Collaborative Testing Services' Confidentiality Policy
CTS is strongly committed to protecting the anonymity of participants in our interlaboratory testing programs and ensuring the confidentiality of both results and identifying information. The intent of this Confidentiality Policy is to describe our policies and practices regarding the disclosure of any and all information that may be used to identify participants and participant results. This policy includes, but is not limited to, this Web site.
Participating organizations designate a “Laboratory Contact” who is recognized by CTS as the sole person authorized to receive confidential information about that organization’s participation, such as identifying information and performance results. Communication between CTS and participating organization is routinely routed through the Lab Contact. It is incumbent on the participating organization to designate a new “Lab Contact” if the existing contact is no longer authorized to act as the participant’s agent.
CTS assigns “Lab Codes” and/or “Participant Codes” to maintain the anonymity of participating organizations. These unique codes are used in combination with policies and procedures outlined below to communicate with a third-party while maintaining the anonymity of participants.
CTS randomly generates temporary “WebCodes” to protect the confidentiality of results. “Webcodes” also are used in combination with policies and procedures to ensure the confidentiality of interlaboratory results. WebCodes are assigned to participants and are used to identify results in Web-based summary reports. The Webcode is unique to each test and, therefore, is not permanently associated with a participant.
CTS will not confirm the participation of any individual or organization in our programs to a third-party without prior authorization of the participant. This authorization may be written authorization given directly to CTS by the participant for the release of information to a specific party. The authorization may also be given to the third party by the participant. This indirect, third-party authorization must include identifying information given to the third-party such as a “Lab Code” or “Participant Code” and identifying information that provides sufficient validation that the third party has been authorized by the participant.
CTS will not release, transmit, comment or discuss in any manner the results of a participant with a third-party without prior authorization of the participant. This authorization may be written authorization given directly to CTS by the participant for the release of information to a specific party. The authorization may also be given to the third party by the participant. This indirect, third-party authorization must include identifying information such as a “Lab Code” or “Participant Code,” the specific results to be released and identifying information that provides sufficient validation that the third party has been authorized by the participant.
CTS may share anonymous test results or aggregated test information and reserves the right to use any or all data in articles or other literature so long as there is no identifying information disclosed.
Confidentiality and Transmissions over the Internet
The transmission of data or information (including communications by e-mail) over the Internet or other publicly accessible networks is not secure, and is subject to possible loss, interception or alteration while in transit. Accordingly, we do not assume any liability for any damage you may experience or costs you may incur as a result of any transmissions over the Internet or other publicly accessible networks, such as the submission of any of your information to us (including your personal information). While we shall take commercially reasonable efforts to safeguard the privacy of any personal information you provide us and treat such information in accordance with this Confidentiality Policy, in no event will the information you provide to us result in any liability to you on our part in the event that such information is inadvertently released by us or accessed by third parties without our consent. Notwithstanding the foregoing, to the extent that you are able to access the information of third parties through our Web site, we do not grant you any right or license whatsoever to use such information.
Moreover, in order to limit unauthorized access, we observe strict security measures when it comes to archiving and divulging any information provided by our customers. Because of that, we may ask you to confirm your identity once again before submitting personal information.