Information Collected About You
When you use the Services, we collect information as follows:
While you may use most of the Services without registering, certain Services do require that you register with WebMD for them to function properly. If you choose to register or update an existing account with WebMD or access certain Services, you may be required to provide certain personal information, such as your name, address, telephone number, gender, email address and date of birth, and a username and password to access your WebMD account. You are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the personal information that you submit to WebMD.
Some of our Services, such as WebMD Symptom Checker, are interactive and may request that you submit health-related information, along with other information such as your age and gender. You are not required to register with WebMD to use WebMD Symptom Checker and if you are registered with WebMD, we do not associate information that you submit to the Symptom Checker with registration information that you have previously provided.
WebMD Health Manager
WebMD Lab Testing
Email a Friend
If you use our Email a Friend service to tell a friend about a feature on a WebMD Site or a newsletter, we will ask you for your name, your email address and your friend's email address. We will automatically send your friend a one-time email inviting him or her to visit the site using your name and email address as the "from" email address. WebMD does not use your friend's email information for any other purpose. We will only use the information you provide to send the requested email to your friend.
If you believe that one of your contacts has provided us with your personal information and you would like to request that it be removed from our database, please use the Contact Us link provided at the bottom of every page of the WebMD Sites.
User Reviews, WebMD Message Boards, and Other Public Forums
In connection with the use of our Physician Directory, users are able to submit provider reviews. WebMD also features several message board areas and other public forums where users can post reviews, share information and support one another or where users can post questions for experts to answer. We also offer online discussions moderated by healthcare experts. Our reviews feature in the Physician Directory and our message boards are open to the public and should not be considered private.
Any information (including personal information) you share in any review, online message board, or other forum is by design open to the public and is not private. You should think carefully before posting any personal information in any public forum. What you post can be seen, disclosed to or collected by third parties and may be used by others in ways we cannot control or predict, including to contact you for unauthorized purposes. As with any public forum on any site, the information you post may also show up in third-party search engines.
If you mistakenly post personal information in our message board areas and would like it removed, you can send us an email to request that we remove it by using the Contact Us link on every page of the WebMD Sites. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information.
Emails You Send to WebMD
Services and Device Information
When you access and use the Services, WebMD automatically collects and stores in its server logs information from your browser or mobile device such as your IP address or unique device identifier, browser information (including referring URL), your preferences and settings, cookies and information about the content you have viewed and actions taken (e.g., search queries, ad engagement, clicks and the associated dates and times). WebMD may also collect device-specific information when you install and use an App including your device model, operating system information, advertising ID (which is a unique, user-resettable identification number for advertising associated with a mobile device) and App version and usage information.
Precise Geolocation Data
When enabled by you, we collect precise location information provided by your mobile device. We do so to provide you more relevant content including advertising based on your location. You may disable the collection and use of your location data through your device settings. To change location settings on your device, please refer to your device’s official knowledge base.
Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies
We also work with third party ad networks to display advertising on our WebMD Sites and on third party websites. Our ad network vendors use technologies to collect information about your activities on the WebMD Sites and in our flagship WebMD App to provide you cookie-based targeted advertising on our WebMD Sites and on third party websites based upon your browsing activity and your interests.
We and our service providers collect and store information about users' interactions with unaffiliated websites and applications that use our technologies, including cookies and similar tracking technologies. This allows us to infer the presence of a common user or household behind multiple devices. We do so in order to:
- provide personalized advertising on each device that is inferred from the browsing patterns on all of the devices;
- detect and prevent fraud;
- allow users to use our service on one device and pick up seamlessly where they left off on another device;
- limit the number of times a user is shown the same advertisement, across known or inferred devices
For information on your advertising choices and opt-out, please see the “Your Choices and Rights” section of this Privacy Notice.
How Information Collected About You Is Used
Information about your use of the Services may be used for the following purposes:
- to provide, improve and create new Services,
- to respond to your inquiries and to send you administrative communications about the WebMD Sites and Services,
- to obtain your feedback about the WebMD Sites and Services,
- to send you secure electronic messages and personalized emails pertaining to your interests as inferred from your use of the Services, including news, announcements, reminders and opportunities from WebMD,
- to statistically analyze trends and user behavior and activity including how frequently areas of the WebMD Sites are visited, how the Services are being used and how many emails are received and opened,
- to provide you and people with similar demographic characteristics and interests with more relevant content including advertising both on and off the WebMD Sites and Apps,
- to offer lead generation services,
- to detect and defend against fraud and other threats to the Services and our users,
- to identify issues with the Services,
- to conduct research and measurement activities, including those described below, and
- to administer your account.
In addition, WebMD may use personal information about you for other purposes that are disclosed to you at the time we collect the information and/or with your consent.
Sharing Your Information
WebMD Subsidiaries and Corporate Affiliates
Companies and Contractors that Work with WebMD
WebMD works with third party companies and contractors that help us provide the Services and to otherwise assist in the operation of the WebMD Sites and Apps, including those that provide services relating to technology, data analysis, research, email management and deployment, sweepstakes and contest administration, advertising and marketing and/or content. WebMD contractors sometimes have limited access to your information in the course of providing products or services to WebMD. We contractually require that our contractors not use or disclose your information for any purpose other than providing the limited service or function for WebMD.
Third Party Advertisers and Third Party Websites
We may also include social widgets on the WebMD Sites which enable you to interact with the associated social media services, e.g., to share an article. These widgets may collect browsing data which may be received by the third party that provided the widget, and are controlled by these third parties. You may be able to manage your privacy preferences directly with the applicable social network platform.
Compliance with Law, Regulation, and Law Enforcement Requests
To cooperate with government and law enforcement officials and private parties to enforce and comply with law, we may release personal information to third parties: (1) to comply with legal requirements such as a law, regulation, search warrant, subpoena or court order; (2) when we believe in good faith that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights, protect your safety or the safety of others, investigate fraud, or respond to a government request; or (3) in special cases, such as in response to a physical threat to you or others, to protect property or defend or assert legal rights. In addition, we may disclose personal information as described below.
How Your Information is Secured and Retained
We take reasonable security measures to protect the security of your personal information. Despite WebMD's efforts to protect your personal information, there is always some risk that an unauthorized third party may find a way around our security systems or that transmissions of your information over the Internet may be intercepted.
The security of your personal information is important to us. When you enter personal information (including personal health information in various Services), we encrypt the transmission of that information or use SSL connections (Secure Socket Layer) technology.
We will retain your personal information as long as your account is active or as needed to provide you Services. At any time you can remove your personal information or instruct us to remove it, but you should be aware that it is not technologically possible to remove each and every record of the information you have provided to WebMD from our servers. See “Your Choices and Rights” below for more information on how you can update or remove your personal information. We will also retain your personal information as necessary to comply with legal obligations, resolve disputes and enforce our agreements.
Your Choices and Rights
Updating/Removing Your Personal Information
If you have registered and desire to delete any of your registration information you have provided to us from our systems please contact us using the contact information listed below in the “Contacting WebMD About Your Personal Information or Privacy” section or through the Contact Us link provided at the bottom of every page of the WebMD Sites. Upon your request, we will delete your registration information from our active databases and where feasible from our back-up media. You should be aware that it is not technologically possible to remove each and every record of the information you have provided to the WebMD Sites from our servers.
When you sign up to receive email communications for any of our Services, including our email newsletters, or at any time, you can choose to opt out of receiving additional newsletters or other email communications from WebMD or our advertisers or sponsors.
You can unsubscribe from an email newsletter by:
- Following the directions included at the bottom of the newsletter and using the “Unsubscribe” link found in the emails
- Logging in to the WebMD Sites and unchecking the newsletters you no longer wish to receive under the “My Profile” section.
If you decide that you would prefer not to receive personalized email or secure electronic messages from the WebMD Health Manager tool, you may also "Opt-out" of the Service by clicking on the settings tab on your Health Manager home page and changing your email preference or following the unsubscribe instructions included in each email.
All promotional emails that WebMD sends with opportunities from WebMD or with offers or informational materials from WebMD on behalf of our sponsors will contain an opportunity to unsubscribe from getting additional emails of that type in the future from WebMD unless you re-subscribe.
Most browser software can be set to reject Cookies. Most browsers offer instructions on how to reset the browser to reject Cookies in the "Help" or “Settings” or “Preferences” section of your browser’s toolbar. Refer to our Cookies Policy for additional information about opting out of Cookies.
Interest-Based Advertising Opt-Out
In order to give you more control over your privacy choices we have implemented a DAA (Digital Advertising Alliance) approved opt-out mechanism for interest-based advertising. At the bottom of every page of the WebMD Sites you will see an AdChoices logo (which looks like this: ). In our flagship WebMD App you can find the AdChoices option in the “Settings” screen. By clicking on that logo on the WebMD Sites or following the instructions in the flagship WebMD App, you will be presented with a window that will identify all of the companies that WebMD uses to direct tailored advertisements to you, both on the WebMD Sites and in the flagship WebMD App as well as on third-party websites. If you would like to stop this tailored advertising from WebMD, you can manage these advertisements through the choices in that window. Please note that even if you opt-out of interest-based advertising, you will continue to receive generic advertisements through the Services. Please note that your choice to stop tailored advertising is specific to the browser or mobile device that you are using so if you make a choice to opt out from one computer or mobile device and you want your opt-out to apply to a different computer or mobile device as well please opt out from that computer or mobile device too. By clicking the + symbol next to the name of a vendor in that window you will get information about how and where that vendor assists us with the delivery of advertisements. The WebMD Sites do not respond to web browser "do not track" signals. This opt-out mechanism is available in the flagship WebMD App for iOS and Android, as well as on our mobile optimized sites, but is not currently available on our other Apps (WebMD Pregnancy, WebMD Baby and WebMD Allergy).
You may also control interest-based advertising on your mobile device by enabling the “Limit Ad Tracking” setting in your iOS device’s settings or “Opt out of Ads Personalization” in your Android device’s settings. This will not prevent you from seeing advertisements, but will limit the use of device advertising identifiers to personalize ads based on your interests. If you have questions about how to reject cookies on your specific device please check with the device manufacturer.
If you are a California resident, California law may provide you with additional rights regarding our use of your personal information. For more information relevant to our users who are California residents, please click here.
We are committed to protecting the privacy of children. The WebMD Sites are not designed or intended to attract children under the age of 13. The WebMD Sites do not collect personal information from any person we actually know is under the age of 13. A parent or guardian, however, may use WebMD Health Manager to establish a personal health record and a WebMD Health Manager home page for a minor. The parent or guardian is solely responsible for providing supervision of the minor's use of WebMD Health Manager. The parent or guardian assumes full responsibility for ensuring that the registration information is kept secure and that the information submitted is accurate. The parent or guardian also assumes full responsibility for the interpretation and use of any information or suggestions provided through WebMD Health Manager for the minor.
Note to Users Outside of the United States
Additional Information for WebMD’s Visitors from the European Economic Area (“EEA”)
If you are a WebMD user in the EEA, you can: (i) access personal information we have about you (we will try to provide information within 30 days of your request); (ii) have your personal information corrected or deleted (in most cases you can correct personal information you have submitted to us by going back to the specific Service, logging-in and making the desired change); (iii) in certain circumstances, you can object to our processing of your personal information and we will discontinue such processing unless we have compelling legitimate grounds to continue; (iv) withdraw consent previously provided (however a withdrawal does not affect the lawfulness of processing of your personal data that occurred prior to the date of withdrawal); or (v) if you believe that we have not complied with applicable data protection laws, you may lodge a complaint with your local supervisory authority. If you wish to inquire as to whether we maintain any of your personal information and if so, whether you wish to exercise any of those rights that are available to you with respect to such personal information, you may contact us as described in the Contacting WebMD About Your Personal Information or Privacy section below. We will respond to your request within a reasonable timeframe.
Contacting WebMD About Your Personal Information or Privacy
You can also contact WebMD’s Privacy Office at:
Attn: Office of Privacy
1201 Peachtree Street, NE
400 Colony Square, Suite 2100
Atlanta, GA 30361
If you have an unresolved privacy or data use concern that we have not addressed satisfactorily, please contact our U.S.-based third party dispute resolution provider (free of charge) at https://feedback-form.truste.com/watchdog/request.
WebMD users from the EEA may also contact our Data Protection Officer at [email protected]
Accreditations and Privacy Seals
WebMD.com, MedicineNet.com, eMedicineHealth.com, and RxList.com comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information, which can be verified here.
Last updated on May 1, 2020