Website Policies

Privacy policy

AOA.org is the web site of the American Optometric Association (“AOA”). The AOA respects the privacy of our members and other users of our web site. This Privacy Policy addresses our use of information about you collected by virtue of your use of AOA.org.

By visiting our web site, you are accepting the practices described in this privacy policy (the "Privacy Policy").

The AOA reserves the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time by posting such change here. Your continued use of the web site after such change is made constitutes acceptance of and agreement to be bound by the terms of the Privacy Policy as modified.

This Privacy Policy applies only to the web site. In addition to our own web site, we provide links to other third party web sites that are not under the AOA's control. The AOA is not responsible for the privacy policy or content of any web site linked to from the AOA web site. Please be sure to review the privacy policies of any third party websites to ensure you are familiar with that organization’s policies.

You may contact us about this Privacy Policy:

Address: 243 North Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63141
Web: Message us
Phone: 800.365.2219
Fax: 314.991.4101

Information we may collect about you

The information we collect via our web site is used to improve the content of AOA.org and advance the AOA’s mission.

For each visitor to our web site, our web server automatically recognizes only the user’s Internet protocol (IP) address but not the e-mail address (where possible).

We collect the Internet protocol (IP) address of visitors to our web site, aggregate information on what pages users access or visit, user-specific information on what pages users access or visit, and information volunteered by users, including from surveys, purchases, contact, and update forms, login data, and/or registrations. We also may collect the e-mail addresses of those who communicate with us via e-mail.

With respect to cookies,  we use cookies to authenticate users requesting members-only content. When a user logs in, a cookie is written for the duration of the session. This is not a persistent cookie. The cookie is destroyed once the user leaves the site. We also use cookies on the web site for specific functions not related to authentication. No personally-identifying information is used with these cookies. We use only first-party cookies.

If a user does not allow cookies to be written on their computer, the web site will not be able to authenticate them as a member, which may result in an inability to access protected information.

How we may use information we collect

The AOA collects non-personally identifiable information about you through computer settings and/or most-recently visited web site through traffic logs. This information is used to better understand how visitors use the AOA web site and make improvements. The AOA, its subsidiaries, and its affiliates may use your contact information to alert you to new information, products and services, events, and other opportunities. Please be advised that from time to time, we may also make your contact information available to other reputable organizations whose products or services we think you might find interesting. Notwithstanding the preceding statement, with respect to your e-mail address, we have instituted stringent reviews and opt-out capabilities to ensure that you do not receive unwanted e-mail from the AOA.

A particular AOA subsidiary or affiliate may have certain privacy policies different than noted here, which may be indicated on its own site.

Your rights

When you submit personal information to AOA through AOA.org, AOA makes efforts to keep your information secure while using it to complete requests. AOA reserves the right to retain and use information collected on its web sites to conduct necessary business. This includes sharing information provided through AOA web sites with other organizations. We may be required by law to disclose information you have provided in obtaining our services. We may also disclose information against someone who poses a threat to our interests (such as customer fraud) or whose activities could bring harm to others. In addition, it may be necessary for us to provide customer information to third parties, such as credit card companies, for the purpose of resolving disputes that arise in the normal course of business.

AOA adheres to federal laws concerning e-mail and fax distributions. Unsubscribe methods are available in all AOA e-mail publications. Specific opt-out requests for AOA communications may be sent to the contact information above.

On request, we also offer visitors the ability to have inaccuracies corrected in contact information, financial information, unique identifiers, transaction information and communications that the visitor has directed to the site.

You may also contact us if you believe your information is being used for purposes other than those for which it was originally collected.

Meeting and lodging reservations

When you book a meeting or lodging reservation through our website, we ask you to provide personally identifiable information. This information may include your name, home or work telephone number, fax number, email address, your credit card number, expiration date, other payment information and/or billing address. We use this information to process and book your registration and/or reservation and to notify you of your registration/reservation status.

We may also ask you for personally identifiable information about other people for whom you may be booking reservations. We use this information only to register and/or reserve the room with the hotel.

We provide information about lodging reserved through our web site to the suppliers who will fulfill your lodging reservation. As such, we have not placed limitations on these suppliers from using or disclosing your information without your permission. Therefore, we encourage you to review the information privacy policies of any lodging suppliers whose products or services you may reserve on our web site. In addition, these travel suppliers may also contact you as necessary to obtain additional information about your confirmed reservation.

We may ask you to provide us with emergency contact information, i.e. the names and contact information of third parties who you would like us to contact in case of an emergency. Please be sure to inform your emergency contact that this information is being submitted to AOA and that if they have any questions about our Privacy Policies they should either visit our website or contact us.

More about our privacy practices and security

With respect to security: we use industry-standard encryption technologies when transferring and receiving consumer data exchanged with our site. When we transfer and receive certain types of sensitive information, such as financial information, we redirect visitors to a secure server and will notify visitors through a pop-up screen on our site. We have appropriate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse or alteration of information that we have collected from you at our site. When users choose to make payments via credit cards, we submit the information needed to obtain payment to the appropriate clearinghouses. Note: Health information you may share via AOA.org is neither private nor confidential and should be shared, if at all, only in accordance with applicable laws. The AOA is not a covered entity under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Changes, comments, and questions

If our information practices change at some time in the future, we will post the policy changes to our web site to notify you. The latest version of our Privacy Policy will always be available at AOA.org. If you are concerned about how your information may be used, please check our web site periodically.

Exceptions

Notwithstanding anything else in this privacy policy to the contrary, the AOA may collect personally identifiable information and use such information in ways other than those described above if the AOA is required to do so by law or if the AOA deems it advisable in the course of assisting law enforcement activities or protecting its web site(s) or other property.

AOA members–information transmitted through means other than the website

AOA members should note that in addition to information collected through our website, the above-referenced policies also apply to information we collect via other, non-electronic means, including, but not limited to paper correspondence and oral conveyances. This includes various types of personally-identifying information you provide to us including your name, telephone number(s), address, third party or emergency contact names and information, credit card numbers or other payment information. The policies listed herein apply to all such information submitted to AOA. Also, please note that from time to time, we may also make your contact information (including non-electronic contact information) available to other reputable organizations whose products or services we think you might find interesting. Please continue to check our website for any changes to our policies as such changes will only be posted on our
website, even if the changes affect use of non-electronically submitted information. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Website content policy

The American Optometric Association (AOA) website contains information, communications, software, photos, graphics and other materials collectively known as "Content." This Content is posted for the benefit of the general public and AOA members.

Unless otherwise indicated, the AOA reserves full title and ownership of all Content. Such Content is protected by copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual and proprietary rights.

The Content is provided "as is" and without warranties of any kind, to the fullest extent permissible by applicable law. The AOA makes no representations about the suitability of this Content for any purpose. Nor will the AOA, its employees, contractors, officers, and directors be liable for any damages or injury that may result from the use of the AOA website or its Content.

Access and use of the AOA website deem acceptance of the following terms and conditions:

  • Content (one copy only) may be used and/or downloaded for personal, non-commercial, lawful purposes.
  • Further transmission or distribution without written consent is prohibited. Content may not be modified or altered in any way.
  • Users may not delete or change any copyright or trademark notice.
  • Content, including names, trademarks, service marks, and logos may not be used in any advertising or publicity without the AOA's prior express written permission.
  • The content does not, and may not be used to, indicate AOA endorsement of, or affiliation with, any product or service.

Social media privacy policy

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 web 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 website-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.

Frequently asked questions

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 gifs 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 the 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 that 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.

Related News

How doctors of optometry can prevent traumatic brain injuries and make a difference for patients

Does the Medicare population of older U.S. adults underutilize comprehensive eye exams as a prevention strategy against sustaining traumatic brain injuries from falls? The AOA Health Policy Institute suggests the answer is yes.

AOA reports $1.69 billion in federal relief for practices, leaders pledge continued advocacy

COVID-19 lockdowns took their toll on optometry practices, but the AOA’s advocacy and guidance in accessing federal relief measures helped the profession recover over a billion dollars.

‘Unprecedented’ human impact of western wildfires: How optometry is affected

Optometry’s Fund for Disaster Relief stands ready to assist doctors on their path to recovery following an historic 2020 wildfire season in the western U.S.