Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Terms of Use and Privacy Policy for Harvard Health Publications content.health.harvard.edu

Please read this Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (this "Agreement") carefully before using the content.health.harvard.edu ("Website"), an Internet site maintained by Harvard Health Publications ("Harvard Health"). This Agreement describes Harvard Health's information gathering and dissemination practices for the Website.  Your use of the Website is subject to your acceptance of this Agreement.

Harvard Health has created this Agreement to demonstrate its commitment to its users’ privacy. This Agreement describes Harvard Health's information gathering and dissemination practices for the Website.

Privacy and California “Shine the Light” Notice

Harvard Health does not require registration to view this Website.  If you request information or other resources through the website, we may request certain identifiable information. Personally identifiable information about users, such as name, address, e-mail address, phone number, position, or company affiliation or other information about you, is collected, however, only when such information is voluntarily submitted by the user. For example, Harvard Health will receive a user’s identifiable information only when the user sends an email requesting to be contacted about licensing Harvard Health content. By voluntarily submitting such personal information, the user is consenting to be contacted by a representative of Harvard Health.  Once submitted, personal information and correspondence, such as emails or letters, sent to Harvard Health by a user may be collected into a file specific to the user.  This information is utilized to respond to your inquiries, to provide you with email notifications related to your interests and to customize your experience on our website.

Browsing information and cookies

When you access this website, our servers automatically record information that your browser provides.  This may include, among other data, Harvard Health reserves the right to track non-personal information about users of its Website, including without limitation: the URL that the user has come from (whether this URL is on its Website or not), the URL the user goes to next (whether this URL is on its Website or not), device identifiers, the Internet browser being used, the type of operating system used, the user's location, and the user's IP address. A user's IP address is used for system administration purposes and to track a user's session in order to give Harvard Health an understanding as to which parts of the Website users are visiting. We do not link IP addresses to any personally identifiable information.  Harvard Health may use such non-personal information for purposes including, but not limited to, improving the content of its Website, and for marketing, advertising, or research purposes.

This website will attempt to store a small piece of data known as a cookie on your computer, which will be read each time you visit the site.  We may use cookies to establish continuity between requests, to personalize the site to your preferences and to analyze site traffic.  Cookies do not themselves contain any personal information.  You may choose to block cookies with your browser, but if you do, you may not be able to take full advantage of all of the site’s features.

Use of information

Harvard Health may use such non-identifiable information for the following purposes, in addition to those described above: tailoring the content for user needs and improving the content of its Website, generating data and reports about usage of the website and its content, supporting the functioning and security of the website; protecting our rights and the rights of others and for other advertising, or research purposes.

We may evaluate site usage by collecting statistics about the behavior of visitors to this site and analyzing user information and demographics, but only to generate aggregate statistical reports.  We may use third party services to collect such information.  We may provide statistical information to others.  Such reports will not disclose individual site usage by IP addresses and identifiable information.

 Harvard Health reserves the right to release current or past user information internally within Harvard Health. Harvard Health reserves the right to release current or past user information to third parties for limited purposes in the event Harvard Health believes that usage is (i) in violation of this Agreement; (ii) used to commit unlawful acts; and/or (iii) is required to be disclosed to comply with applicable laws or regulations, or with a court or administrative order. Except as previously stated, Harvard Health will not share identifiable personal user information specific to users with third parties. Specifically, Harvard Health does not share a user’s personal information with third party businesses for direct marketing purposes. Harvard Health is, however, free to disclose aggregate user information to third parties.

Terms of Use

The text, audio, images, photographs, graphics, descriptions, and other material provided on the Website are collectively referred to as the "Content." The Harvard Health Content is owned by the President and Fellows of Harvard University and is protected by copyright under both United States and foreign laws. You may not use the Content presented on this website for any purpose without first contacting Harvard Health’s publishing agent and obtaining a written license agreement. Any reproduction, display, or distribution of the Content must be pursuant to a separately agreed upon written license agreement. Nothing contained on the Website will be construed as granting, by implication or otherwise, any right to use, reproduce, modify, transmit, display, publish, sell, create derivative works, publicly perform, or distribute by any means, method, or process whatsoever, now known or hereafter developed, any of the Content on or transmitted through the Website. Please go to the “Contact Us” link above to have a representative contact you regarding licensing.

All trademarks, service marks, trade names, logos and graphics ("Marks") used on this site are registered or common law trademarks of Harvard University, unless otherwise indicated. You may not make any use of Marks without the prior written consent of Harvard Health. Use of any Harvard University shield, crest or mark without express written permission is illegal.

General Compliance with Laws

All users shall comply with all applicable laws, statutes, ordinances, and regulations regarding use of the Website.

Links from Other Websites

Harvard Health does not permit links to its Website.

Changes to the Privacy Statement

Harvard Health may make improvements or changes in the information, services, products, and other materials on content.health.harvard.edu, or terminate content.health.harvard.edu, at any time without notice. Harvard Health may modify this privacy policy and terms of use Agreement at any time, and such modifications shall be effective immediately upon posting of the modified agreement.


Your use of the Website is at your own risk. Harvard Health makes no warranties or representations as to the Content and assumes no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions therein. This Website is for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice. Individual circumstances vary so users should consult their physicians. Harvard Health also assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages to, or viruses that may infect, your computer equipment or other property on account of your access to, use of, or browsing in the Website or your downloading of any materials from the Website.


This Agreement shall be governed in all respects by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. If any provision of this Agreement is held to be invalid or unenforceable, such provision shall be struck and the remaining provisions shall be enforced. Headings are for reference purposes only and in no way define, limit, construe, or describe the scope or extent of such section. Harvard Health's failure to act with respect to a breach by you or others does not waive Harvard Health's right to act with respect to subsequent or similar breaches. This Agreement sets forth the entire understanding and agreement between Harvard Health and users of the Website with respect to the subject matter hereof.

Contacting the Website

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this Website, or your dealings with this Website, please contact Jennifer_Mitchell@hms.harvard.edu.

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