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The WELL Privacy Policy

This document is one of the agreements between The Well Group, Inc., (referred to as "The Well Group," "we," or "us" below), and users (referred to as "you," "visitors" or "members" below), of any of our services, (referred to as "The WELL," the "service" or "services"), whether offered free of charge or for a fee. It concerns the legal privacy framework in which you use services provided by us, what your rights and responsibilities are and what you can expect from your visits to or your membership in The WELL.


  1. Privacy policy
  2. Announcements and spam
  3. Traffic data
  4. Use of cookies
  5. Participants
  6. Billing information
  7. Surveys
  8. Our commitment to children's privacy
  9. Other disclosure of personal information
  10. Cancellation and data removal policies
  11. Other sites
  12. For further information; contacts

Privacy policy

The Well Group respects your right to the privacy of the personal information you provide for the purposes of registration and payment. The WELL is a non-anonymous community site. We ask registered members to make their real names and working email addresses known to each other when logged in to our system and communicating with one another.

We seek to provide this non-anonymous social environment while treating your privacy with respect and care. To that end, unless you designate otherwise or we state otherwise in this policy or at the time information is collected, with the exception of sharing your real name and your provided off-system email address as described, any personal information you provide to The Well Group will be known only to you, and to authorized staff, trusted partner services and contractors providing The WELL services on behalf of The Well Group. We will not disclose or confirm the fact of your membership by name to non-members without your permission, except in specific situations such as to law enforcement agencies or contractors such as our credit card processing partners as specified in this document.

The following policy is intended to explain how personal information provided by you, along with the personally identifiable access data your browser or similar application provides to our servers and applications, will be treated as you make use of our services and their features. Personal information includes your street address, billing information and any other personal identification information you may provide at the behest of The Well Group. Personally identifiable access data is collected by applications on our servers from your Web browser or other Internet access application.

This policy may change from time to time, with announcement and discussion in The WELL forum area known as the Policy Conference (Members may go there by using the shortcut: g policy). Please check there periodically.

The Well Group is not the first organization to offer the services of The WELL. In the unlikely event that The Well Group or any of its services is acquired by or merged with another company, we will transfer the personal information about you along with the service. The Well Group will notify you with more information before any such event.

Announcements and spam

From time to time, members may receive notification of new services, changes to policies, major business announcements or price adjustments. We will not send you other email at the address you provide during registration, except for infrequent communications to resolve issues that may arise with your own WELL account.

Your ability to retrieve a lost password relies on your provided offsite email. Most routine announcements are made in The WELL Newsletter Conference (g news) rather than via email. The Well Group will not rent or provide commercial use of either your offsite or email address to any third party.

From time to time, we may make your personal information visible to trusted partners who work on behalf of The Well Group under confidentiality agreements. These partner companies do not have any independent right to communicate with you, nor to share your information with others. The offsite email address you provide during registration will also be made available to your fellow members of the service for the purposes of personal communication. Any alternative offsite email addresses that you add for billing or staff contact purposes after registration will be kept confidential.

We do not permit the use of email accounts for sending unsolicited bulk commercial email.

Traffic data

Each time a visitor comes to The WELL, some basic technical information is collected. For example, software logs the date and time of the connection, what browser you use, where you are connecting from (your IP address), and, in some cases, where you were just prior to visiting The WELL. When members are logged in, some of this information is made available to other members. This automatically available information on fellow logged-in members is limited to dates, times, and, in some cases, the IP address and host name of your computer system.

We also count, track and aggregate each visitor's activity into our analysis of general traffic flows at The WELL. To these ends, we may merge information about membership levels and activity into group data, which may then be shared on an aggregated basis, but we will not disclose your individual identity as a WELL member nor will we share your personally identifiable access data outside the service without your permission. If we do present any form of aggregated information to outside parties beyond our trusted partners, no one will be able to identify you or contact you.

We do not release aggregated data for individual Private Conferences.

Use of cookies

A cookie is a small amount of data that is sent to your browser from a Web server and stored in your computer's memory or written on your computer's hard drive. For example, we use cookies to allow the system to know you have already entered a password each time you click for more data in a conference login session. We also use cookies in the Google Analytics format to help us understand how our Web pages perform. We may use both session cookies and persistent cookies to better understand how you interact with our services, to monitor aggregate usage and web traffic patterns on our services, and to customize and improve our services.

Most Internet browsers automatically accept cookies. You can instruct your browser, by changing its settings, to stop accepting cookies or to prompt you before accepting a cookie from the websites you visit. However, some services may not function properly if you disable cookies. Our cookies do not contain your password, or any of the personal billing or contact information you provide to us when you register for a membership in The WELL.


WELL members are expected to comply with our Member Agreement, but The Well Group cannot control third parties' use of information you may choose to provide via a post to any online conference, email list, chat or send tool or any other communication environment within or from our services. The Well Group cannot vouch for the integrity of the participants you may communicate with, including but not limited to participants in Private Conference areas. Sharing information with other members is a matter of individual choice and judgment. If you choose to take part in any WELL conference, whatever you may disclose in that discussion area is made known to other current or future WELL members who may read the conference. The conferencing software that The Well Group provides to members will keep track of what you have seen in order to show you new material when you return. This information about when you were last present is available to other members of the service in the conferences to which you have mutual access so that it is easier to tell who is up to date in a group conversation.

We do not provide this information on members' participation and activity to non-members.

We offer "shell" access with some of our membership plans. Shell (command line) users are responsible for learning how UNIX permissions work in order to avoid unintentionally leaving files readable by others, or having the commands they execute viewed by other. A shared UNIX environment is by definition geared more towards sharing than privacy. We also offer a Web interface to our primary services.

All of our services are offered "as is." Shell usage is not required of members.

Billing Information

In order to subscribe, members provide The Well Group with personal information including a telephone number, contact and billing street addresses and credit card account information. The Well Group goes to great lengths to keep all such information strictly confidential. Billing information is submitted to our payment industry partner companies in order to process credit cards in accordance with strict banking data security standards. The Well Group will not share your personal payment information except as required to securely process your membership payments, or as otherwise described in this document. This information is not available to other members of The WELL unless you disclose it to them.


The Well Group may from time to time conduct voluntary surveys of visitors to the site to obtain aggregate preferences or demographic information about them. Such information will be compiled and may be shared in the aggregate to discuss business opportunities with third parties, but no personal details will be traceable or associated with specific individuals who participate in surveys.

Our commitment to children's privacy

Protecting the privacy of the very young is important to us. For that reason, we do not collect or maintain information at our sites from those we actually know are under 13, and no part of our sites are structured to attract anyone under 13.

Other disclosure of personal information

The Well Group will not otherwise use or disclose your personal information without your consent except (i) as described in this privacy policy, or (ii) in order to investigate, prevent or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of any person, or as otherwise required by law.

Notification of such inquiries will be emailed to such members before or as soon as is practical after disclosures are made, unless such notification is prohibited by law or court order.

This privacy policy does not protect information you voluntarily disclose to others, including officers of the law, via a post to any online conference, email list, chat or send tool or any other services within or from The WELL.

Cancellation and data removal policies

If you end your membership, you may contact Helpdesk [at] to request removal of your personal contact data. At your request, we will delete any billing and personal contact data other than any such information you may have chosen to post, mail or otherwise share with others, and that we are not required to retain for accounting purposes. If you wish to delete any of your own conference posts before ending your membership, you may do so yourself while your account remains active.

Other sites

The WELL sites and services contain many links to other Internet sites. The Well Group cannot control and is not responsible for the privacy practices or content of other Web sites, even if those sites are produced by WELL members or reside within our area.

For further information; contacts

If you have any further questions or concerns about The Well Group's privacy policies and use of personal information, please email them to helpdesk [at], or post them to The WELL Policy Conference (the shortcut is g policy).

April, 2014

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