Privacy Statement

Please also see our Internet Privacy Policy

Our commitment to privacy

The American Cancer Society, Inc. is committed to maintaining the highest level of confidentiality regarding the constituent information that we collect, use, maintain, and disclose. This privacy standard protects the privacy of constituent information in accordance with federal and state privacy laws, the Society’s contractual obligations, and our constituents’ reasonable expectations of privacy.

Constituent information is used and disclosed only for the Society’s mission-related activities and operations, and in other limited circumstances such as when required for law enforcement or for public health activities. In addition, use and disclosure of constituent information is limited to a “minimum necessary” standard, except in certain situations specified by law. Other uses and disclosures of constituent information, including disclosures to third parties, shall not generally occur unless the constituent provides their consent. Constituents may exercise the rights granted to them under this privacy policy free from any intimidating or retaliatory acts.

What does the Society collect?

The Society collects personal information whenever you call our National Cancer Information Center, when you visit a local office, when you use Society products or services, when you visit Society Web pages or the pages of certain Society partners, when you make a donation to the Society and when you register for Society events. We also collect personal information when you are referred to us by your health provider, health plan or caregiver for support services.

Below are general categories of information that we collect. All information that you provide to the Society is voluntary.

Contact information. We may ask for contact information such as your name, address, telephone number, email address, and contact preferences. We collect this information so that we may: keep you informed about the Society, invite you to upcoming Society events in your area (such as Relay For Life®), or inform you of volunteer or other opportunities to support the Society’s mission. We may also use this information to provide you with patient-related cancer information or to follow-up on a request for services from the Society. We consider this information private and limit how it is used and disclosed.

Demographic information. We may ask for limited demographic information such as your gender, race or ethnicity, marital status, or primary language. This information is used to help us to better understand the individuals we serve or to better communicate with you. We consider this information private and limit how it is used and disclosed.

Health information. If you contact the Society seeking cancer information, request support from the Society, or attend a Society event, then we may ask for limited health information such as your relationship to cancer, type of cancer, date of diagnosis, stage, current treatment(s), and date of treatment(s). We use this information to help us better serve you and to match you with appropriate cancer resources and support services. We treat this information as confidential.

Financial information. If you make a donation to the Society, then we may ask for financial information such as a credit card number or financial account numbers. This information allows us to process your donation. We consider this information confidential.

Research information. If you inquire about (or enroll in) a Society research study, then we may collect information from you related to the study or studies. Research participant data is maintained in a secure, restricted environment and can only be accessed for research purposes. We treat this information as confidential.
Other information. Depending on the reason for your communication with the Society, we may collect other personal information from you. For example, if you seek assistance with obtaining health insurance, then we may ask for your insurance information. Or, if you contact the Society to donate your automobile under our Cars For a Cure® program, then we may ask for your vehicle’s identification number. We consider this information private and limit its access, use, and disclosure to those parties who are related to the program or service.

Personal Information on Minors. The Society does not intentionally collect personal information from children under the age of thirteen (13). The Society will delete any personal information collected that we later determine to be from an individual younger than the age of thirteen (13) if written parental consent has not been obtained.

How does the Society protect your information?

The Society has adopted a number of recognized standards to protect the privacy of your information, and we have provided a description and an example of these standards below. However, not every particular use or disclosure in every category will be listed.

We restrict and protect how your information is used. We have guidelines which limit access only to those who have a reasonable need to use your information. We will use your information for purposes related to your original inquiry or request. For example, if you ask for patient-related cancer information to be mailed to you, then we will use your name and address to mail the information to you. In addition, we may also use your information for mission-related activities, management and administration, or to carry out our legal responsibilities. For example, we may use your information to identify a local event that we believe may be of interest to you and invite you to that event. We may also contact you to inform you of additional programs and services available to you or of to inform you of volunteer or other opportunities, including fundraising, to support the Society’s mission.

If you are referred to the Society through your hospital and/or health plan, we will use your information only to provide you with the programs or services you have requested, unless you consent to receiving communication(s) regarding additional resources or opportunities. However, if you have an existing relationship with the Society at the time of referral, we will honor your current contact preferences.

We restrict and protect how your information is disclosed. On occasion, we may have a need to disclose your information to third parties. We make every attempt to protect these disclosures. For example, we may hire other companies to provide limited services on our behalf, such as an order fulfillment company to mail you cancer related information or products you have ordered. Or, if you request transportation, then we may disclose your information to a taxi service so that they can provide you with the transportation to your health provider. When we do share with third parties, we only provide those companies or individuals the information that they need to deliver the service. We prohibit them from using that information for any other purpose. We also require them to have strong privacy protections for the information that we disclose to them

The Society also reserves the right to share your information with governmental agencies or other companies if needed to assist us in electronic crimes investigation. We would only do so when permitted or required by law and we are trying to protect against or prevent actual or potential unauthorized access to your data or investigating unauthorized access which has already taken place.

We Value our Donors. The Society respects the privacy of its donors and is committed to protecting the security of donor information and to honoring our donors’ choices for the use of their information. This policy applies to all donor information received by the Society, both online and offline, on any Society Web site or mobile application, as well as any electronic, written, or oral communications.

When you make a donation to the Society, we collect personal information from you that may include: your name, address, telephone number, and/or e-mail address. We use this information for purposes such as sending you a receipt and thanking you for your donation as well as informing you about news, upcoming fundraising events and other activities of the Society.

The Society also may receive financial information such as a credit card number or financial account numbers necessary to process your donation. We process your donation securely using measures that comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard ("PCI DSS"), the credit card industry's most stringent security standard. Examples of our security measures include: physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards; sophisticated security monitoring tools; documented security policies; use of strong encryption (e.g., TLS) for credit card processing; restricted access to personally identifiable information; and we perform, periodic security audits to confirm the strength of our security program.

On occasion, we may share donor contact information with third party companies that are conducting charitable sales promotions to benefit the Society. These third party companies may use your contact information for communications and marketing purposes that support our mission and activities. You are under no obligation to respond and the companies are restricted from using your contact information for any other purpose. No health information is used or disclosed in connection with these promotions.

From time to time, the Society may also share donor names and mailing addresses with other reputable nonprofit organizations on a limited basis in exchange for limited access to the names and addresses of their constituents. We have found this to be a cost effective method of reaching additional potential constituents. These organizations will not have continued access to your name and address unless you choose to respond to their initial mailing. We do not share email addresses or health related data in connection with this list exchange.

We respect our donors’ choices and control over their information. You, as a donor may, at any time, have your name excluded from any donor list exchange activity. To ask that your name be excluded from list exchange activity or to otherwise change how the Society contacts you, please email us at privacyrequest@cancer.org or complete our online opt out form by clicking on the following link: Opt Out Form

Aside from the disclosures described in this Privacy Statement, the Society will only disclose your information to third parties upon your consent or at your direction.

We have strong computer security protections. For our electronic data, we have “industry standard” physical, technical, and procedural safeguards to protect your information. These standards meet our legal or contractual requirements and ensure your electronic data is as secure as practical.

We conduct privacy training and education programs. We require all staff to receive training on privacy and how to protect your information. We also require staff to sign a pledge of confidentiality to further support our commitment to privacy. In many cases, we extend this requirement to our volunteers.

We mitigate (lessen the harm of) any breach of privacy/confidentiality. We have a data incident response process to reduce any harm to you resulting from a breach of your privacy.

What are your rights?

The right to access your information. Under our privacy policy, you have the right to (upon request) see your contact and other information that we maintain about you. The description will be sent via postal mail which we believe is the most secure method of communication. Further, we will respond to requests for updates or changes to your personal information. Contact us by email or in writing at the address below.

The right to request restrictions. We recognize that you may wish to limit the ways in which we contact you, and we offer the following options for restricting internal and external sharing of your contact information:

1. Do not contact me by telephone.
2. Do not contact me by postal mail.
3. Do not contact me by email.
4. Do not share my contact information with other nonprofit organizations.
5. Do not contact me for fundraising requests supporting the American Cancer Society.
6. Do not contact me.

To inform us of any desired restrictions, please click on the following link: Opt Out Form. If you contact us with an opt-out request, all reasonable efforts will be taken to ensure that you will not receive any of the selected communications from us in the future.

If you opt back into a specific service, you will receive communication in that manner regardless of your overall opt out selections. For example, if you request a newsletter subscription, we will provide you that subscription, even if you previously asked us not to contact you at all. Or if you ask us a question using the “Contact Us,” feature of the website, we may respond via email, even if you had had previously asked us not to contact you by email. We will take all reasonable efforts to ensure that your opt out selections are otherwise honored. In addition, if you are an active participant in a Society event, such as Relay For Life®, you may to receive emails related to that event regardless of your overall opt out selections. If you do not wish to receive emails about that event, please opt out using the “unsubscribe” link provided in the communication.

For more Information or to report a problem

If you have a question, wish to notify us of any desired restrictions, or believe your privacy rights have been violated, then submit your inquiry or file your complaint with us using the contact information below. To protect your privacy and security, we will take reasonable steps to verify your identity before providing information or making corrections. There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint.

Telephone: 1-800-227-2345
Email: privacyrequest@cancer.org
Postal Mail: Security and Privacy Requests
American Cancer Society Shared Services Business Center
8400 Silver Crossing
Oklahoma City, OK 73132    

Last Updated: 1/25/2016