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Privacy Policy

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Privacy Policy

Last updated as of August 21, 2017

Online Privacy Policy                                              

This Privacy Policy is incorporated by reference into the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (“Society” or “we”) TOU.  Definitions provided in the TOU are applicable here.  The Privacy Policy explains how the Society may collect, use, and disclose information, including Personal Information we obtain through the Online Platforms as well as information we obtain offline or in any electronic, written, or oral communication.

What Information Do We Collect? 

We collect both personally identifiable information and non-personally identifiable information. When we refer simply to the term “personal information” in this Privacy Policy, we are referring to how we collect, use, or share all types of information that we collect.

Personally identifiable information” means information that is collected in conjunction with your name that alone or when in combination with other information may be used to readily identify, contact, or locate you, such as: name, address, email address, zip code, credit card number, expiration date and security code and or information regarding your PayPal, Google Wallet or other digital payment accounts, or phone number.  Information that has been anonymized so that it does not allow a third party to easily identify a specific individual is not Personally identifiable Information. Non-personally identifiable information refers to information that we may collect from you that is not collected in conjunction with your name. Non-personally identifiable information is information that by itself typically cannot be used to identify or contact you, such as demographic information (e.g., age, profession, or gender), IP addresses, browser types, domain names, and other anonymous statistical data involving the use of our Online Platforms

Personal Information.  We collect Personal Information when you register to use and access the Online Platforms; connect your profile with your social network account; and communicate with us. 

There are several ways you may provide information on the Online Platforms, including completing a survey, contacting us by e-mail, contributing online, participating in an online community, or registering for an event online. The information we collect is used to provide you with information about our programs and services available through the Society. We generally respond to you by postal service mail, e-mail, or telephone - depending on your requests and our resources.

Registration and Account Information.  Certain Online Platforms require that you register.  To register, you will be prompted to provide Personal Information, such as your name and email address.  You may also provide other optional information.

Social Connect.  When you choose to connect your social media account to your profile in an Online Platform, we collect Personal Information from that social media website.  For example, when you connect your Facebook account, we may collect the Personal Information you have made publicly available in Facebook, such as your profile picture, gender, age range, locale, and friend list.  We may also obtain other non-public information from the social network website with your permission.

Using the Online Platforms.  We collect the information you post through the Online Platforms.  For example, when you interact with other users by posting messages or uploading photographs, the Online Platforms will collect the information you provide in such submissions, including any Personal Information.  Any health related information added to your profile may be used to include you as part of related interest groups. 

If you provide your postal address, telephone number, or e-mail address to the Society online, you may receive any of the following periodic contacts from us:
  • Mailings with information about multiple sclerosis and the Society's programs and events;
  • Mailings to invite you to join the Society or to help achieve our mission;
  • Telephone contact to invite you to help the Society achieve its mission;
  • E-mail contact to respond to your questions, comments or suggestions;
  • E-mail contact to alert you to multiple sclerosis news updates and programs, as well as invitations to join the Society or to help the Society achieve its mission.
If you would like to opt out of any or all of these types of contacts, please either send us an e-mail at mailinglist@nmss.org, call 1-866-MS-LISTS (1-866-675-4787) or write us at National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 733 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017. Please state your wishes clearly, referencing the following contact types:
  • No e-mail for fundraising purposes
  • No postal service mail for fundraising purposes
  • No telephone calls for fundraising purposes
From time to time, the Society makes postal addresses available to other reputable organizations whose products, programs or activities may be of interest to you. The Society carefully screens all organizations before allowing the use of our list. The list is never sold.

If you provide Personal Information changes by email or physical mail we will endeavor to process the request expediently. 

Restricting Or Correcting Your Personal Information.  If you would like us to correct or restrict the use of your Personal Information, you may adjust your contact information and communication preferences by visiting nationalmssociety.org and signing in or by sending us an e-mail at mailinglist@nmss.org, calling 1-866-MS LISTS (1-866-675-4787) or writing to us at National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 733 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017.

Your California Privacy Rights.  California Civil Code Section § 1798.83 permits users of our Online Platforms that are California residents to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.  To make such a request, please send an e-mail to mailinglist@nmss.org or write us at the address above, please note in the subject line or in your letter request that it is a California Privacy Rights Request. By making this request, you will receive the following information:
  • The categories of information we disclosed to third parties for their direct marketing purposes during the preceding calendar year;
  • The names and addresses of the third parties that received the information; and
  • If the nature of the third party's business cannot be determined from their name, examples of the products or services marketed.
Information We Collect As You Access And Use Our Services.  In addition to any Personal Information or other information that you choose to submit to us, we and our third-party service providers may use technologies that collect certain information when you visit or interact with the Online Platforms (“Use Information”).  Use Information may include the browser you use to access the Online Platforms, URL that referred you to the Online Platform, the areas within the Online Platforms you visit, time of day, geographic location and other information.  The Society may use Use Information for various purposes, including but not limited to, enhancing or otherwise improving the Online Platforms. In addition, we collect your IP address or other unique identifier (“Device Identifier”) for your computer, tablet, mobile or other device used to access the Online Platforms (each a “Device”).  A Device Identifier is a number that is automatically assigned to your Device used to access the Online Platforms, and our computers identify your Device by its Device Identifier. Use Information may be associated with you or non-identifying.  Whenever we associate Use Information or a Device Identifier with your Personal Information, we will treat it as Personal Information.

GPS Location.  In addition, certain tracking information is collected as you navigate the Website, including, but not limited to geographic areas.  If you are traveling in a vehicle when accessing the Online Platforms, your Device may send your GPS coordinates.  GPS enabled mobile Devices can define your location to within 50 feet.  We collect this information for various purposes - including to provide you geographically relevant information. 

We may associate your unique mobile Device Identifier or mobile application usage information with any Personal Information you provide.  We will treat the combined information as Personal Information.

Cookies.  We also collect information, such as anonymous usage statistics, by using cookies, server logs, and other similar technology as you use the Online Platforms.  When you visit a Society Online Platform, your Web server automatically logs (records) domain name and standard information about the operating system and Web browser you are using, as provided by your Web browser. To track your progress through the Online Platforms and to help us evaluate usage of the Online Platforms, the server places a "cookie" - a small text file with an identification number - on your machine or Device. This automatically collected information is used for statistical purposes to help us manage the Online Platforms, but it does not identify you in any way.  If you disable or refuse cookies, some parts of this Online Platform may then be inaccessible or not function properly.

Behavioral Advertising. We also may use Behavioral Advertising cookies which are a way of providing advertisements on the websites you visit and making them more relevant to your interests.  Your web browsing activity is grouped together with your shared interests and advertising is then displayed to you when you visit a website which matches these interests. Behavioral advertising works based on your web browsing over time.

We partner with third party ad networks to display advertising on our Online Platforms. Our ad network partners use cookies and web beacons to collect non-personally identifiable information about your activities on our Online Platforms to provide you targeted advertising based upon your interests. Because our service providers serve ads on many different websites, it is able to compile information over time about where you, or others who are using your computer, saw and/or clicked on the advertisements it displays. Our service provider may share that information with us. Our service provider and/or the Society may use this information to make predictions about your characteristics, interests or preferences and to display targeted advertisements that our service provider believes may be of interest to you. Our service provider may also associate this information with your subsequent visit in order to determine the effectiveness of the advertisements.

While a service provider may use some of the information it collects in order to personalize the ads it shows you, its system(s) are typically designed to select ads only on data that does not personally and directly identify you. For example, it may select the ads it displays according to certain general interest categories or segments that it has inferred based on (a) demographic or interest data, including any you may have provided when creating an account on the Online Platforms (e.g., age, address, zip or postal code, gender), demographic or interest data acquired from other companies, and a general geographic location derived from your IP address and (b) the pages you view and links you click when using our service provider’s and its advertising partners’ websites and services. For more information about how targeted ads work, visit Managing Your Privacy at the Network Advertising Initiative website.

How Can I Opt-Out of Behavioral Advertising? You can opt out of targeted advertising by e-mailing mailinglist@nmss.org.  Please note that is only to opt you out of targeted ads, but that you may continue to receive online advertising from us; however, such ads may not be as relevant to you.  In order for behavioral advertising opt-outs to work on your Device, you must have your browser set to accept browser cookies. If you delete cookies, use a new Device, access the Online Platforms from a different Device or browser, login under a different screen name, you will need to opt-out again.

Flash Cookies.  Certain features of our Online Platforms may use local stored objects (or Flash cookies) to collect and store information about your preferences and navigation to, from and on our Online Platforms.  Flash cookies are not managed by the same browser settings as are used for browser cookies.

Web Beacons.  Pages of our Online Platforms and our e-mails may contain small electronic files known as web beacons (also referred to as clear gifs. pixel tags and single-pixel gifs) that permit us to count users who have visited those pages or opened an e-mail and for other related website statistics (for example, recording the popularity of certain Online Platform content and verifying system and server integrity). 

IP Address.  We may also track Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. An IP address is a number that can identify an Internet Service Provider and country location. It cannot provide other personal information.  We use your IP address to help diagnose problems with our computer server, and to administer our Online Platforms. Your IP address is used to help identify you, but does not contain Personal Information about you.

Information Third Parties May Provide About You.  We may, from time to time, supplement the information we collect about you through the Online Platforms or mobile application with information from third parties in order to better to serve you.  We may combine such information with information we collect through the Online Platforms. We will apply this Privacy Policy to any Personal Information received, unless we disclose otherwise.]

Anonymous Data.  The Society may monitor the Online Platforms to analyze trends, administer the Online Platforms, track your actions and use of the Online Platforms, record transactions, and gather demographic information for aggregate use.  Such analysis is not linked to personally identifiable information.  We use Google Analytics for tracking where visitors come from and what they are doing on our Online Platforms. This information helps us evaluate our marketing efforts and how visitors use our Online Platforms so we can make improvements to the user experience.  This information is anonymous.  The Society may share aggregated demographic and usage information with its vendors, consultants, and contractors. This aggregated information is not linked to any personal information that can identify any individual person.

Our Commitment to Data Security.  We use commercially reasonable efforts to prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the correct use of information.  We have put in place commercially reasonable physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.  All media containing credit card information is stored at third-party datacenters with physical access controls in place that meet PCI (payment card industry) standards, and is subject to those third-party policies regarding data privacy and security.

How Do We Use Information Collected?  We may use Personal Information or Use Information: (i) to provide you with information that you request or agreed to receive including, but not limited to, newsletters, announcements, special offers or promotional materials on our behalf or third parties; (ii) to process your Online Platform or event registration, including verifying your information is active and valid; (iii) to process your credit card and event signup; (iv) to enable you to use the Online Platforms’ features; (v) to contact you with regard to your use of the Online Platforms and, in our discretion, changes to the Online Platforms and/or policies; (vi) for internal business purposes, and to improve the Online Platforms, to customize your experience, or to serve you specific content that is tailored to your interests; (vii) for inclusion in our data analytics; and (viii) for purposes disclosed at the time you provide your information or as otherwise set forth in this Privacy Policy.

How and When Will We Disclose Information to Third Parties?  We may share non-personally identifiable information, such as aggregated user statistics and log data, with third parties to deliver targeted advertising about other products or services, for industry analysis, demographic profiling, or for other business purposes.  We do not sell, share, rent or trade the information we have collected about you, including Personal Information, other than as disclosed within this Privacy Policy or at the time you provide your information.  We will not share your Personal Information with third parties for such third parties’ direct marketing purposes unless you consent at the time you provide your Personal Information.  Media containing credit card information is never distributed. 

Third Parties Providing Services on Our Behalf.  We may use third party companies and individuals to assist us in the operation of the Online Platforms and related activities (“Vendors”).  Such Vendors provide or perform certain services on our behalf (e.g., host the Online Platforms, track the analytics, process credit card payments, provide automated email services, engage security measures, provide customer support, provide GPS location information and perform technical services (e.g., without limitation, maintenance services, database management, web analytics and improvement of the Online Platforms, or perform other administrative and back office services.  We may use these vendors to process your usage and Personal Information.  We limit such sharing to only the minimum information needed by the Vendor to carrying out the services they are performing for you or for us.  We require each Vendor to protect the Personal Information and Use Information and not to use or disclose the Personal Information for any other purpose.

Governmental, Law Enforcement and Similar Disclosures. We may access, preserve, and disclose your Personal Information, other account information, and content if we believe doing so is required or appropriate to: (i) to satisfy or comply with any applicable law, regulation, subpoenas, governmental requests or legal process; (ii) to protect and/or defend the TOU or other policies applicable to the Online Platforms or mobile application, including investigation of potential violations thereof; (iii) to protect the safety, rights, property or security of the Society or any user or any third party; (iv) to protect the safety of the public for any reason; (v) to detect, prevent or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues; and/or (vi) to prevent or stop activity we may consider to be, or to pose a risk of being, an illegal, unethical, or legally actionable activity. Further, we may use IP address and/or Device Identifiers, to identify users, and may do so in cooperation with third parties such as copyright owners, ISPs, service providers and/or law enforcement, including without limitation, disclosing such information to third parties, all in our discretion. Such disclosures may be carried out without notice to you.

Merger, Sale, or Other Asset Transfers.  If we are involved in a merger, acquisition, financing due diligence, reorganization, bankruptcy, receivership, sale of assets, or transition of service to another provider, your Personal Information may be sold or transferred as part of such a transaction as permitted by law and/or contract or as a standalone asset.  We cannot control how such entities may use or disclose such information.  We also reserve the right to disclose and transfer all such information: (i) to a subsequent owner, co-owner or operator of the Services or applicable database; or (ii) in connection with a corporate merger, consolidation, restructuring, the sale of substantially all of our membership interests and/or assets or other corporate change, including, during the course of any due diligence process.

Marketing.  We do not rent, sell, or share Personal Information about you with other people or nonaffiliated companies for their direct marketing purposes, unless we have your permission.  We may allow access to other data collected by the Online Platforms to enable the delivery of online advertising on this website, or otherwise facilitate transmittal of information that may be useful, relevant, valuable or otherwise of interest to you.

How We Protect Personal Information. We maintain reasonable security procedures to help protect against loss, misuse or unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration or destruction of the information you provide through our Website. Unfortunately, no data transmission over the internet or stored on a server can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, while we strive to protect your personal information and privacy, we cannot guarantee or warrant the security of any information you disclose or transmit to us online and cannot be responsible for the theft, destruction, or inadvertent disclosure of your personal information. Accordingly, we assume no liability for any disclosure of data due to errors in transmission, unauthorized third party access or other acts of third parties, or acts or omissions beyond our reasonable control.

Updates to Our Privacy Policy. We reserve the right to modify this Privacy Policy at any time. If we do this, we will post the changes on this page and will indicate the date those terms will be effective. We reserve the right to make such modifications immediately if required. It is your responsibility to check to determine if there have been changes to the Privacy Policy and to review such changes. We may update this Privacy Policy periodically to reflect changes in our privacy practices.

Third-Party Websites. This Privacy Policy applies solely to information collected by us. This Privacy Policy does not apply to other websites that are accessible through the Online Platforms, including but not limited to any third-party websites that process payments on behalf of us. Please be aware that third-party websites for our advertisers, sponsors, affiliated entities and other third parties that are accessible through the Online Platforms may have their own privacy and data collection policies and practices. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of such sites and will not be responsible for any actions or policies of such third parties. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave the Online Platforms and to read the privacy statements of each and every website that you visit.

Copyright Information

All information on this site is the property of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Copyright © 1995-2014, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. All rights reserved.

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