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ESC Privacy and Data Security Policy

Version française disponible sur demande / French version available on request.

The ESC complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2016/679 and the data protection laws in France, and takes all reasonable care to prevent any unauthorised access to your personal data.  The ESC respects your privacy and is committed to safeguarding the confidentiality of your personal information. This policy explains how and why the ESC collects and uses the personal information of its members, customers and website visitors, and how the ESC protects your privacy. It also explains how you can manage your own personal information held in the ESC system through ‘My ESC’ on the ESC Websites.

When disclosing your personal information to us by using ‘My ESC’ on our Websites or by completing and submitting paper or electronic forms to us, you consent to the collection, storage and processing of your personal information as stated in this policy.

The personal information that we collect from you shall be obtained, processed and transmitted in compliance with applicable data protection legislation – European Regulation 2016/679 (GDPR) and, as our offices are located in France, the French data protection law N°78-17 of January 6, 1978.  Per the European Regulation 2016/679 (GDPR), "Personal Information" means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural; 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. This general policy is in addition to any specific policies concerning specific products or services. It may be amended at any time so we invite you to visit this page regularly for updates.

How the ESC collects personal information

The ESC is a non-profit association which combines a wide range of activities in the field of cardiology, including:

  • Provision of Membership Services
  • Collection and dissemination of scientific information
  • Organisation of scientific congresses and events
  • Provision of other educational products and services

This may require the handling of personal information of the individuals involved in these activities and hence the ESC collects personal information in a number of ways from a number of sources. This information may be communicated to the ESC on paper forms received through the postal services or electronically through registration on the ESC Website and use of the ESC’s online services (‘My ESC’) or through other electronic forms made available through partner websites.

The sources of personal information received by the ESC are:

  • The individuals themselves
  • Third parties acting on behalf of individuals (eg an agent arranging registration or hotel accommodation for an ESC organised Congress)
  • Affiliated Associations providing details of their Members (Note: Members of National Cardiology Societies are also members of the ESC by virtue of their association’s affiliation to the ESC).

As per Article 14 of the European Regulation 2016/679, where we receive personal information about individuals from sources other than the individuals themselves (eg for ESC membership or congress registrations), we will take all practical steps to contact the person concerned to advise of their rights.

The principal ways in which the ESC collects personal information are:

  • When you register personal details when creating or updating a ‘My ESC’ account on the ESC Website
  • When you, or an agent or other third party acting on your behalf, enter personal details on a form requesting an ESC product or service (eg when registering for an ESC organised Congress)
  • When you, or someone on your behalf, submits proposals or content in connection with scientific sessions at an ESC organised Congress or meeting (eg Abstracts submission)
  • When you enter personal details on a form applying to become a Fellow of the ESC, or Member of one of the ESC constituent bodies (such as ESC Associations and Working Groups)
  • When your National Cardiac Society provides us with your details for you to benefit from ESC membership
  • When you enter details on a specific application for an ESC Grant or other award.

What personal information is collected by the ESC

Personal information you provide us with

Mandatory Personal Information

As a general rule, the following minimum information must be provided in order for your order, request, application, etc. to be processed.

  • Nominative Information - Title, First Name(s), Family Name(s): Your nominative details are needed to properly identify you, to communicate with you, to provide you with the products and services you have requested and to ensure that items are properly labelled as yours (eg congress badges and scientific contributions such as abstracts and presentations, etc).
  • Full Postal Address: The Postal Address is needed when items will be sent to you by post (eg paper journals, congress badges …) or when you purchase something generating an invoice. 
  • Date of Birth:  Your date of birth is used to help us correctly identify you and avoid duplicate records and also, where specific fees or charges apply which depend on age, to determine eligibility for these fees.
  • Email address: Your email address is needed because it is used as part of the login information (to access your ‘My ESC’ personalised area on the ESC website) and is necessary in order to communicate with you and provide you with order/request confirmations.  Additionally, because we only permit a particular email to be used once in our system, it reduces the possibility of duplicates.  Finally, it permits “Forgot Password” to be handled in an automated secure way.

Additional personal information, which is mandatory for persons creating a ‘My ESC’ account on the ESC website is:

  • Emailing Preference:  We ask you to advise us whether or not you wish to receive marketing emails from the ESC.  This is so that we can respect your privacy as regards electronic communications, as required by European and French laws.
  • Profile Information: We ask you for information about your
    • Professional Activity,
    • Place of Work,
    • Fields of Interest
    • Areas of Expertise
    • Gender

    to enable us to provide you with more relevant information and to better understand the preferences of our audience so that we can give a better service generally. 

Other Personal Information

Other information may be requested which is necessary or relevant for specific activities. 

Mandatory information for specific purposes

  • Credit Card information is required for anyone wishing to make payment by this method. You have the choice to save these details, securily, for later use or not.
  • Curriculum vitae, list of publications and other evidence of scientific achievement is requested to support applications for Fellowship of the ESC, Membership of certain  ESC Associations and Working Groups and ESC Grants and Research Fellowships.
  • Affiliation information (to an organisation) is required for all persons wishing to submit an Abstract.
  • Professional status (together with proof) is requested for all persons requesting certain fees (eg specific registration fees for congresses and events)
  • Detailed Financial and Position of Influence information is requested for persons required to complete ESC Declarations of Interest. (ie persons holding ESC office or representing the ESC)

Optional information

  • Telephone information - to enable us to contact you rapidly in case of need
  • Subscriptions to eNews and email notifications enable you to request to receive regular ESC newsletters and email alerts on selected cardiology topics
  • Institution and role to enable us to have a better understanding of the key institutions in the Cardiology world.

Information we collect automatically

When you visit ESC Websites, information is collected in an automated manner about your computer/device, your IP address, the referring website, what pages you visit, how long you stay on them and the general use you make of the website.

When you make use of our services (purchase a subscription, registration or product or consume an educational product), we keep track of this activity in logs.

This information is collected using various technologies which includes saving cookies to your computer or device. For more information on our use of cookies, the information we collect with them, and your preferences please refer to our Cookies policy.

During an ESC congress or event, attendees may be photographed and videotaped by ESC or its partners capturing the event. Some of these photographs or videos may be displayed by the ESC or its partners in future publications or materials connected with the event as well as social media.  If you do not wish for your image to be displayed by the ESC, please go to the information desk or one of the registration desks onsite during the congress to have a specific sticker added to your badge. Without contradictory instructions from your side, you hereby grant the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), the irrevocable rights to record and use free of charge, on a worldwide basis and for the entire duration of protection of the rights thereto, on any and all supports or forms of media, your image, voice, name, photographs, and video on which you appear for purposes related to Scientific, Educational or Promotional Purposes. You hereby release, waive and discharge the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), its employees and independent contractors from any and all demands, claims, causes of action, damages and liabilities directly or indirectly arising out of any use of your image, voice or name pursuant to the foregoing rights grant.

Information we collect from third parties

Agreements made between the ESC and the ESC National Cardiac Societies (NCS) state that the NCS must provide up to date information on their members. This information is used to either create a My ESC account or update an existing account with the NCS membership status. As per Article 14 of the European Regulation 2016/679, where we receive personal information about individuals from ESC National Cardiac Society, we will take all practical steps to contact the person concerned to advise of their rights. For more information on this process, please contact your National Cardiac Society.

How the ESC uses personal information

Personal information is needed by the ESC to enable it to properly manage its member and customers to fulfill its role in providing a wide range of services.

The personal information which you supply may also be specifically used to:

  • Setup your personal My ESC account
  • Provide you with a My ESC space where you can provide/review/edit your personal information
  • process an application for Fellowship or Membership to an ESC Association, Working Group or Councils.
  • process an application for an ESC grant, training fellowship or other award.
  • process a registration for an ESC congress, meeting, course and other event (both at a physical location or online). Congress badges, online access to courses, etc and certificates of attendance also require the nominative information supplied. 
  • handle attendance at a social event at an ESC congress, meeting or other event.
  • process registration(s) or hotel request(s) for another person(s) if you are acting on behalf of a third party or parties.
  • handle scientific programme activities in connection with ESC congresses and meetings.  These include abstract submission and grading process, speaker and chairperson management, handling of agreement forms, preparation of the scientific programme, presentation management onsite, publication of the scientific content on the ESC website.
  • process a subscription to an ESC journal (whether delivered to you in paper form or accessed online) and to handle your online access to its contents.
  • handle specific processes for ESC leadership and volunteers representing the ESC, including hotel accommodation, expense claims and Declarations of Interest.
  • manage access to and use of ESCeL (the ESC eLearning platform).
  • manage access to restricted content on the ESC website (certain resources are only available to members of specific ESC Associations).
  • enable individual communications with you about specific matters - eg sending confirmations, receipts, requesting further information to solve queries, responding to ESC Helpdesk Requests, etc and sending emails to you with information about ESC activities which we believe will be of interest to you (subject to your prior consent to receive ESC generated emails).
  • send electronic newsletters and notifications (alerts) to you (where you have subscribed to receive them).

The information we collect automatically is used to:

  • Enable us to improve our website and ensure the content is presented to you in the most optimal way. We analyse our user’s activities on the Websites to deduce what works well, what needs to be improved on and what is of little value to our visitors which allows us to focus on the main areas to ensure you have a pleasant experience on our Websites.
  • Provide you with personalised suggestions and recommendations on our websites and e-communications customised to your usage of our website.
  • Promote our activities in a coherent and adequate manner.

How long personal information is kept

Your personal My ESC account is only kept for a reasonable period of time, dependent upon the nature of the information and its intended use, but subject to a maximum of five years after your last use of an ESC product or service.

For certain specific uses (e.g. leadership positions, exam certifications, etc) are kept for varying amount of times according to the process involved. Should you wish to know how long your personal data will be kept for specific processes, please contact us.

For accounting purposes, invoices and expense claims are kept for 10 years in our systems.

Email addresses

Electronic communication is for most purposes the ESC’s preferred method of communication because it is generally convenient, rapid, effective and efficient. In order to be able to communicate with you directly electronically, the ESC needs your email address. You are therefore required to supply your email address when you create your ‘My ESC’ account on the ESC Website, which enables you to access a variety of services online.

Unique Email Address

For your convenience and security, your email address is unique to you in the system. (The ESC does not permit two different persons to have the same email address in the system). You are strongly recommended to use an email address which is personal to you and that is not shared with others. This is to ensure that communications which are sent to you personally are not read by others, and that others do not gain access to the information in your ‘My ESC’ account.  Additionally, the unique email permits handling of “Forgot Password”, enabling you to reset your password in an automated and secure way using your personal email address.

Email privacy

The ESC respects the privacy of personal email addresses and complies with the current European legislation on email communication. The objective is not to send you unwanted messages, and your email details will not be passed on to any other individual or organisation without your permission for marketing purposes.

You can manage the extent to which the ESC communicates with you by using the email preferences section in your ‘My ESC’ account. Here you are asked to indicate whether or not you wish to receive ESC generated emails. If you decide that you do wish to receive email communications from the ESC you can select which categories of news interest you. All mailings sent to you offer the possibility to unsubscribe.

If you indicate that you do not wish to receive ESC generated emails you will only receive emails directly related to the transactions you have with the ESC (eg confirmations of registrations, etc.) and other necessary individual communications.

Disclosure of information to third parties

The ESC does not sell, trade, or rent your personal information to others. The ESC may supply your information to its contractors to perform specific services such as, for example, to the publishers who deliver ESC journals, the mobile app suppliers who supply guidelines, recommendations and congress applications, CRM service providers (eg Salesforce), email service providers (eg Salesforce Marketing Cloud), banking partners (Ayden), and others.

Otherwise, the ESC does not disclose personal information to any other person or organisation without your consent.  In this context, your personal data may be disclosed to the following external partners of the ESC in the circumstances described below:

  • Congress exhibitors who scan your congress badge:  If you accept to have your badge scanned when visiting an exhibiting company stand, or by a hostess at an Industry Sponsor session, your badge will enable them to retrieve the following personal data: nominative (title, first name(s), last name(s)), address (postal address and email), telephone and profile information (professional activity, place of work and fields of interest).
  • Industry partners of online/digital events: please be aware that your profile information and details will be shared with the sponsor of the Industry Session, Tutorial or Exhibition you choose to view. When accessing an Industry Session, Tutorial or Exhibition, the following data will be shared with the corresponding industry: title, first name, last name, email address, city, country, age scale, gender, profession, stage in career, primary specialty, place of work and main institution information - such as entered in your My ESC account. It may be used for marketing and communication purposes. 
  • Agencies handling ESC managed hotel bookings: Nominative information is provided to local agencies where the ESC handles hotel bookings for a particular congress or event.  (The large majority of hotel bookings are now made directly through the local agency website but faculty and Committee members may still be handled this way).
  • Professional Congress Organisers (PCO) managing the organisation of certain meetings: Nominative information and email is provided to PCOs managing the organisation of some of our smaller meetings so they can proceed to scientific programme and faculty management (send invitations, manage acceptances and permissions). Only information of those managing the programme and/or those identified as potential faculty is shared.
  • Groups representatives and Agencies handling your congress or event registration:  Where your registration is handled by someone other than yourself, your confirmations, badges or vouchers may be sent to this third party.  These contain nominative details about you.
  • Travel agency handling flight and hotel bookings on behalf of ESC Leadership and volunteers engaged in ESC business: Appropriate personal information is transferred to the travel agency handling these bookings
  • ESC Leadership assessing ESC Fellowship and Membership applications: An application to become an ESC Fellow or a Member of certain ESC bodies (eg ESC Working Groups) requires the submission of a CV, publication list and, sometimes, other elements to support the application.  This information, together with nominative information concerning the applicant, is assessed by a leading cardiologist or committee of cardiologists, prior to acceptance or refusal of the application.
  • ESC Leadership assessing applications for ESC Grants, Training Fellowships or other awards:  An application for an ESC Grant or other award requires the submission of appropriate career and other information to support the application.  This information is made available to the committee of cardiologists responsible for assessing the applications and making the awards.

Right of access to, rectification and/or erasure of your ESC information

In accordance with the chapter 3 of the European Regulation 2016/679 with regards to data protection, you have the right to request from ESC, access to and rectification or erasure of your personal data or restriction of processing concerning your data or to object to processing as well as the right to data portability.

For such, please contact (be aware that a proof of identity will be requested during the process via a secure web link).

You have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, and for information, ESC has appointed a Data Protection Officer that you can reach at

When you visit ‘My ESC’ you have direct control over the information in your personal profile. You can access and change this information at any time from your ‘My ESC’ account.

Note that an opposition or deletion request once treated will not delete all trace of financial transactions which need to be kept, for accounting purposes, for a duration of 10 years.

Data security

To protect your information, the ESC uses an industry standard security protocol called Transport Layer Security (TLS) to encrypt the transmission of sensitive information between you and our Websites. To know if transmissions are encrypted, look for the lock on your web browser or check that the URL starts with https://.

Unfortunately, no company or service can guarantee complete security. Your account is protected by a password for your privacy and security. We strongly suggest you prevent unauthorized access to your account by selecting and protecting an appropriate password and limiting access to your computer and devices. To assist you in ensuring security, we require a complex password to be set to access your account which must comprise of at least 8 characters including letters, numbers and special characters. After 10 wrong password attempts, your account will be locked.

Please note that the ESC will never ask you for your personal details, password or credit card details by email. We advise you to be vigilant and apply caution. All transactions should go through your secure My ESC area.

Payment collection

Payment collection is made securely through our banking partner, Ayden, a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) certified organisation. PCI-DSS is an information security standard that has been created by the major credit card companies (American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard and Visa) to improve controls around credit card data handling and to reduce fraud.

In order to be certified, Ingenico ePayments undergoes regular assessments by external parties: Penetration testing, vulnerability assessment and audit by an external Qualified Security Assessor (QSA).

If you have requested to save your payment details, only the credit card type, last 4 digits and expiration dates are stored in our CRM. The full details are only kept by Ayden, our financial partner, on their secure servers.

Use of cookies and other tracking technologies

Cookies are pieces of information that a website transfers to your computer’s hard disk for record-keeping purposes. They are small text files that a website can use to recognise repeat users and facilitate their ongoing access to, and use of, the site. They do not pose a threat to your system or files.

Our websites do work without cookies, but you will lose some features and functionality if you choose to disable cookies. In particular, if you do choose to disable cookies, you will not be able to enjoy the full range of online services available through the My ESC area or any of the restricted content. For full information on our use of cookies and how to accept/reject them, please refer to our Cookies Policy.

We also use clear gifs in our email marketing communications which are used to track the emails that are opened by the recipients. This information allows us to have accurate reports to improve the effectiveness of our marketing and make our services and Websites better for you.

Finally, we utilise web analysis services to better understand your use of our Websites and services. These services collect information such as what pages you visit, how long you stay on them and where you came from before visiting that page. This information is used to examine the use of the Websites as well as potentially your actions to contextualise and personalise some of our content to your personal interests.

External Links

The ESC Web Site contains links to other websites. Please be aware that the ESC is not responsible for the privacy policies of other sites. You are therefore encouraged to read the privacy policies of any other site that collects personally identifiable information. This privacy policy applies solely to information collected by the ESC.

‘My ESC’ - Managing your contact with the ESC

Access to Personalised Services 

You do not need to register to access most of the ESC Websites, but you do have to register to use personal services online and access certain web content.

The details you supply the ESC may be combined with information from other ESC records to:

  • provide you with online services like Abstract Submission, Registration for Congresses, etc.
  • save you having to keep giving the same information for different ESC services
  • allow you to access specific web content reserved for ESC members
  • help you to get more out of the ESC by keeping you up to date about ESC activities, scientific developments, and products and services by email. (Note: This is an ‘Opt-In’ service only – for more information, please go to the section Email Addresses)
  • Access to your personal information

‘My ESC’ enables you to manage your personal information held by the ESC. If you are a Member of the ESC, or have used ESC products and services, a record will already exist for you which you can potentially access by logging in online through:

  • use of your existing login details (email and password), if you have already used the ESC online services (‘My ESC’) previously.
  • the ‘Retrieve your Login’ feature which, if your email address is recognised, will send an email to the address given which will guide you through a process to set a password for yourself.
  • Use of a special alternative login functionality available for limited periods


Last updated 19 October 2023