Established in 2001, the Merck Privacy Office is driven by a global mission that includes respect for individual privacy expectations. The Merck privacy program is built on a strong foundation of global privacy practices and standards and carries on our tradition of upholding high ethical standards in collecting, using and disclosing personal information across our business practices and in addressing privacy-related ethical issues in biomedical research.
Privacy Trust at Merck
We believe that trust is core to our privacy mission, so we have developed our privacy program around the following key elements of privacy trust:
- T – “transparency” – being open and clear about how we collect, use and disclose personal information
- R – “respecting choices” – such as whether or not people want to participate in our programs
- U – “understanding perspectives” – including that people have different levels of concern about their privacy based on cultural perspectives and personal experiences
- S – “security” – protecting personal information from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration or destruction
- T – treating our stakeholders with respect and in a manner consistent with the Company’s values
Safe Harbor Certification
On November 5, 2001, Merck & Co., Inc. certified its adherence to the Safe Harbor Agreement between the European Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce for transfers of personal information from the European Economic Area to the U.S. On May 1, 2006, Schering-Plough Corporation certified its adherence to the Safe Harbor for certain categories of personal information, and has since certified for other categories of personal information. We have reaffirmed our adherence to the Safe Harbor annually.
Protection of Social Security Numbers
We protect Social Security Numbers (SSNs) in accordance with our Global Privacy and Data Protection Policy, which requires in relevant part that SSNs be appropriately secured, in accordance with their sensitivity, from loss, misuse, and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration or destruction.