- How and why we collect your Personal Information;
- How your Personal Information is used and protected;
- When and with whom we share your Personal Information; and
- What choices you can make about how we collect, use, and share your Personal Information.
- How we store, use, transfer, and retain your Personal Information.
We collect your Personal Information for various purposes, such as, but not limited to, corresponding with you to contact you with a response to your questions or comments, to follow up with questions of our own, and other purposes.
We may combine the information we collect from you with information obtained from other sources to help us improve its overall accuracy and completeness, and to help us improve our business and better tailor our interactions with you.
We may also collect information relating to your use of our Website through the use of various technologies, including cookies.
You may opt out from receiving emails from us by contacting us at [email protected], Attn: Opt Out/Info Change. You may turn off cookies in your browser. Residents or citizen of a European country have certain rights and choices, as discussed below.
Acknowledgement and Consent
Individuals under the Age of 18
As noted in the Terms, we do not knowingly collect, solicit or maintain Personal Information from anyone under the age of 18 or knowingly allow such persons to register for our Services. If you are under 18, please do not send any Personal Information about yourself (such as your name, address, telephone number, or email address) to us. No one under age 18 should provide any Personal Information to or on the Services. In the event that we learn that we have collected Personal Information from a child under age 18 without verification of parental consent, we will use commercially reasonable efforts to delete that information from our database. Please contact us if you have any concerns.
Information We Collect About You and How We Collect It
We collect several types of information from and about you.
Information You Provide to Us. The information we collect on or through our Website may include:
- Directly from you when you provide it to us. When you sign up for our email newsletter, you provide us with information such as your name and email address.
- We collect information when you submit a question or comment on our “Ask a Scientist” Website page or on our feedback form on our Website.
- Your responses to surveys that we might ask you to complete for research purposes.
- Your search queries on the Website.
Information We Collect Through Automatic Data Collection Technologies. As you navigate through and interact with our Website, we may use automatic data collection technologies to collect certain information about your equipment, browsing actions and patterns, including:
- Details of your visits to our Website, including, but not limited to, traffic data, geolocation data, logs and other communication data and the resources that you access and use on the Website.
- Information about your computer and internet connection, including your IP address, operating system, browser type, clickstream patters, the URL of the most recent website you visited before coming to our Website, the amount of time you spent on our Website, and the pages you viewed while on our Website.
The information we collect automatically is statistical data and may include Personal Information, but we may maintain it or associate it with Personal Information we collect in other ways or receive from third parties. It helps us to improve our Website, including, but not limited to, by enabling us to:
- Estimate our visitor size and usage patterns.
- Store information about your preferences, allowing us to customize and improve our Website.
- Speed up your searches.
- Recognize you when you return to our Website.
The technologies we use for this automatic data collection may include cookies, flash cookies, web beacons, pixel tracking, GIF and/or IP address. Each of these is discussed below.
Cookies (or browser cookies)
A cookie is a small file placed on the hard drive of your computer or mobile device. It may contain certain data, including, but not limited to: the name of the server that has placed it there, an identifier in the form of a unique number, and, an expiration date (some cookies only). Cookies are managed by the web browser on your computer (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome).
Different types of cookies which have different purposes are used on our Website.
These cookies are essential to allow you to browse our Website and use its functions. Without them, some of our services would not be able to work.
These cookies collect information on the use of our Website, such as which pages are consulted most often. This information enables us to optimize our Website and simplify browsing. Performance cookies also enable our affiliates and partners to find out whether you have accessed one of our Websites from their site and whether your visit has led to the use or purchase of a product or Service from our Website, including the references for the product or Service purchased. These cookies do not collect any information which could be used to identify you. All the information collected is aggregated, and therefore anonymous.
These cookies enable our Website to remember the choices you have made when browsing. For example, we can store your geographical location in a cookie so that the Website corresponding to your area is shown. We can also remember your preferences, such as the text size, font and other customizable aspects of the Website. Functionality cookies may also be able to keep track of the products or videos consulted to avoid repetition. The information collected by these cookies cannot be used to identify you and cannot monitor your browsing activity on sites which do not belong to us.
It is possible that you will come across third-party cookies on some pages of sites that are not under our control.
Flash Cookies. Certain features of our Website may use local stored objects (or Flash cookies) to collect and store information about your preferences and navigation to, from and on our Website. Flash cookies are not managed by the same browser settings as are used for browser cookies.
Web Beacons. Pages of our Website and our emails may contain small electronic files known as web beacons (also referred to as clear gifs, pixel tags and single-pixel gifs) that permit us, for example, to count users who have visited those pages or opened an email and for other related website statistics (for example, recording the popularity of certain website content and verifying system and server integrity).
Pixel Tracking. In addition to using Cookies, the Website may employ “pixel tracking”, a common process which may be used in connection with advertisements on other sites. Pixel tracking involves the use of pixel tags that are not visible to the user and consist of a few lines of computer code. Pixel tracking measures the effectiveness of advertisements and compiles aggregate and specific usage statistics. A “pixel tag” is an invisible tag placed on certain pages of websites that is used to track an individual user’s activity. We may access these pixel tags to identify activity and interests that may allow us to better match our goods, services, and other offers with your interests and needs. For example, if you visit our Website from an advertisement on another website, the pixel tag will allow the advertiser to track that its advertisement brought you to the Website. If you visit our Website, and we link you to another website, we may also be able to determine that you were sent to and/or transacted with a third-party website. This data is collected for use in our marketing and research.
GIF. We may use tiny images known as clear GIFs to track behavior of users, including statistics on who opens our emails.
IP Address. Our servers automatically record certain log file information reported from your browser when you access the Services. These server logs may include information such as which pages of the Service you visited, your internet protocol (“IP”) address, browser type, and other information on how you interact with the Services. These log files are generally deleted periodically.
Some content or applications, including advertisements, on the Website are served by third parties, including advertisers, ad networks and servers, content providers and application providers. First-party or third-party cookies may be used alone or in conjunction with web beacons or other tracking technologies to collect information about you when you use our Website. A first-party cookie is a cookie set by the domain name that appears in the browser address bar. A third-party cookie is a cookie set by (and on) a domain name that is not the domain name that appears in the browser address bar. It might be set as part of a side resource load (image, JS, iframe, etc. from a different hostname) or an AJAX HTTP request to a third-party server. The information that first-party and third-party cookies collect may be associated with your Personal Information or they may collect information, including Personal Information, about your online activities over time and across different websites and other online services (i.e., tracking such activities). They may use this information to provide you with interest-based (behavioral) advertising or other targeted content.
We do not control these third parties’ tracking technologies or how they may be used. If you have any questions about an advertisement or other targeted content, you should contact the responsible provider directly.
Users can set preferences for how Google advertises to you using the Google Ad Settings page. Alternatively, you can opt out by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative Opt Out page or by using the Google Analytics Opt Out Browser add on.
How We Use Your Information
We use information that we collect about you or that you provide to us, including any Personal Information:
- To present our Website and its contents to you.
- To send you emails and newsletters with service, company, and other information.
- To communicate with you regarding information, features or offers that we believe will be of interest to you.
- To respond to your questions or other requests.
- To contact you with regard to the Website.
- To process other information or Personal Information that you submit through this Website.
- To notify you about changes to our Website, our policies, terms or any products or Services we offer or provide though it.
- To allow you to participate in interactive features on our Website.
- To ask for ratings and reviews of our Website, Services, and/or products.
- To enhance and improve our Website, for example, by performing internal research, analyzing user trends and measuring demographics and interests, as well as Website and system administration or internal audits and reviews.
- To comply with applicable law(s) (for example, to comply with a search warrant, subpoena or court order) or to carry out professional ethics/conduct investigations.
- To fulfill any other purpose for which you provide it.
- In any other way we may describe when you provide the information.
De-Identified Personal Information or non-Personal Information is aggregated for system administration and to monitor usage of the Website. It is utilized to measure the number of visits to our Website, average time spent, number of pages viewed and to monitor various other Website statistics. This monitoring helps us evaluate how visitors use and navigate our Website so we can improve the content.
We or our advertising agency or other service provider may use the information we have collected from you to enable us to display advertisements to our advertisers’ target audiences. Even though we do not disclose your Personal Information for these purposes without your consent, if you click on or otherwise interact with an advertisement, the advertiser may assume that you meet its target criteria.
How We Share Your Information
Broadly stated, we may disclose, rent, transfer, or sell your Personal Information, in whole or in part, with third parties for the purpose of providing or improving the Services to you, who perform services on our behalf, or for marketing purposes. We disclose Personal Information to the following types of third parties, and for the following purposes:
- Hosting providers for the secure storage and transmission of your data
- Database software providers for the management and tracking of your data
- Marketing providers who send communications on our behalf regarding our products and Services
- Technology providers who assist in the development and management of our software or our Website
- Fulfillment and postal vendors for the fulfillment of our products and Services
- Survey and research providers who perform studies on our behalf
- Advertising partners, including social media providers, for the delivery of targeted advertisements
- American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS), a service provider, as part of its “Ask a Laboratory Scientist” service, in order for ASCLS to provide its services.
We will attempt to notify you about these requests unless: (i) providing notice is prohibited by the legal process itself, by court order we receive, or by applicable law, or (ii) we believe that providing notice would be futile, ineffective, create a risk of injury or bodily harm to an individual or group, or create or increase a risk of fraud upon us, our users, our Website, or our Services. In instances where we comply with legal requests without notice for these reasons, we will attempt to notify that user about the request after the fact if we determine in good faith that we are no longer legally prohibited from doing so and that no risk scenarios described in this paragraph apply.
De-Identified Personal Information: We may share De-Identified Personal Information (such as anonymous usage data, referring/exit pages and URLs, IP address, platform types, number of clicks, etc.) with interested third parties to help them understand the usage patterns for certain Services.
Your Consent to Disclosure/Transfer of Your Personal Information
You consent to our disclosure of your Personal Information and other information to a potential buyer or other successor for the purpose of considering a merger, divestiture, restructuring, reorganization, dissolution, or sale or transfer of some or all of our assets, whether as a going concern or as part of bankruptcy, liquidation or similar proceeding, in which Personal Information held by us is among the assets transferred. You agree to and do hereby consent to (and shall not object to) our assignment, conveyance, transfer, or license (whether by contract, merger or operation of law) of rights to your Personal Information, in whole or in part, and other information, with or without notice to you and without your further consent.
We have implemented measures designed to secure your Personal Information from accidental loss and from unauthorized access, use, alteration and disclosure. Your Personal Information is contained behind secured networks and a firewall and is only accessible by a limited number of persons and service providers who have special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential. Our Website is scanned on a regular basis for security holes and known vulnerabilities in order to make your visit to our Website safer. We may store, retrieve, access, and transmit your Personal Information in the US or in other countries.
Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we do use security measures designed to protect your Personal Information, we cannot guarantee the security of your Personal Information transmitted to us or which we obtain. Any transmission of Personal Information is at your own risk. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors, may compromise the security of user information at any time. We are not responsible for circumvention of any privacy settings or security measures contained on the Website or used with our Services.
The time periods for which we retain your Personal Information depend on the purposes for which we use it. We will keep your Personal Information for as long as you are a user of our Services or for as long as we have another legitimate business purpose to do so and, thereafter, for no longer than is required or permitted by law, or our records retention policy, reasonably necessary for internal reporting and reconciliation purposes, or to provide you with feedback or information you might request. This period of retention is subject to our review and alteration.
We have the right to delete all of your Personal Information and other data without notice to you if you have not used our Services for at least six (6) months.
The information we collect may be stored and processed in servers in or outside of the United States and wherever we and our service providers have facilities around the globe.
What Information You Can Access, Change, or Delete
If you have any questions about viewing or updating information we have on file about you, please contact us.
California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA”)
Under California Civil Code Sections 1798.83-1798.84, California residents are entitled to ask us annually for a notice identifying the categories of Personal Information which we share with our affiliates and/or third parties for marketing purposes, and providing contact information for such affiliates and/or third parties with whom the business has shared such information during the immediately preceding calendar year. To obtain information under CalOPPA from us, please contact us. Please note that not all information sharing is covered by CalOPPA, and we will only include in our response information relating to our sharing practices for covered information. See more at the CalOPPA website. As required by CalOPPA, we agree to the following: (a) Users can visit our Website anonymously by adjusting the settings in your browser, and (b) we honor Do Not Track signals and Do Not Track, plant cookies, or use advertising when a Do Not Track (DNT) browser mechanism is in place.
Notices; Opting Out
By providing us with your email address (including by “following,” “liking,” linking your account to our Service or other services, etc., on a third party website or network), you consent to our using the email address to send you Service-related notices, including any notices required by law, in lieu of communication by postal mail. You also agree that we may send you notifications of activity on the Service to the email address you give us, in accordance with any applicable privacy settings. We may use your email address to send you other messages or content, such as, but not limited to, newsletters, additions or changes to features of the Service, or special offers. If you do not want to receive such email messages, you may opt out by emailing us your opt-out request or by clicking “unsubscribe” at the bottom of our e-newsletter. Opting out may prevent you from receiving email messages regarding updates, improvements, special features, announcements, or offers. You may not opt out of Service-related emails.
You can add, update, or delete information as explained above. When you update information, however, we may maintain a copy of the unrevised information in our records. You may request deletion of your account by emailing us. It is your responsibility to maintain your current email address with us.
Additional Information for Non-US Residents
The Following Provisions Apply only to Citizens and Residents of the European Economic Area
If you are a European citizen or resident of the European Economic Area (“EEA”), or other regions with laws governing data collection and use that may differ from the laws in the United States, please note that we may transfer your information to a country or jurisdiction that does not have the same data protection laws as your jurisdiction. We may do so to process your information by staff operating outside the EEA who works for us or for one of our service providers.
Your Data Rights Under GDPR
You have the right to gain access to, object to processing of, request data portability of, and have corrected, updated, restricted, deleted, or be forgotten of the Personal Information collected about you, subject to some exceptions and conditions. You have the right to object to certain types of processing of your Personal Information. You can opt-out of certain uses of your Personal Information. For any of these, please contact us at the Contact Information above. You can find more about these rights by reading the General Data Protection Regulation, available here.
We are headquartered in the United States. As such, we and our service providers may transfer your Personal Information to, or access it in, jurisdictions that may not provide equivalent levels of data protection as your home jurisdiction. We will take reasonable steps to ensure that your Personal Information receives an adequate level of protection in the jurisdictions in which we process it. If you are located in the EEA or Switzerland, we provide adequate protection for the transfer of Personal Information to countries outside of the EEA or Switzerland through a series of intercompany agreements based on the Standard Contractual Clauses. We may also need to transfer your information to other group companies or service providers in countries outside the EEA. This may happen if our servers or suppliers and service providers are based outside the EEA, or if you use our services and products while visiting countries outside this area.
If you are a resident of country other than the United States, you acknowledge and consent to our collecting, transmitting, and storing your Personal Information out of the country in which you reside.