Privacy Policy

Effective Date: September 2015

This privacy policy sets out how MED-EL Elektromedizinische Geräte GmbH* (hereinafter MED-EL or “we” or “us”) uses and protects any information we receive when you use websites we operate or that are operated on our behalf, such as www.medel.com, www.hearpeers.com and www.stiwell.com as well as its subdomains. MED-EL is committed to maintaining the privacy of individuals who use our websites. We use and disclose information only in accordance with the terms of this privacy policy and our terms of use. You may contact us at any time to ask privacy questions, update your information, or report a problem.

Information We Collect and How We Use It
In general, you can visit MED-EL websites without providing personal information. You may choose to provide information to us while you are using the website in a variety of circumstances, such as:

  • When you request information, services, or technical support, you may provide contact information such as your email address and phone number so that we can assist you. You also may provide your name, postal address, and information about the audiology clinic or physician you consulted regarding our products and service.
  • You may choose to sign up to regularly receive information about our products and services. We will ask for your name, email address, and postal address so that we can provide the informational material you requested.
  • You may choose to join HearPeers, to have a chat with a mentor or participate in our  online community that enables MED-EL implant users to interact and share their experiences with each other. When you create a HearPeers account, we request your name, email address, address, birthday  and sometimes information about your hearing implant. We also collect any user generated content members provide, such as comments, images and videos.
  • From time to time we may conduct surveys through our websites. If you choose to participate, we collect your name, email address and survey responses. We use this information to improve our products, services, informational materials and websites.
  • If you would like to apply for a job (www.medel.com) or a volunteer role (www. hearpeers.com) through our website, we request information such as your name, contact information, resume, references,  salary requirements (only with job application) and additionals information. We use this information to consider you for the position or role to which you applied.
  • If you purchase something from our web shop, we ask for your name, phone number, payment information, billing and shipping address for the purpose of processing your payment and fulfilling your order.
  • We also use personal information we collect through our websites for administrative and managerial purposes, such as administering and improving our business, products, services, informational materials and websites; improving our understanding of our users, their interests and their preferences; performing research and analyses; and internal administration such as records management.
  • In certain circumstances, we may use personal information to protect our company and others, such as by protecting the integrity of our websites, information systems, and security; preventing physical harm or financial loss; engaging in risk management; fulfilling legal obligations; addressing compliance needs; resolving or defending legal claims; and enforcing our licenses, agreements and terms of use.
  • You may choose not to provide us with all of the information we request as described above. In some cases, however, if you do not provide the information we have requested, we will not be able to fulfill your request or provide you with all of our website’s features.

We may combine information we collect about you with other information we receive from additional sources, such as information you may have provided to us in person at our events.

Information Collected Automatically When You Use Our Websites
We collect some information automatically when you visit our websites. The type of information we collect by automated means may vary, but generally includes technical information about your computer or other device you use to access the Internet, such as Internet protocol (IP) address or other device identifier, device make and model, information about device operating systems and browsers, or other device or systems related specifications. The information we collect may also include usage information and statistics about your interaction with our websites, such as the URLs of our web pages that you have visited, URLs of referring and exiting pages, page views, time spent on a page, number of clicks, platform type, and other information about how you used our websites. In cases where you use a mobile device to access our websites we may receive information about the location of your device. In some cases, even if you are not using a mobile device, information about your general location may be discernable from your device’s IP address or equivalent identifier. We use information we collect by automated means to understand our users as a group, sometimes based on group traits such as demographics, to determine their preferences. As a result, we can develop and deliver new or modified offerings, improved with our user’s preferences in mind. As described below, we may also use it to provide a more personalized user experience and to manage advertising.
Here are some of the types of automated data collection that may occur when you use or websites:

Web Browsers
When you visit one of our websites, your browser automatically sends us your IP address so that the web pages you request can be sent to your computer or device. We use your IP address to determine additional information, such as whether the computer or device has ever been used to visit our site before, which site features were used the most often, and how much time was spent on a page.

Cookies
We may automatically collect information through ‘cookies’, which are text files placed on your device’s hard drive when you visit websites. Cookies may enhance your online experience by saving your preferences while you are visiting a particular site. We use cookies, for example, for authentication purposes and to measure session activity on the site and determine which areas and features of the site are the most popular. Most browsers will tell you how to stop accepting new cookies, how to be notified when you receive a new cookie and how to disable existing cookies. Without cookies, however, you may not be able to take full advantage of all our site features.
We may also use ‘flash cookies’, also called local shared objects. Like other cookies, flash cookies are files stored on your computer, but flash cookies can store information that is more complex than simple text. These cookies can be helpful to us in storing your preferences regarding feature settings, personalizing your experience, and tracking your progress in a game or application. In some cases local shared objects also are used to prevent fraud. Unlike ‘regular’ cookies, browsers generally cannot be used to manage cookie placement. To learn more about managing flash cookies, you may wish to consult Adobe’s website and change the privacy settings they make available to users who wish to manage flash cookies. Like regular cookies, flash cookies improve your experience with our website, games and applications so disabling them may limit or eliminate features we make available to you.

Web Beacons and Log Files
We may use ‘web beacons’ (also known as Internet tags, pixel tags, tracking pixels, and clear GIFs) on pages of our website. These web beacons allow other organizations to collect information such as the IP address of the device, the URL of the web page, the time the page was viewed, the type of browser used, and any additional information in cookies that may have been set by the other party. This information is typically collected in log files, which generally track traffic on and to our websites. Purposes for this information collection may include managing our online advertising, including by determining which ads brought users to our websites. The information is also used for analytical purposes and to manage technical issues that may arise. We do not attempt to identify individual users through this information.

Google Analytics
This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (Google). Google Analytics uses cookies, as described above, to help us analyze how users use our websites. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers that may be located in countries other than the one in which you reside. Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and Internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google’s behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser, however please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website. By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.

Information We Share
We may share personal information with other parties, such as service providers, who are only authorized to use information to perform services on our behalf or for limited administrative purposes, such as complying with legal requirements. We also may share personal information in compelling circumstances, such as when reasonably requested or required by law enforcement authorities or other government officials, when required by law or in response to legal process, or when reasonably necessary to an investigation of suspected or actual illegal activity. We also may share information when we believe disclosure is appropriate to prevent physical harm, prevent financial loss, or protect the vital interests of an individual. We also reserve the right to share personal information we have collected in the event we sell or transfer all or a portion of our business or assets.

Information Security
We maintain administrative, physical, and technical safeguards intended to protect against the loss, misuse, or unauthorized access, acquisition, alteration or destruction of information. We also typically use SSL protection for portions of the site that request personal information. Your HearPeers account is protected by your log-in credentials, which you must keep secure and confidential.

Children
The majority of our websites, including the HearPeers Community and the Mentor Programme, are intended for use only by adults and, in limited cases, children age 13 and older. Some portions of our websites include features, such as games, that may be appropriate for children under the age of 13. We do not condition a child’s participation in any activity on this site on their submission of personal information. Likewise our site includes informational material that may be relevant to children with hearing loss, whether or not they are under the age of 13. These games and materials should only be used by children with assistance and supervision from their parent or legal guardian. A parent or legal guardian of a child under the age of 13 who is an implant user may become a member of the HearPeers Community and Mentor Programme in order to discuss their child’s hearing condition and experiences with other users. In the process, parents and legal guardians are permitted to discuss personally identifiable information about their child. Parents and guardians who choose to submit information about their children are advised that, although MED-EL provides protections for its websites, the Internet can never be rendered completely secure and there is always a risk that the information submitted will be viewable to unintended parties.
If you are the parent or guardian of a child under the age of 13, and you believe that information about your child may have been submitted to us through our website by someone other than you, or if you wish to retract information that you provided, you may request that we delete that information by contacting us at: moderator@hearpeers.com.

Your Choices Accessing, Correcting, and Deleting Your Information
If you are a member of HearPeers, you can log into your account and modify your information at any time. You may request access to your information, or request that we delete it. We may not be required to fulfill your request, such as if another person’s privacy is implicated. In all cases we take such requests seriously and will respond promptly to them. You always have the right to request that we stop providing you with informational or promotional materials, which you can do by contacting us at moderator@hearpeers.com.

International Data Transfer
MED-EL is a global company that operates in several countries. We may transfer the personal information we collect to any country where we do business, including countries that may not have the same data protection laws as the country in which you reside. No matter where we transfer personal information, it will be subject to the privacy policies and protections described by this notice.

Links to Other Sites
We may provide links to websites for your convenience and information. These sites may not be owned, controlled, or operated by us. In those cases, we cannot control how information collected by those sites will be used, shared, or secured. If you visit linked sites, we strongly suggest that you review the privacy notices or policies posted at those sites. We are not responsible for the content of linked sites, your use of them, or the information practices of their operators.

Updates to Our Privacy Notice
This notice may be updated without prior notice to you to reflect changes in our information collection, use and security practices. If the notice is updated, we will post a new effective date to let you know when the notice was most recently updated. You should check this page regularly to ensure that you are aware of our most recent privacy practices.

How to Contact Us
MED-EL Elektromedizinische Geräte GmbH is a company headquartered at Fuerstenweg 77a in A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria, registered with the Commercial Register under FN 48608h at the Landesgericht Innsbruck. The HearPeers website (www.hearpeers.com) is hosted and the data is stored in Germany, the HearPeers Forum (forum.hearpeers.com) is hosted and the data is stored in the U.S.A.; other data storage locations may be added in the future and will be noted within this privacy policy

You can ask a question, update your information, or report a problem by contacting us at:
moderator@hearpeers.com
MED-EL Worldwide Headquarters
Fürstenweg 77a | 6020 Innsbruck
Phone +43-512-288 889 | Fax +43-512-293-381