STFM respects the privacy of our members and other visitors to the Teaching Physician website. STFM strongly believes that if electronic commerce and on-line activities are to flourish, consumers must be assured that information provided online is used responsibly and appropriately. To protect online privacy, STFM has implemented the following policy.
What Information Does STFM Collect?
Most data STFM collects is used only to help STFM better serve members. It is our general policy to collect and store only personal information that our members and visitors knowingly provide. If our privacy policies change, we will notify all users by email or a special announcement placed on the website.
From general users: STFM does not collect any personal information from users browsing the Teaching Physician website. Users to the public areas of the website browse anonymously. Only aggregate data such as the number of hits per page are collected. Aggregate data are only used for internal and marketing purposes and do not provide any personally identifying information.
If a member or subscriber has logged into a password protected area of the Teaching Physician website, the user's name and member ID number are recorded. In the course of using the Teaching Physician website, a member or visitor may be asked to provide personal information in order to purchase a product, participate in activities, or otherwise interact. In addition, the member or subscriber may be asked to update his or her contact information.
If a user completes any type of form on Teaching Physician, the website will place a cookie on the user's computer. This cookie will only contain a unique number that enables our website to save the user's input into our forms as the user moves from one form to another on the website. No personal information about the user is saved in the cookie.
All information provided by users when completing a form on the website is eventually stored in our databases. We may use this information in the future to market products or other information to people who have provided us information.
Credit Card information: STFM does not disclose credit card account information or activity provided by customers of the Teaching Physician website. When members and customers choose to pay using their credit cards, STFM submits this information encrypted to obtain payment from the appropriate clearing house. STFM DOES NOT store credit card numbers used on the Teaching Physician website.
How Does STFM Use Data Collected?
STFM uses the data it collects from the Teaching Physician website to better serve members and visitors to the site. Information may be used in the following ways:
STFM services and products: STFM uses data collected to improve web content, to respond to visitor needs and preferences, and to develop new products and services.
Disclosure required by law or emergency circumstances: STFM may release personal information to third parties in order to comply with valid legal requirements such as a law, regulation, search warrant, subpoena, or court order. In the event that STFM is legally required to disclose your personal information to a third party, STFM will notify you unless doing so would violate the law or court order.
Cookies are a technology used by STFM to identify a user as the user moves through the Teaching Physician website. The user's browser allows STFM to place some information on the user's hard drive that identifies the computer utilized. Two types of cookies are commonly used. A session cookie is a temporary file stored in memory on the user's computer drive whenever a website is accessed and is terminated by closing the browser. A persistent cookie is a file stored on the user's hard drive that may be deleted manually by the user or expired by the web server.
STFM may use session cookies on some public areas of the Teaching Physician website to provide greater functionality. STFM may use persistent cookies in the password protected areas of the site. These persistent cookies may be used to personalize a member's visit, to offer greater functionality, and to track visitor practices. The information generated from these cookies is used to help determine which services are most important and guide editorial decisions.
Users who may not desire the functionality offered by the cookie have the option to disable the cookie either by indicating that they do not wish to have the cookie created or by disabling the cookie function in their browser. A member must have cookies enabled to access the member sections of the website.