Data Protection

Summary of our data protection obligation
MSD offers online resources for the purpose of providing information and services related to health, medicine and products. Respecting the privacy of your personal data is very important to us. MSD warrants that it will collect, update and protect your personal data in accordance with this Privacy Policy and with applicable legislation and regulations in respect of MSD's websites and other services (for example the e-newsletter) that contain a link to this Privacy Policy. This Privacy Policy is applicable to personal data that MSD collects via online resources and communication channels, for example websites and email. This Policy is generally not applicable to personal data that is collected via offline resources and offline communication channels, except when such personal data is combined with personal data collected by MDS online. This Policy further does not apply to the online resources of third parties that MSD may link to, but which MSD has no control over in terms of content or data protection/privacy practices.
We understand and respect that the protection of your personal data is important to you. Personal data that you convey to us is only used and transmitted to third parties by us in the form that we specify to you. We take commercially feasible measures to prevent the use and transmission of personal data that you convey to us online for other purposes. For more details, please read our Privacy Policy below or contact us directly.

In addition, fulfilling the purposes described in this data protection statement may necessitate transferring the data to other MSD affiliates, to (service) partners or to relevant public authorities, including parties in Switzerland, in EU countries, in the European Economic Area (EEA) and in other countries where Swiss law does not consider sufficient protection to be guaranteed due to the lack of an equivalent data protection level. In order to provide adequate protection of personal data in such cases, MSD has created its Binding Corporate Rules in coordination with the MSD parent company Merck & Co. Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA. These "guidelines for general rules regarding cross-border data protection" were approved by the EU authorities and ensure that there are consistent Group-wide standards for handling personal data. All data that MSD or other MSD affiliates receive is processed in accordance with the provisions stated in the Binding Corporate Rules as well as in statutory regulations. MSD follows the US-EU Privacy Shield Framework. You can read the Binding Corporate Rules at http://www.msd.com/privacy/cross-border-privacy-policy or request a copy of the text by sending a brief letter to MSD at the address listed below.

 

For the purposes of this Privacy Policy, "MSD" includes Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA and its legal successors, subsidiaries, divisions and groups around the world, with the exception of joint ventures in which MSD is a partner.

How does this Privacy Policy define "personal data"?
The term "personal data" in the context of this Privacy Policy refers to all data that contains information about persons whose identity is or can be determined.

How does MSD collect personal data online?
MSD collects personal data online via websites and other online resources and communication channels. MSD also offers online resources in partnership with other online service providers, from which MSD may receive personal data about the users of such resources. Such online partnerships are governed by contracts that require that appropriate measures be taken to protect personal data. Individuals may access many pages of our websites without having to disclose personal data. There are three ways or methods that MSD uses to collect personal data online:

·     Data transmitted by you: MSD collects personal data and other data, for example that you enter in forms or input fields. Notable examples of such data include contact details (e.g. your name, address, email address, telephone number, user name and password), date of birth, professional references, leisure activities and interests. MSD may also collect data about your state of health that you convey by answering questions and participating in surveys, or by using the healthcare-related data services that we provide for online use or download.

·     Data that is collected from public data sources or third-party data sources: MSD may also collect personal data about physicians and medical professionals that register on our websites from public information sources or third-party information sources for the purpose of verifying their professional references and identity. In some cases, we may also add data from third parties to our existing user databases. Some of this data may be of a personal nature, for example a change of residential address.

·     Data that is collected via your computer or via other electronic devices: We collect data about your computer or about other electronic devices whenever you visit our websites and use our online resources. Such data may include your internet protocol (IP) address, your domain name, your browser type, the date and time of your query, as well as information that is provided by tracking technologies, for example cookies and pixel tags. If you use a mobile device to access our websites and online resources, we may also collect information on your device, for example your device ID and device type, as well as usage information about your device and your use of our mobile websites and other mobile resources.

Some of our websites and other online resources use tracking technologies in order to improve functionality and enable you to use these resources more efficiently. MSD uses tracking technologies that do not enable personal identification of the user, for example in the way that the precise number of users or the precise number of websites that link to our online resources is determined, or to establish whether you have demonstrated your medical credentials, or whether you are resident in a certain country. MSD may employ the services of other companies to send emails on our behalf or place MSD advertisements on other websites. MSD does not monitor the tracking technologies used by these other companies. If you wish to limit the collection of anonymous data by tracking technologies, please note the options described below.

In some cases, MSD may use tracking technologies that enable you to be personally identified. However, this is only done after you have entered personal data in a form or input field on our websites, or after you have registered as a user of our online resources (for example, following the issuing of a user name or password on the basis of data that has been confirmed via other offline links). We may, under certain circumstances, use tracking technologies to identify your personal preferences and selection trends, for example personal data that you have entered on our website in input fields, your responses to our surveys, or areas of our website that you visit often, and also for the purpose of confirming whether you have read or clicked on certain email messages sent by us so that we can make our communications and notifications even more useful and interesting to you.

You can select whether MSD should use tracking technologies or not to provide you with reminders and/or offer you additional services specifically tailored to you. If you wish to limit the collection of data by tracking technologies, please note the options presented to you below.

What are cookies?
A cookie is a small file that is sent from web servers to the hard drive of your computer, on which your internet browser files are stored. Cookies enable websites to store small bundles of information on your computer and access this information again at a later point in time. MSD uses two types of cookies: "session cookies", which are cookies that only apply to one session, are temporary, and are deleted from your computer's storage as soon as you close your internet browser or shut down your computer, and "persistent cookies", which are cookies that remain on your hard drive until they reach their expiry date, unless they are deleted beforehand.

What are pixel tags?
Pixel tags, also known as web beacons or web tags, are images that work similarly to cookies. Pixel tags are not visible due to their tiny size. They are used to collect data in web logs, in which you are not personally identifiable. This data includes the pages that you visit, the website that you came from, or the advertisement that you clicked on to arrive on our websites. They are also used to determine whether certain emails that we send you are opened.

Why does MSD collect, use and forward personal data?
Generally speaking, MSD collects personal data that is required for users to register for certain online resources of and online notifications from MSD, and to customise these to the user's specific needs. MSD uses the personal data that it collects to supply products, perform services and provide other benefits requested by individual persons, for example literature for training purposes, information on MSD's pharmaceutical activities, email programs, tools, quiz games, questionnaires and surveys. MSD analyses the personal data that it collects to review and offer additional services and marketing campaigns that we believe you may be interested in. MSD assesses the use of certain online notifications using anonymous data only. MSD may also use personal data to verify that access to its online resources is authorised and to evaluate the security of these services.

Social media: Online social media are interactive media services that typically enable you to collaborate or share information with other users. Examples of social media services include social networks, discussion platforms, bulletin boards, blogs and wikis, which enable website content or tools to be shared with friends or colleagues. MSD may collect personal data about you to enable you to use social media services online that we may offer from time to time. MSD may also enable you to use these social media resources to publish information or send personal data to other persons. You should exercise care in determining which personal data you wish to share with others when using such social media services. MSD provides additional help and information on its websites and other online resources on how personal data is collected, used and forwarded.

Mobile computing devices: Some MSD websites and online resources are specifically designed for use on mobile computing devices. For some mobile versions of MSD websites, it may be necessary to log in using your user account for this website. Data about your usage of the mobile version of the website will be linked to your user account. On some of our websites and online resources, you can download applications, widgets or other tools that you can use on mobile devices or other computing devices. Some of these applications may store data regarding your mobile device or other computing device. These applications may forward personal data to MSD to enable you to access your user account and to enable MSD to track use of these applications.

Some of these applications may also enable you to send reports and other data from this application by email. MSD may use personal or anonymous data sent to MSD for the purpose of improving these applications, developing new applications, improving quality, or for other purposes described in this Privacy Policy or in other notifications from MSD.

Does MSD compile personal data files?
In certain cases, MSD will compile personal data files on the basis of data that it receives from users via various services and information channels, for example by telephone, surveys, websites, and other online & offline resources and communication channels. This data is used to improve the quality of the services offered by MSD. This is done in compliance with the standards listed in this Privacy Policy and for the purposes specified, and also in compliance with other fundamental data protection principles.

There are means at your disposal that can be broken down into four categories. These are:
How can I control how MSD collects, uses and forwards personal data about me?

·     No collection of personal data: You can choose to not transmit any personal data to MSD by refraining from entering any personal data in forms or input fields on our websites, or by not using any of the personalised services offered in our online resources. However, some of our online resources and services are only available to those persons who provide personal data or utilise personalised services.

·     Restrictions and options regarding use and publication for other purposes: Certain online resources and services of MSD may require your consent for the use and forwarding of your personal data, to add you to our address list, and to identify and offer additional services and marketing campaigns that you may be interested in. You can restrict the use of your personal data by marking or not marking the options offered to you at the time of data entry, and by exercising any options that may be offered for restricting the use of your data. You can also amend your communication preferences (for example by cancelling your registration for notifications that you previously requested) by contacting us via the contact address most suitable for you.

·     Restrictions and options regarding tracking: MSD online resources that utilise, for example, cookies to identify your personal preferences and selection trends will provide you with the means to select whether MSD should use such technologies to remember you or offer you additional services. You can make this choice by marking or not marking the options offered you during registration or at the time your personal data is entered in forms or input fields. Our online resources do not contain any restriction options for individual users regarding non-identifiable use of tracking technologies. Most internet browsers enable individual users to control the use of certain tracking technologies – cookies, for example. Some internet browsers enable you to limit or prevent the use of cookies for certain websites. Other internet browsers enable you to configure cookie handling for all websites that you visit. If you are concerned about the use of cookie technology, please read the section "Data that is collected via your computer or via other electronic devices" above to gain an understanding of the types of tracking technology employed by MSD. If you limit or prevent the use of cookies, certain functions on our websites may not work correctly, most notably access to some of our websites that require registration. If you do not wish to allow cookies installed by other companies that send email notifications on our behalf or place MSD advertisements on other websites, you can prevent this by utilising the means offered by the Network Advertising Initiative under www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp.

·     Email notifications: You can choose to receive optional emails and other notifications and communications from MSD by registering for them or subscribing to these notifications and communications on our websites or other online resources. If you do not wish to receive optional email notifications or communications, you can unsubscribe from these by visiting the websites or other online resources that you registered on and by making the relevant adjustments to your email communication preferences. Alternatively, you can follow the unsubscribe instructions that are included in the email notifications that you receive from us. You can also unsubscribe by contacting us via the contact address most suitable for you. If you do not wish for MSD to obtain confirmation that you have read or opened certain email messages sent by us, you can fully prevent such tracking measures by unsubscribing from these email messages or using one of the other means described above.

Who will have access to my personal data?
MSD, Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA and its affiliated companies (including the Schering-Plough Corporation in the USA and its global group companies and subsidiaries) will have access to your personal data around the world. Moreover, external persons and organisations that use personal data exclusively for Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA companies and at the order of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA companies will also have access to your personal data for the purpose of being able to perform services in the name of and on the behalf of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA companies. The use and disclosure of personal data by external persons and organisations acting in the name of and on the behalf of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA companies is governed by contracts that demand that appropriate measures be taken to protect personal data. Your personal data will only be used and disclosed by Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA companies and these individual persons, companies and organisations in accordance with this Privacy Policy as well as other data protection principles, laws, regulations and directives.

Does MSD disclose personal data to third parties?
MSD does not sell or pass along your personal data. However, it is possible that MSD may make a commercial decision to abandon its business operations by way of sale, merger or acquisition, or to engage in reorganisation. In these circumstances, personal data may be disclosed to actual or potential buyers. MSD will obtain written assurances to the effect that personal data will be suitably protected in such cases. MSD reserves the right to disclose personal data regarding your person, including your email address, for reports to authorities, to parties of related legal disputes with the approval of the competent court, or in any other form permitted by applicable legislation and regulations. Unless expressly otherwise stated in this Privacy Policy, your personal data will not be disclosed without your consent.

How does MSD protect my personal data?
MSD will take reasonable action to protect personal data from unauthorised access, disclosure, modification or deletion. You are responsible for the protection of copies that you make of your passwords and user names for our online resources.

How does MSD protect data regarding children?
MSD's websites are not aimed at children. Most of the services that we offer online are designed for persons aged at least 18. Where enquiries regarding information on a pharmaceutical product are legally permitted, persons must be at least 18 years of age when requesting information on a pharmaceutical product that is intended for administration to children.

This sub-section of our Privacy Policy only applies to MSD websites that offer optional functions or modules for children. This section does not apply to our other websites or online resources.

In some cases, MSD websites will offer functions or modules for children under the age of 13. No personal data will be collected in respect of most of these functions. Where personal data is collected for children in respect of these functions, we require the consent of the parents for the children to be able to utilise these functions and services. In the request for the consent of the parents, it is explained why we collect, use and forward personal data for children, and parents have the option of preventing the collection, use and forwarding of data on their children.

MSD only collects necessary personal data regarding children, and only uses this personal data regarding children to provide the requested services. Where no parental consent is given, we will not use personal data about children or disclose this data to third parties not acting on behalf of MSD. If a parent wishes at any time to revoke their consent to the use or disclosure of personal data collected in respect of their children, we will make reasonable efforts to delete this data from our database.

We will never demand that children under the age of 13 disclose personal information unless necessary to use one of these online functions or services. Should a child that we know to be younger than 13 years of age convey personal data to us, we will only use this data to respond to the child directly and inform them that we require the consent of the child's parents before we can receive personal data from them.

How can I obtain access to and correct my personal data?
To obtain access to data collected about you for the purpose of correcting, completing or updating this data, you can contact us via the address provided below.

Where offered, you can also update your personal data online by amending data that you previously entered on our websites in forms or input fields. Where legally permitted, your options to access and amend your personal data are limited in the following cases: where such access or amendment would impair the ability of MSD to comply with statutory or ethical obligations; where such access or amendment would impair the ability of MSD to initiate investigations regarding its own or third-party legal claims, to assert such legal claims, or to defend itself against legal claims; where such access or amendment would result in personal data being disclosed via third parties; or where such access or amendment would result in a contractual violation or the disclosure of trade secrets or other confidential business information that are owned by MSD or a third party.

How can I raise an objection to the use of my data?
Unless the use of data is required by law or there is another legal justification, you are entitled to raise an objection to the use of your data. Provided that these requirements are met, we will delete your data from our data processing applications within a reasonable timeframe and cease any disclosure of this data.

What is the MSD address for questions regarding privacy and data protection?
If you have any questions regarding this Privacy Policy or on MSD's data collection, usage and forwarding principles, please contact us at the following address: angelika.maerz@merck.com
If you contact us, please state the name of the website or online resource to which you have sent data, and also the nature of the data that you have sent. We will make reasonable efforts to respond to your requests, questions or comments regarding the use of your personal data within 10–20 days. Unless required by law, MSD cannot guarantee a response to questions or comments on topics that are not related to this Privacy Policy or to MSD's data protection policy.

How will I know if MSD has updated this Privacy Policy?
MSD may periodically update this Privacy Policy. MSD reserves the right to amend this Privacy Policy, add certain parts or remove certain parts at its discretion. Should we decide to amend this Privacy Policy, we will indicate the changes made on this website, so that you always know what data we collect, how we might use this data, and whether we may forward it to anyone.

 

Last updated: November 2017