Privacy Policy

This policy is applicable to both the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, and the AATS Foundation, here in use of AATS will represent both the Association and the Foundation. 

At AATS we strive to develop innovative services to better serve our users. We recognize that privacy is an important issue, so we design and operate our services with the protection of your privacy in mind. This Privacy Policy outlines the types of personal information we gather when you use AATS' services, as well as some of the steps we take to safeguard it. The following principles apply to the personally identifying information we ask for and that you provide. "Personally identifying information" is information that individually identifies you, such as your name, physical address or email address. “Personal data” is defined as information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person; an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.

Data collection

  • AATS does not collect any information without your permission other than what your browser makes available whenever you visit our website.
  • Cookies
    • Cookies are small text files that allow us to recognize repeat users and facilitate their access to and use of the site. Cookies do not collect personally identifying information; they collect information related to the characteristics of your computer, or when and how you reached our website. Generally, cookies work by assigning a unique number to the user that has no meaning outside the assigning site. They do not pose a threat to a user's system or files. We use this information only for purposes of planning and tracking, as well as assessing the technical function of our site.
    • Most browsers allow you to control cookies through their settings preferences. However, if you limit the ability of websites to set cookies, you may worsen your overall user experience, since it will no longer be personalized to you. It may also stop you from saving customized settings like login information.
    • To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit, or
    • Browser manufacturers provide help pages relating to cookie management in their products. Please see below for more information.
  • Most of our systems require you to register for an account. AATS may collect personal information in order to create an account.That information will be used to provide a service. Account creation requires the following information:

    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • Email
    • Country
    • Address
    • City
    • State
    • Postal Code
    • Password
    • UserName

    Additional information is optional for account creation.  For certain services, such as but not limited to meeting registration and membership agreements, AATS may request credit card information or other payment information which we transmit in encrypted form on secure servers and then discard. Payment data elements including credit card information are not permanently stored on AATS website or in transacting systems.

  • Contact information may be submitted to AATS by others on your behalf when nominating you for membership, registering you for meetings or in other scenarios.When received you will be notified that your information was received and by whom.At any time you can request your information be removed from our system by contacting us at or 978-252-2200.

Do Not Track
AATS does not track its users across third party websites and therefore does not respond to Do Not Track (DNT) signals. However, some third party plug-ins may keep track of your browsing activities when they serve you content, to enable them to tailor your experience. Third parties that have content embedded on AATS’ websites such as a social feature or a streaming video may set cookies on a user's browser and/or obtain information about the fact that a web browser visited a specific AATS website from a certain IP address. Third parties cannot collect any other personally identifiable information from AATS’ websites unless you provide it to them directly.

Information Use
Personal information collected is intended to provide you a better experience when using the website, to adhere to all contractual requirements between You and AATS, to ensure all behavior is ethical and principled, and to ensure communications being sent to you are consistent with what you have requested.  At any time you can request AATS to provide you details on how and when your information was used.  To submit a request please contact us at or 978-252-2200.

  • Information is used for the following purposes:

    AATS is committed to upholding the highest ethical values and to encourage professional and principled behavior by its staff, members and participants. It is the role of AATS to educate staff, members and participants, and others on these issues, actively recognize potential conflicts and develop proactive policies for individuals and the organization.  Conflict of interest disclosure statements are filed by contributors (members, non-members, staff, etc) when submitting content. A third party vendor is used to track a subset of disclosures submitted by contributors.  Only required information will be submitted to the vendor for tracking, and will be done as part of a contractual agreement with regard to submissions.  Any agreement with a third party entered into by AATS will ensure that the same standards for privacy upheld by AATS will be upheld by the third party.

    Personal information will be used to indicate membership status as part of AATS.  This information will include name, title, and institution.  This information will be accessible on AATS website as well as potentially in communications on behalf of AATS.  Permission for use of personal information will be granted when accepting membership to AATS.  At any time you can request your information not be shared, however, due to contractual requirements of the membership agreement your information must remain stored in our systems. 

    Awards, Fellowships, Grants 
    We may disclose award recipients' personal information such as name, institution, professional position and other information received during the application process.  Additional information shared may include funding and project summary information, for the purpose of publicizing AATS awards and/or assessing the subsequent success of AATS award recipients. We deem that you have granted us your permission to do so when you submit an application for a fellowship, travel or other grant to AATS.

    If you make a donation to AATS, your personal information, including your name, beneficiaries, amount of your donation and information about your estate, will be kept strictly confidential, unless you give us permission to release such information. We will honor your request for anonymity, except to the extent that AATS is legally required to disclose the identity of donors.

    We may ask you for certain information, such as credit card information, when you order products or services, or when you register for a meeting or educational event. We use this information to process your request and may share this information with credit card processing companies, merchants, and other third parties that may need the information for your request to be processed. These organizations have their own privacy and data collection practices, and we are not responsible for their independent policies. We only use your credit card information for completing the requested transaction and it is retained only as necessary for administrative purposes.

    From time to time, we request information from members and other contacts via surveys. Participation in these surveys is completely voluntary. Information requested may include demographic information, such as name, address, age, membership category or professional affiliation. We use survey information to improve our programs, products and services, support our strategic planning efforts and gauge the satisfaction of our stakeholders.

    Contributed Materials
    Information posted on AATS Website or presented at events hosted or sponsored by AATS may contain personal information of contributors or presenters of the content.  Permission for sharing this information is granted as part of the submission process. If you have any questions, please contact us at or 978-252-2200.

    Informational Communications AATS will send you information about our programs, products and services via e-mail messages. If you no longer wish to receive our e-mail newsletters or promotional messages, you may opt-out of receiving these communications by following the "unsubscribe" or opt-out instructions in our e-mail messages. Unsubscribing will remove you from all but transaction-based messages from AATS such as membership dues invoices, receipts, registration confirmations, etc., while opt-outs provide you the opportunity to select specific types of information that you do not wish to receive. If you have any questions, please contact us at or 978-252-2200.


    Information sharing

  • We do not rent, give out, or sell your personally identifying information to other companies or individuals unless a third party is contracted with AATS to manage specific AATS functions.Specific instances of this will be identified.Any contract initiated by AATS will have terms specifically stating the third party must comply with AATS privacy policy.All existing contracted agencies have confirmed and provided evidence of compliance with AATS privacy policy, as well as confirmation and evidence of compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • At no time is your information available to anyone outside of AATS leadership, its employees or managers unless specified to adhere to contractual requirements.
  • In the event of a transfer of ownership of AATS, such as acquisition by or merger with another Society or Organization, we will provide notice before any personally identifying information is transferred and becomes subject to a different privacy policy.

    Information security

  • We take appropriate security measures to protect against unauthorized access to or unauthorized alteration, disclosure or destruction of data.
  • We restrict access to your personally identifying information to AATS leaders who need to know that information in order to deliver, operate, develop or improve our services.
  • At no time is your personally identifying information available to the outside public.
  • All information and services can be sent over encrypted channels. Not all AATS information may use this service. In the event of credit card or checking account use, all information is sent over 128-bit or 256-bit encrypted channels.

International Users
Subject to the Data Subject Rights section below with respect to data subjects to which the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) applies, if you are visiting the Site from outside of the U.S., your connection may be through and to servers located in the U.S., your registration, entries, order or other use of the Site may be fully processed in and from the U.S., and all information you provide may be processed and maintained in our servers and internal system located within the U.S..  By using the Site, you authorize the export of personal information to the U.S. and its storage and use as specified herein when you provide such information to us.

Data Subject Rights
The GDPR and other countries’ privacy laws provide certain rights for data subjects. A good explanation of them (in English) is available on the website of the United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office.

As noted above, this Privacy Policy is intended to provide you with information about what personal data AATS collects about you and how it is used. If you have any questions, please contact us at or 978-252-2200.

If you wish to confirm that AATS is processing your personal data, or to have access to the personal data AATS may have about you, please contact us at or 978-252-2200.

You may also request information about: the purpose of the processing; the categories of personal data concerned; who else outside AATS might have received the data from AATS; what the source of the information was (if you didn’t provide it directly to AATS); and how long it will be stored.  You have a right to correct (rectify) the record of your personal data maintained by AATS if it is inaccurate.  You may request that AATS erase that data or cease processing it, subject to certain exceptions.  You may also request that AATS cease using your data for direct marketing purposes.  In many countries, you have a right to lodge a complaint with the appropriate data protection authority if you have concerns about how AATS processes your personal data.  When technically feasible, AATS will—at your request—provide your personal data to you or transmit it directly to another controller.

Reasonable access to your personal data will be provided at no cost to AATS’s customers and others upon request made to AATS at or 978-252-2200.  If access cannot be provided within a reasonable time frame, AATS will provide you with a date when the information will be provided. If for some reason access is denied, AATS will provide an explanation as to why access has been denied

Retention of Personal Information
Subject to the Data Subject Rights section above with respect to data subjects to which the GDPR applies, we retain personal information provided by you for as long as such information is considered to be relevant for the legitimate purposes of AATS, or until you instruct us to remove such information by contacting us in the manner described below.

Removal of Your Information
Subject to the Data Subject Rights section above with respect to data subjects to which the GDPR applies, you may request that AATS remove all or a subset of your information from our system, as long as purging the data does not conflict with a contractual or regulatory requirement.  If you have any questions, please contact us at or 978-252-2200.

Correcting Your Information 
Subject to the Data Subject Rights section above with respect to data subjects to which the GDPR applies, you may correct or update any of the information you provide to us at any time. We will make our best effort to provide a way to correct, update or remove your personal information from our records, but this may require additional effort as AATS works to synchronize all customer data sources. To update your contact information and communication preferences, please log in to and select ‘My Account.' Opt-out options can be found under the section entitled 'Preferences.' If you have any questions, please contact us at or 978-252-2200.

No website is 100 percent secure. You can usually tell whether encryption is being used by noting the “locked” or other status indicator on the browser you are using. If the browser you are using does not indicate that the session is secure (e.g., by displaying a lock, a key or similar icon), you should assume that the connection is not secure and that third parties will receive the information shared by you and us during that part of the session.

Limitations of Liability

Subject to the Data Subject Rights section above with respect to data subjects to which the GDPR applies, you may opt out of email communications using the instructions included in emails you receive from AATS. You will still continue to receive emails relevant to course registrations or purchases (e.g. registration confirmations or purchase receipts) or necessary to your continued membership in the AATS (e.g. dues notices). If you believe that SPAM has been sent from us, please let us know immediately so that our engineers can investigate and rectify the situation.

Changes to this Policy
Please note this Privacy Policy will change from time to time. We expect most such changes to be minor, but there may be changes that are more significant. Regardless, we will post those changes on this page. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us via our Contact Page, available here

How to Contact Us
We invite your comments and questions about our website, your experience with our site and services, and our Privacy Policy. Use our Contact Us page insert, e-mail or call 978-252-2200.