Last Modified: September 28, 2018
What Information Do We Collect?
We collect several types of information from and about users of our Services.
Account and Personal Demographic Information.
- Account Information. You must provide certain information when you create an account or make a purchase on the Helix Platform in order to receive our Services (“Account Information”). This information includes your name, email address, shipping address, phone number, credit card or other payment information, the password you create, date of birth, and biological sex (for quality control when sequencing). Your account information also includes records and copies of any correspondence with you and details of any transactions you carry out through our Services.
- Self-Reported Information. Helix or our Partners may ask you to provide data about yourself (your “Self-Reported Information”), including demographic data such as personal and family medical history, age, physical features such as eye color, behavioral information such as exercise habits, or self-declared ethnicity.
Genetic Information. You may provide us with biological sample(s), using our Helix DNA Kit, to allow us to generate Genetic Information for you. In connection with our Services, Helix collects, processes and stores this Genetic Information, including your Helix Insights.
Computer, Device and Browsing Information. As you interact with our Services online (including the Site and Helix Platform), we may use automatic data collection technologies to collect certain information about your equipment, browsing actions and usage patterns. This data may include details like these:
- Details of your visits to our Services, which could include:
- the resources that you access and use on the Services;
- the external sites that referred you to our Services; and
- the external sites that you visited just after visiting our Services.
- Information about your computer or device and internet connection, which could include:
- your IP address or other device ID;
- your operating system; and
- your browser or device type.
The information we collect helps us to improve our Services. It also helps us to deliver better and more personalized features to you by enabling us to recognize you when you return to our Services, by storing information about your preferences and customizing our Services according to your individual interests, and by administering a survey or other feature of our website. It also helps us to provide targeted advertising, estimate our audience size and usage patterns, and monitor the success of our marketing activities.
Gifts. If you have purchased a product as a gift for someone else, your gift recipient must create their own account. Helix will not share any personal information of the gift recipient with you.
Minors. Our Services are not intended for anyone under 18 years of age. We do not knowingly collect personal information from or on behalf of someone under 18. If you are under 18, do not register on our website or provide any information about yourself to us. If we learn we have collected or received personal information from or on behalf of someone under 18, we will make commercially reasonable efforts to remove the information and/or user account and not make future use of that information to contact a minor. If you believe we might have any information from or about someone under 18, please contact us.
How Do We Use Your Information?
To provide and improve our Services. We primarily use your information to present and provide our Services to you. This includes the following:
- providing you appropriate search results and personalized content;
- processing your purchases;
- verifying your identity;
- recognizing you when you return to our Services;
- providing you notices about your account;
- notifying you about updates or changes to our Services or any services we offer or provide through it; and
- providing you with information or services that you otherwise request from us.
To improve our Services or to develop new products and services, we may use your information as follows:
- to track your usage of our Services;
- to administer a survey;
- to perform quality control and quality improvement activities;
- to conduct data analysis about our audience size and usage trends;
- to conduct marketing campaigns and targeted online advertising; and
- to monitor the success of our marketing activities.
With your consent for the Services. With your consent, as described in our Platform Consent, we do the following:
- collect and process your saliva sample(s);
- sequence your DNA;
- store your resulting Genetic Information;
- store any saliva sample and extracted DNA that are left over after sequencing; and
- share your relevant Account Information, Genetic Information and Self-Reported Information with a Partner to fulfill your purchase of their DNA Product.
In the following two subsections, we describe how we use your Genetic Information and Self-Reported Information in particular:
Your Genetic Information may be combined with that of other users as “Aggregated Genetic Information.” Aggregated Genetic Information does not include any data that would reasonably permit someone to identify you individually. Helix may use Aggregated Genetic Information for its internal business purposes, such as to improve our products, data quality and laboratory processes. Aggregated Genetic Information may also be used for our promotional purposes. This could include describing users of our Services in general terms (e.g., “50% of our users are female” or “on average our users have 2% Neanderthal DNA”).
Self-Reported Information. Many traits are also influenced by non-genetic factors, as discussed in our Terms of Service and Platform Consent. Your Self-Reported Information may be combined with your Genetic Information to improve interpretations of your Genetic Information, including Helix Insights. Some DNA Products may require this information for purposes of interpreting your Genetic Information, but it is up to you whether to purchase these DNA Products and provide this information. If you do not provide this information, you may not be able to purchase certain DNA Products. If you provide Self-Reported Information to Helix, we may share this information with certain Partners with your permission to facilitate their DNA Products and related services.
With your consent for research. With your consent (via our Research Consent), we may also use your Genetic Information and Self-Reported Information for Helix’s research, called the Helix DNA Discovery Project, as described in our Research Consent. Upon registering your Helix DNA Kit, or in your Helix account settings, you can choose to participate in the Helix DNA Discovery Project by providing your Research Consent. If you no longer wish to participate in the Helix DNA Discovery Project, you may withdraw your consent at any time by changing your account settings. Withdrawing your consent will not remove your information from ongoing or completed research studies. However, studies that start more than 30 days after you withdraw your consent will not have access to your Genetic Information and Self-Reported Information.
We do not share your Genetic Information or Self-Reported Information with third parties without your consent. However, we may inform you of third party research opportunities for which you may be eligible, or invite you to participate in Helix’s research apart from the Helix DNA Discovery Project, based on your Genetic Information or Self-Reported Information.
All research opportunities will be completely voluntary. All of Helix’s research will be subject to review by a qualified Institutional Review Board (IRB). Whether you take part in any research efforts will not impact your experience with DNA Products you have purchased or your ability to purchase any DNA Products going forward.
When Do We Share Your Information?
We will share your Genetic Information and relevant Account Information and Self-Reported Information with our Partners only after you have authorized us to do so as part of purchasing a DNA Product on the Helix Platform. We will share the Genetic Information needed for the Partner to offer you their DNA Product(s) and improve them over time. When you purchase a DNA Product that includes a companion kit, we will share the needed Account Information with the Partner so that the Partner can fulfill your order. We enter into a written agreement with each Partner that requires the Partner to do the following:
- maintain the confidentiality and security of the Genetic Information, Account Information and Self-Reported Information shared with them; and
- use the Genetic Information, Account Information and Self-Reported Information only for the specific purposes that you have authorized.
We may disclose Account Information, Self-Reported Information and information about your usage of our Services other than your Genetic Information only in the following circumstances:
- To contractors, service providers and other third party vendors we use to support our business (such as for payment processing and Helix DNA Kit shipment), and who are bound by contractual obligations to keep personal information confidential and use it only for the purposes for which we disclose it to them.
- If we believe disclosure is necessary or appropriate to protect the rights, property, or safety of Helix, our users or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organizations for the purposes of fraud protection and credit risk reduction.
We may also disclose your personal information, including your Genetic Information:
- To comply with law, a valid court order, a judicial proceeding, subpoenas, warrants, bankruptcy proceedings, or in connection with any legal process, provided that we will not disclose your Genetic Information without a valid subpoena or search warrant specific to your Genetic Information. If we are required to disclose your information, we will do our best to provide you with notice in advance, unless we are prohibited by law from doing so.
- To enforce or apply our Terms of Service and other agreements.
We may publicly share descriptive statistics about Aggregated Genetic Information, de-identified and aggregated Self-Reported Information, and usage of our Services.
In case of your death or incapacitation, we may provide access to your Helix Account, including your Helix Insights, to your verified executor or legally authorized representative. If you are seeking such access, you may contact Helix Customer Care.
Other than as described above, we will never provide your information to anyone for any purpose under any circumstances.
What Choices Do You Have About How We Use and Share Your Information?
We strive to provide you with choices about the information you provide to us. We have the following mechanisms to give you the following controls over your information:
Advertising Networks. We work with advertising service providers that collect non-personally identifying information from you when you visit the Site and other websites, in order to show ads for our Services that we think may be of interest to you after you visit our Services. If you do not wish to receive our personalized ads, you can visit the opt-out pages of the Network Advertising Initiative (https://www.networkadvertising.org) or the Digital Advertising Alliance (http://www.aboutads.info) to learn about how to opt out of receiving personalized ads from their member companies.
Google Analytics. Helix works with Google Analytics to better understand our audience and users, to improve our marketing campaigns, and to enhance our services. You can learn more about Google Analytics’ privacy choices or opt out at any time.
Promotional Offers from Helix. Helix may use your Account Information (e.g. your email address and your transaction history) to promote our Services or those of our Partners. If you do not wish to have your Account Information used by Helix to promote our Services or those of our Partners to you, you can opt out of receiving marketing communications by changing your account settings. You may not be able to opt out of receiving certain Service-related emails, such as communications about orders, billing, account creation, registration and policy updates. If we have sent you a promotional email or other informational email not related to your order or account, the email will have an “unsubscribe” feature that will allow you to opt-out of receiving future email distributions. Helix will not use your Genetic Information to promote our Services or those of our Partners.
Helix Insights. From time to time, Helix may offer you the opportunity to receive Helix Insights, prior to or separate from your purchase of any DNA Products. Helix interprets your Genetic Information to produce Helix Insights when you request to receive them. If you do not wish to have Helix Insights produced for you, do not request to receive them. You do not need to receive your Helix Insights in order to use other parts of the Helix Platform.
How Do You Access, Correct or Remove Your Information?
In General. You may contact Customer Care to request access to, correct or remove any personal information that you have provided to us. 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. Information that has already been de-identified and/or aggregated (including Aggregated Genetic Information) may not be retrievable or traced back for correction or removal from any database.
Account Closure. You may also close your Helix Account through your Account Settings. If you close your Helix Account, you will no longer have access through the Site or Services to your Genetic Information. Closing your account will not remove your information from ongoing or completed research studies. However, studies that start more than 30 days after you close your account will not have access to your information. After closure of your account you will not be able to purchase any DNA Products from the Helix Platform without creating a new account and providing a new saliva sample.
After you close your Helix Account, we retain some Account Information in your account related to your purchase history. This enables us to provide you ongoing support regarding your prior purchases, and is also necessary for accounting, audit and compliance purposes. We may also retain backup copies and archival files of your information to satisfy our state and federal legal obligations or regulatory requirements, including those set by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). However, we will not share your information with any Partner or third party, except for information that has already been shared with your consent.
Biological Sample. You allow Helix to perform Genomic Sequencing on the saliva sample(s) you submit. If any of your saliva sample(s) or extracted DNA is left over after sequencing is completed, we will not store it for future tests and reports. We may store it for quality control and optimization in our lab, including occasionally updating your Genetic Information to reflect quality improvements and advances in our Genomic Sequencing. This may mean that we store your DNA indefinitely. However, you can request that we destroy your stored saliva sample(s) and DNA by contacting Customer Care.
How Do We Keep Your Information Secure?
We limit access to your information to Helix’s employees and contractors who we believe need access to it to provide Services to you or to do their jobs. In addition, we put in place industry standard physical, technical, and procedural safeguards designed to secure your Account Information, Self-Reported Information, Genetic Information and any other personal information from accidental loss and from unauthorized access, use, alteration and disclosure. You can find additional information about our security practices on our Privacy & Security page.
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