Policies on Social Media and Posting Website Content
With respect to Boston Children’s Hospital’s use of social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and other forms of interactive media, it is our goal to help create online communities that: Foster community, share information, provide value, and strengthen relationships. As with all of our interactions, we will seek to guard the privacy and safety of individuals, and must ask all users to assist us in this effort.
In the following document, we outline the specific policies that govern this practice. If at any time, you would like to contact us for more information, clarification, or for any reason at all, please don’t hesitate to do so.
Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
By posting, uploading or transmitting any material on or through the Boston Children’s Hospital website, as well as websites hosted by third party entities such as, but not limited to Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube (hereafter referred to as social media sites), you agree that no submitted materials will violate or infringe upon the rights of any third party, including copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity or other personal or proprietary rights; or contain libelous, defamatory or otherwise unlawful material.
You also recognize and agree that you are making materials available on a publicly accessible website and willingly do so at your own risk. Boston Children’s Hospital cannot control the actions of other Users/Friends/Fans (and the like, hereafter referred to as “friends”) who may view or share your pages and information posted on the website. Therefore, we cannot and do not guarantee that content you post on the website will not be viewed by unauthorized persons. In furtherance of the above stated, and in compliance with HIPAA laws, Boston Children’s Hospital must ask that patient families refrain from disclosing their relationship with patients or disclosing details of patient medical conditions in content posted on the website. Similarly, for the safety of our online community, Boston Children’s Hospital can not permit, and consequently will be compelled to remove posts that solicit or offer medical advice.
You further authorize Boston Children’s Hospital to use posted information which may include, but is not limited to, your name, likeness, images, your child(ren)’s names and posted details of his/her medical care for the purposes of marketing, public relations and fundraising, in all media, whether or not now known.
With respect to the promotion of events and other marketing initiatives, both now and in the future, you grant permission to Boston Children's Hospital and its business partners unrestricted permission to use any posted content on the website, including, but not limited to, narrative content, your name, likeness, images, and those same of the minors that you are legal guardian, in Internet, broadcast, photograph, video or other account, for third party events including, but not limited to NSTAR’S Walk for Boston Children’s Hospital.
Our Policies and Guidelines
Use of the Sites
If you use the sites, by participation in the Boston Children's Hospital website, other social media sites or by submission of comments, messages, emails, or other information via Boston Children’s Hospital website or third party social media sites, you must follow these rules:
Boston Children’s Hospital does not seek to limit the rights of individuals to communicate in a free and open manner, however certain materials and language will not be tolerated. You may not post or transmit any material or links to material that will lead to injury of yourself or others. Such material may include, but is not limited to content that is libelous, defamatory, false, obscene, indecent, lewd, violent, abusive, threatening, harassing, discriminatory, in violation of the law of that constitutes hate speech.
The only material that you may post, upload or transmit, is that collateral for which you own the copyright or have explicit permission to distribute electronically. In cases, when you are not the owner of the copyright you must cite the original source. You may not violate, plagiarize, or infringe on the rights of third parties, including copyright, trademark, trade secret, privacy, personal, publicity, moral or proprietary rights. You promise and represent that any posted, uploaded, include or transmitted materials will be owned by you or in the public domain.
You may not post, create, upload or transmit any software or other material which contains a virus or other harmful code or device. You may not use the sites to distribute advertisements, chain letters or messages, mass mailings or “spam” to gather email addresses for the purpose of sending “spam” to other users on Boston Children's Hospital social media sites.
By posting, uploading or transmitting any material on or through Boston Children's Hospital social media sites, you hereby grant Children's Hospital Boston a non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide license to use, copy, sublicense, transmit, modify, publicly perform or display that material, and your name and location (city, state and/or country), if you provide that information to use, in connection with that material, in all media, whether or not now known.
In compliance with HIPAA laws and our strict patient policies, patient families should refrain from disclosing their relationship with patients in videos, photos, or in patient and/or family stories hosted on our social media sites. Patients and their families must not disclose other identifiable information about the patient including last name, street address, etc.
Users participating on Boston Children's Hospital social media sites are subject to the age restrictions set forth on the respective site for use.
Social media websites contain links to other websites produced by Boston Children’s Hospital, to websites operated by unrelated third parties. In addition, if you click on an advertisement on our Website, you may be directed to a web page with our website or to a third party website. Please note that Children’s Hospital Boston is not responsible for the privacy practices of third-party websites. We encourage you to be aware of this when use social media websites and to read the privacy policies of every website that collects personally identifiable information from you.
You acknowledge we may change or delete content or features of Boston Children's Hospital social media sites in any way, at any time, and for any reason or no reason.
Child Fundraiser Addendum
By registering for community fundraising events such as, but not limited to, NSTAR’s Walk for Boston Children’s Hospital (Walk) with a registered child fundraiser, you are confirming that you are the legal guardian of the registered minor.
You authorize that any material posted on the website, including but not limited to, your child’s name, likeness, patient story and other biographical material, may be used by Boston Children’s Hospital for the purposes of marketing, public relations and fundraising.
Pursuant to these purposes, you grant Boston Children’s Hospital the right to use your child’s information to promote, publicize or fundraise for Boston Children’s Hospital, in all media, whether or not now known. Additionally, you authorize the potential use of any posted information outlined above for future use on online social networking sites including, but not limited to Facebook and/or YouTube and the like.
Policies on Posting Website Content: COPA & Parental notification
Notice of Information Practices With Regard To Children
Our postal address is 300 Longwood Avenue Boston, MA 02115. Our telephone number is (617) 355-6000. We do not consider ChildrensHospital.org a website directed to children, as that term is understood under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPA). It is possible that, without our knowledge, we may receive information about a child though our Contact Us feature or through our web-based initiatives such as, but not limited to, GenerationCures.org, or through self-disclosure. In such an circumstances, we will observe the following practices regarding parents’ review and directions regarding their child’s information
In compliance with all applicable Federal laws, Bosotn Children’s Hospital will not knowingly collect any personal information from a child under the age of thirteen without the consent of that child's parent. We respect the privacy of individuals, and this is particularly true with respect to children. We do not collect any more personal information than reasonably necessary to enable them to participate in the activities we offer at our website. In fact, we are prohibited from conditioning a child's participation in an activity on the child's disclosing more personal information than is reasonably necessary to participate in such activity.
With respect to our online information collection practices from children under 18 years of age: We collect the following types of personal information directly from children online: first and last name, age, email address, mailing address, and on occasion, additional data such as school name and T-shirt size (for awarding of prizes and other promotional material). If a child is participating as an individual we will need to collect their mailing address in order to fill orders of materials and incentives.
Please note that parents may consent to the above collection and use without necessarily consenting to the disclosure of personal information to third parties. The only instance in which Boston Children’s Hospital would do so would be if the use of a third-party involvement becomes necessary.
With respect to the collection by other organizations of personal information from children at our site, our policy is that we do not have any agreements with outside organizations to collect personal information at our site.
Please note that in most circumstances, you can visit and enjoy our website(s) without disclosing any personal information about yourself. However, we offer some special services, and for these services to work properly we will need you to share with us certain personal information about yourself. The personal information we collect may include, but is not limited to, full name, street address, email address, telephone number(s) (e.g., home, work, mobile and/or fax) and birth date. We may also collect other personal information that will be identified on applicable page(s) of this website. If you submit any personal information to us, or to our third-party service providers acting on our behalf, you can be assured that we will not sell, lease, or share your personal information with or to anyone else, except as follows: (1) to our third-party service providers, and only so that they may help us provide services you've requested and in certain circumstances to provide you.
Use and Sharing of Information
The information we collect from children, individuals and families is used for record keeping, for marketing, and to ensure they receive the appropriate thank-you gifts for their involvement with Boston Children’s Hospital. With respect to sharing information, we do not share personal information with anyone other than those who provide support for the internal operations of the website and our agents (e.g., contractors who provide fulfillment services or technical support to the website). We have received the following commitments for security of information from third parties with whom we share personal information: All third parties with whom we share information have agreed to maintain security and integrity of personal information.
Upon request, parents can review the information that we have collected from their children online, prevent the further use or maintenance of such information, or direct the deletion of their children's personal information by: calling us at the telephone number provided above, writing to us at the above address.
Additional Privacy Information
Web log file data
We collect some basic web log file data about site visitors. This information includes domain names, web site traffic patterns and server usage statistics. This information is used for site management and administration and to improve the content and overall performance of our site.
Boston Children’s Hospital makes every reasonable effort to ensure that all of the transactions that occur on our web site are secure. We store personally identifiable data with Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption to protect information you may submit on our site. SSL is the industry standard protocol. All off-line information is securely stored and is accessible only by authorized Boston Children’s Hospital staff.
Boston Children's Hospital provides intake forms on our web site which may request confidential health information. These online forms are located on our secure site. We adhere to the requirements outlined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) legislation, which ensures security and privacy of an individual’s medical records. For your convenience, a printable version of the form is also available, if preferred.
Subscription to newsletters or press releases
If you subscribe to a newsletter, publication or press release published by Boston Children's Hospital and distributed via email, we will keep your email address in a private distribution list. Messages sent electronically do not reveal recipients’ email addresses or any other personal information. Boston Children's Hospital will only send messages to individuals who have opted to subscribe and who have provided their email address to us directly. We do not use this email address list for any other purpose, and we only add individuals at their request. At any time, you may opt out by using the unsubscribe link provided on our website and in the publication email, which will remove your information from the distribution list for that publication.
“Cookies” and how we use them
Cookies are packets of information that a website transfers to a user’s computer for record-keeping purposes. They are a means of keeping track of users’ preferences for content and alerting them to new content areas. Most browsers allow you to turn off cookies if you do not want them tracking your preferences.
The Boston Children’s Hospital website (www.childrenshospital.org) does not set or access cookies on your computer. The Boston Children’s Hospital Trust (giving.childrenshospital.org) does set and access cookies; however, no cookies are used to track an identifiable user’s movement through this website. They are used only to enhance the usability of the site. You can still use this site if you turn the cookies off.
Donations and Fundraising Events
When you donate to Boston Children's Hospital or register for a fundraising event, we ask you to voluntarily provide your name, address, telephone number, email address and credit card number so we can process your donation or event registration, send you a receipt or confirmation and communicate with you if necessary. If you’d like, you can provide that information another way (by phone or regular mail).
When you make a gift on our site, your information goes into a database maintained by Boston Children's Hospital Trust, the philanthropic resource for Boston Children's Hospital. The Trust may then send you email or mailings about other opportunities to support the Hospital. Please be aware that the Trust occasionally trades its donor mailing lists with a few, selected non-profit organizations. Those exchanges are infrequent and carefully monitored. If you don't want your name and address included in this list-sharing program, you can opt-out at any time by contacting us at the following address:
Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
You may also opt out using any of the opt-out methods, such as check-box opt-outs, included in any fundraising solicitation by the Boston Children’s Hospital.
Third-Party Service Providers
Boston Children's Hospital may engage reputable third-party vendors to help us manage our websites and allow us to better service our patients and visitors. The hospital never shares with third parties any personally identifiable information you provide when requesting information or making a donation online, except as required by law.
Links to other sites
This site has links to other sites we think may be of interest to our visitors. Their purpose is to provide visitors with convenient access to other sites that might interest them. A link to another site does not imply an endorsement of the site’s content or services.
We are not responsible for the privacy practices of sites not owned by Boston Children's Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital Trust. We encourage you to be aware of that when you leave our site and to read privacy statements at any sites that collect personally identifiable data.
Boston Children's Hospital does not collect your email address unless you voluntarily submit it to us or choose to communicate with us via email. We do not sell or rent any email addresses. We try to respond to email messages requiring a response promptly. If you email the hospital, your message and email address will be forwarded to the appropriate department or program within the hospital. Please do not email patient health information, as that information is confidential and should only be discussed with your physician.
How we use the information
Boston Children’s Hospital uses the information you provide to fulfill your online request, facilitate customer service and inform you of our programs and events.
We do not rent or sell visitors’ personal information to third parties, such as marketers.
We inform the companies that help the Boston Children's Hospital with donations made by credit card that they may not share or use personally identifiable information for any other purpose.
We do not share any third-party or personally identifiable information you provide with gifts in honor or memory of a loved one.
We do not share any personally identifiable information we may collect in surveys, although we may share aggregated survey results with analysts, as described above. The aggregate data cannot be used to identify individuals and participation in the survey is voluntary.
It is possible that we could be forced to disclose personally identifiable user information in response to a search warrant, subpoena, or court order; that can happen to any organization keeping records. Disclosures may also be appropriate to protect our legal rights and the security or integrity of our website, or to avoid liability. Those kinds of disclosures are highly unlikely, but possible.
Opting-Out: Please note that you can opt-out of our marketing programs at any time by contacting us at the following address:
Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Marketing programs typically include newsletters, solicitations, engagement/volunteer opportunities and the like.
Links to other sites
This site has links to other sites we think may be of interest to our visitors. Their purpose is to provide visitors with convenient access to other sites that might interest them. A link to another site does not imply an endorsement of the site's content or services.
We are not responsible for the privacy practices of sites not owned by Boston Children's Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital Trust. We encourage you to be aware of that when you leave our site and to read privacy statements at any sites that collect personally identifiable data.
Boston Children's Hospital stores personally identifiable data with Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption to protect credit card and other information you may submit from this site. SSL is the industry standard security protocol. All off-line information is securely stored and is accessible only by authorized Boston Children's Hospital staff.
Deletion and removal of information
Non-identifiable information in our aggregate database will not be deleted. Like all responsible website site publishers, we maintain backup files as a protection against natural disasters, equipment failures, or other disruptions. Backup files protect you and us because they lower the risk of losing valuable data. Removing a record from our main files does not remove that record from any backup systems. It may take up to six months before all information in a backup record is completely erased through the normal recycling of backup files. In the meantime, as long as backup records exist, they receive the same privacy and security protections as our other records.
Questions or comments?
Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Boston Children’s Hospital Trust
401 Park Drive, Suite 602
Boston, MA 02215-3354