The fundamental principles of A.A. anonymity are not changed when electronic media, such as the Internet, are used to facilitate communication among members. The name “Alcoholics Anonymous” implies both that individuals may retain the degree of privacy they wish regarding their membership in the fellowship and also that no single member speaks for the whole of A.A. at the level of press, film, radio, television or Internet. The tradition of anonymity is explained in depth in A.A. publications such as The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, and the pamphlet “Understanding Anonymity.” This Online Advisory Statement is intended to clarify some special situations which arise when A.A. websites are publically available on the Internet.
In addition to the formal statements of A.A. traditions, well established customs have developed that are applicable to the online environment. It is customary in service activities that members provide each other with sufficient identification to be reached easily and quickly. Members who accept service positions sacrifice some of their privacy in order to best serve the A.A. community.
The most widely used online A.A. communication technique employs email. This technology effectively solves the problem of working together while preserving anonymity because a return address is provided to each recipient with each message, and the sender can be reached quickly by return email. A sender of email may include a first name, full name, or simply a username, as desired. Postal addresses and telephone numbers are seldom necessary in this environment, though they may be useful for some transactions, such as transmitting funds by mail or coordinating service committee work among several members by telephone. Where it is clear that the common good requires further identification, further identification should be provided.
A special circumstance of online A.A. anonymity is that communications that are intended to be private, or only for the use of a known group of recipients, are received either on the addressee’s monitor screen or on paper. It is the duty of recipient members to guard the confidentiality of these messages by not sharing them with other persons not addressed by the writer. This article of “netiquette” is widely agreed upon by online users, whether or not they are members of Alcoholics Anonymous, but the topics of A.A. communications add a duty and responsibility that online messages remain as private as the sender intends. An example of this is the A.A. Noteborad which can be used by everyone.
LCIAA (“Lancaster County Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous”) respects the privacy of every individual who visits. This privacy statement provides notice of the standards and terms under which the Online Intergroup protects the privacy of information supplied by visitors. This privacy statement provides notice of our information collection practices and of the ways in which your information may be used. This policy may change from time to time, so please check back periodically to review this information.
Our Policy On External Links
Linking to another website does not constitute an endorsement by Lancaster County Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The Information We Collect
The Online Intergroup may collect personally identifiable information in a variety of ways, including through online forms and subscriptions where visitors are invited to volunteer such information. The Online Intergroup may also collect information about how visitors use our web site, for example, by tracking the number of unique views received by the pages of the web site or the search words which visitors use to find our website.
We may use “cookies” to track how visitors use our web site. A cookie is a small file that a web server can store on the visitor’s computer and use to identify the visitor should they visit the web site again.
Disclosure of Information
LCIAA does not lend, lease, sell, or otherwise intentionally transfer visitors’ personal information to any third party.