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HealthGate's policy is to respect and protect the privacy of our users. This policy statement tells you how we collect information from you and how we use it.


The information you provide, whether it be when you research a topic of interest or elect to register for certain services, is personal to you. Be assured that HealthGate will not disclose your personal health information or the subjects that you search while visiting HealthGate or a member of the HealthGate Network, to third parties without your consent.


REGISTRATION

There are specific content sources which you may choose to access where HealthGate may ask you for personal information such as your name, sex and e-mail address. HealthGate needs to collect this information to customize content for you, for reporting to our content providers, tracking/verifying compliance with HealthGate policies as well as federal, state, and local laws, and/or for editorial and feedback solicitation purposes.


HealthGate will not, under any circumstances except as describe herein, disclose personal identifying information about you to any third party.


AGGREGATE DATA

HealthGate does combine the health-related information you provide along with the statistics of the areas you visit on our site, including what information you view, with our other users to create aggregate data that we may disclose to third parties. The third parties with whom we share aggregate data with may include our Information Partners, or the companies, organizations and professional societies that supply us the medical information that you access, and applicable members of the HealthGate Network. The HealthGate Network consists of those hospitals and other web sites with which HealthGate has an agreement to provide content. For example, if you visit us from one of the hospitals to which we supply content, we will aggregate the data about what information you used while on the site with other visitors from that site and supply it to the sponsoring hospital. HealthGate will not disclose any individually identifiable information to a third party without your express prior written authorization.


PERSONALIZED E-MAILS

If you register to use portions of HealthGate that require such registration, HealthGate will use the e-mail address you supply to regularly send you announcements containing information we believe you may be interested in. We will do so only on an "opt-in" basis or where you have specifically told us that you'd be interested in receiving these messages. You can, at any point, request that we stop sending you e-mails by following the instructions found below.


MEDICIAL INFORMATION AND MINORS

HealthGate and the members of the HealthGate Network encourage parents to discuss the value of healthcare information with their children. HealthGate will, at no time, if we learn information about a specific minor, share that information with anyone. However, because HealthGate does not have the ability to learn the age of a visitor, we are unable to restrict access to information that may be unsettling to some minors. If parents have questions about our site, our Network or our privacy policy, we encourage you to ask us questions.


USE OF IP ADDRESSES

An IP address is a number that's automatically assigned to your computer whenever you're surfing the Web. Many Web servers -- the computers that "serve up" Web pages -- automatically identify your computer by its IP address.


HealthGate collects IP addresses for the purposes of system administration, to report aggregate information to our clients through whose web sites you access HealthGate's content, and to audit the use of our site. When users request pages from HealthGate, our servers log the users' IP addresses. We do not normally link IP addresses to anything personally identifiable, which means that a user's session will be logged, but the user remains anonymous to us. We can and will use IP addresses to identify a user when we feel it is necessary to enforce compliance with our house rules or terms of service or to protect our service, site, customers, or others.


USE OF COOKIES

Cookies are used for record keeping and to track your movements when you visit a Web site. The use of cookies is an industry standard - you�ll find them used at most Web sites, including health-related ones.


There are two types of cookies: persistent and session. Persistent cookies are pieces of information that a Web site transfers to an individual's hard drive for record-keeping purposes. HealthGate does not use persistent cookies and, therefore, does not place bits of computer code found with cookies on your computer. HealthGate does utilize session cookies that enable us to track what content you use during your visit. Session cookies do not give us access to any personally identifiable information about you.


By showing how and when you visit our site, cookies help us see which areas are popular and which are not. Many improvements and updates to the site are based on such data as total number of visitors and pages viewed. This information is most easily tracked with cookies. We use the information from cookies to provide services better tailored to our users' needs.


HealthGate uses session cookies with one single purpose in mind: to help us better understand and improve areas of the HealthGate service that our users find valuable. While this activity depends on the use of a session cookie, visitors to HealthGate always have the option of disabling cookies via their browser settings.


We do not control cookies from the other sites that you may link to from HealthGate.


LINKS TO OTHER SITES

You should be aware that when you are on HealthGate and the HealthGate Network, you could be directed to other sites that are beyond our control. There are links to other sites from HealthGate and the HealthGate Network pages that take you outside our service. For example, you may link to another site that we believe offers you additional medical information that may be of some value to you. In addition, should you "click" one of these links, that "click" takes you off the HealthGate site. This includes links from partners that may use HealthGate or the HealthGate Network's logo as part of a co-branding agreement. These other sites may send their own cookies to users, collect data, or solicit personal information.


HealthGate's policy does not extend to anything that is inherent in the operation of the Internet, and therefore beyond HealthGate's control, and is not to be applied in any manner contrary to applicable law or governmental regulation.


SECURITY

The importance of security for all personally identifiable information associated with our users is of utmost concern to us. If you choose to access a portion of our site where you choose to provide personally identifiable information, we will utilize industry standard "Secure Socket Layer" (SSL) encryption. SSL is the most common, and most secure method, of transferring both financial and personal information from your Web browser to a remote server.


If you have registered for access to secure or premium areas, you have been assigned a username and password. You are the only person who has access to this information. We recommend that you do not divulge your password to anyone. HealthGate will never ask you for your password in an unsolicited phone call or e-mail. Ultimately, you are responsible for maintaining the secrecy of your passwords and any account information.


If you access HealthGate from a public workstation in a library or hospital, remember to sign out and close your browser window when you have finished your work. This is to ensure that others cannot access your personal information and correspondence if your computer is accessible to others.


Once we have information about you, whether it be your e-mail address or information we may have learned about you while you have visited our site, we store this information on database servers at the HealthGate Data Center, which we house at an Exodus secure facility in Waltham, Massachusetts. Exodus maintains both onsite guards, pass code locked doors access, and pass code authority.


Although HealthGate will make every effort to safeguard your personal information, you should know that no site can warrant that it is 100% secure from �hackers� who might learn how to evade security systems or intercept transmissions over the Internet.


EFFECT OF LEGAL OBLIGATIONS UPON OUR PRIVACY POLICY

HealthGate may disclose user information in special cases when we have reason to believe that disclosing this information is necessary to identify, contact or bring legal action against someone who may be causing injury to or interference with (either intentionally or unintentionally) HealthGate's rights or property, other HealthGate users, or anyone else that could be harmed by such activities. HealthGate may disclose user information when we believe in good faith that the law requires it. In the event that we are compelled to disclose personal and/or health-related personal information, we will notify affected users, if the law allows, before making the required disclosure.


CHANGES IN HEALTHGATE'S PRIVACY POLICY

HealthGate will only use the information we learn about you in the manner described in the Privacy Policy in effect when the information was collected from you. However, we reserve the right to change the terms of this Privacy Policy at any time by posting revisions to our site. If, at any time, we wish to use personal information about you in a manner drastically different than what we've described here, we will make every effort to contact you if you have given us your e-mail address or to make sufficient public announcements that, in our sole discretion, give you ample opportunity to ask that we delete any personal information we have about you in our files. We encourage you to visit our site occasionally to learn about any changes in our Privacy Policy.


REMOVE INFORMATION

You may request that we delete any personal information we may have collected about you (e-mail address, other registration information, etc.) from our computers by contacting us directly using any of the following:


E-mail your request to support@healthgate.com
Call 781-685-4025 and asking for Client Services
Send regular mail to:
Client Services
HealthGate Data Corp.
25 Corporate Drive, Suite 310
Burlington, MA 01803


Due to our regular schedule for creating back-ups for our active databases and the need to retain accurate business records, it is impossible for us to remove each and every occurrence of any information that you have provided to us or that we may have learned about your searching habits. However, we will remove such information from our active files immediately upon receipt from you of any such request
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