Our Commitment to You
Information Collection and Use
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is the sole owner of the information collected on this site. We will not sell, share, or rent this information without your permission, or use it in ways other than those outlined in this statement. The Society collects information from visitors at several different points on our site. Personal information provided by you will be used to improve our website and provide you with a more personalized experience. We do reserve the right to disclose user information in response to subpoenas, court orders, or as otherwise required by applicable law, and in those instances where we reasonably determine that disclosing such information is necessary to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal activities, or to protect our rights or property, other web site users, or anyone that could be harmed by such activities.
Information that identifies you as a specific individual will not be disclosed to others without your permission, except for those specific circumstances described in this policy or unless the disclosure is necessary to provide services that you have requested. We will not ask your permission to collect or use aggregate information about website visitors or users of our products or services, since aggregate information does not identify you as a specific individual. In addition to these general provisions, we collect and use personal information in the following ways:
Disclosures of Relationships and Competing Interests with Industry
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is committed to upholding the highest ethical values and to encourage professional and principled behavior by its staff and volunteers. It is the role of the Society to educate staff, officers, trustees, volunteers, and other members on these issues, actively recognize potential conflicts and develop proactive policies for individuals and the organization. Each trustee, committee member, officer and staff member receives a copy of the Society's ethics policy, which they are required to read and acknowledge in writing. Conflict of interest disclosure statements are filed annually by volunteers and senior staff, and are subject to random auditing by the Ethics Oversight Committee. Disclosures of relationships for board and committee members can be found on the Governance section of the Society's website.
Recipients of Fellowships and Grants
We may disclose award recipients' personal information, including funding and project summary information, for the purpose of publicizing Society of Thoracic Surgeons awards and/or assessing the subsequent success of the Society's award recipients. We deem that you have granted us your permission to do so when you submit an application for a fellowship, travel or other grant to the Society.
If you make a donation to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, your personal information, including your name, beneficiaries, amount of your donation and information about your estate, will be kept strictly confidential, unless you give us permission to release such information. We will honor your request for anonymity, except to the extent that the Society is legally required to disclose the identity of donors.
We may ask you for certain information, such as credit card information, when you order products or services, or when you register for an educational activity such as Scientific Sessions. We use this information to process your request and may share this information with credit card processing companies, merchants, and other third parties that may need the information for your request to be processed. These organizations have their own privacy and data collection practices, and we are not responsible for their independent policies. We only use your credit card information for completing the requested transaction and it is retained only as necessary for administrative purposes.
From time to time, we request information from members and other constituents via surveys. Participation in these surveys is completely voluntary. Information requested may include demographic information, such as name, address, age, membership category or professional affiliation. We use survey information to improve our programs, products and services, support our strategic planning efforts and gauge the satisfaction of our stakeholders.
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons will send you information about our programs, products and services via e-mail messages. If you no longer wish to receive our e-mail newsletters or promotional messages, you may opt-out of receiving these communications by following the "unsubscribe" or opt-out instructions in our e-mail messages. Unsubscribing will remove you from all but transaction-based messages from the Society such as membership dues invoices, receipts, registration confirmations, etc., while opt-outs provide you the opportunity to select specific types of information that you do not wish to receive.
We may also rent or sell our member or subscriber information, or exchange this information with other organizations. You may choose to opt out of third party solicitations by following the opt-out instructions in the e-mail message that you receive or by logging in to www.STS.org and selecting 'Review My Profile.' Opt-out options can be found under the section entitled 'Communication Preferences.' If you have any questions, please call us at 312-202-5800.
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons website contains links to other sites, including third-party vendors and advertisers of products and services. These vendors and advertisers may use cookie technology to measure the effectiveness of their ads or may otherwise collect personally identifiable information from you when you leave this site. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is not responsible for the privacy practices of such sites and we are not responsible or liable for any content, advertising, products, services or other materials offered by them. Transactions that occur between you and the third party are strictly between you and them, and are not our responsibility. We encourage you to read the privacy statements of every website that collects personally identifying information. This privacy notice applies solely to information collected on our website.
Security of Your Information
We take every precaution to protect your personal information. All personal information collected on individuals is kept confidential and in a firewall protected and physically secure environment. Access to personal information is restricted to only those personnel with a legitimate business purpose. Servers used to store personally identifying information are kept in a secure environment.
Retention of Personal Information
We retain personal information provided by you for as long as such information is considered to be relevant for the legitimate purposes of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, or until you instruct us to remove such information by contacting us in the manner described below.
Website Postings by Users
Information posted on our website by individual users, whether via sponsored blogs or other applicable fora, are the responsibility of the individual(s) posting such information. Such information does not necessarily reflect the views of the Society, and in no event shall the Society assume or have any responsibility or liability for any such information posted, or for any claims, damages or losses resulting from the use and/or appearance of such information. The Society shall have no obligation to monitor or control postings made by individuals, but reserves the right to do so, and to remove postings that it deems inappropriate or inaccurate. Further, the Society reserves the right to terminate the access of content providers or forum participants who, in the reasonable judgment of the Society are posting inappropriate or inaccurate information, or who appear to be violating the copyrights or other proprietary rights of others. To the extent individual users post information or content to the website, they grant to the Society a perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide license to use, transmit, copy and display such information or content in any and all media, and further represent that they have all necessary rights to make such postings.
Do Not Track
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons does not track its users across third party websites and therefore does not respond to Do Not Track (DNT) signals. However, some third party plug-ins may keep track of your browsing activities when they serve you content, to enable them to tailor your experience.
Third parties that have content embedded on the Society of Thoracic Surgeons's websites such as a social feature or a streaming video may set cookies on a user's browser and/or obtain information about the fact that a web browser visited a specific Society of Thoracic Surgeons website from a certain IP address. Third parties cannot collect any other personally identifiable information from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons's websites unless you provide it to them directly.
Correcting Your Information
You may correct or update any of the information you provide to us at any time. We will make our best effort to provide a way to correct, update or remove your personal information from our records, but this may require additional effort as the Society works to synchronize all customer data sources. To update your contact information and communication preferences, please log in to www.STS.org and select 'Review My Profile.' Opt-out options can be found under the section entitled 'Communication Preferences.' If you have any questions, please call 312-202-5800.
How to Contact Us