Privacy Policy

I. OUR COMMITMENT TO YOUR PRIVACY

Texas Medical Center respects the privacy of our customers and every person who visits our sites, including www.tmc.edu and www.texmedctr.tmc.edu (the “Web Site”).  References to “Texas Medical Center”, “TMC”, “we”, “us” and “our” are references to Texas Medical Center, a non-profit corporation, and its affiliates. Because your privacy is important to us, we are providing you with this notice about our collection and use of the information you provide to us. We value your right to keep your information private.  Likewise, we hope you understand that TMC may need to collect and use information about you that you provide to us, in accordance with the terms of this Privacy Policy, to enable TMC to effectively deliver you services and information regarding Texas Medical Center, its campuses, its facilities, and other unaffiliated institutions with whom we may do business or refer you to (these other unaffiliated entities are referred to as “Other TMC Institutions”).  By using the TMC services, including accessing the Web Site, you agree and accept the practices described in this Privacy Policy, and all applicable laws as well as expressly consent to our collection, use, storage and disclosure of your information and data as described in this Privacy Policy.

II. SCOPE OF THIS POLICY

This Privacy Policy applies to information we collect from you which includes any information gathered from your visits to the Web Site. Occasionally, we may suggest to you to visit third parties who are not affiliated with us, such as Other TMC Institutions. Such suggestions may be made at one of our facilities or at the Web Site.   We are not responsible for any practices, including the privacy practices, of those third parties.  Links to other web sites do not imply an endorsement of such third party or the materials or policies on those web sites.  You should read the privacy policies for each such third party to determine what information that other person may be collecting about you and how they use it.

III. INFORMATION OBTAINED AT THE WEB SITE

General

We collect general information about Web Site usage, number of hits, length of hits, and other such general information pertaining to traffic on the Web Site, and may share this information with third parties on an aggregated basis.  We may also collect certain information about you, such as your IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, domain name, links you clicked on to reach the Web Site, and information regarding your operating system and browser when you browse the Web Site.  We may also retain your information and preferences you select when you visit the Web Site, so you don’t have to reenter the same information every time you visit the Web Site.  We may also collect information about you sent to us by third parties who have a link on the Web Site.

Cookies

We use “cookies,” which are small files that are sent to your web browser and stored on your computer’s hard drive, or stored on our browser.  The majority of web browsers accept cookies, but the “help” menu on your browser should give you options for preventing, accepting, or receiving notice of new cookies. However, please be aware that if you block cookies, some Web Site functionality may be lost.  You consent to the placement of cookies on your hard drive when you visit the Web Site.

How We Protect The Privacy Of Children

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Program took effect on April 21, 2000 and pertains to web sites directed towards children under 13 years of age.  The Web Site is not directed towards children under 13 and TMC does not seek to collect information on any person under 13 years of age.  Therefore, if you are under 13 years of age, you may not search our Web Site, enroll in any of our programs, or use any of our services.  If you are eligible to use our Web Site, but are under the age of 18, we ask that your parents be involved in any information you provide to us about yourself or others.  By using the Web Site, you represent that you are not under 13 years of age.

IV. INFORMATION COLLECTED BY US AND HOW WE USE IT

Personal Identifying Information

In connection with the services we provide or offer to our customers, we may request personal identifying information and we may request information from other sources.  Some examples of personal identifying information are name, address, email address, telephone number, financial information, government identification, social security number, transactional information (including billing, payment, account),  and other similar information.  Other than as described below under the heading “Medical Information”, we do not collect or request medical information about customers or visitors to our facilities, including visitors to the Web Site.

We use personal identifying information to help us provide our services to you that you may request.  Your personal identifying information is restricted to employees and third parties on a “need-to-know” basis.  Examples of how we use such information in providing services to you include, when you submit a contract to park in one of our facilities, when you advertise in the TMC News, dine at our cafes or restaurants, reserve one of our conference centers, or submit an application to Favrot Housing, we use the personal identifying information about you to provide such services.  We may use your information to contact you to fulfill your request, for billing and payment inquiries, to verify credit history, or to notify you of new service offerings.  Other examples of when we may use your personal identifying information include:

  • to contact you regarding our events and programs,
  • to ask you to volunteer, contribute or donate,
  • to request you to participate in studies and surveys,
  • for research and fundraising, and
  • to locate unrelated institutions that can assist you with your specific request.

Medical Information

Medical information includes, but is not limited to, information you voluntarily provide regarding your diseases, treatments, lifestyle behaviors, family history, and other similar information.  Medical information is not considered personal identifying information unless we can attribute an individual’s identity to the medical information.  Unless you are an employee or covered dependent of one of our employees visiting a special facility available only to such persons, we do not request and we do not encourage you to share with us any medical information about you.  If you do voluntarily disclose to us your medical information, we may share that medical information with third parties to whom we may direct you for further assistance.

Our use of the medical information provided to us or which we gather at the special medical facility available only to our employees and their covered dependents is governed by a privacy policy provided to our employees and their covered dependents when they access that special facility.

Aggregate and Demographic Information

Aggregate information is information presented in summary form which does not permit the identification of a specific individual without extraordinary effort.  We may also collect and retain demographic information we obtain from you and from third parties for fund raising purposes.  Also, we may collect aggregate information from third parties for research purposes.

V. HOW WE DISCLOSE YOUR INFORMATION

Generally, except as provided in this Privacy Policy and as required or permitted by applicable laws, we do not disclose your personal identifying information to third parties.  However, we may disclose aggregate and demographic information without your permission.  Further, we may use and disclose your personal identifying information without your permission both internally and externally (i.e., to third parties) as follows:

We may use your personal identifying information for our internal purposes, and share your personal identifying information with our affiliates, and with Other TMC Institutions, or with service providers when required to provide you with TMC offered services, but we will not share any of your account information, financial information, or Social Security Number with such third parties, without your express consent.  We may use your information about our transactions with you for research purposes for the development or implementation of new or improvements to programs, products and services.

We sometimes engage third parties, such as contractors, to provide certain services to us or on our behalf as part of our providing services to our customers.  In addition, we may enter into certain other alliances and co-ventures with third parties to support us in our mission and activities.  Your choice to use their services will benefit TMC’s mission.  We may share some of your personal identifying information with those parties, but we will not share any of your account information, financial information, or Social Security Number with such third parties, without your express consent.  However, you are under no obligation to respond to any requests from those third parties.

We may share some information about you, but not directly associated with you, externally with third parties.   Generally, we may allow third parties to use aggregate information not associated with any particular person for research purposes for the development or implementation of their programs, products and services.

Sometimes we may be legally obligated to disclose your information by law to governmental entities and other third parties and in such cases, we will do so.

VI. HOW WE PROTECT YOUR INFORMATION

General

We are committed to protecting the privacy of your personal identifying information.  We use what we believe to be industry standard security measures to protect your information.  However, such precautions do not guarantee the absolute safety of such information.  TMC makes no guarantees, warranties or representation that your information is protected from viruses and other security attacks.

VII. DISPOSING OF PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION

Periodically, we may evaluate the need for us to retain any personal identifying information to determine whether it is appropriate for us to dispose of such information.  In accordance with all applicable laws, we will consider carefully the means we use to dispose of such information to reduce the risk of an unauthorized person accessing your personal identifying information and we will dispose of such information in a way that reduces the chance of such unauthorized access.

VIII. HOW YOU CAN “OPT-OUT”, ACCESS, UPDATE, OR DELETE YOUR INFORMATION

You can see, review and change the information we have about you by sending us an email at tmcinfo@texasmedicalcenter.org.  At any time, you may request us to delete your information by sending us an email at tmcinfo@texasmedicalcenter.org.  Although, we will make every effort to delete your information from our electronic databases, and inform third parties to whom we have provided a link on the Web Site to do the same, we may need to retain your information in our archives and records to comply with law, resolve disputes, troubleshoot problems, assist with any investigations, enforce our User Agreement and other policies, take other actions otherwise permitted by law, and avoid incurring significant costs that would be required to remove all information about you from all of our archived electronic records.  In addition, if you have provided information to us in paper or we have recorded your information on paper, we may not be able to delete all of that information from our paper records or electronic copies of paper records.

IX. NON-U.S. RESIDENTS

You expressly consent to our collection, use and disclosure of information about you by our computer servers, which may be located in the United States of America or in other countries.

X. GENERAL

This Privacy Policy will be updated periodically, which may include posting the revised Privacy Policy on the Web Site.  Separate terms and conditions and/or separate privacy policies may apply if you link to web sites of third parties including Other TMC Institutions. While Texas Medical Center and Other TMC Institutions may have certain contractual relationships, their relationships are only as independent contractors.  There is no partnership, joint venture, agency, authority to act on behalf of the other or any other similar relationship between Texas Medical Center and such Other TMC Institutions.

We reserve the right to change or update this Privacy Policy at any time, without notice, including by posting revisions on the Web Site.  You agree to review the Privacy Policy each time you visit us or use the Web Site so that you are aware of any modifications.  By accessing or using our facilities or using the Web Site, you agree to be bound by all of the terms and conditions of this Privacy Policy as posted at the time of your access or use.  Further, this Privacy Policy supplements and is incorporated into the TMC User Agreement.  If you have any questions about our policy or our compliance, you may send us an email at tmcinfo@texasmedicalcenter.org or write to:

Texas Medical Center
2450 Holcombe Blvd., Suite 1
Houston, TX 77021

This Privacy Policy is effective as of  October 14, 2008.