Other unidentifiable information may be collected using various technologies, such as cookies, and web beacons. Cookies are small text files that are transferred to your computer’s hard disk by a website. Web beacons (also referred to as GIF files, pixels or Internet tags) help Abbott recognize a unique cookie on your browser. Your Internet browser automatically transmits to Abbott Web Sites some of this unidentifiable information, such as the URL of the web site you just visited and the browser version your computer is operating. Passive information collection technologies can make your use of Abbott Web Sites easier by allowing Abbott to provide better service, customize Abbott Web Sites based on consumer preferences, compile statistics, analyze trends, and otherwise administer and improve Abbott Web Sites. Certain features of Abbott Web Sites may not work without use of passive information collection technologies. Information collected by these technologies cannot be used to identify you without additional identifiable information that you actively submit and Abbott will not connect additional identifiable information with information collected through the use of such tracking technologies.
With respect to limiting or disabling tracking technology please see below “What choices do I have about how Abbott collects and uses personal information about me?”.
Abbott will use the personal information you provide through Abbott Web Sites to respond to your questions and to provide you with efficient customer service. After you have entered personal information into a form or data field on an Abbott Web Site, Abbott may use certain identifying technologies to allow that Abbott Web Site to “remember” your personal preferences, such as sections of that Abbott Web Site that you visit frequently and, if you choose, your user ID. We will only use your personal information for other business purposes, such as to offer you the opportunity to receive notices regarding Abbott’s products or services, to invite you to participate in surveys about our products, or to notify you about special promotions if you provided us with your prior opt-in for such purposes.
Abbott may consolidate the personal information of customers who use Abbott Web Sites. In addition, we may consolidate information in a non-identifiable form (aggregate/ anonymous data) to help us better design Abbott Web Sites and Abbott products, to enhance our research activities, and to facilitate other business functions.
You may always limit the amount and type of personal information that Abbott receives about you by choosing not to enter any personal information into forms or data fields on Abbott Web Sites. Some of our online services can only be provided to you if you provide us with appropriate personal information. Other parts of Abbott Web Sites may ask whether you wish to opt into our contact lists for offers, promotions and additional services that may be of interest to you.
You may also be provided with preference questions or preference boxes allowing you to indicate that you do not want Abbott Web Sites to use tracking technologies, such as cookies, to “remember” your personal information, such as user IDs or mailing addresses, on return visits. However, Abbott Web Sites that use tracking technologies to collect unidentifiable information do not generally provide you with the ability to opt out of the tracking technologies. Some Internet browsers allow you to limit or disable the use of tracking technologies that collect unidentifiable information. For further information about managing Cookies visit www.allaboutcookies.org.
Personal information can be accessed by a restricted number of Abbott employees, by certain companies with which Abbott may conduct joint programs, and by third parties with whom Abbott contracts to carry out business activities for Abbott. We train our employees about the importance of privacy and how to handle and manage customer data appropriately and securely. Also, it is Abbott’s practice to seek your consent where required by applicable law if you are registering for a program which is conducted in conjunction with another company that may require access to your personal information. In addition, Abbott’s practice is to require its contractors to keep your personal information confidential and to use your personal information only to perform functions for Abbott.
Except as otherwise stated in this Section, Abbott will not transfer your personal information to third parties unless you have been provided with an opportunity to opt into this disclosure. Abbott may disclose your personal information without your opt-in to third party service providers which assist us with our business activities. It is Abbott’s practice to require such third party service providers to keep your personal information confidential and to use your personal information only to perform functions for Abbott and in accordance with Abbott’s instructions. Abbott further reserves the right to disclose your personal information to respond to authorized information requests from government authorities or when otherwise required by law. In the event Abbott sells one of its product lines or divisions, Abbott will only transfer your personal information to the buyer subject to your consent where required by applicable law so that the buyer can continue to provide you with information and services.
Abbott does not knowingly collect or use any personal information from children (we define “children” as minors younger than 18) on Abbott Web Sites. We do not knowingly allow children to order our products, communicate with us, or use any of our online services. If you are a parent and become aware that your child has provided us with information, please contact us using one of the methods specified below, and we will work with you to address this issue.
In general, Abbott will only store your personal information for as long as it is needed to fulfill the purposes for which it was collected, subject to applicable data retention periods imposed upon Abbott by applicable law.