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Privacy and Editorial Policy

 

Statement of Editorial Independence
In order to bring you the most timely and relevant medical information possible, HealthTalk cultivates and maintains close relationships with many national and international medical centers, medical associations and organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and individual medical practitioners and researchers. Many of our programs are underwritten by third-party educational grants from organizations or pharmaceutical companies.

HealthTalk, Inc. maintains a strict policy of editorial independence. The following policies govern our relationships with our sponsors/grantors:

  • HealthTalk maintains complete control of all audio, written and graphic materials that comprise our programs sponsored through educational grants from pharmaceutical and medical products companies. We do not allow our sponsors/grantors to influence or make changes to our content. In the case of collaborative projects with government agencies or patient advocacy groups, HealthTalk makes strong efforts to ensure the accuracy and fair balance of information presented.
  • We will always fully disclose on our Web site all sponsorship, underwriting, commercial funding arrangements or support.
  • We will provide a bio/profile for each speaker and contributor to HealthTalk, and any affiliations relevant to their interaction on HealthTalk will be disclosed.
  • We will provide the date the material was produced and or last reviewed for medical accuracy on transcript Web pages and downloadable documents.

HealthTalk, Inc. maintains a strict policy of editorial excellence. The primary content on our Web site comes from interviews with medical professionals who are recognized as thought leaders within their fields of expertise, and a description of their qualifications and affiliations is always disclosed. In addition, all content on the HealthTalk Web site is reviewed and edited for medical accuracy, prior to publishing.

 

HealthTalk Privacy Statement

 

Your privacy is important to us. This Privacy Policy and Agreement ("Privacy Policy") will tell you what information we collect about you and about your use of our Website. It will explain how we protect that information and what choices you have about how it is used. We urge you to read this Privacy Policy carefully so that you will understand clearly both our commitment to you and your privacy, and how we may collect and use information. By using the HealthTalk site, you agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

 

Please remember that any information (including personal and medical information) that you reveal in a HealthTalk public event, forum (such as a bulletin board, Ask the Doctor posting, live/broadcasted event) is not protected by this Privacy Policy. Third parties not related to HealthTalk will see such postings. What you've written could be used by others in ways we are unable to control or predict, including to contact you for unauthorized purposes. Also, in accessing a third party site from a link on HealthTalk, any information you reveal on that site is not subject to this Privacy Policy. You should consult the privacy policies of each site you visit.

 

The following describes the information we collect from or about you and the ways we disclose, use and protect that information. Our Privacy Policy is intended to give you a clear idea of how we protect and manage information about you.

 

  1. Personally identifiable information we collect;
  2. What organizations are collecting information;
  3. How the information we collect is used and with whom it may be shared;
  4. What internal privacy and security procedures are in place;
  5. What choices are available regarding collection, use, distribution and correction of the information;

 

1. Personally identifiable information we collect:

 

In General

Personally Identifiable Information (or personal information) is information that can be used to identify or contact you. HealthTalk collects only the Personal Information you provide to us when you subscribe to our email newsletter, provide responses to a survey or poll or in conjunction with registering for or attending an educational program on our site or in person. We also collect non-personal information from you and about your use of our Website, newsletters we send to you at your request and traffic to websites of sponsors and alliance partners. As an example, HealthTalk may use "cookies" and/or "web beacons" to collect non-personal information about your use of our site, or emails we send to you. HealthTalk's use of these cookies and web beacons is not done generally across websites and HealthTalk does not store any Personal Information in any cookies on your computer. This is described in more detail below.

 

Subscription and Registration Profile

 

You may use the HealthTalk website without registering or submitting any Personal Information. In that instance, the only information we collect will be non-personal information collected through the use of cookies or web beacons (details below). However, in order to have access to certain services and content available on our site (e.g., live webcasts, email newsletters), you are required to complete a registration form. We use the Personal Information that you provide through registration to deliver program attendance instructions, respond to questions from you and/or inform you of significant changes to this Privacy Policy. We may also use this information to send you emails with special promotions or newsletters with content that we think may be of interest to you. You can always opt-out of receiving email newsletters at the time you register or at any time.

 

HealthTalk Resource Tools

We also collect other information, some of which may be Personal Information, that you voluntarily provide to us when you choose to use some of the HealthTalk services, such as "Ask the Doctor," "Send this to a friend," etc. We also collect information you provide voluntarily through responses to surveys, questionnaires and the like.

 

Surveys

On a regular basis HealthTalk may request information from you via surveys. Participation in these surveys is completely voluntary and it is your choice whether or not to disclose this information. The requested information typically includes contact information (such as name and address), and demographic information (such as gender and age). Contact information will only be used to validate the uniqueness of a survey submittal. Personal information is not shared with third parties unless we give prior notice to you and you have the choice to decline such.

 

Asking Questions

 

When you submit a question to an expert during a program or in our Ask the Doctor section, we receive your email address and/or first name. Your question is stored, and if selected to be submitted to an expert, your email address is not included. If your question is answered by an expert, it is displayed anonymously on the site.

 

Send this to a Friend

 

If you elect to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask for your friend's name and email address. HealthTalk.com will automatically send the friend a one-time email inviting them to visit the site. HealthTalk.com stores this information for the sole purpose of sending this one-time email and tracking the success of our referral program. The friend may contact HealthTalk.com to request the removal of this information from our database.

 

Cookies

 

HealthTalk collects anonymous, non-personal information about your use of our website, newsletters we send to you at your request and traffic to websites of sponsors and alliance partners. For example, we collect non-personal information about your use of our site and your use of our newsletters through the use of "Cookies". Cookies are small computer files that we transfer to your computer's hard drive that allow us to know how often someone visits a site and the activities they conduct while on that site (such as the pages you visited, whether you attended a program or not, etc.). Every computer is assigned a different cookie by HealthTalk. The information collected by cookies helps us dynamically generate content on web pages or in emails specifically designed for you and also allows us to statistically monitor how many people are using our site or opening our emails, and for what purposes. We may use non-identifiable cookie information to target certain program notifications to your browser or to determine the popularity of certain content, sponsors or alliance partners.

 

Your browser software can be set to reject all 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 cookie, certain functions and conveniences of our site may not work properly but you do not have to accept our cookie in order to productively use our site.

 

Web Beacons

 

In limited circumstances we also may use "Web Beacons" to collect anonymous, non-personal information about your use of our web site, special promotions or newsletters we send to you. Web beacons are tiny graphic image files imbedded in a web page or email that provide a presence on the web page or email and send back to its home server information from the Users' browser. The information collected by web beacons allows us to statistically monitor how many people are using our site or opening our emails. HealthTalk web beacons are not used to track your activity across Websites generally.

 

E-mails and Newsletters

 

As noted in the use of cookies and web beacons (see above), we collect anonymous, non-personal information about your use of newsletters that we send to you. When you use HealthTalk's "Send this to a Friend" feature, HealthTalk emails the article or other content you designate to your friend's email address and lists your email address as the sender. HealthTalk uses the friend's email address only for the purpose of sending your friend the email you requested and for no other purpose unless otherwise disclosed to you at the time you send the email.

 

Children Using Our Site

 

We are committed to protecting the privacy of children. This Website is not designed or intended to attract children under the age of 13. We do not collect Personal Information from any person we actually know is under the age of 13.

 

 

2. What organizations are collecting information:

 

Third Parties

 

Sponsors and partners on the HealthTalk site or in emails, special promotions or newsletters we send you may also use their own cookies or web beacons when you click on their link to their site or service. In certain situations, information collection may be facilitated by momentarily directing your browser to the site of server or other third party acting on behalf of the sponsor or partner before re-directing your browser to its proper destination this re-direction process will not be apparent to you.

 

We do not control these third parties' use of cookies or web beacons, or how they manage the non-personal information they gather through them. You should review the privacy policy of other sites you visit or link to from our site to understand how these other sites use cookies and how they use the information they collect through the use of cookies or web beacons on their own sites.

 

Public Forums and Live Programs

 

This Privacy Policy does not protect you when you use HealthTalk public forums or provide personal information used in the production and broadcast of a program attended by third parties. As a service to our users, HealthTalk features bulletin boards and live medical broadcasts and in-person events where users with similar medical conditions can share information and support one another or where users can post questions for experts to answer. You should be aware that any information shared in a bulletin board, Ask the Doctor posting, online discussion, live event is public information and may be seen, disclosed to or collected by third parties that do not adhere to our Privacy Policy. You should think carefully before disclosing any personal information in any public forum.

 

3. How the information we collect is used and with whom it may be shared

Disclosure of Your Information

 

Except as set forth in this Article or as specifically agreed to by you, HealthTalk will not disclose any Personal Information it gathers from you on our Website. We may release Personal Information to third parties: (1) to comply with valid legal requirements such as a law, regulation, search warrant, subpoena or court order; or (2) in special cases, such as a physical threat to you or others. In the event that we are legally compelled to disclose your Personal Information to a third party, we will notify you unless doing so would violate the law or court order.

 

Disclosure to HealthTalk Fulfillment Partners

 

In order to provide you with the services on our sites, we may need to share your information with third parties, our agents, who perform services on our behalf, such as incentive fulfillment, web hosting, and the like. They may also collect information on our behalf. In this use, a limited amount of your registration information is provided to these partners for purposes of fulfillment. This information is restricted in its use through contractual obligations with these companies and not used for any other purpose than to provide services to you on behalf of HealthTalk.

 

Disclosure to Linked Sites

 

In addition to the Third Party Contractor Websites that you may access as described above, for your convenience there are links to Websites operated by companies other than HealthTalk ("Third Party Websites") that are not contractors who provide content or services through our Website. These links may be found referenced within content, or placed beside the names or logos of sponsors and partners. HealthTalk does not disclose your Personal Information to these Third Party Websites without obtaining your consent. HealthTalk does not endorse and is not responsible for the privacy practices of these sites. If you choose to link to one of these Third party Websites, you should review the privacy policy posted on this other site to understand how that Third Party Website collects and uses your Personal Information.

Disclosure of Aggregate Information

 

HealthTalk may provide to third parties non-personal information about you that does not allow you to be identified or contacted and that is combined with the non-personal information of other users ("Aggregate Information"). For example, we might inform third parties regarding the number of users of our site and the programs they attend while on our site. Depending on the circumstances of each instance, we may or may not charge third parties for this Aggregate Information. We also may not limit the third parties' use of the Aggregate Information, except that we do require third parties to whom we disclose Aggregate Information to agree that they will not attempt to make this information personally identifiable by combining it with other databases or otherwise.

 

4. What Internal Privacy and Security Procedures are In Place:

 

The personal information that you submit to us is stored in our secure database behind an electronic firewall. The servers that store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure, locked facility.

 

Like other Internet sites, HealthTalk cannot guarantee that it is completely secure from individuals who might attempt to bypass security measures or intercept transmissions over the Internet. Similarly, we cannot completely ensure the privacy of e-mail communications to and from our site because they are not encrypted and, therefore, not secure. These communications, like most Internet e-mail, could be intercepted without your knowledge and permission, while in transit to or from our site. This includes e-mail you send to us through our various mailboxes, our free e-mails for specific health topics and information e-mailed from our site to others using features such as "Send this to a friend."

 

We also do everything in our power to protect your information off-line. The use of our members personal information mentioned above, is restricted in our offices. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, our event program producer or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. ALL employees are kept up-to-date on our security and privacy practices. Every six months, as well as any time new policies are added, our employees are notified and/or reminded about the importance we place on privacy, and what they can do to ensure our users' information is protected.  HealthTalk employees must abide by this policy and those who violate it are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

 

Although we will make every reasonable effort to protect your Personal Information from loss, misuse, or alteration by third parties, you should be aware that there is always some risk involved in transmitting information over the Internet. There is also some risk that thieves could find a way to thwart our security systems.

 

 

5. What choices are available regarding collection, use distribution and correction of the information:

 

Right to Know and Opt-out

 

We reserve the right to send you specific administrative notices about your registration or subscription or to contact you if required by law.

 

From time to time and at different locations on the HealthTalk Website, you will be given the option of receiving recurring informational/promotional newsletters via email from HealthTalk, with your prior consent.

 

During program registration and at various times as you use the site, you may have the option of receiving emails or newsletters directly from third parties, participating in research or marketing surveys and participating in other activities. You may exercise these options by placing a check mark beside a statement that expresses a preference for receiving these communications or participating in these activities.

 

Additional information about our other services and products will be sent to you only if you have expressly chosen to receive such information. If you do not wish to receive site newsletters or additional information you may remove yourself from communication lists easily by following instructions within the newsletters.

 

Updating your Personal Information

You can always contact us in order to delete any of your Personal Information from our systems.

 

 

Changes to the Privacy Statement

If we change our Internet privacy policies or practices as described here, we will post the changes on this privacy statement. We may also send you an email notification.

 

Areas not Covered by this Policy

This privacy policy applies only to the HealthTalk Website. The HealthTalk site contains links to other sites. Once you enter another Website, be aware that HealthTalk is not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites.

 

This Privacy Policy does not protect you when you send business communication, ideas, concepts or inventions to HealthTalk by email to the various departments listed on the "Contact" page on our Website. If you want to keep business information, ideas, concepts or inventions private or proprietary, do not send them in an email to HealthTalk.

 

Revised October 2005

 

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