ZS is committed to protecting the privacy of the individuals whose personal data we process in the provision of Opinion Leader Intelligence and similar products and projects in which opinion leaders are identified (OLI). This Privacy Notice describes our current practices regarding the personal data that we collect for OLI. Personal data is information that may identify you, such as your name, e-mail address, or mailing address.


Except for instances in which our client is the controller of your personal data that we are processing on their behalf, ZS Associates, Inc., ZS Associates International, Inc., or one of these affiliates is the controller of your personal data.

ZS’s OLI processes the personal data of the following kinds of individuals: healthcare professionals (HCPs), principal investigators, medical specialists, and other experts in health- and medicine-related fields. We refer to these individuals as Rising Stars, Growing Opinion Leaders, National Opinion Leaders, Regional Opinion Leaders and Local Opinion Leaders. Collectively, we refer to them as “Opinion Leaders” and within this Privacy Notice, “you.”


Our data sources can include information that is widely available and visible to the public as well as data provided by our clients, publication data, data about clinical trials, industry engagement data, longitudinal patient claims data, social media data, and data collected via desk research. The data elements processed are intended to capture details about Opinion Leaders in their professional capacity. 


The specific pieces of data we may collect or derive include the following:

  • Identifiers: NPI, name, specialty, practice address, and hospital and IDN affiliation;
  • Research data: publication details including publication date, publication title, citations, publication abstract, co-authors, journal, and journal impact;
  • Clinical trial details: trial title, trial objective, trial MOA, trial start date, trial sponsor, trial phase, and investigators;
  • Congress abstracts: details including congress abstracts title, congress abstracts abstract, conference name, conference date, and congress abstracts authors;
  • De-identified longitudinal patient claims: analyzed and aggregated patient activities involving diagnosis (diagnosis code and description), prescribed drug (NDC and drug name), and involvement of procedure (procedure code and description);
  • Industry sponsorship data: CMS Sunshine Act payments including payment amount, payment sponsored organization, payment category, and payment sponsored brand;
  • Leadership position in societies, guidelines, patient advocacy groups, and other institutions identified by ZS clients, including details about position name, and name and URL of societies/guidelines/patient advocacy group or other institutions; and/or
  • Social media data: public posts from social media platforms including but not limited to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and/or Twitch. Details about Twitter posts, such as post content, post date, post URL, Twitter profile URL, number of followers, post reach, number of retweets by HCPs and their names

OLI is personalized to ZS’s clients and helps clients find the relevant Opinion Leaders specific to their therapeutic-area strategy. Combined with ZS’s analytical expertise, our proprietary artificial intelligence and machine learning models leverage the data sources mentioned above to help our clients avoid time-consuming manual effort to identify Opinion Leaders. OLI explores the deep influence network of Opinion Leaders to help clients understand network connections so that they may develop an informed engagement strategy and increase the efficiency of their engagement preparation.


In turn, the collaboration between Opinion Leaders and ZS clients may improve for the Opinion Leader and could result in Opinion Leaders receiving more relevant clinical research opportunities from ZS clients, as OLI identifies Opinion Leaders’ research focus and topic interests. Moreover, Opinion Leaders could expect to be invited to conferences, speaker programs, and advisory boards to help communicate about new treatments and bridge the gap of peers’ scientific understanding.


Additionally, if we are processing your data on behalf of a third party (such as our client), we will follow the processing instructions that the third party provided us. We will use Opinion Leader data to administer and improve OLI. We may use OLI data to carry out contracts or comply with applicable laws or regulations.

To opt out of being included in OLI, please submit a request via the ZS Privacy Request Tool, and we will act on your choice without undue delay.

California Civil Code Section 1798.83 permits individuals who are California residents to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes. To make such a request, please send visit our ZS Privacy Request Tool

We process your personal data in order to operate, maintain, and provide the OLI services. ZS’s legal basis for processing Opinion Leader personal data will typically be one of the following:

  • The processing is necessary for our legitimate interests, to ensure that our services are properly provided, and to promote our services;
  • We have your consent to use your personal data; or
  • The processing is necessary to comply with our legal obligations.  

OLI data is shared with ZS clients under a license or services agreement. We do not otherwise rent, sell, share, or distribute your personal data to third parties outside of the ZS group of companies except as required by law and in these circumstances:

  • Your personal data may be shared with other companies within our group of companies or with contractors, service providers, and other third parties we use to support our business and who are bound by contractual obligations to keep personal data confidential and use it only for the purposes for which we disclose it to them, per the purpose and/or with your consent as set out in this Privacy Notice. Our current list of third-party managed service providers is available here.
  • Your personal data may be shared with our clients on whose behalf we are processing your data per their instructions.  
  • We may share, transfer, or disclose the information in our databases and server logs in the event of our sale, merger, reorganization, dissolution, or similar event, as well as to comply with a contractual obligation with our clients, protect your vital interests, and/or protect the security or integrity of our databases or services. We will inform you of any such transfer or disclosure as required by law.
  • We may be required to disclose your personal data in response to lawful requests by public authorities, including to meet national security or law enforcement requirements. Governmental and regulatory bodies must follow the applicable legal process to obtain valid and binding orders. All requests must be specific and are reviewed by the ZS Legal team to ensure that the requests are valid and so that ZS can object to overly broad or otherwise inappropriate requests. ZS does not provide any government with direct and unfettered access to your personal data, and we do not provide any government with our encryption keys. 

We are a global company, and your data may be transferred throughout our offices worldwide. We are headquartered in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission; your data will be stored and processed according to U.S. privacy standards. Data is transferred in accordance with the requirements of our intergroup data transfer agreement based on the Standard Contractual Clauses defined in Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and which also satisfies the requirements for cross-border data transfers from Japan under Act No. 57 of 2003, as amended.

If you send us a request to access, correct, delete, limit, or object to the use and disclosure of the personal data we hold about you, we will respond to your request in accordance with applicable law. These requests should be sent to us at via the ZS Privacy Request Tool or the contact information listed below. When ZS is processing your data on behalf of our client, ZS will assist with your request in accordance with applicable law and our obligations to our client.

We take steps to ensure that the personal data that you provide is retained for only as long as it is necessary for the purpose for which it was collected and as required by applicable law. After this period, it will be deleted, or in some cases, deidentified.

We provide reasonable and appropriate physical, technical, and organizational safeguards intended to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the personal data we collect. Please be aware that, although we endeavor to provide reasonable security for data we process and maintain, no security system can prevent all potential security breaches.

We may change this Privacy Notice at any time. Any updates to this Privacy Notice will be posted here. The date at the top indicates the date of the last update.

We do not knowingly collect data about children under the age of 18. If a parent or guardian becomes aware that their child has provided us with information without their consent, they should contact us at dataprivacy@zs.com. We will delete such information from our files within a reasonable time.

If you have any questions regarding this Privacy Notice or our privacy practices generally, please contact us via e-mail at dataprivacy@zs.com. You may also mail us at:


ZS Associates, Inc.

Attn. Data Protection Officer

One Rotary Center

1560 Sherman Ave. Ste. 800

Evanston, IL 60201


© 2023 ZS Associates, Inc.