National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

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NCCAM Privacy Policy (Part 2)

How This Site Uses Third-Party Web Sites and Applications

Third-party Web sites and applications are Web-based technologies that are not exclusively operated or controlled by NCCAM, such as non-Government-hosted applications and those embedded on an NCCAM Web page that could cause personally identifiable information to become available or accessible to NCCAM, regardless of whether NCCAM solicits or collects it.

As part of the Open Government Directive, uses a variety of new technologies and social media options to communicate and interact with citizens. These sites and applications include popular social networking and media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Below, we outline the applications NCCAM uses, and their purposes. If any applications collect your private information, we describe how NCCAM protects your information.

Data Safeguarding and Privacy

All uses of Web measurement and customization technologies will comply with existing policies with respect to privacy and data safeguarding standards. Information technology (IT) systems owned and operated by NIH are assessed using Privacy Impact Assessments posted for public view on the Department of Health and Human Services Web site. Groups of records that contain information about an individual and are designed to be retrieved by the name or other personal identifier linked to the individual are covered by the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. Section 552a). For these records, NIH Systems of Record Notices are published in the Federal Register and posted on the NIH Office of the Senior Official for Privacy Web site. For more information, please refer to the NIH Privacy Policy posted on the Web site.

Data Retention and Access Limits

NIH will retain collected data long enough to achieve the specified objective for which they were collected. The data generated from these activities falls under the National Archives and Records Administration General Records Schedule 20—item IC Electronic Records, and will be handled per the requirements of that schedule.

Third-Party Web Sites and Applications NCCAM uses to shorten long URLs for use in email messages, Twitter feeds and on Facebook pages. collects and provides data on how often you as an email recipient or Facebook/Twitter user, click on the shortened URLs distributed by NCCAM staff. analytics show how many people clicked on the URLs posted by NCCAM, compared to the total number of clicks on the shortened URLs. analytics do not provide any PII about the visitors who open the shortened links. Read the Privacy Policy »

Facebook: NCCAM has one Facebook page located at NCCAM staff post news and other items of interest to citizens. If you have a Facebook account and “like” NCCAM's Facebook page, you can post comments or click on the “like” option for individual entries. If you comment or click on the “like” button, personally identifying information will be visible to NIH staff and other Facebook site visitors. The amount of visible personal information will depend on your own Facebook privacy settings. You can completely avoid displaying any personally identifiable information by not creating an account, not posting comments, and not clicking on the “like” options on the NCCAM Facebook page. NCCAM staff does not collect, use, or disclose any information about visitors who comment or “like” the NCCAM Facebook page.

Facebook collects and reports on non-personally identifiable information about activities on Facebook pages. This information is only available to select members of the NCCAM Communications and Web Teams and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties. Read the Facebook Privacy Policy »

Google Analytics: The NCCAM Web site has employed persistent cookies with the implementation of third party analysis tools. The NCCAM website makes use of the Google Analytics service to track visitor actions and visits to the site. This service collects visitor actions and uses persistent cookies to verify new and returning visitors to the site. Although Google Analytics offers usage data and visitor actions to NCCAM, these reports do not include any personally identifiable information. The reports are password-protected and only available to members of the NCCAM Communications and Web Teams, and other designated staff requiring this information to perform their duties. You can opt out of Google Analytics reporting by disabling cookies in your browser (see for instructions). All features of the NCCAM Web site will still be available to you even if you opt out of Google Analytics reporting. Read the Google Privacy Policy »

Google+ (Google Plus): NCCAM uses Google+—a social networking service owned by Google—to share information with the public and to respond to comments and inquiries sent via Google+ to NCCAM. The service allows users to create a profile and connect with other users by creating “circles” of friends, family, colleagues, and other specific groups. The service allows users to post information and multimedia, and to create events or start a “hangout,” where users can have conversations about a delegated topic. To create an account, the user must provide personal information, such as name, photo (optional), username, password, and e-mail address. Users may create a personal profile with photos, lists of personal interests, contact information, and other personal information. Users may join others’ circles by clicking on the “+1” button, or requesting to be a part of another user’s “circle”. Users may choose which information/multimedia or conversations are shared with which “circle” (family/friends/colleagues, etc.). Users can change which circles to chat/share information with by choosing Privacy Settings from the chat menu. Revenue is generated through Google ads. If signed into any Google service, users are passively using Google+ and the site collects data used for targeted ads. Read the Google Privacy Policy »

GovDelivery Subscription Management: NCCAM uses GovDelivery to send e-newsletters, alerts, and other information to subscribers. To subscribe to this service, users must provide an e-mail address and indicate their subscription preferences, including the topics they want to receive. Subscribers may also answer an optional question about how they describe themselves using broad categories; NCCAM uses this information to better understand its subscribers.

Only NCCAM staff involved in sending the e-newsletters, alerts, and other messages have access to information collected through GovDelivery. Subscriber lists will not be shared with anyone outside NCCAM. GovDelivery also collects and provides non-identifying information about the number of sent messages, clicks, and open rates. Read the GovDelivery Privacy Policy »

LinkedIn: NCCAM created a LinkedIn Company page as a part of the larger NIH LinkedIn community. The NCCAM page provides posts on job openings, meeting/event announcements, NCCAM staff profiles, and other relevant content. LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site that is free to users and is mainly used for professional networking. Users must create a profile, provide an e-mail address, and create a password. Once registered to the site, users can upload applications and resumes and build their profile by providing information about past and current work experience, education, networks, personal interests, etc. Users may send requests to one another to ‘connect’ and become a part of each other’s network. Connecting with a user may provide a more in-depth view of a profile, including contact information. Users can choose to purchase upgrades, including an e-mail service. Read the LinkedIn Privacy Policy »

Pinterest: NCCAM uses Pinterest to share graphics and content from NCCAM websites. To subscribe to Pinterest, you may provide your name, email address, and gender. If you link your Facebook or Twitter account to Pinterest, Pinterest may obtain additional information from those accounts (e.g., your friends or contacts).

We use Pinterest analytics to evaluate reach and impressions in addition to how well images from the NCCAM Web site are pinned, how many people are pinning images from the Web site, and how many users visit the NCCAM Web site from Pinterest. Read the Pinterest Privacy Policy »

Storify: Storify collects updates from social networks to create a new story format that is interactive and social. Storify users can comment on and share stories. NCCAM uses Storify to collect tweets from the monthly Twitter Chat. The archived story includes messages (tweets) posted by chat participants; participants’ Twitter account username and profile image will display in the Storify story. Read the Storify Privacy Policy »

Twitter: NCCAM uses Twitter to send short messages (up to 140 characters)—or tweets—to share information with the public and respond to comments and inquiries sent via Twitter to NCCAM. While visitors may read the NCCAM Twitter feeds without subscribing to them, visitors who want to subscribe to (or follow) NCCAM Twitter feeds must create a Twitter account at To create an account, you must provide some personal information, such as name, user name, password and e-mail address. Visitors have the option to provide additional personal information including a short biography, location, or picture. Most information you provide for a Twitter account is available to the public, but you can modify how much of your information is visible by changing your privacy settings at the Web site. NCCAM staff members monitor the number of subscribers and respond to comments and queries via Twitter, but the staff never takes possession of the personal information belonging to Twitter followers. NCCAM does not collect, maintain, disclose, or share any information about people who follow NCCAM on Twitter. Read the Twitter Privacy Policy »

NCCAM may collect, save, and post transcripts from its monthly Twitter Chats. The archived transcript will include messages posted by chat participants and participants’ Twitter account username and profile image. You may request to have this information removed from the transcript by e-mailing Any personally identifying information collected during these conversations will not be used or sold by NCCAM in any way, except for sharing information.

YouTube: NCCAM posts videos on YouTube to make them available to the public. You do not need to register with either YouTube or Google (YouTube owner) to watch NCCAM videos. When visitors watch videos, YouTube may record non-personally identifiable information about its site usage, such as channels used, videos watched, and data transfer details to improve its services. If you log on to the YouTube site before watching NCCAM videos, YouTube may associate information about your site use with your YouTube account. If you log on to YouTube and comment on an NCCAM video, any personal information you included when registering for your account will be visible to visitors who click on the comment. If you do not log on before watching NIH videos posted on YouTube, your site use will not be associated with you or a YouTube account. Read the YouTube Privacy Policy »

Note: NCCAM may “follow” or “Like” non-government organizations through the above 3rd-party sites. This does not indicate endorsement of that organization or of its views or site content.

Related Link: How NCCAM Collects and Uses Information