To better protect the privacy of our online community, Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health has developed the following notice explaining its online information practices and the choices users can make about the way information is collected and used within our sites and services.
Collection and Use of Personal Information
The Mailman School collects browser data to make our sites and services more relevant and rewarding for users. When visitors reach our website, our Web server automatically recognizes their domain, service provider, operating system, and Internet browser. This kind of information does not enable personal identification. Our Web server additionally records usage of pages by visitors, which helps us understand how our content is being used, which pages are most popular, and whether we can improve design and content to optimize users’ experience.
Some of the School’s sites and services request that users provide personally identifiable information to help us communicate better. When this happens, we may use the information provided to fulfill requests for our products, programs, and services, to respond to inquiries about our academic and co-curricular offerings, or to offer products, programs, or services we believe may be of interest. Sometimes we use this information to communicate about changes to our services, to fulfill a request for additional information, or to contact groups of users about other activities and endeavors of the Mailman School. Most of our communications provide an "opt-out" feature.
From time to time, we may deploy user information to update internal systems. This allows for seamless delivery of services and resources. Mailman School sites and services may contain e-mail services, bulletin board services, chat areas, newsletters, news groups, alumni communications, fora, communities, personal Web pages, calendars, photo displays and/or other message or communication facilities designed to enable improved communication. In the event this occurs, information collected in connection with these services is used to provide an interactive experience. Within many of these services, the Mailman School provides multiple privacy options that allow restriction of use and access of personally identifiable information by others.
Collection of Information By Third-Party Sites
Some of our sites and services contain links to other sites whose information practices and policies may differ from those of the Mailman School. Visitors should consult other sites’ privacy policies, as the Mailman School has no control over information submitted to or collected by these third parties.
Disclosure of Personal Information to Parties Outside the University
The Mailman School does not sell, rent, give away, or loan any identifiable information regarding its Web users to any third party other than agents and contractors of the Mailman School or Columbia University.
The Mailman School or Columbia University may release personal information when we believe, in good faith, that such release is reasonably necessary to (i) comply with law, (ii) enforce or apply the terms of any of our user agreements, or (iii) protect the rights, property, or safety of the Mailman School, Columbia University, our users, or others.
Protection of User Information
We have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and help prevent unauthorized access, maintain data security, and correctly use the information collected online. Information transmission, storage, and retrieval are secured.
On our secure servers, we use industry-standard Secure Sockets Layer ("SSL") technology to guarantee confidentiality of online transactions made on our site. SSL authentication and encryption of the information sent over the Internet helps protect users’ online transaction information from third party interception.
We never display sensitive information such as Social Security Numbers or credit card numbers once these have been entered. For verification purposes, we may reveal the last four digits of a user’s credit card.
We urge users to protect their own privacy. We recommend that users never share any account information or passwords used to access our sites or services. We will never request that users provide us with their passwords.
Despite all of our efforts, there remains a risk that third parties may unlawfully intercept transmissions. This is true of all Internet use. As a result, we cannot ensure the security of any information users transmit. Users understand that all information is transmitted at their own risk.
Protecting the Privacy of Users Younger than 13 Years
The Mailman School is concerned about the privacy of young children and does not knowingly collect any personal information from anyone below 13 years. We suggest that users become involved with their children’s access to the Internet and to our site to ensure that privacy is well protected.