Social Media Privacy Policy

What are cookies and how does AOA use them?
How does AOA use the information?
Who is collecting information?
With whom does AOA share my information?
How can I control my personal information?
What security precautions are in place?
What else should I know about my privacy?

The American Optometric Association ("AOA") is committed to safeguarding your privacy on its web sites. This Privacy Policy does not apply to products or services provided, or information obtained, other than through the site. Please read the following policy to understand how your information will be treated. This policy may change from time to time so please check back periodically. Please keep in mind that some of the services mentioned specifically in this policy may not be available on the site at this time. If you have questions concerning this policy, please contact the social media manager at feedback@aoa.org. This Privacy Policy is effective as of May 15, 2010. 

AOA collects information in several ways. For example, some personal information is gathered when you register using our account interface. During registration, we may ask for your AOA Member Number and your email address. Once you register, you are no longer anonymous to AOA and are able to take full advantage of our services. In addition to registration, we may ask you for information at other times, such as when you report a problem with our site or services, or contact the company via the corporate e-mail address. If you contact AOA, we may keep a record of that correspondence.
Like most web site operators, AOA collects non-personally-identifying information of the sort that web browsers and servers typically make available, such as the browser type, language preference, referring site, and the date and time of each visitor request. AOA's purpose in collecting non-personally identifying information is to better understand how AOA visitors use its we site. AOA also collects potentially personally-identifying information like Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.  AOA does not use such information to identify its visitors.

Certain visitors to AOA web sites choose to interact with AOA in ways that require AOA to gather personally-identifying information. The amount and type of information that AOA gathers depends on the nature of the interaction. In each case, AOA collects such information only insofar as is necessary or appropriate to fulfill the purpose of the visitor’s interaction with AOA.
AOA does not disclose personally-identifying information other than as described below. And visitors can always refuse to supply personally-identifying information, with the caveat that it may prevent them from engaging in certain web site-related activities.
If you believe that any inaccurate or inappropriate information has been obtained or disseminated through your use of this site, you should contact a representative of AOA at feedback@aoa.org.

What are cookies and how does AOA use them?

As part of offering and providing customizable and personalized services, many web sites use cookies to store and sometimes track information about you. A cookie is a small amount of data that is sent to your browser from a web server and stored on your computer's hard drive.  We may use cookies to allow faster and easier access to your account information, monitor traffic on the site and measure traffic patterns to improve functionality.  AOA web pages may in the future contain electronic images known as web beacons  (sometimes called clear giffs or web bugs) or other advanced technologies that are useful in the provision of services to you.  We may use such devices to verify compliance with our terms and conditions of use or with any promotions on the site.

How does AOA use the information?

AOA’s primary goal in collecting information is to improve the site and provide the user with the best possible experience on the site.  AOA may occasionally send you an email to tell you about new features, solicit your feedback, or just keep you up to date with what’s going on with AOA.  

Who is collecting information?

When you are on an AOA site and are asked for personal information, you are sharing that information with AOA and its affiliates and service providers. If personal data is to be collected and/or maintained by any company other than AOA or its affiliates or service providers, we will attempt to notify you on the site or in an updated version of this Privacy Policy. If you do not want your data to be shared, you can choose not to allow the transfer by not using that particular service.
Please be aware that other web sites to which we link may collect personally identifiable information about you when you visit those sites. The information practices of other web sites linked to our site are not covered by this Privacy Policy.

With whom does AOA share my information?

We will not disclose any of your personally identifiable information except when we have your permission or under special circumstances, such as when we believe in good faith that the law requires it, or under the circumstances described herein. The following describes some of the ways that your information may be disclosed.
Data in the Aggregate: We may disclose “blinded” aggregated data and user statistics to prospective partners and other third parties, and for other lawful purposes.  Blinded data is data which does not identify an individual person.
Other: We also may disclose account information in special cases when we have reason to believe that disclosing this information is necessary to identify, contact or bring legal action against someone who may be violating AOA Terms and Conditions of Use, or other online or signed agreement with AOA, or that may otherwise be causing injury to or interference with (either intentionally or unintentionally) AOA’s rights or property, other AOA site users or anyone else that could be harmed by such activities. We may disclose or access account information when we believe in good faith that the law requires it and for administrative and other purposes that we deem necessary to maintain, service and improve our products and services.

We occasionally hire other companies to provide limited services on our behalf, including packaging, delivering or mailing, answering questions about products or services, sending postal mail, providing investor information and processing data.  We will only provide those companies the information they need to deliver the service, and they are contractually prohibited from using that information for any other purpose.

As we continue to develop our organization, we may buy or sell certain entities or assets. In such transactions, confidential user information generally is one of the transferred business assets. In the event of a transaction involving the sale of some or all of AOA’s assets, user and site visitor information may be one of the transferred assets.

How can I control my personal information?

AOA offers its members choices for the use and sharing of personal information.  You may contact us at feedback@aoa.org if you wish to view, edit or delete your personal information from our database, and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to accommodate your request. 

What security precautions are in place to protect the loss, misuse or alteration of my information?

Your member account information and profile are password-protected so you have access to this personal information. We use Secure Socket Layer encryption for transmitting and storing your account information and password and store your information in limited access servers. Remember to sign out of your account and close your browser window when you have finished using your profile. This is to ensure that others cannot access your account by using your computer when you are away from it. Because of the global nature of the Internet, when you give us information, that information may be sent electronically to servers outside of the country where you originally entered the information. Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100 percent secure. Except as discussed above or otherwise designated, this site does not use security encryption measures.  Therefore, information that you disclose by use of this site (as with any site that is non-secure), by posting a message or using e-mail, potentially could be collected and used by others.  This may result in unsolicited messages from third parties or use of such information by third parties for their own purposes, legal or illegal. As a result, while we strive to protect your personal information, AOA cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us or from our services, and you do so at your own risk. Once we receive your transmission, we use commercially reasonable efforts to ensure its security on our systems.

What else should I know about my privacy?

Please keep in mind that whenever you voluntarily disclose information online, that information is accessible to other members and users. Ultimately, you are solely responsible for maintaining the secrecy of your passwords and/or any account information.  Please be careful and responsible whenever you are online.  When you or we end your relationship with us, we will treat the information we have about you as if you were still a member.