What information we collect and how we use it
Information we collect — When you create an account to become a registered user on our sites, such as www.ama-assn.org or www.jamanetwork.com, or choose to interact with us in other ways, you will be invited to submit certain information, which we collect in order to fulfill your expectations and anticipate your needs. Examples include subscribing to AMA publications, purchasing an AMA product, applying for AMA membership, submitting a manuscript, participating in online surveys, searching for a job, submitting questions or comments on journal or community microsites, or requesting information or materials, we will collect certain personal information from you. The type will vary but may include name, address, phone number, birth date, billing and delivery information, email address, credit card information and other demographic information. The product or service that you seek will determine the personal information collected. You can manage your account and contact information here. Our need and basis for collecting and processing this information is to deliver the products you purchased or requested, service your information or publication order, and other purposes listed below, toward fulfilling your needs and expectations.
How we use information — We process data received about you on the legal basis of AMA’s legitimate interests in providing our services, websites, apps and their functionality to you. Once collected, we may use your personal information for the following purposes:
- Register you for programs and services you have requested
- Process, fulfill and follow up on your orders or membership application
- Provide access to journal content
- Answer your emails or on-line requests
- Send information you request and verify your current information
- Send and process surveys and CME quizzes
- Process a job application or present an ad for a new position
- Report completion of CME or specialty board certification requirements
- Ensure the AMA sites are relevant to your needs
- Deliver AMA services such as newsletters, meetings or events
- Present focused advertising that might interest you
- Recommend content that suits you
- Review your manuscript or comment about a journal article
- Alert you when fresh content is posted or released
- Invite you to join the AMA or renew your membership
- Support credentialing and physician network affiliation products of interest to hospitals, health insurance payers and patients
- Notify you about new products/services, special offers, upgrades and other related information from the AMA, JAMA Network, JAMA Career Center and approved third parties
You can manage your account, limit alerts or opt-out of some or all future communications. All e-mail communications contain an “unsubscribe” option in case you want to discontinue the communication at any time. When we contract with vendors to deliver emails to you on our behalf, they are under agreement and limited from using your email address and other personal information for any other purpose.
With whom we may share information — The AMA may share personal information with our business partners in order to provide them an opportunity to offer products or services that may be of interest to AMA Members and others. The AMA also occasionally engages other companies to provide limited services on our behalf including, but not limited to, processing payment card transactions, packaging, mailing and delivering purchases, answering customer questions about products or services, and customer orders, consulting services, data modeling, session monitoring and website analytics, printing, sending postal mail and processing membership orders for products and services, and event registration, email distribution, website and systems hosting, and data storage. We only provide those companies with access to information as is required to deliver the service. They are prohibited from using that information for any other purpose. Except as described in this section, third parties may not collect personally identifiable information about your online activities over time or across different Web sites when you use our web sites.
A popular feature on some websites is the ability to “sign in” or access content via your existing social media account, such as Google, Facebook or Twitter. While that is convenient, it requires the sharing of your first name, last name, email address and metadata to confirm your status as a registered user.
Disclosure to third parties — On occasion, AMA may disclose your personal information to a third party. Those circumstances include when:
In addition to the disclosures identified above, if you are a physician or medical student, the personal information you provide through the AMA websites may be incorporated into the AMA’s physician database commonly known as the Physician Masterfile. The AMA has licensed its Physician Masterfile to third parties for more than 50 years under strict guidelines. The names and addresses of physicians and medical students in the AMA Physician Masterfile are made available only for communications that are germane to the practice of medicine or of interest to physicians or medical students as consumers. Read further information about the Physician Masterfile.
Tracking activity on our website — We track how our sites are used by both anonymous visitors and registered users who interact with the site. One way we track is by using “cookies.” A cookie is a small file or string of text on the site user’s computer that is used to aid Web navigation. Two types of cookies are commonly used. A session cookie is created by a website when that website is accessed; that type of cookie is automatically deleted by closing the Web browser. A persistent cookie is a cookie that is stored on the hard drive of the user’s computer for a period of time chosen by the website that set the cookie, usually for a number of years, unless the user deletes it manually. This policy distinguishes between short-lived cookies and long-lasting cookies. Short-lived cookies include all session cookies and those persistent cookies that are set to be stored for no more than one week. AMA-related websites may at times require users to accept short-lived cookies in order for the websites to function properly. Long-lasting cookies may be used on the site to track visitor practices to help determine which site features and services are most important and guide editorial direction. Other long-lasting cookies may make it possible for the user to access the site without requiring entry of a user name or password, allow the user to view different restricted areas of the site without reregistering, allow the user to personalize the site for future use and provide other features and benefits. Users who do not desire the functionality created by the long-lasting cookies can disable the long-lasting cookie function by disabling the long-lasting cookie function on their Web browser. Individuals can opt out of long-lasting cookie functions at any time. Another way interactions with our sites are tracked is by leveraging HTML5 web storage within the user’s browser (also known as local storage).
Cookies are essential for site administration and security. Another way we track site activity is by using transparent electronic images called “clear GIFs,” “Web bugs,” or “Web beacons” on Web pages. These images count the number of users who visit a page from via links in an ad, an article or an email. A similar image, sometimes called a “spotlight tag,” is used on Web pages where transactions take place. The spotlight tag collects numeric information, such as the dollar amount of an online purchase, to help us understand site usage and performance. We do not use any of these electronic images to collect personally identifiable information.
Tracking email activity — Email messages sent to you may contain “clear GIFs” or “Web beacons” or other tracking tools to measure the effectiveness of an alert, offer or opportunity so we know how to serve you better. We do not collect information that identifies you personally through “clear GIFs” or “Web beacons.” You may refuse or remove the placement of these and other cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your web browser or within your email client.
Third party tracking on our websites and apps — Ad networks and data analytics firms track and analyze traffic on the AMA sites, in part, to determine advertising effectiveness, browser types and website usage trends, website and systems performance and to present targeted ads based on anonymous information collected through tracking. Third-party vendors and service providers, such as Google, may then pool the anonymous information that they collect from our websites with other sources of information, which may include your name and mailing address, for purposes of determining whether you might be interested in receiving direct mail, a catalog or a journal. This anonymous aggregate data on visitors and their use of our content provides business intelligence to better serve visitors, improve our content and track trends that might signal the outbreak of an infectious disease, or contribute to improving health outcomes. If you open an ad, you leave our sites and become subject to the terms and practices of that separate website, which may have different rules about tracking and data usage.
Children under 13 — We do not knowingly solicit data online from or market online to children under the age of 13.
Information security — The AMA implements security measures to protect against unauthorized access to or unauthorized alteration, disclosure or destruction of data. We restrict access to personal information to our employees and the AMA’s business partners who may need to know that information in order to operate, develop or improve our services. These individuals are bound by confidentiality obligations and may be subject to discipline, including termination and criminal prosecution, if they fail to meet these obligations.
How we safeguard information
Site security features
TLS technology and how you benefit from it — AMA realizes the importance of security, so we’ve taken a number of steps to enhance the protection of personal information sent to or from AMA over the Internet. First, we require that a “secure session” be established, using Transport Layer Security (TSL) technology. This is done any time you supply or access information in one of our secure online areas.
User ID and password — Many areas of the site require the use of a user ID and password as an additional security measure that helps protect your information. This security measure allows AMA to verify who you are, thereby allowing you access to your account information and preventing unauthorized access. When you have finished using a secure area of AMA’s website, make sure you always click on the “Log Out” link which appears on every secure page. When you click on the “Log Out” link, you will be given the option to end your secure session. No further secure transactions can be conducted without re-entering your user ID and password. You should be aware that browser software often “caches” a page as you look at it, meaning that some pages are saved in your computer’s temporary memory. Therefore, you may find that clicking on your “Back” button shows you a saved version of a previously viewed page. Caching in no way affects the security of your confidential user ID or password.
No guarantee — Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. Accordingly, and despite our efforts, AMA cannot guarantee or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us, or to or from our online products or services. Email messages sent to or from a website may not be secure. Confidential information should not be sent by email. Site visitors sending email accept the risk that a third party may intercept email messages.
Linking to other Internet sites
You should be aware that other Internet sites that link to the AMA sites or to an AMA email may contain privacy provisions that differ from these. We don’t control those sites or the information they collect about you. To ensure your privacy is protected, we recommend that you review the privacy statements of other Internet sites you visit.
How you can access and change information
Our commitment to your privacy includes multiple ways you reach us and inquire about the data in our possession. Contact us via the phone number at (800) 621-8335 or contact form on our website, or via email at any time to:
- See and receive the data we have about you, if any;
- Correct or update any data we have about you;
- Ask us to stop using or sharing information about you;
- Ask us to delete any data we have about you; and/or
- Opt out of some or all future communications from us.
How to opt out of email — To opt out of future emails and newsletters, go to our AMA e-newsletter sign-up page or click the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of any email or e-newsletter from the AMA.
You may request access to review, update, delete or correct your information online or by contacting the AMA Unified Service Center at (800) 621-8335, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Central time).
Physicians and medical students may update or correct any information the AMA may have on file by going online or calling (800) 621-8335. Updates or corrections to certain types of information (e.g., physician licensure, medical education or training, etc.) will require independent verification prior to effectuating any (permanent) change to our files.
Revised May 24, 2018