Privacy Policy

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is committed to protecting the privacy of its members and customers. The AAFP maintains safeguards to store and secure information it has about members and customers. The safeguards may be physical, electronic or procedural. This document describes how the AAFP collects data from its Web sites and how the AAFP uses this information. We reserve the right to make changes to our site, policies, and conditions of use at any time. By visiting, you accept these conditions.


It is the AAFP's general policy to collect only personal information that the member or visitor knowingly chooses to provide. The following information is collected from all visitors to AAFP Web sites and is recorded in a log file:

  • Time and date of the visit
  • The Internet address of the computer
  • The browser and operating system used
  • The page that is viewed
  • The previous page that was visited

From general users:

The AAFP does not collect any personal identifying information from users who are browsing the public areas of AAFP Web sites other than those data items mentioned above. Users to the public areas of AAFP Web sites browse anonymously. The AAFP does not review the use of publicly accessible AAFP Web sites by individual users unless this information will assist AAFP staff in troubleshooting individual problems. The AAFP will also review this information if a user's account is associated with:

  • Attempts to violate security of AAFP computer networks
  • Activity that degrades the performance of Academy Web sites
  • Activity that might be related to copyright violations

From AAFP members, meeting registrants, purchasers of products from the AAFP catalog and other customers:

If a member has logged into a password-protected area of an AAFP Web site, the user's name and member ID number are recorded. In the course of using AAFP Web sites the member may be asked to provide personal information in order to purchase a product, participate in AAFP activities, or otherwise interact with the AAFP. In addition, the member may be asked to update their member contact information.

Important note for AAFP members: The AAFP maintains a membership database independent of its Web operations. The information from this database is drawn from membership applications, dues payment forms, subscriptions, product orders, CME reporting, member surveys and other correspondence between the AAFP and its members.

If a non-member registers for a meeting, purchases a product from the AAFP's Web site or claims CME credit for an online course, the user's name, address and other personal identifying information are recorded. In some instances, demographic information is collected and recorded.

Credit Card information: The AAFP does not disclose credit card account information or activity provided by its customers. When members and customers choose to pay using their credit cards, the AAFP submits this information encrypted to obtain payment from the appropriate clearing house. If credit card numbers are stored in AAFP databases, they are encrypted.

How does the AAFP use data collected?

The AAFP uses the data it collects from its Web sites to better serve members and visitors to the AAFP Web sites. The AAFP uses information submitted on the AAFP Web sites by members and other customers in the following ways:

AAFP services and products: The AAFP uses data collected to improve its Web content, to respond to visitor needs and preferences and to develop new products and services.

Disclosure to third parties: The AAFP makes member contact information available in its online Membership Directory only to other members of the AAFP who have verified their membership status before entering the online membership directory. The AAFP shares membership, demographic, CME and/or contact information with AAFP constituent chapters and its Foundation.

On occasion, the AAFP may also provide limited data to third parties that offer CME, products or services deemed of interest to the clinical or socioeconomic practice of medicine. These limited data include names and addresses, but do not include phone numbers, fax numbers or e-mail addresses.

Disclosure required by law or emergency circumstances: The AAFP may release personal information to third parties in order to comply with valid legal requirements such as a law, regulation, search warrant, subpoena or court order. In the event that the AAFP is legally required to disclose your personal information to a third party, the AAFP will notify you unless doing so would violate the law or court order.

External relationships

The AAFP has agreements with other organizations that offer products and services through the AAFP Web sites or affiliate agreements. When the user interacts with these organizations, different rules and privacy policies may apply. The AAFP does not control the collection or use of information provided under these circumstances.

How does the AAFP use cookies?

Cookies are a technology used by the AAFP to identify a user as the user moves through the AAFP Web sites. The user's browser allows the AAFP to place some information on the user's hard drive that identifies the computer utilized. Two types of cookies are commonly used. A session cookie is a temporary file stored in memory on the user's computer drive whenever a Web site is accessed and is terminated by closing the browser. A persistent cookie is a file stored on the user's hard drive that may be deleted manually by the user or expired by the Web server.

The AAFP may use session cookies on some public areas of its Web sites in order to provide greater functionality. The AAFP may use persistent cookies in the password-protected areas of AAFP Web sites. These persistent cookies may be used to personalize a member's visit, to offer greater functionality, and to track visitor practices. The information generated from these cookies is used to help determine which services are most important and guide editorial decisions.

The user who may not desire the functionality offered by the cookie has the option to disable the cookie either by indicating when asked that they do not wish to have the cookie created or by disabling the cookie function in their browser. A member must have cookies enabled in order to access the member sections of the AAFP Web sites.

For privacy questions or concerns about one of the AAFP Web sites, please contact





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