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Leadership & Governance

Privacy Policy

[ Effective date: June 1, 2020 ]



This ATS Privacy Policy ("Privacy Policy") sets forth the privacy practices and policies of the American Thoracic Society and its affiliates ("ATS," "us," or "we"). ATS is committed to respecting and protecting your privacy. This Privacy Policy explains how we collect, use, maintain and disclose personal information collected about you when you visit our websites, including and (collectively, "Website" or "Websites"), attend an ATS event or otherwise interact with us.

"Personal information", is any information that enables us to identify you, directly or indirectly, by reference to an identifier such as your name, identification number, location data, online identifier or one or more factors specific to you. If you use our Websites, you acknowledge that you have read and understood the processes and policies referred to in this Privacy Policy.

For the purposes of the EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (the "GDPR"), the "data controller" is the American Thoracic Society registered in New York State, USA with a registered address at 25 Broadway, New York, NY 10004, USA.

Please read our Privacy Policy to understand:

Information We Collect
Site Use Information
Use of Cookies
Information You Provide to Us
Information Provided by Third Parties
Social Networking Activities
Financial Transactions
Aggregated or Anonymous Information
How We Use Your Personal Information
Opting Out of Communications
Disclosing Information to Third Parties
Links to Other Websites
Child Privacy
Access from Outside the United States
How Long We Store Your Personal Information
Your European Privacy Rights
Governing Law
Changes to this Privacy Policy

Information We Collect

The following describes the types of personal and other information we may collect about you, and how we use and maintain that information:

Site Use Information

Our web servers collect technical information relating to visitors to our Websites, including the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the Internet, browser type and version, time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform.
We may also collect information about your visit, including pages you viewed or searched for, page response times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), methods used to browse away from the page, and any phone number used to call our customer service number.

This information may be aggregated to measure the number of visits, average time spent on a Website, pages viewed, etc. We use this information to measure the use of our Websites and to improve the content we offer. We may share with third parties anonymized experiential information or other data on an aggregated basis without the use of any information that personally identifies you.

Use of Cookies

Like most websites, we employ "cookies" or similar technologies on certain pages of our Websites. Cookies make the use of our Websites easier by, among other things, saving your preferences. We will also use cookies to deliver content tailored to your interests. For detailed information on the cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them, see our Cookie Policy .

Information You Provide to Us

We may collect and process the following personal information:

  • Contact information, such as your name, username or similar identifier, address, email address, phone number, fax number, or your social media handles (such as Facebook, Twitter, Doximity, LinkedIn, etc.). You will provide contact information to us when you create a profile on our Website, submit a membership application, renew your membership, register for an event or conference, participate in online surveys or when you correspond with us by phone, email or otherwise.
  • Professional information, such as your employer, job title, employment history, work address, government identification numbers, year of admission, practice areas, areas of interest and your professional accreditation data (e.g. CME, MOC, nursing CE), etc. If you are in training, we may ask you to provide proof of enrolment and your training end date. You will share professional information when you create a profile on our Website, submit a membership application, renew your membership or register for an event or conference. Professional information may be provided by you during the membership process, or by your employer on your behalf. We may also ask you to share industry payments and relationships for conflict of interest (COI) management.
  • Profile information, such as your gender, age, or areas of interests, etc. You may share profile information when you create a profile on our Website, submit a membership application, renew your membership or register for an event or conference.

You may also provide special categories of personal information (or sensitive personal information), such as information relating to your health or racial or ethnic origin, when you create a profile on our Website, submit a membership application, renew your membership or register for an event or conference. Sharing this information is strictly optional. We will only process sensitive personal information where you have given your explicit consent, and in line with this Privacy Policy.

  • Credentials, such as passwords, your secret question and answer, or similar security information used for authentication and account access. When you create a profile on our Website, we may require you to provide us with your contact information and to generate a password. These credentials may be used, for example, for identification purposes, to communicate with you regarding your account with us or to facilitate the functioning of our Websites.
  • Purchase information, relating to purchases made by members and non-members of delegate passes and event participation, books, reports, journals or newsletter subscriptions either in-person or via our Website. Purchase information will include financial information as well as information concerning the content and time of the purchase.
  • Event information, such as the contact information you provide when you register for an event. We will also maintain a record of your participation in our events (sessions attended, exhibitors visited, response to ARS questions, etc.) as an attendee, presenter or a member of the press.
  • Peer review information, relating to peer review programs conducted in both professional societies and trade associations. This may include extensive information about the professional services of individuals or commercial products/services of corporations.
  • Certification information, relating to certification programs, in which members are granted certification if they meet specified educational/employment experience requirements and/or pass an exam. This may include extensive information about the experience/performance of those certified or accredited. Where the certification concerns institutions or businesses, this may include similar information identifying employees and other members of staff.
  • Candidate information, such as employment history, qualifications, academic qualifications and education records, and any other information that you provide to us when applying for a role, for example in your curriculum vitae, a covering letter, on an application form or during an interview, or that we have received from a recruitment agency or background check provider.

Third party information. Should you provide any personal information relating to third parties you confirm that you have the permission of such third party to do so.

Information Provided by Third Parties

We will receive personal information about you from various third parties and public sources as set out below:

  • analytics providers [such as Google Analytics], advertising networks, and search information providers;

  • providers of technical, payment and delivery services;

  • data brokers or aggregators;

  • professional association with applicable data sharing policies; and

  • publicly available sources such as online registries (including the NPI registry), your employer’s website or other industry publications and resources.

Social Networking Activities

Our Websites include the ability for you and other users to link to social networking websites. As a result, we receive information about you when you choose to post or otherwise share information about our Websites on these social networking websites. We may use such information about you in a variety of ways, including to administer our Website, enhance your experience with our Website, or to communicate with you about our Website and any new offerings or activities associated with our Website.

Financial Transactions

When you engage in any financial transaction through our Websites, you will be asked to provide certain of your financial information, such as your credit card and billing address. Unless you register with our Website, we will only keep this information as long as necessary to complete the transaction or series of recurring transactions authorized by you.

Aggregated or Anonymous Information

We also collect, use and share aggregated or anonymous information such as statistical or demographic data. Aggregated or anonymous information could be derived from your personal information but is not considered personal information in law as this data will not directly or indirectly reveal your identity. However, if we combine or connect aggregated or anonymous information with your personal information so that it can directly or indirectly identify you, we treat the combined data as personal information which will be used in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

How We Use Your Personal Information

We use your personal information according to the terms of the Privacy Policy in effect at the time of our use. We will only process your personal information, including sharing it with third parties, where we have a valid legal ground for doing so under applicable law. The legal ground will depend on the purpose for which we process your personal information.

We use information you provided to us for the following purposes as necessary for the performance of a contract to which you are a party (including your membership agreement with us):

  • to carry out our obligations arising from your membership and any other agreement entered into between you and us;
  • to provide you with the information, products and services that you request from us and contact you regarding your use of our products and services;
  • to update and renew your membership as required;
  • to arrange and deliver conferences, events and programming relevant to your specialist area and subjects of interest; and
  • to respond to your questions and provide related membership services.

We use the information you have provided to us and site use information in the following ways as necessary for certain legitimate commercial interests, or where you have given your consent to such processing to the extent required by applicable law (such consent can be withdrawn at any time):

  • to provide you with information about other events, books, reports, journals or newsletter subscriptions we offer that are similar to those that you have already requested, provided you have not opted-out of receiving that information;
  • where you attend one of our events, to share your contact information with sponsors and/or other attendees;
  • to provide you, or permit selected third parties to provide you, with information about other events, books, reports, journals or newsletter subscriptions we feel may interest you;
  • to present online tailored advertising to you on our Websites or third-party websites which we feel may interest you - in some circumstances, such advertising may be based on your location using geo-targeting;
  • to make suggestions and recommendations to you and other users of our Websites about goods or services that may interest you or them
  • to make more informed decisions regarding future conference programming, assembly diversity - committee assignments, or special projects/ad hoc task forces or working groups; and
  • to notify you about changes to our membership or related services.

We may use your sensitive personal information that you have provided to us (e.g. relating to your racial or ethnic origin) for the following internal purposes where you have given your explicit consent to such processing to the extent required by applicable law (such consent can be withdrawn at any time):

  • to develop new educational products; and
  • to make more informed decisions regarding future conference programming, assembly diversity - committee assignments, or special projects/ad hoc task forces or working groups.

We may also use your sensitive personal information, such as health information, to provide you with specialized services, such as disabled access to our events, where you have given your explicit consent to the extent required by applicable law (such consent can be withdrawn at any time).
We use the information you have provided to us and site use information in the following ways as necessary for certain legitimate commercial interests:

  • to administer our Websites and for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, statistical and survey purposes;
  • to improve our Website to ensure that content is presented most effectively for you and your computer;
  • as part of our efforts to keep our Websites safe and secure;
  • to deal with any enquiries or complaints you or others make;
  • to analyze and develop our relationship with you and to confirm, update and improve our records;
  • to improve and develop new educational products;
  • to make more informed decisions regarding future conference programming, assembly diversity - committee assignments, or special ad hoc task forces or working groups;
  • to measure or understand the effectiveness of advertising we serve to you and others, and to deliver relevant advertising to you; and
  • to gather statistical information to make our research products more relevant to you.

We also use the information you have provided to us and site use information to (i) comply with legal obligations, (ii) respond to requests from competent authorities; (iii) protect our interests; (iv) protect our rights, safety or property, and/or that of our partners, you or others; and (v) enforce or defend our legal rights.

If you apply to work for ATS on a permanent or temporary basis, we will use your personal information in the following ways as necessary in our legitimate interests, and to decide whether to enter into a contract with you:

  • to assess your skills, qualifications, and suitability for the role you have applied for;
  • to carry out background and reference checks, where applicable;
  • to communicate with you about the recruitment process;
  • to keep records related to our hiring processes; and
  • to comply with legal or regulatory requirements.

If your application is unsuccessful, we will store your personal information for up to six (6) months following the conclusion of the unsuccessful application, this is in order to respond to any questions you might have about your application and in order to protect ourselves from legal claims. Should you consent to us retaining your personal information for the purposes of identifying and contacting you about other suitable recruitment opportunities within ATS, we will store your personal information for a further five (5) year period, unless you withdraw your consent, which you may do at any time.

DMD Healthcare Communications NetworkSM Privacy Statement

This digital service participates in the DMD Healthcare Communication NetworkSM (the Network”), and as such has implemented various technologies for universal registration/login among all Network member websites. These technologies are managed by DMD Marketing Corp. (“DMD”), and may involve the collection, receipt, and sharing of information with DMD, its clients and other Network members. If you would like to understand how this digital service’s participation in the Network affects your privacy, please click here:

Please note that the Network registration/login system may be different from the registration/login used by this digital service for other products and services. To the extent that anything in this privacy policy conflicts with the policy for the Network technologies, the conflict will be resolved in favor of the policy applicable to the Network technologies.

Opting Out of Communications

If you no longer want to receive emails from ATS on a going-forward basis, you may opt out of receiving emails by clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of those email you receive. If you are having difficulty unsubscribing using the above methods, please contact us directly at the email or phone number listed below under Contact.

Please allow ample time for us to process your request. However, please note that even if you opt-out of receiving emails, we will send you service-related communications and may need to keep the information we have collected about you for record-keeping, research and other purposes.

Disclosing Information to Third Parties

We will not share, rent, sell or otherwise disclose any of the personal information that we collect about you through our Websites, except in any of the following situations:

  • You request or authorize the release of your personal information.
  • We may disclose information that we collect about you to our third-party contractors and payment processors who perform services for us in connection with the Websites or to complete or confirm a transaction or series of transactions that you conduct with us. We may also disclose information to service providers or suppliers if the disclosure enables that party to perform analytics services, business, professional or technical support for us.
  • We may also share information with our advertising and marketing service providers and partners who help us deliver advertising on our website or third-party websites. These advertising and marketing service providers and partners may link information that we share about you with other information they hold to provide relevant advertisements about goods and services that you may be interested in, including information about our products and services, and to perform analytics and measure the effectiveness of advertisements.
  • We may provide your contact information to a third party vendor who will then send you information from our partners and sponsors, so as to provide access to benefits and communicate important information about them that you have requested. We may also provide such information to other select third parties approved by ATS for their direct mail campaigns, where you have provided your consent to the extent required by applicable law. In all cases, we send either a mailer or email on the third party’s behalf and do not share either your mailing address or email addresses with the third party.
    • For example, we may give exhibitors the names and mail addresses of pre-registrants to our International Conference, and we may sell the names and mail addresses of subscribers to our journals (the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (AJRCCM), the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology (AJRCMB), Annals of the American Thoracic Society (AnnalsATS) and ATS Scholar. The use by and/or content of communications from any third party will be pre-approved by ATS.
  • We may disclose information about you as part of a merger, acquisition or other sale or transfer of the assets or business of ATS. We do not guarantee that any entity receiving such information in connection with one of these transactions will comply with all terms of this Privacy Policy.
  • We may disclose information about you to comply with the law, applicable regulations, governmental and quasi-governmental requests, court orders or subpoenas, to enforce our Terms of Use or other agreements, or to protect our rights, property or safety or the rights, property or safety of our users or others (e.g., to a consumer reporting agency for fraud protection). We reserve the right to release information that we collect to law enforcement or other government officials, as we, in our sole and absolute discretion, deem necessary or appropriate.
  • We may share aggregated or anonymous information such as statistical or demographic data that cannot identify you with third parties. For example, we may disclose the number of visitors to our Websites or the number of people who have downloaded a particular document. We may also make available aggregated or anonymous information related to our membership, conference attendance and activities, our activities including committees and assemblies, and our journal activities.
  • We may disclose information to travel agents, hotels, airlines, car rental companies and other service providers where we are arranging accommodation for our members, event attendees, speakers and others. These service providers will process your information in line with their own privacy policies and practices. We encourage you to review the privacy policies belonging to these third parties.
  • In certain circumstances, ATS members may submit requests for contact details of other members that meet specific criteria, e.g. based on location, gender, specialism, areas of interest, racial or ethnic origin, etc. If you are an ATS member, meet the criteria and have given your explicit opt-in consent to sharing your information in this way (which can be removed at any time), we may share your personal information in response to such requests.

We will only transfer your personal information to trusted third-parties who provide sufficient guarantees in respect of the technical and organizational security measures governing the processing to be carried out and who can demonstrate a commitment to compliance with those measures.


To help protect the privacy of data you transmit through our Websites, where personal information is requested, we use technology designed to encrypt the information that you input before it is sent to us. In addition, we take steps to protect the user data we collect against unauthorized access. However, you should keep in mind that the Websites are run on software, hardware and networks, any component of which may, from time to time, require maintenance or experience problems or breaches of security beyond our control.

Please also be aware that despite our best intentions and the guidelines outlined in this Privacy Policy, no data transmission over the Internet or encryption method can be guaranteed to be 100% secure.

While we take steps to protect your personal information and keep it secure, you also play a role in protecting your information. You can help to maintain the security of your online transactions by not sharing your account information and password with anyone. ATS cannot guarantee the security of any information you transmit to us or from our Websites, and therefore you use our Websites at your own risk.

Our Websites may contain links to other websites. However, this Privacy Policy only addresses ATS's use and disclosure of your information collected on our Websites, if any. While we try to link only to websites that share our standards and respect for privacy, we are not responsible for the privacy practices of any third parties or the content of linked websites. We encourage you to read the applicable privacy policies and terms and conditions of such parties or websites.

Child Privacy

If you are under the age of 18, please do not use or access the Website in any way. We will not knowingly collect or use any personal information from any child under the age of 18. It is not our intention to collect personal information from anyone under 18 years of age. If we become aware that we have collected any personal information from children under the age of 18, we will promptly delete such information from our databases.

Access from Outside the United States

If you access the Website from outside of the United States, information that we collect about you will be transferred to servers inside the United States, which may involve the transfer of information out of countries located in the European Economic Area.

How Long We Store Your Personal Information

We will only retain your personal information, in a form which permits us to identify you, for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for. We will retain and use your personal information as necessary to satisfy any legal, accounting or reporting requirements, to resolve disputes or to enforce our agreements and rights. In line with this policy, we will either securely delete or anonymize your personal information so that it cannot be linked back to you.

ATS serves as an "organization of record" for countless thousands of professionals pursuing academic, research and/or clinical careers in the fields of respiratory, critical care and/or sleep medicine for both adult and paediatric populations. Individuals' activities with the ATS (membership, publishing or contributing to a journal article or other publication, speaking at or attending a conference, receiving a scholarship or research award, etc.), even if they occur many years previously, can have a significant impact on their careers. Likewise, individuals' contributions can have a significant, long-term impact on their respective fields of professional endeavour. As such, personal information of individuals that interact with the Society is retained for an indefinite period of time in order for the ATS to maintain this "organization of record" status.

Your European Privacy Rights

For individuals in the European Union and European Economic Area (the "EU"): You have the right to ask us not to process your personal information for direct marketing purposes, e.g. marketing emails, texts or calls. We will usually inform you (before collecting your personal information) if we intend to use your personal information for such purposes or if we intend to disclose your information to any third party for such purposes. You can exercise your right to prevent such processing by checking certain boxes on the forms we use to collect your personal information. You can also exercise the right by contacting us by one of the methods set out below.

Under the GDPR, in certain circumstances, you have the right to (a) request access to any personal information we hold about you and related information, (b) obtain without undue delay the rectification of any inaccurate personal information, (c) request that your personal information is deleted, (d) prevent or restrict processing of your personal information, and (e) request transfer of your personal information directly to a third party where this is technically feasible.

Where you believe that ATS has not complied with its obligation under this Privacy Policy or EU law we ask that you contact us first to see if we can resolve the issue. However, in you have the right to make a complaint to an EU Data Protection Authority, such as the UK Information Commissioner's Office.

Governing Law

By choosing to visit our Websites or provide information to us, you agree that any dispute over privacy or the terms contained in this Privacy Policy will be governed by the law of the State of New York. You also agree to abide by any limitation on damages contained in our Terms of Use , or other agreement that we have with you.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We may occasionally amend this Privacy Policy to reflect company and customer feedback, and we reserve the right to make changes to this Privacy Policy at any time. The use of your information is subject to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use in effect at the time of use. The provisions contained in this Privacy Policy supersede all previous notices or policies regarding our privacy practices with respect to our Websites. Please check the "Effective Date" at the top of this page to see when this Privacy Policy was last revised. We encourage you to check frequently to see the current Privacy Policy to be informed of how ATS is committed to protecting your information and providing you with improved content on our Websites in order to enhance your experience.


If you have any questions or comments regarding our Privacy Policy or our Websites, please contact us at , by phone at 212-315-8600 or send a letter to:

American Thoracic Society
25 Broadway, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10004