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PRIVACY POLICY

(Effective Date: April 1, 2009)

  1. Overview
  2. The Information We Collect and How We Use It
    1. Information Supplied by Visitors
    2. Other Information We Collect
  1. Use of Your Contact Information and Other Information by Other Websites in the Network
  2. Our Disclosure of Your Contact Information and Other Information
    1. Business Transfers
    2. Vendors
    3. Other Disclosures
  1. Updating Our Records
  2. External Links
  3. Data Collected in Connection with Ad Serving and Targeting
  4. Public Postings
  5. Security
  6. Choice/Opt-Out
  7. Third Party Personal Data
  8. Other Terms and Conditions
  9. Contacting the Site
  10. Changes to this Privacy Policy

1. Overview

This website (the "Site") is a service of The HealthCentral Network, Inc. ("THCN"). THCN and its subsidiaries operate a network of healthcare and fitness-related websites (the "Network"). For a list of all the websites and services within the Network, see http://www.thehealthcentralnetwork.com/.

THCN respects the privacy of visitors to this Site. Please read this Privacy Policy carefully so that you understand what information we collect through the Site and what we do with that information. This Privacy Statement applies only to information collected online through the Site and, where specified, through other services within the Network, and does not describe the ways in which we may collect or use information obtained offline or through any other means. If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, please contact us at privacy@healthcentral.com.

Protecting the Privacy of Children: Children should always get permission from their parents before sending any information about themselves (such as their names, email addresses, and phone numbers) over the Internet, to us or to anyone else. Our website is not directed at children under 13 and we won't knowingly allow anyone under 13 to provide us any personally identifying information; if you're under 13, please don't provide any information about yourself on this website.

2. The Information We Collect and How We Use It

The information we collect falls into two categories: (1) information voluntarily supplied by users of the Site when they register with the Site, write SharePosts, post comments, respond to surveys or questionnaires, enter promotional contests, make entries in treatment diaries, make use of an assessment tool (such as our body mass index calculator), and the like; and (2) tracking information gathered as visitors navigate through our Site and review our email newsletters and other email messages. Third party providers featured on or linked to by our Site, such as advertisers of products and services offered through the Site, may be gathering information, as well, through processes we don't control.

A. Information Supplied by Visitors: You are welcome to visit any of the websites in our Network without registering. However, to participate in any of the community features on this Site (for example, by creating or subscribing to SharePosts, posting to a message board, commenting on a blog, etc.), you must register. When you register, we may ask you to provide certain contact information, such as your name, email address, postal address, or telephone number (collectively, "Contact Information"). We may request similar Contact Information when you participate in a survey or poll, respond to a questionnaire or quiz, enter a promotional contest, create a treatment diary, sign-up for a reminder service or content alert, make use of an assessment tool, or sign up for any of the other services available on the Site. If you don't provide us your postal address, we may use the Contact Information you provide to complete our records by obtaining your postal address from a third party and adding your postal address to our database as part of your Contact Information. You may opt-out of having your postal address collected in this way by e-mailing us at privacy@healthcentral.com. Once you provide us Contact Information, you are no longer anonymous to us. We may use your Contact Information to contact you, for example, when we send you an email newsletter, a direct mail advertisement or offer, a treatment reminder, or an alert that you've requested. If you are selected as a winner of a promotional contest, we'll use the Contact Information you provided to contact you.

When you register with our Site, sign up for a service, or otherwise interact with the Site, we may ask you to provide demographic information (such as your ZIP code, age, gender, and income level), health-related information (such as height, weight, age, gender, family characteristics, health-related interests, treatment experience, prescription drug information, etc., as well as information about the kinds of healthcare providers you've consulted and how your health services are paid for), and other information relating to your use of the Site (such as a username and password). We may use the demographic and health-related information you provide to improve our Site and the services we offer and to tailor the advertising displayed on our Site to the interests of individual users to increase the likelihood that our users will find these ads useful and informative. We may also share this information with advertisers, on an anonymous, aggregate basis, to establish for our advertisers the value of advertising to our audience. We may associate any demographic or health-related information you voluntarily provide with your Contact Information so that we can send you email messages about products or services that we believe may be of interest to you, provided that you have not previously opted-out of receiving such messages.

When you register, sign up for a service, or otherwise interact with the Site, we may also invite you to subscribe to various email newsletters or other services. You can unsubscribe to any such newsletter or service by following the instructions in Section 10 ("Choice/Opt-Out"), below.

Our advertisers and other sponsors may collect information from users of this Site through offer forms that we display on the Site on their behalf. These forms are labeled as advertisements or identify the advertiser or other sponsor that is making the offer and may ask you to provide Contact Information, demographic information, health-related information, and other information. As will be apparent from the web page on which the form is displayed, we submit the information you provide on such forms directly to the advertiser or other sponsor identified on the form and we retain a copy of such information only for as long as is necessary to establish to the satisfaction of the advertiser or sponsor the value we have provided.

B. Other Information We Collect: Our web servers automatically collect limited information about your computer configuration when you visit our Site, including the type (and version) of browser software you use, the operating system you're running, the website that referred you, and your IP address. We use this information to make our site as useful as we can for as many users as possible. Your IP address is a numerical address assigned to your computer that is used by other computers connected to the Internet to communicate with your computer so that data (such as the web pages you want to view) can be transmitted to you. We use your IP address to route data (such as the web pages you request) to your computer, to track which pages within the Site have been accessed from your computer, and to track how well each page within our Site is performing so that we can continue to improve our Site and the services we offer. We also use IP address information for systems administration, to report aggregate information to sponsors and advertisers, and to conduct Site analysis.

Your web browser software includes a feature called "cookies" that allows the websites you visit to store small amounts of data related to your visit on your computer hard drive. Our cookies consist of an alphanumeric identifier that allows us to track the pages you've visited on our Site. We use cookies and other technologies, including digital image files known as web beacons (also referred to as pixel tags or clear GIFs), that allow us to track user activity. For example, our servers automatically collect usage information about how you and other visitors interact with our Site, such as the number of visitors to our Site and to pages within our Site, the frequency with which you and other visitors access individual pages within the Site, the time you and other visitors spend on the Site and on pages within the Site, and other similar information ("Usage Data"). We aggregate this Usage Data to understand overall visitor traffic patterns. We use this information to improve our Site by making it more responsive to the needs of our users. We also use cookies to deliver content specific to your interests, to avoid showing you the same ad or other message repeatedly, and to allow you to store your username and password so you don't have to re-enter them every time your visit our Site. Our cookies do not collect or contain your Contact Information. They do enable us to relate information that you have voluntarily provided to us (such as information you provide when you respond to questionnaires or offers or request information on products or services) with your Contact Information. THCN does not combine the Usage Data we collect with your Contact Information. Usage Data enables us to figure out how often users access parts of the Sites so that we can make the Site appealing to as many users as possible, and improve the content. We may share this aggregate information with advertisers and other third parties, but it does not indicate the identity of individual users. Our advertisers and third parties that provide advertising, products and/or services through our site may also assign their own cookies, or place their own web beacons, a process we don't control.

The help function on most web browsers contains information on how to set your browser to notify you before accepting a cookie or to disable cookies entirely. However, if you don't accept cookies, you won't be able to take advantage of some of our Sites' most attractive features. Many companies offer programs that help you to visit websites anonymously. While THCN will not be able to provide you with a personalized experience if we cannot recognize you, we want you to be aware that these programs are available.

3. Data Collected in Connection with Ad Serving and Targeting:

We use third party service providers, including Google, Inc., to serve the advertising displayed on our Site. We do not share your Contact Information with these third parties. Individual advertisers may ask you to provide them information, including Contact Information; however, our advertisers don't provide us any information you elect to provide them. Such information is not subject to this privacy policy. Google uses a DoubleClick DART cookie on this Site and other websites in order to collect anonymous Usage Data that enables it to serve ads to you based on your visit to this Site and other sites on the Internet. You may opt-out of the use of the DART cookie through the Google ad and content network privacy policy at http://www.google.com/privacy_ads.html.

THCN may also work with third party advertising networks, such as Microsoft, Atlas and Akamai that target and serve some of the advertisements, promotions, and other marketing messages you see on the pages of our Site and other websites. Anonymous Usage Data is collected from our website and other websites so that these networks can use such information, sometimes in conjunction with similar anonymous Usage Data gathered through other websites, to deliver advertisements tailored to match the perceived interests of consumers. Usage Data regarding users of this Site may be used to serve targeted advertisements on this Site and other websites. This Usage Data may include the pages that you have visited on the Site and your use of the Site, but it does not identify you personally and does not include your Contact Information, but it may include the IP address of your computer. These third-party networks may also use cookies and/or web beacons to collect anonymous information directly from our users. To learn more about behavioral targeting of advertising and your opt-out options, generally, and to opt-out of the Atlas and/or Akamai advertising network click here: http://networkadvertising.org/consumer/opt_out.asp. You may opt out of the Microsoft advertising network by clicking here http://privacy.microsoft.com/en-us/fullnotice.mspx#EIG and following the instructions. We may also use Usage Data gathered on this Site and other websites to target and serve advertisements, promotions, and other marketing messages on this Site and other websites, both within and outside the Network.

4. Use of Your Contact Information and Other Information by Other Websites in the Network:

THCN and its subsidiaries may use your Contact Information and other information that is collected through this Site, may combine such information with other information gathered through other websites in the Network, and may use such combined information for any purpose for which this Site may use information gathered on this Site under this Privacy Policy. THCN and its subsidiaries may also use this information to contact you in the future to tell you about products or services we believe may be of interest to you. If you'd prefer not to receive such communications in the future, please see Section 10 ("Choice/Opt-Out") below.

5. Our Disclosure of Your Contact Information and Other Information:

THCN is not in the business of selling to third parties, or allowing third parties to rent, your Contact Information, although if you elect to receive third party offers and materials when you subscribe to a newsletter or register with the Site, we may use the Contact Information you provide or that we obtain from a third party to provide such materials by e-mail or direct mail. You may opt-out of having your Contact Information used in this way by un-checking the box in the registration or newsletter subscription page or by emailing us at privacy@healthcentral.com. We consider this information to be a vital part of our relationship with you and will not disclose your Contact Information to a third party except as set forth in this Privacy Policy. There are, however, certain circumstances in which we may share your Contact Information (and other information that we have associated with your Contact Information) with certain third parties without further notice to you, as set forth below:

A. Business Transfers: As we develop our business, we might sell or buy businesses or assets. In the event of a corporate sale, merger, reorganization, dissolution or similar event, Contact Information and other information that we have associated with Contact Information may be part of the transferred assets.

B. Vendors: THCN, like many businesses, sometimes contracts with other companies to perform certain business-related functions. For example, we may use third party companies to provide email and direct mail services, database research and maintenance, payment processing, and other services. If you have registered with the Site, we may share your Contact Information and other information that we have associated with your Contact Information, as necessary or desirable for the third party to provide such services for us. Those third parties have contractually committed not to use your Contact Information (and the information we've associated with your Contact Information) for any other purpose.

C. Other Disclosures: We may occasionally release information about our visitors when release is appropriate to comply with law or legal process, to enforce our Terms of Use or protect THCN against legal liability, or to protect the rights, property, health, or safety of visitors to our Site, our advertisers, vendors, the public or THCN.

Except as set forth above, you will be notified before we share your Contact Information (and other information that we have associated with your Contact Information) with third parties, and we will not share such information with third parties without your consent.

6. Updating Our Records:

If your Contact Information changes, if you wish to unsubscribe to a newsletter or to a notification or other service, you may correct, update, or delete our records or unsubscribe by logging onto the Site and clicking the "Profile" button in the upper righthand corner of any page. You may update your Profile by clicking on the "My Profile" tab and following the instructions and can unsubscribe to any Site service by clicking on the "My Setting" tab and following the instructions. In addition, if you wish to change or cancel a subscription to one of our email newsletters, you may do so by going to www.HealthCentral.com and clicking on the "Free Newsletter" link at the upper lefthand side of the page and then clicking on "Change Your Email Address" or "Change or Stop a Subscription." Alternatively, you may email us at privacy@healthcentral.com or contact us by telephone or postal mail at the phone number or mailing address listed in Section 13 ("Contacting the Site") below.

7. External Links:

To provide users with greater value, we may provide links to various third party websites. However, we do not control the privacy practices or the content of the sites to which we link, nor can we guarantee the products or services you may obtain through such sites. These links to third party websites are provided only for your convenience, and as such, you access them at your own risk. That said, we are always seeking to improve our Site and would appreciate any comments you might have on any website to which we link. Please email us at webmaster@thcn.com.

8. Public Postings:

If you post information to any area of the Site that may be accessed by other users (such as information you place in your user profile, post in a comment on a blog, message board, or chatroom, or include in a SharePost), bear in mind that such information can be viewed by anyone with an Internet connection. Please think carefully before disclosing Contact Information or any personal information in any of these public areas. Such information is not private; THCN is free to reproduce, use, disclose, and distribute such information to others without limitation or attribution. Any information you disclose may be used by third parties we don't control. For example, if you disclose your Contact Information in any of these public areas, it may be used by third parties to send you unsolicited advertisements or other messages. We are not responsible for any information you choose to submit in these forums.

9. Security:

Information we gather on our website is stored within THCN-controlled databases (or databases hosted on our behalf) on servers maintained in protected environments. However, no physical or electronic security system is impenetrable. We cannot guarantee the security of our servers or databases, nor can we guarantee that information you supply won't be intercepted while being transmitted to us over the Internet.

10. Choice/Opt-Out:

We provide you the opportunity to "opt out" of having your personally identifiable information used for certain purposes, when we ask for this information. For example, when you register for the Site, if you do not wish to receive any promotional material from the Site, you can indicate your preference on our registration form. Though we hope you'll find the email newsletters, reminder services, and alerts we send you informative and useful, if you don't, you can always unsubscribe from a particular newsletter, reminder service, or alert by following the simple instructions included in each email or by emailing us at privacy@healthcentral.com. You can opt out of receiving commercial email messages from us by following the opt-out instructions contained in each commercial email message you receive from us or by emailing us at privacy@healthcentral.com. Opt-out requests are generally processed within five business days. If you wish to change a subscription to one of our email newsletters, you may also do so by going to www.HealthCentral.com and clicking on the "Free Newsletter" link at the upper lefthand side of the page and then clicking on "Change Your Email Address" or "Change or Stop a Subscription." Please be aware that even if you unsubscribe from all email newsletters, treatment reminders, and alerts, and opt out of receiving promotional messages from THCN, you may continue to receive the occasional messages we send to registered users concerning the Site, the Network, or one of our services. The only way to opt out of receiving such relationship messages is to cancel your registration. To do so, please email us at privacy@healthcentral.com. If you cancel your registration, you will no longer be able to make use of the community features of our Site.

11. Third Party Personal Data:

At times, we may ask you for Contact Information relating to third parties. For example, if you ask us to email content to a friend using our "Email This Page to a Friend" tool, we'll ask you for your friend's email address. THCN stores this information for the purpose of emailing the content you've asked us to send. Your friend may contact us at privacy@healthcentral.com to request that we remove this information from our database.

12. Other Terms and Conditions:

By visiting this Site, you agree that your visit and any dispute over data collection or privacy are governed by this Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. This Site is intended for United States users only. The law of the Commonwealth of Virginia governs all transactions conducted on this Site and any use of materials found on this Site.

All content provided on this site or any other website in the network is general in nature and is provided for informational purposes only. We do not provide individualized medical or health care advice. Nothing contained on this site or any other website in the network is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site or any other website in the network.

13. Contacting the Site:

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this Site or your interaction with the Site, please contact us by clicking on the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the page or at the following address:

The HealthCentral Network, Inc.
2300 Wilson Boulevard
Suite 600
Arlington, Virginia 22201
Telephone: 703-302-1040

14. Changes to this Privacy Policy:

The web is an evolving medium. If we need to change our privacy policy at some point in the future, we'll post the changes to this Privacy Policy on this Site and update the Effective Date at the beginning of the policy to reflect the date of the amendment. By accessing this Site after we post such changes, you agree that your visit, and any dispute over privacy, is governed by this Privacy Policy, as modified, and our Terms of Use - http://www.healthcentral.com/contents/408/disclaimer.html

Copyright Notice

©2009 The HealthCentral Network, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Registered Trademarks

HEALTHCENTRAL®, HEALTHSQUARE®, HEALTHSCOUT®, FOODFIT®, FOODFIT.COM®, DRUG CHECKER®, AND DRKOOP.COM® are registered trademarks of The HealthCentral Network, Inc.

Questions or Concerns

THCN is a licensee of the TRUSTe Privacy Program. TRUSTe is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to build user's trust and confidence in the Internet by promoting the use of fair information practices. This privacy statement covers the websites This privacy statement covers all of the websites in the Network, including this Site, all websites within the healthcentral.com domain,  www.drkoop.com, www.foodfit.com, www.healthscout.com, and www.healthsquare.com. Because THCN wants to demonstrate its commitment to your privacy, it has agreed to disclose its information practices and have its privacy practices reviewed for compliance by TRUSTe.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this statement, you should first contact us at privacy@healthcentral.com or 703-302-1040. If you do not receive acknowledgement of your inquiry or your inquiry has not been satisfactorily addressed, you should contact TRUSTe at http://www.truste.org/consumers/watchdog_complaint.php. TRUSTe will then serve as a liaison with us to resolve your concerns.

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