The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is a non-profit membership organization comprised of psychiatrists and medical students from the United States and around the world. APA's primary mission is to promote the highest quality care for individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders and their families, promote psychiatric education and research, advance and represent the profession of psychiatry, and serve the professional needs of our membership. To achieve these goals, we offer a variety of goods and services to people who may be interested in mental health diagnosis and treatment. Some key goods and services offered by APA are membership services; events that give those in the mental health field opportunities to learn and network; publishing of books, journals and digital products; informative newsletters; legislative updates; and educational opportunities.
What do we collect and how:
Web Traffic Information and User Activity.
General traffic, site usage and pages accessed, browser information, user activity, length-of-stay information, and location data, is collected and stored in log files. This type of information is collected and shared on an anonymous, aggregated basis (ClientID). For visitors logged into psychiatry.org, this type of information may be collected and shared using a unique, persistent and non-personally identifiable string identification (UserID) to represent each signed-in user.
Personal Information (non-financial).
We may collect all or some of the following types of personal information: first and last name, street address, city, state, zip code, telephone number, email address, professional and educational history and interests, demographic information and subject of inquiry, including in the following contexts:
- APA Website Registration: When you register on our websites, we ask for your name, email address and a password.
- APA Membership and/or Fellowship Application: When applying to become an APA member and/or fellow, we ask for contact information, including mobile phone, medical school, university, degree dates, location, birthdate, residency and fellowship information, professional areas of interest, board certification, demographic information, and ethics questions. We may collect and track your contact information (address and phone number) and APA Member ID number. When you personalize the website, we retain the preferences you select so that you will not have to reenter the information each time you access our website. You can access your profile by entering your username and password each time you use the website.
- Event Registration: If you register to participate in an APA event, program, or promotion such as the APA Annual Meeting using online or paper registration forms, we collect and store your name, address, phone number, email address, and any additional information you voluntarily provide on the registration forms.
- Products/Programs: In connection with certain online learning products, subscriptions and programs hosted by APA, or one of our partners or vendors on APA’s behalf, we may collect some contact information and other background information. We may also ask about race and other demographic information, including when required to do so by a government agency that has provided grant funding for the opportunity. The option to provide or decline to provide race and other demographic information is voluntary.
- Product Purchase: If you purchase a book, subscription product, or other item from APA, we will collect the information necessary to fulfill your order, which may include name, address, phone number, email address and any additional information you voluntarily provide on the order form.
- Donations and Contributions: If you make a donation or contribution, such as a donation to the APA Foundation or a contribution to the APA PAC, we will collect the information necessary to fulfill your request, which may include name, address, phone number, email address and any additional information which you provide.
- Requests: We collect information volunteered by users, including from surveys or requests via "Contact APA." We also may collect email addresses of those who communicate with us via email.
- APA Member Directory: We disclose the contact information APA members provide in the APA Member Directory. The directory is a reference tool for APA members only. Users of the directory are prohibited from providing the contact information (name, address, phone number) contained in the directory to others or using it for promotional or survey purposes without the written permission of the APA. Excessive use or abuse of the directory may result in loss of access for the user. APA will not include your contact information in the APA Member Directory if you opt out.
- Other Information: For some goods and services you also have the option of voluntarily offering additional information about yourself which may include demographic information, such as race or gender, and information about your practice of medicine and professional interests.
We collect financial information to fulfill products or services you order and to process your donations and/or contributions. When you place an order online with us, register for an event, make an online donation or contribution, or pay your dues electronically, standard credit card information (card number, card type, expiration date, etc.) is collected through a third-party payer who is compliant with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. The third-party payer provides us with, and we store, the last four digits of your credit card number, which is retained for purposes of issuing applicable refunds.
Information from Third Parties.
APA uses third parties to help offer, promote, market and sell our products and services. We may receive from and exchange with these third parties information about you. Examples include the following:
- sales agents we use outside of the United States; (They may collect order, contact and payment information that we use to fulfill your order);
- platforms we use for ordering of books and subscriptions, marketing emails, e-book downloads, author submissions, publication preparation work, and author enhancement services;
- our customer relationship management platform for membership information and information about attendees for events and meetings;
- the APA Learning Center, meeting abstract management, and continuing medical education credit claim platforms. (When you complete a course, submit an abstract, or claim continuing medical education credit, information about your participation is provided to APA for fulfillment of your order and issuance of any continuing medical education credit);
- our Annual Meeting on Demand service, which provides access to educational content presented during our meetings;
- our APA Meetings App, a tool that allows APA event attendees to plan their time and connect with other participants; (Personal information posted by users of the app to the social media feed will be visible to APA and other users. APA receives data from the app about your interactions);
- APA's job board, Job Central;
- platforms used for registration and/or hosting of APA events; and
- district branches of APA.
What we do with the information we collect:
We process your information to provide the products or services you request from us; and to communicate with our members, meeting attendees, customers, and other users about, and to provide access to, education and science via APA's events and online learning programs, tools for practice management and patient education (including clinical practice guidelines), publications, and other products and services pertinent to APA's promotion of quality psychiatric care and efforts to enhance APA member career satisfaction. The APA exists for the benefit of its members and users and through the support of its customers. Processing your information for the purposes described is necessary for us to conduct the business of the APA. When we use your information we attempt to balance our legitimate business interests and the necessity of processing your information with how such processing may impact you.
The APA works and shares information with vendors and other third parties, including in the following categories, to help fulfill our mission and process your information for the purposes described in this document: district branch of the APA; publication sales agent and platform; conference registration manager and event service provider; online event platform; payment processor; bulk email and postal mail communication manager; conferences app developer; online learning manager; syllabi, abstract, and presentation manager; online communities' manager; volunteer management provider; distributors; and survey provider. APA provides contact information for its members and other customers who wish to receive informational newsletter offerings (such as Psychiatric News) to third-party vendors who transmit APA materials on APA's behalf. APA also shares limited personal information with other nonprofit organizations and government agencies for the purposes of complying with requirements related to its educational offerings and other accreditation services it offers to APA members and customers (e.g., continuing medical education, educational grant requirements, and board certification accreditation information).
These outside companies are required to use such information to perform the services and actions for which they have been engaged by APA and are not authorized to use such information for any other purpose.
APA may provide a list of contact information other than email address for its North American members or event attendees from North America to organizations who request such information because they wish to engage with psychiatric professionals.
What are cookies and how do we use them:
- Provide you with personalized content based on your use of our websites
- Enable you to more easily use our website by remembering and using contact information
- Evaluate, monitor and analyze the use of our site and its traffic patterns to help improve our websites and services
- Assist us with ad reporting functions such as to learn which ads are bringing users to our websites
The types of technologies we use include the following:
You may disable browser cookies in your internet browser or set your browser to warn you when a cookie is being sent. You may lose some features or functionality when you disable cookies. Remember, also, that disabling cookies is browser specific. If you use both Microsoft Edge and Chrome, you will need to disable cookies in each browser.
We also employ a software technology known as a pixel tag or Web beacon. A pixel tag is a line of code that we place on our websites or in emails, which transmits information back to a web server and allows us to analyze our advertising and the general usage patterns of visitors to our websites. Pixel tags help us better manage content on our site by informing us what content or promotions are effective.
Indirect Collection – Social Networking.
Indirect Collection – Analytics.
Choices you have about your information:
If you are a registered user of an APA website, an APA member, or event attendee, you can review, correct and change your personal information and your communication preferences by logging into the website and visiting your account profile page. You can control what APA communications you receive by indicating your preferences in the customer relationship management platform available at my.psychiatry.org. The email preference center within this platform allows you to identify the products and services about which you wish to receive APA communications. It also gives you the option of opting out of all marketing communications from APA (though you will continue to receive transactional messages related to your account and any products or services you order).
If you select the 'unsubscribe' link in any promotional email from APA or contact us directly at [email protected] to unsubscribe from communications, APA will stop sending promotional materials to you. You may also send us an email at [email protected] to request access to, correction of, or deletion of any personal information that you have provided to us. Please note we may not accommodate a request to change information if we believe the change would violate any law or legal requirement or cause the information to be incorrect.
Our websites do not support "Do Not Track" (DNT) codes, which are used in the privacy preferences of web browsers.
How do we protect your information?
We have security measures in place to prevent personal information we hold from being accidentally lost or used or accessed in an unauthorized way. We limit access to your personal information to those employees, third parties, or vendors who have a genuine business purpose to access it. Those processing your information should do so only in an authorized manner and subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We also have procedures in place to deal with any data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a data security breach when we are legally required to do so.
Our policy on children's information:
If you are under 18 years of age, you may not purchase products or services from, and you should not provide information to, the APA's websites without the involvement of a parent or guardian. We do not knowingly collect online contact information without prior parental consent or parental notification, including an opportunity for the parent to prevent use of the information and participation in the activity. We do not knowingly solicit personal information online from, or market online to, children under the age of 18. If APA learns that we have inadvertently collected personal information from a person below 18 years of age, we will delete such information.
For our Members/Customers in Europe:
APA is the data controller for the personal information collected from its members and customers. APA can be contacted any time at:
How long we keep your information for Members/Customers in the EEA and UK:
APA vendors who contact you directly as described in this policy, may have different retention periods for your information, which you should discuss directly with the applicable vendor.
Transfer of Personal Data
APA and our websites are based in the United States and, regardless of where you access these websites, the information collected as part of that use will be transferred to and maintained on systems located in the United States. Additionally, in limited circumstances, it may be necessary for APA to require the transfer of personal information from a third-party entity within the EEA or UK to the United States for APA to provide requested services to a customer in the EEA or UK. In any such circumstance, APA will ensure that the transfer of information is made in accordance with Article 49 of the GDPR in that it will be done only to perform a contract with you or to implement pre-contractual measures taken at your request. Should it otherwise be required for APA to receive personal data from another entity within the EEA or UK, to ensure there is an adequate level of protection for the rights of a European person based on the United States' data protection laws, APA will make use of contractual data protection clauses and similar legal mechanisms to safeguard the transfer, use, sharing and retention of personal data from the EEA or UK in any such circumstance.
The GDPR provides you with certain privacy rights, including the right to access, correct or update your personal information. You may also request to have your information deleted, although we may retain information for backups, prevention of fraud and abuse, satisfaction of legal obligations or other ongoing legitimate interests. You have the right to receive a copy of your information in a structured, machine-readable format. You may decline to share certain personal data, in which case we may not be able to provide you with some features and benefits. If you are an EEA or UK resident, you have the right to object to our processing that is based on legitimate interests.
If you wish to exercise any of the rights granted to you by the GDPR, contact us via email to [email protected] or via mail to the address set forth above, or you may submit the GDPR action form available on APA's websites.
Right to Lodge a Complaint.
If you are an EEA or UK resident and you believe that APA has infringed your rights under the GDPR, please contact us by sending an email to [email protected] or calling (202)-559-3900. You also have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, including in your applicable Member State.
APA requests that persons to whom the GDPR applies do not volunteer any personal data considered sensitive by the GDPR, including racial or ethnic origin or sexual preference, even if a field exists for such information to be voluntarily provided. APA is required by certain governmental agencies in the United States to inquire about some sensitive information in relation to particular services it provides, but the disclosure of such information is always voluntary for the individual concerned.
For our Members/Customers in California:
California Civil Code Section 1798.83 permits our website visitors who are California residents to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes. To make such a request, please contact us at: American Psychiatric Association, 800 Maine Avenue, SW, Suite 900, Washington DC 20024; (202)-559-3900; [email protected]. Please make sure to state in the request that you are a California Resident.
How we make changes to this policy:
Last Updated: February 28, 2022