Privacy


VSRC Online Privacy Policy

We value your trust! The cornerstone of our relationship with you is built on trust. When you consider utilizing one of our services as you visit our web site to contact us or conduct research, it is the beginning of a relationship. We want you to feel comfortable while you’re conducting that business. We want you to feel confident that the information we collect, and that you choose to share, will be treated with care. The first step in helping you to achieve that level of comfort and confidence is by explaining (in plain English) exactly what types of information we collect and why we collect it. It is our sincere hope that by being forthright in this communication of our Privacy Policy that the relationship we establish is a long-lasting one. Our Pledge We will never share your personal information with non-affiliated third parties. When we refer to non-affiliated third parties we mean organizations outside of Virginia Society for Respiratory Care with whom we do not have an association. For example, some companies would like to purchase a list of contact names and information from us about our members. WE WILL NOT SHARE INFORMATION IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES. Our partnership with the AARC is an example of “affiliated” third parties with whom we may share information, and only with that specific sponsor. The NBRC and the Virginia Board of Medicine are other examples of “affiliated” third parties we may share your data with. Finally, we may share your data with companies who provide data handling or other services to us, but such companies will be contractually bound not to use your information except for the purposes of our contract with them. We will never use your personal information to contact you outside the context in which it was provided. By this we mean that we will never use your personal information to send you unwanted information. For instance, if you provide us with your name and address in order to receive a brochure, we will never use that information to mail you special offers or other marketing data, unless we have your permission. We will never knowingly collect data from persons under 13 years of age. We will never automatically assume you wish to be contacted via e-mail. We have e-mail lists that you must sign up for (or may even need to be approved to be included on) if you wish to share information with our group. Normal Web Site Usage During a normal visit to our site, no personally identifiable information about you is collected. All information included in our site is free for you to browse at your leisure without the need for you to provide us with any personal information. Your visit does however generate a session log. Session Logs: What they are and how we use them. When you visit any web site, the server housing the pages automatically generates a “session log.” The logs are used by the owners of the sites to track the pages you visit or request. The only data gathered is the Internet Protocol (IP) address from which you came (which by the way, contains no personal information), the web site that referred you, the pages you visited and the date and time of those visits. We use session logs to help us determine how people travel through our site. In this way, we can structure our pages so that the information most frequently visited is easier to find. By tracking page visits, we can also determine if the information we’re providing is being used. Cookies: What they are and how we use them. Another method of tracking web site visitors is through the use of “Cookies.” Cookies are small bits of data that also help web site owners and web servers identify you and remember you when you return. By doing this, the web site owner and web server can provide you with information that is most valuable to you, based on your last visit. Important Cookie Facts:

  • Only the information that you provide, or the choices you make while visiting a Web site, can be stored in a cookie. For example, the site cannot determine your name or e-mail address unless you choose to enter it into a pre-existing input box.
  • Allowing a Web site to create a cookie does not give that site or any other site – access to the rest of your computer.
  • Cookies cannot roam around inside your computer and collect personal information.
  • Only the site that created the cookie can read it.

There are two types of cookies:

  • The first type, a session cookie, only stays in your computer during the time you are logged into a particular site. When you leave the site, the cookie automatically deletes itself.
  • The other type, called a persistent cookie, can have an indefinite shelf life or have a predetermined expiration date built in. These types of cookies are primarily used to remember you for a specified period of time. For instance, if you sign up for membership in a particular area, or enter a program that requires you to participate over a length of time, persistent cookies are used to remember you. Another example is with web sites that offer the ability to personalize the way the page is displayed.

VSRC Cookie Examples: Password Protected Areas: In the VSRC web site, we use both types of cookies. For instance, if an area of our site is password protected, and you select a check box asking us to “remember” your password, that information is stored in cookie form on your hard drive. If you don’t select the checkbox no cookie is created and you would have to log in to the password protected area the next time you visited. So in this case, cookies help us serve information to you faster. How to Prevent Cookies If you are concerned about being identified or about having your web browsing traced through the use of a cookie, you can prevent them from being deposited in your computer. You can also set your browser to warn you whenever a cookie is being deposited. Remember though that the majority of web sites use cookies and that blocking all cookies will prevent some online services from working. An e-commerce or shopping site, for example, is likely to use cookies in their shopping process. Also, setting your browser to warn you can also become quite annoying. Detecting Your System’s Performance Level Sometimes, prior to serving a web page, a web server will use a simple html program to check the speed of your Internet connection or the existence of certain plug-ins or software. An example would be to detect which version of a particular browser you are using or which version of the Macromedia Flash plug-in you have. Once identified, the server delivers the page or Flash movie to match the performance level or version of the software or plug-in in your system. The benefit is that you always see the content in its optimum state. Not all web site owners do this simply because it means having to build multiple versions of content. In fact, most simply offer a statement on their homepage to the effect that “This site is best viewed using Microsoft IE 4.0 and/or Netscape 4.0 etc.” In the VSRC.org web site, we may sometimes check your Internet connection speed in order to deliver multi-media content such as streaming video or audio at its optimum viewing level. Personal Information: What it is and how we use it. Before we get into how and why we gather information about you, be assured of two things: One, we will never share your personal information with any non-affiliated third party (Please see earlier explanation of “non-affiliated”.). And Two, we will never send you unsolicited e-mail based on your interaction with this site. Of course you may have provided your e-mail address to the VSRC in some other situation in which case you may receive e-mail stemming with that interaction. Personal information such as name, mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, and in some cases your professional information is collected to respond to your requests for future contact. There are obvious areas within our site where collecting personal information is unavoidable. For instance, when you request to volunteer or enter information in the Emergency Preparedness Contact Database. Some of the information we ask for is mandatory and required to fulfill the request. Other information we ask for is optional and we use that to help us better understand you and better define how we design our communications. Opting In/Opting out: What it is and how we use it. The term “opting in” is Web terminology for voluntarily electing to receive additional information from the owner of a web site. Opting out is the act of telling the owner of the site that you no longer wish to receive their updates. Simply visiting a Web site does NOT constitute opting in to receive additional information. The majority of Web sites will provide a means for you to indicate your desire to receive additional information from them. Generally this opportunity will present itself as an additional check box when you visit a Web site and request a brochure or fill out a survey. At any given time within the VSRC Web site there are multiple opportunities to elect to receive updates or further information from us. This opting in process is generally associated with areas like volunteering for committees, subcommittees, requests for more information, etc. At those points of contact, we will provide a means for you to receive other information from the chair of the committee or officer appropriate to your request. The “other” information could include news about VSRC, educational program information, recalls, promotional announcements or news about web site enhancements. The VSRC opt in process includes two steps. The first step is completing the contact form and clicking on the submit box — opting in — that indicates to us you would like to receive further contact and information. The next step is to select from a menu the types of information you would like to receive. This two step process helps ensure that you will not receive unsolicited material from us here at vsrc.org. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL): What it is and how we use them. Reputable sites that collect sensitive personal information, such as credit card numbers that you use for purchasing products and services over the internet pass your information through what is called “Secure Sockets Layer” or SSL. This is encryption technology that helps safeguard your personal information against misuse by unauthorized individuals. VSRC information we collect from you is NOT passed through SSL at this time. As our site develops a need for this process we will include it in our confidentiality processes. Protecting Your Children’s Privacy We will never knowingly collect information from children under 13 years of age. If we discover that any personally identifiable information collected is from a person under 13 years of age, that information will be deleted from our database. Outside Links: What they are and how we use them. An outside link refers to any link that takes you to a site not controlled by the VSRC. Many links to our resources and business partners are conducted in this manner. Many times as part of the educational program’s promotional agreement, we provide links to that partner’s Web site. If you have a concern about that Web site’s practices, you should carefully read their Privacy Policy before submitting any personal information. Downloadable files: What they are and how we use them. Downloading files refers to the act of choosing to receive a file or program from a web site. Examples are document files, program brochures, a web browser, a sound file, movie file or screensaver. Downloadable files are usually executables. Meaning that once they are downloaded, clicking on them launches or installs a program or deposits files on your computer. Whenever you download a file from a web site, you will always be given the choice of where you would like to save the file. Unless you explicitly trust the site delivering the downloadable it is a good idea to save the file to disk before opening or activating it. The VSRC recommends this with all shared files. We use downloadable files to deliver things like electronic brochures. If information on our site requires a particular piece of software to view it, we attempt to provide a link for you to acquire that software. Examples are plug-ins for your browser that allow you to view files like Macromedia Flash or Shockwave, Adobe Acrobat, the QuickTime player or Real Player. We rarely, if ever, will require you to download an uncommon piece of software or program to view our information. Requests from Law Enforcement Agencies VSRC reserves the right to share information collected from our web site with law enforcement agencies who are in the process of conducting lawful investigations. Scope of Content: The VSRC Web site (www.vsrc.org) contains information that is intended primarily for the United States Date of last review: 1/13


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