The Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research provides this website to allow interested members of the public, as well as Kaiser Permanente physicians and staff, to learn about the research-related activities of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research. This web site also provides information about several of the studies underway at the Division of Research, as well as the work of research sections and research programs based at the Division of Research.
The website allows our members and other users to view research and health-related information, communicate with our practitioners and staff, arrange for clinical and health plan services, and access additional services.
This Privacy Statement applies to the website, which is owned and operated by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (“Kaiser Permanente”, “KP”). This Privacy Statement describes how Kaiser Permanente collects and uses the personal information you provide, and other information that is collected from your use of the website. It also describes the choices available to you regarding our use of your personal information and how you can access and update this information.
If you are a Kaiser Permanente Health Plan member, all of your protected health information maintained by Kaiser Permanente, including information you provide on the website, is also subject to the Notices of Privacy Practices issued by Kaiser Permanente under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). The Notices of Privacy Practices may contain additional provisions relating to the use and disclosure of your information that go beyond the terms of this Privacy Statement. To access your Kaiser Permanente region’s Notice of Privacy Practices, go to www.kp.org/privacy and click the Notice of Privacy Practices link at upper left.
Kaiser Permanente is committed to protecting the privacy of the users of the website. We will use and disclose your personal information as stated in this Privacy Statement.
Website Privacy Statement
Use and disclosure of health information includes using the information for research. Our use and disclosure of an individual’s personal information (including health information) is limited as required by state and federal law. We do not sell or rent personal information about visitors to the website.
The website has security measures in place that are intended to help protect against the loss, misuse, unauthorized access or alteration of information under our control. These measures include encryption of data using the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) system. Despite these measures, the confidentiality of any communication or material transmitted to or from us via the website by Internet or email cannot be guaranteed. At your discretion, you may contact us at the email address listed in the “Questions, complaints, and contacts” section at the end of this Privacy Statement.
Revisions to the Privacy Statement
We may revise this Privacy Statement from time to time as we add new features or modify the way in which we manage information, or as laws change that may affect our services. If we make material changes to our Privacy Statement, we will post notice of this on our website prior to the changes becoming effective. Any revised Privacy Statement will apply both to information we already have about you at the time of the change, and any personal information created or received after the change takes effect. We include a version number on this Privacy Statement consisting of the date (year, month, and day) it was last revised. We encourage you to periodically reread this Privacy Statement, to see if there have been any changes to our policies that may affect you.
Website visitor data
In addition to web logs, described below, Kaiser Permanente routinely gathers data on website activity, such as how many people visit the site, the web pages they visit, where they come from, how long they stay, etc. The data is collected on an aggregate, anonymous basis, which means that no personally identifiable information is associated with the data. This data helps us improve our content and overall usage. The information is not shared with other organizations for their independent use.
The website does not honor a browser’s signal or header request not to track the user’s activity.
Collecting and using and disclosing personal information
1. Information collection, use, and disclosure
We collect the following personal information from you:
- contact information such as name, email address, mailing address, and phone number
- unique identifiers such as user name and password
- questions and comments regarding the administration of a research program
We use and disclose this information to:
- respond to your questions about a research program
- respond to customer service requests
- administer your account
- send you email communications
- respond to your questions and concerns
- improve our website
- conduct internal quality improvement or business analysis
2. Web logs
We maintain standard Web logs that record data about all visitors and customers who use the website and we store this information. These logs may contain the Internet domain from which you access the site (such as aol.com, abc.org, etc.); the IP address which is automatically assigned to your computer when you get on the Internet (a static IP address may be identifiable as being connected to you, while a dynamic address is usually not identifiable); the type of browser and operating system you use; the date and time you visited; the pages you viewed; and the address of the website you linked from, if any. If you sign on to the website to use secured features, our Web logs will also contain an individual identifier and show the services you have accessed.
All Web logs are stored securely and may only be accessed by Kaiser Permanente employees or designees on a need-to-know basis for a specific purpose. Kaiser Permanente uses Web log information to help us design our website; to identify popular features; to resolve user, hardware, and software problems; to make the website more useful to visitors; and for security purposes.
3. Internet cookies
We may place Internet “cookies” on the computer hard drives of visitors to the website. Information we obtain from cookies helps us to tailor our site to be more helpful and efficient for our visitors. The cookie consists of a unique identifier that does not contain information about you or your health history. We use two types of cookies, “session” cookies and “persistent” cookies.
A session cookie is temporary, and expires after you end a session and close your web or app browser. We use session cookies to help customize your experience on our site, maintain your signed-on status as you navigate through our features, and to track your “click path” through our Web pages.
Persistent cookies remain on your hard drive after you’ve exited from our website, and we use them for several reasons. For instance, if you’ve given us permission to email you with information about a research project, or for other reasons, we may place a persistent cookie on your hard drive that will let us know when you come back to visit our site. We sometimes use this type of persistent cookie with a “Web beacon” (see below). Persistent cookies will not contain any personal information about you.
You may have software on your computer that will allow you to decline or deactivate Internet cookies, but if you do so, some features of the website may not work properly for you. For instructions on how to remove cookies from your hard drive, go to your browser’s website for detailed instructions. In addition, further information regarding cookies may be available on other websites or from your Internet service provider. Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and iOS browsers are commonly used browsers.
Even if you have given us permission to send emails to you, you may revoke that permission at any time by following the “unsubscribe” information at the bottom of the email you receive from us.
5. Evaluation and quality improvement
We will periodically ask users to complete surveys asking about their experiences with features of the website. Our surveys ask visitors for demographic information such as age, gender, and education, but will not request that users provide specific information about any medical condition. We use survey information for evaluation and quality improvement purposes, including helping Kaiser Permanente to improve information and services offered through the website. In addition, users giving feedback may be individually contacted for follow-up due to concerns raised during the course of such evaluation. Demographic information and Web log data may be stored for future evaluation and quality improvement activities.
6. Messages and transactions
Comments or questions sent to us using email or secure messaging forms will be shared with Kaiser Permanente Division of Research staff who are most able to address your concerns. We will archive your messages once we have made our best effort to provide you with a complete and satisfactory response.
7. Data integrity and correction
Requests to view and correct personal information from the website, that that you have entered through this website, may be submitted using the contact information in the “Questions, complaints, and contacts” section below.
If your personal information changes, or to update or request deletion of information collected on our website, please use the contact information in the “Questions, complaints, and contacts” section below. We will respond to all access requests within 30 days.
We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from children under the age of 13. If Kaiser Permanente is made aware of collecting information from a child under 13 we will delete this information.
We may disclose personal information to any person performing audit, legal, operational, or other services for us. We will use information which does not identify the individual for these activities whenever reasonably possible. Information disclosed to vendors or contractors for operational purposes may not be re-disclosed to others by such a vendor or contractor, except as permitted by Kaiser Permanente and applicable law.
- We may also disclose your personal information as required by law, such as to comply with a subpoena, or similar legal process
- as described in our Notices of Privacy Practices for protected health information
- when we believe in good faith that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights, protect you or others from threats of imminent harm, investigate fraud or other activity in violation of the law, or respond to a government request
- to protect the security and reliability of the website
- if Kaiser Permanente is involved in a merger, acquisition, or sale of all or a portion of its assets; you will be notified via email and/or a prominent notice on our website of any change in ownership or uses of your personal information, as well as any choices you may have regarding your personal information
- to any other third party with your prior consent to do so
10. Opt out
If you receive information about a Kaiser Permanente Division of Research program through email, you may make a request to discontinue receiving similar messages in the future. All such materials sent to you by email will contain information about how to opt out.
11. Other requests to limit use and disclosure of your personal information
State and federal laws may allow you to request that we limit our uses and disclosures of your personal information for treatment, payment, and health care operations purposes. We will consider all requests and, if we deny your request, we will notify you in writing. Federal law requires us to agree to your request to restrict disclosures to a health plan or insurer relating to specific health care services, if you have paid for those services in full. The law does not, however, require us to restrict any disclosures we think are important for treatment purposes.
12. Data retention
We will retain your information for as long as your account is active or as needed to provide you services. We will retain and use your information as necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements.
13. Social media
Our website includes social media Features, such as Facebook and Twitter buttons. These Features may collect your IP address, which page you are visiting on our site, and may set a cookie to enable the feature to function properly. Social media features are either hosted by a third party or hosted directly on our site. Your interactions with these features are governed by the privacy statement of the company providing them.
14. Links to third-party websites
Our website includes links to other websites whose privacy practices may differ from those of Kaiser Permanente and the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research website. If you submit personal information to any of those sites, your information is governed by their privacy statements. We encourage you to carefully read the privacy statement of any website you visit.
Questions, complaints, and contacts
If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, our policies and practices concerning the website, or your rights under this statement, you can reach us via the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research Contact Us form.
Last revised July 17, 2023