to the WebMD Web Sites and unchecking the newsletters you no longer wish to receive under the "My Profile" section.
Email a Friend
If you use our Email a Friend service to tell a friend about a feature on the WebMD Web Sites or a newsletter, we will ask you for your name, your email address and your friend's email address. We will automatically send your friend a one-time email inviting him or her to visit the site using your name and email address as the "from" email address. WebMD does not use your friend's email information for any other purpose. We will only use the information you provide to send the requested email to your friend.
Community, Health Communities, Blogs and Other Public Forums
WebMD features several community areas and other public forums where users with similar interests or medical conditions can share information and support one another or where users can post questions for experts to answer. We also offer online discussions moderated by healthcare experts. Our communities are open to the public and should not be considered private.
Any information (including Personal Information) you share in any online community area including a chat room, Health Community, Ask Our Expert posting or online discussion is by design open to the public and is not private. You should think carefully before posting any Personal Information in any public forum. What you post can be seen, disclosed to or collected by third parties and may be used by others in ways we cannot control or predict, including to contact you for unauthorized purposes. As with any public forum on any site, the information you post may also show up in third-party search engines.
If you mistakenly post Personal Information in our Community areas and would like it removed, you can send us an email to request that we remove it by using the Contact Us link on every page of the WebMD Web Sites. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your Personal Information.
Emails You Send to WebMD
Even if you do not register with or provide any Personal Information to WebMD, we collect Non-Personal Information about your use of the WebMD Web Sites. "Non-Personal Information" means information that we cannot use to identify or contact you. We may also acquire Non-Personal Information about our users from external sources While you may use some of the functionality of WebMD without registration, many of the specific tools and services on the WebMD Web Sites require that you register with WebMD.
Cookies and Web Beacons
Mobile Device Applications ("Apps")
WebMD's Sites (including our mobile sites such as m.webmd.com) and WebMd's Apps ask for your consent (via an opt-in) before using information from pin-pointing technology like GPS or cell tower information. You can withdraw your consent (opt-out) for the use of "location" by WebMD at any time by changing your location services in the "Settings" function on your mobile device. We use location services on our web sites and Apps to provide you content based upon your location, local search results, and local offers.
Non-Personal Information Collected by Third Parties Not Acting on WebMD's Behalf
What Choices Do I Have?
Updating/Removing Your Personal Information
If you have registered and desire to delete any your Personal Information you have provided to us from our systems please contact us using the contact information listed below. Upon your request, we will delete your Personal Information from our active databases and where feasible from our back-up media. You should be aware that it is not technologically possible to remove each and every record of the information you have provided to the WebMD Web Sites from our servers.
If you decide that you would prefer not to receive personalized email or secure electronic messages from the WebMD Health Manager tool, you may "Opt-out" of the service by clicking on the settings tab on your Health Manager home page and changing your email preference or following the unsubscribe instructions included in each promotional email.
Most browser software can be set to reject Cookies. Most browsers offer instructions on how to reset the browser to reject Cookies in the "Help" section of the toolbar. If you reject our Cookies, certain of the functions and conveniences of the WebMD Web Sites may not work properly but you do not have to accept our Cookies in order to productively use the WebMD Web Sites. It is important to note that in order to use the opt-out services described below, such as the Network Advertising Initiative and the TRUSTed Ads Program, you must not reject all Cookies because these opt-out procedures work by placing Cookies on your browser that enable these opt-out procedures to function. The "opt-out Cookies" are placed, for example, in order to help prevent the placement of Cookies used for the targeting of advertising.
We work with third party ad networks to display advertising on our Sites. Our ad network vendors use technologies to collect non-personally identifiable information about your activities on our web sites to provide you cookie-based targeted advertising based upon your browsing activity and your interests. To read about how to opt out of targeted advertising on the WebMD mobile sites see the section of this policy named TRUSTed Ads Program Ad Choices below
TRUSTed Ads Program Ad Choices
In order to give you more control over your privacy choices we have implemented the TRUSTed Ads™ program from TRUSTe. At the bottom of every page of the WebMD Web Sites you will see an Ad Choices logo, (which looks like this: ). By clicking on that logo you will be presented with a window (the "TRUSTe Window") that will identify all of the companies that WebMD uses to direct tailored advertisements to you, both on the WebMD Web Sites as well as on third-party sites. If you would like to stop this tailored advertising from WebMD, you can manage these advertisements through the choices in that window. By clicking the + symbol next to the name of a vendor in that window you will get information about how and where that vendor assists us with the delivery of advertisements.
Important: If your device uses the Apple iOS Operating System, you will not see the Ad Choices icon on our mobile optimized sites (such as www.m.webmd.com.) Advertisements are not tailored based on browsing activity or interests for devices that access our mobile optimized web sites using the iOS operating system, including iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
How Information Collected About You Is Used
Information collected by WebMD about you is used by WebMD to:
- administer your account,
- provide you with access to particular tools and services,
- respond to your inquiries you send to us and to send you administrative communications about the WebMD Web Sites or services,
- obtain your feedback about the WebMD Web Sites or our offerings,
- statistically analyze user behavior and activity including how frequently areas of the site are visited and how many emails are received and opened,
- provide you with more relevant content or advertising both on the WebMD Web Sites or on other web sites that you visit after you leave the WebMD Web Sites; and
- conduct research and measurement activities, including those described below.
WebMD may combine Personal and Non-Personal Information collected by WebMD about you, and may combine this information with information from external sources. WebMD Health Manager has the ability to use Personal Information that you provide to send you personalized emails or secure electronic messages. During registration or at any time, you have the option of choosing whether or not you wish to receive emails pertaining to your health interests, including news, announcements, reminders and opportunities. The WebMD Health Manager email service requires an "opt-in" authorization from you.
Research and Measurement Activities
Information that WebMD collects about you may be combined by WebMD with other information available to WebMD through third parties for research and measurement purposes, including measuring the effectiveness of content, advertising or programs. This information from other sources may include age, gender, demographic, geographic, personal interests, product purchase activity or other information. We may report aggregate information, which is not able to be identified back to an individual user of the WebMD Web Sites, to our current or prospective advertisers and other business partners. We do not sell or share any Personal Information with any third parties, except contractors performing services on our behalf who agree not to use this information received from us for any purpose other than performing services on our behalf.
With Whom Do We Share Your Information?
Disclosures to WebMD Operations and Maintenance Contractor
Disclosures to Third Party Web Sites
How Do We Secure and Retain Your Information?
We take reasonable security measures to protect the security of your Personal Information. Despite WebMD's efforts to protect your Personal Information, there is always some risk that an unauthorized third party may find a way around our security systems or that transmissions of your information over the Internet may be intercepted.
The security of your Personal Information is important to us. When you enter Personal Information (including personal health information in various tools on our website), we encrypt the transmission of that information or use SSL connections (Secure Socket Layer) technology.
We will retain your Personal Information as long as your account is active or needed to provide you services. At any time you can remove your Personal Information or instruct us to remove it, but you should be aware that it is not technologically possible to remove each and every record of the information you have provided to WebMD from our servers. WebMD tools that collect and store Personal Information allow you to correct, update or review information you have submitted by going back to the specific tool, logging-in and making the desired changes. We will also retain your Personal Information as necessary to comply with legal obligations, resolve disputes and enforce our agreements.
We are committed to protecting the privacy of children. The WebMD Web Sites are not designed or intended to attract children under the age of 13. The WebMD Web Sites do not collect Personal Information from any person we actually know is under the age of 13. A parent or guardian, however, may use WebMD Health Manager to establish a personal health record and a WebMD Health Manager home page for a minor. The parent or guardian is solely responsible for providing supervision of the minor's use of WebMD Health Manager. The parent or guardian assumes full responsibility for ensuring that the registration information is kept secure and that the information submitted is accurate. The parent or guardian also assumes full responsibility for the interpretation and use of any information or suggestions provided through WebMD Health Manager for the minor.
Contacting WebMD About Your Personal Information or Privacy
You can also contact WebMD's Privacy Office at:
Attn: Office of Privacy
1201 Peachtree Street, NE
400 Colony Square, Suite 2100
Atlanta, GA 30361
Accreditations and Privacy Seals
WebMD has been awarded e-Health accreditation from URAC, formerly the American HealthCare Accreditation Association. URAC is an independent accrediting body that has reviewed and approved WebMD's WebMD.com Web sites for compliance with its more than 45 quality and ethics standards. To verify our compliance click the URAC logo. To read more, visit the URAC Education Center on WebMD
WebMD.com, MedicineNet.com, and eMedicineHealth.com comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information, which can be verified here.
Effective Date: May 06, 2013
© 2013 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
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