Information about your use of the Services is collected as follows:
- Registration. In order to use the Services, you may be required to register an account and provide certain personal information such as your name, email address, zip/postal code, profession, occupation, specialty and depending on your country of practice, your medical license number or equivalent. You may choose to update or supplement the personal information that you provided at registration at any time through your account settings or by contacting Our Customer Service.
- Cross-Device Tracking. We and our service providers collect and store information about users’ interactions with unaffiliated websites and applications that use our technologies, including cookies and similar tracking technologies. This allows us to infer the presence of a common user or household behind multiple devices. We do so in order to:
- provide personalized advertising on each device that is inferred from the browsing patterns on all of the devices;
- detect and prevent fraud;
- allow users to use our service on one device and pick up seamlessly where they left off on another device; and
- limit the number of times a user is shown the same advertisement, across known or inferred devices.
For information on your advertising choices and opt-out, please see the “Choices and Control” section of this Privacy Notice.
- Market Research. You may be invited to participate in market research surveys conducted by us or on our behalf for our own internal business purposes and also market research surveys conducted by or on behalf of third party sponsors that commissioned the survey. For some surveys, you may be asked to provide personal information for re-contact (e.g., by e-mail or phone) or payment fulfillment purposes.
- Information from Third Party Sources. We may obtain additional information about you from third party sources to assist us in providing the Services. For example, we may use third party information to verify and augment your registration information, for research purposes or to personalize the Services, including advertising.
How Your Information May be Used
Information about you may be used for the following purposes:
- Provision of the Services. We may use the information collected about you to provide and improve the Services, and to develop new Services.
- Network Profiles. We may use your registration information, as well as information from Third-Party sources such as IQVIA, to create a profile for you that is viewable by other members of the Medscape Network, which may be associated with content with which you engage and comments you may post (collectively, your “Network Profile”).
- Personalize the Services Including Advertising.
- Personalization is necessary for the performance of the contract between you and us according to which we deliver the Services. We analyze or deduct your preferences and interests based on a number of factors including:
- your profile (information provided at the registration time), enriched with other information obtained from third-party sources such as IQVIA to ensure accuracy of our data and comply with our legal obligations;
- your interactions with our Services and the Medscape Network, such as:
- your viewing and search history;
- the time and location of Your access to our Services;
- the device you use;
- answers you give to surveys and quiz;
- our content you post, like, share or recommend, including through social media;
- other users with similar tastes and preferences on our Service; and
- your interactions with other websites including with the Medscape Network, subject to our Cookies Policy.
- This information is used to classify users into different groups or segments, using algorithms and machine-learning. This analysis helps identify links and patterns between different behaviors and characteristics to recommend relevant Services for you. This will never prevent you from accessing and browsing the Services available to you within the Medscape Network.
- Verification Purposes. We may use your information in conjunction with information from third parties to recognize you as a registered member when you visit one of our properties and to verify your identity and/or professional credentials. We may require you to provide proof of your identity, including that you are a healthcare professional, and if you are unable to do so to our reasonable satisfaction, we reserve the right to deny you access to the Services. While we take steps to verify that our members who identify as healthcare professionals are actually healthcare professionals, we make no guarantee as to their identity, professional credentials or licensure status.
- Account Management. We may use your information to administer your account, respond to your inquiries, fulfill your requests and send you administrative communications about the Services.
- Legal Grounds. WebMD is relying on to use personal data. The Services and Medscape Network provide tailored content from multiple sources through a single interface. We offer a free source of customized information for healthcare professionals. Being a free service, the Medscape Network and Services rely on advertising and partnership revenues to support the development of specialized content designed for practicing healthcare professionals to help in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The optimization of advertising to provide you with relevant commercial communications and messages therefore goes to the heart of our ability to support the creation of high-quality medical content, and is the reason behind many of the uses of personal data described below.
The use of the personal data is necessary, to, respectively:
- Perform the contract entered into between WebMD and you in the context of your use of the Services. The performance of the contract includes knowing who you are, your specialty, your preferences, and centers of interests to provide tailored content, including interest-based sponsored content and tailored commercial communications. This is particularly important because the Services are designed to provide recommended content to you, and the Services are not available to the general public.
- Respond to WebMD’ legitimate interests based on the maintenance and improvement of its Services;
- When it comes to:
- Newsletters, sending by email interest-based advertising or sharing granular data with sponsors, we process data based on the consent you gave us, our service providers, our sponsors, which may be revoked at any time (we may in some cases act as data processors for our sponsors);
- Process your personal data based on your consent to participate to the market research surveys and the performance of the contract entered into between WebMD and you in the context of such market research survey; and
- Comply with any legal constraints applicable to WebMD or satisfy WebMD’s legitimate interests based on the protection of WebMD’s legal rights in connection with the Services and Medscape Network.
Sharing Your Information with Third Parties
Information about your use of the Services may be shared as follows:
- Service Providers. We work with third party service providers to help us provide the Services and to otherwise assist us in the operation of the Medscape Network, including in the areas of email management and deployment, analytics, marketing, advertising, market research, sweepstakes and contest administration, identity and professional credential validation, content distribution, customer service, payment fulfillment, event logistics, website maintenance and data storage and security. We may provide these service providers with personal information about users of our Services so that they can fulfill their responsibilities to us, however, we do require that they agree to limit their use of this personal information to the fulfillment of these responsibilities. To provide you with certain personalization and advertising services described herein, we may share certain information that we may collect from you, such as your email address (in hashed form), IP address or information about your browser or operating system, with our service provider, LiveRamp Inc. and its affiliates, which may in turn link demographic or interest-based information to your browser. You may opt out of this use here.
- Advertising and Sponsored Programs. We may provide your personal information to third party sponsors of advertisements and Sponsored Programs, subject to applicable law. Specifically, when you are exposed to an advertisement through the Services, whether on one of our websites or apps, in an email or through some other means, or when you engage in a Sponsored Program, e.g., access a sponsored information resource, open one of our sponsored emails, WebMD may provide your personal information, such as your name and specialty (but not your email or postal address) to the applicable sponsor and/or its agents on the sponsor’s behalf. We may also provide such third parties with details about your engagement with the advertisement or Sponsored Program (e.g., whether you viewed or otherwise interacted with certain content), your answers to any questions contained in the Sponsored Program and information about you that we have received from third parties. Additionally, when you register as a member of the Medscape Network, we may provide your personal information (but not your email or postal address) to potential sponsors of advertisements and Sponsored Programs that may be offered or provided to you through the Services, subject to applicable law. Please review the Privacy Policies of these third parties to familiarize yourself with their practices. All advertisements and Sponsored Programs (including any links to Sponsored Programs) made available within the Medscape Network, including through emails, will be identified to you by the label Advertisement, Information from Industry, Sponsored, WebMD Professional or some similar designation indicating that the content, which may pertain to a particular medical condition, therapy, product or service, has been selected by a third-party sponsor.
- Member Profiles. Subject to applicable law, WebMD may provide Member Profiles, and portions thereof, (excluding contact information and information about your participation in specific named CME and CE activities) to third parties, including our advertising customers, which these third parties may use for their business purposes including marketing.
- Network Profiles. Your Network Profile may be viewable by other members of the Medscape Network for personalization purposes described above and to allow you to view and connect with other members of the Medscape Network.
- Market Research. If you receive remuneration for participating in a market research program offered through our Services, we may provide your personal information to our payment fulfillment vendor so that it can process and deliver your payment to you and for its recordkeeping and regulatory compliance purposes, and also to the program sponsor (or the market research company acting on its behalf) for its recordkeeping and regulatory compliance purposes. If you choose to access a survey that is conducted by a third party market research company, we may identify you to this company. Sometimes market research companies send us lists of individuals they wish to reach with particular market research opportunities and we may inform these companies which of these individuals are members of the Medscape Network so that they can manage their recruitment needs accordingly. Also, certain market research opportunities require us or the market research company to contact you directly to conduct the survey, including by telephone. We will inform you in the research invitation if you will be required to provide additional contact information, e.g., phone number, to participate so that you can decide at that time if you wish to proceed with the opportunity. We do not disclose your survey responses to the sponsor in a manner that identifies you.
- Continuing Medical Education. Medscape, LLC (“Medscape”) is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education to deliver continuing education for the healthcare team (collectively, “CME/CE”), which CME/CE activities are hosted by Medscape on Medscape Education (medscape.org), which is part of the Medscape Network. As an accredited entity, Medscape is required to periodically submit personal information about CME/CE participation to the relevant accrediting entities. Medscape and its affiliates that develop independent medical education content (“IME”), including WebMD Global LLC (“WebMD Global”), may provide your personal information to accredited providers that certify CME/CE and IME offered through the Services as required to process your credits, fulfill their reporting obligations to the relevant accreditation bodies, and for their internal recordkeeping and regulatory purposes. Commercial supporters of CME/CE and IME activities receive only aggregated data about the activities that they support including participation and outcomes measurement reports. We may share your personal information among our affiliates for the purpose of sending you a survey with respect to a CME/CE or IME activity.
- Adverse Event Reporting. If you provide us information about an adverse event regarding a pharmaceutical product or medical device, we may be required to report such information along with your contact information to the manufacturer as required for it to fulfill its reporting obligations to the applicable regulatory authority. If you do not want this information reported to the applicable manufacturer and regulatory authority, then do not provide us with adverse event information.
- Aggregated Information. We may provide aggregated information about users of our Services to third parties as we deem appropriate in our sole discretion. For example, WebMD may tell a customer what percentage of registered users of the Medscape Network reside in a particular geographical area or specialize in a particular clinical area, or what percentage of participants in a market research survey selected a particular response to a survey question.
- Social Widgets. We may include social widgets within our websites and apps which enable you to interact with the associated social media services, e.g., to share an article. These widgets may collect browsing data which may be received by the third party that provided the widget, and are controlled by these third parties. You may be able to manage your privacy preferences directly with the applicable social network platform.
- Legal Requirements. We may release personal information when we believe release (i) is required to comply with valid legal requirements such as a law, regulation, search warrant, subpoena or court order and to meet national security or law enforcement requirements; or (ii) is reasonable in response to a physical threat to you or others, to protect property or defend or assert legal rights of us or others.
Security of Information
We have implemented appropriate technical and organizational security measures to protect the personal information that we have under our control from unauthorized access, use, disclosure and accidental loss. When you enter personal information, we encrypt the transmission of that information or use SSL connections (Secure Socket Layer) technology. You are solely responsible for maintaining the security and confidentiality of your account username and password. Unfortunately, no method of transmission over the internet or method of electronic storage is completely secure. Therefore, while we strive to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.
WebMD shall retain a user’s personal data up to one year after the user’s account deactivation subject to any relevant provisions of applicable law. Thereafter, the data will be archived (notably to comply with any applicable statute of limitations) or fully anonymized.
Choice and Control
- Account Information. You may update your registration information at any time through the Account Management feature available on each of our properties. You may also contact Customer Support at [email protected] and request that your registration information be updated or deleted. Note that if we delete your account, we may maintain certain de-identified information about you for internal business purposes including research, analytics and reporting.
- Interest-Based Ads. You can opt-out of interest-based advertising on our websites by rejecting cookies as described above and through preferences manager or, if you are located in the European Economic Area (EEA), you may also opt-out here. Please note that even if you reject cookies and opt-out of interest-based advertising, you will continue to receive generic advertisements through the Services. Note that our websites do not respond to web browser “do not track” signals. You can learn more about managing your preferences for ads online, particularly for many third-party advertising networks, through resources made available by the Digital Advertising Alliance at https://www.aboutads.info or the Network Advertising Initiative at https://optout.networkadvertising.org. Note that if you delete cookies, use a different device, or change web browsers, you may need to opt out again.
- Mobile Opt-out. You may control interest-based advertising on your mobile device by enabling the “Limit Ad Tracking” setting in your iOS device’s settings or “Opt out of Ads Personalization” in your Android device’s settings. This will not prevent you from seeing advertisements, but will limit the use of device advertising identifiers to personalize ads based on your interests.
- Precise Location Information. You may disable the transmission of precise location information through your device settings. To change location settings on your device, please refer to your device’s official knowledge base.
- Email Communications. If you no longer wish to receive a particular type of email communication from us, you may unsubscribe by clicking the “unsubscribe” link located at the bottom of the email and following the instructions. Also, you may manage your newsletter subscriptions within the newsletter subscriptions area within your account settings. Note that certain email communications that we send to members are service-related and as long as you are a member of the Medscape Network, you may not unsubscribe from such emails. Also, if you have provided us more than one email address, we may continue to contact you using the other email address not associated with the emails from which you have unsubscribed, until you unsubscribe from emails sent to that other address.
- Push Notifications. We may send you push notifications from time-to-time to notify you of upcoming events or promotions we think may be relevant to you. If you no longer wish to receive these types of notifications, you may turn them off at the device level.
- California Residents. If you are a California resident, California law may provide you with additional rights regarding our use of your personal information. For more information relevant to our users who are California residents, please click here.
- In so far as granted by applicable law (in particular in the European Union), you may ask for access to your personal data or ask us to rectify, erase, restrict or port your personal data and object to the use of your personal data. When the personal data processing is based on your consent, you have the right to withdraw your consent concerning such data processing, at any time, without affecting the lawfulness of processing based on consent before your withdrawal. For processing necessary to perform the contract, or based on legitimate interest, we may not be able to accommodate your request to stop the processing, or if we do so, it may mean that you can no longer access the Services as a Medscape Network member. To exercise these rights, please click here.
- If you have concerns, you have a right to complain to your local data protection authority if you are concerned about how your personal data is used through or in the context of the Medscape Network or Services.
- Some of the personal data is required if you become a Medscape Network member. If you do not want to provide your (or part of your) personal data, You may not enjoy all or part of the Medscape Network and Services.
- We make no automated decisions about you that create legal effects or otherwise significantly affect You.
Note to Users Outside of the United States
Note that your personal information may be available to the United States government or its agencies under legal process made in the United States.
The Medscape Network and the Services are designed and intended for use by adults, and are not intended for nor designed to be used by children under the age of 18. We do not collect personal information from any person we know is under the age of 18.
Office of Privacy
395 Hudson Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10014
Medscape’s users from the EEA may contact our Data Protection Officer at [email protected]
Please note that if you contact us to assist you, we may need to verify your identity before fulfilling your request.
Effective date: November 22, 2022