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MedlinePlus Privacy Policy

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) provides this Web site as a public service. We do not collect personal information about you when you visit our Web sites unless you choose to provide that information to us.

Information Collected and Stored Automatically

Of the information we learn about you from your visit to NLM Web sites, we store only the following: the IP address from which you access the Internet, the date and time, the Internet address of the Web site from which you linked directly to our site, the name of the file or the words you searched, and the browser used to access our site. This information is used to measure the number of visitors to the various sections of our site and identify system performance or problem areas. We also use this information to help us expand the coverage of the sites and to make the site more useful. NLM periodically deletes its Web logs. On occasion, NLM may provide this information to third party entities it contracts with for the purposes of research analysis.

Cookies

A "cookie" is a small file that a Web site transfers to your computer's hard disk allowing our server to "remember" specific information about your session. While visiting certain NLM sites you may occasionally encounter a Web page that employs cookies to make it easier to use the dynamic features of these Web pages. PubMed® and TOXNET® use "session" cookies for certain functions. The cookie and the information about your session will be destroyed automatically shortly after you close your browser-it is not permanently stored on your computer. You can set your browser to disable cookies or prompt you before a cookie is accepted. If you do not want to receive cookies, you will still be able to use the NLM sites, but will be unable to use cookie-dependent features.

Personally Provided Information

If you choose to provide us with personal information by sending an email, or by filling out a form with your personal information and submitting it through our Web site, we use that information to respond to your message and to help us provide you with information or material that you request. If provided, personally identifiable information is maintained in a database that is regularly purged. Third party contractors may have access to this information in order to provide an initial response to your question or comment. These contractors are held to strict policies to safeguard the information and provide the same level of privacy protection as guaranteed by NLM. On occasion, we may conduct a study concerning the types of questions sent to us. These studies help us to improve our Web sites in order to make them more responsive to the needs of our users. We do not give, share, sell, or transfer any personal information to a third party unless required by law.

Links to Other Sites

Some NLM Web sites, such as MedlinePlus, provide links to other Internet sites that provide health information. Once you link to another site, you are subject to the privacy policy of the new site.

Security

The U.S. Government maintains this site. For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, we use software programs to monitor traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. Causing damage to Federal computer systems is a violation of U.S. law and is subject to criminal prosecution in Federal court. In the event of authorized law enforcement investigations, and pursuant to any required legal process, information from these sources may be used to help identify an individual.