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Your Privacy at SeekWellness

How to Protect the Privacy of Your Health Information

Jump to: Privacy Resources for Consumers

Q. Do you know where your health information is going?

A. When you register at and then log in to a health website, any information you provide may be stored by the owners of the website. In some cases, this information is traceable to your email address or your IP address and is available for sale or trade by the original website to other companies interested in marketing to people with your profile. Your IP address is the unique number assigned to your computer when it's connected to the Internet. Your job is to discover what happens to the information collected along with your address.


Q. What can you do to protect your information?

A. Before you give a website any private or health-related information, try to find a privacy policy published on the website. If you can't find one, it might be a good idea to refuse to register or to provide any information at all. The privacy policy should be easy to find (preferably from a link on the homepage), should be written in simple language, and should clearly state how your information will be used.

SeekWellness Response: This document is our privacy policy. It is available by direct link from all pages in the website.

Q. What else should you look for?

A. Look for a contact address and send the website an email. If someone answers, that's a good sign.

SeekWellness Response: Our email address is available on every page in the website and our email policy is to answer all inquiries within 24-48 hours.

Q. What should you look for in a privacy policy?

  1. Make sure it's easy to understand. If you have trouble understanding it, chances are the website doesn't want you to know what it does with your information.

    SeekWellness Response: This statement has been tested with our visitors for clarity and ease of understanding. If you have questions about any part, please contact us.  

  2. Check to see that the website includes an opt-in or opt-out option for registered visitors. Opt-in means that you have the right to choose if and when your information is released to others. Opt-out means that your information will be shared with others until you specifically request that it not be. If there is a choice listed, check its wording to see if the default setting is opt-out and you have to do something to stop the website from sharing your information. At that point, look at how difficult the website makes it for you to opt-out.

    SeekWellness Response: SeekWellness provides a simple opt-in choice for all of its programs and services. 

  3. Search for a statement about the website's use of cookies. A cookie is a small text file placed by a website on your computer that is retrieved each time you revisit the website. Because it is not an executable file, a cookie cannot "do" anything to your computer. It is used to identify the activity you took part in on your last visit and to display customized content or graphics each time your revisit. This is not necessarily a bad thing. When you buy a book at, the website puts a cookie on your computer so when you visit next, you are greeted by name with a list of books you might like to check out. Most people enjoy this type of personalization.

    Some cookies are designed to stay on your computer for a long time and are called "persistent" cookies. Others are programmed to expire at a set time and are called "session" cookies. Some cookies assign a code to identify you and then keep a detailed record of pages you've visited on the website, what you've purchased, or personal preferences you revealed in a registration process. Cookies may be combined with data from other sources to create a snapshot of your behaviors called a profile.

    The website should tell you if it uses cookies and if so, how it uses them. If you want more information about cookies and how you can control their use, visit:

    SeekWellness Response: At present, SeekWellness only uses cookies through our log files, created by WebTrends Live (see information below). 

  4. The website should explain to you what it does with its log files and any IP addresses it collects. There should be language included about a secure storage system for such files and whether or not they are shared with other websites or companies. The website should also explain whether it allows downloads of Internet cookies from another company or website as is sometimes done with banner ad networks so they can tailor banner ads to your preferences.

    SeekWellness Response: SeekWellness aggregates information from all of its visitors into log files in order to measure the total number of visitors to the website and how many visit each area within it. This helps SeekWellness to learn about which areas are most popular and should be expanded and which are least popular and should be reduced or eliminated.  SeekWellness does not belong to banner ad networks and does not access or allow access by other organizations.

    Currently SeekWellness uses WebTrends Live to collect information about visits to our website.  Here is specific information about WebTrends Live:

    Privacy Principles
    Because your privacy is important to us, WebTrends Live conducts its business under the following principles:

    Principle 1 - No Collection of Personal Information
    WebTrends does not collect personal information such as name, age, phone number and mailing address from visitors to our customer's web sites.

    Principle 2 - No Combination of Browsing and Web Traffic Information with Personal Information
    Since WebTrends does not collect any personal information, we do not combine traffic analysis information with personal information such as name, age, phone number and mailing address.

    Principle 3 - No Aggregation of Individual Visitor Traffic Patterns across Multiple Sites
    WebTrends does not collect individual profile information for visitors across multiple sites and does not aggregate information from any other sources about browsing patterns of individual visitors across multiple sites.

    Principle 4 - Use of Anonymous IP Address
    IP addresses are recorded by every site on the internet. WebTrends collects this information as well, but does so exclusively for the following uses: (1) anonymous statistical purposes; or (2) administration of our web site and servers, and to improve our services.

    Principle 5 - Anonymous Use of Cookies
    It is WebTrends Live's policy to use cookies only for more accurate anonymous traffic analysis. The cookie information does NOT include personal data such as name, age, phone number, e-mail address or mailing address. In addition, WebTrends does NOT link cookies to personal data such as name, age, phone number, e-mail address and mailing address. Most browsers are initially set up to accept cookies. If you would prefer, you can set your browser to reject cookies.

    Principle 6 - No Individual Profiling
    WebTrends Live does not create individual profiles for visitors. Unlike other tracking services we do not have a database of individual profiles for each visitor. WebTrends Live collects data in aggregate form and data is not recorded or stored for individual visitors.

    Principle 7 - Limited Use of Cookies
    WebTrends Live uses cookies to track such as the time/date of the visit, the time/date of last visit, the page viewed, the referrer, transaction information for eCommerce pages, and other data. The cookies never include personal information such as name, mailing address and phone number. We do not collect such information and visitors that we track can not provide us with personal information through normal movement across a web site. As we do not build a database of individual visitors, the data that we do collect is never stored in any individual user profile; the data collected serves only to update aggregate counts allowing our customers to monitor traffic on their site. Visitors can also reject cookies.

    Opting Out of Tracking Cookies
    You may elect to opt out of receiving tracking cookies for all sites using WebTrends services. To do so, you will need to accept a cookie indicating your choice. Please visit our opt out page for more information. 

  5. If the website collects personal information from you, it should tell you why it collects this information and how it plans to use it, whether or not it releases this information to others, or if it claims rights to this information in the future. If it does share your information, it should tell you how it plans to obtain your permission prior to sharing it. It should also tell you how to access this record to make changes or delete the information in the future and how secure this information is while being stored. The website should make it clear that it will retain only the information that is necessary for the original purpose and only for as long as it's needed.

SeekWellness Response: Other than the IP address and aggregate data mentioned above, SeekWellness may collect information that you supply as a participant of its online programs which will be used primarily by you to keep track of your status and progress through the program. It also collects aggregate data about purchases of products from catalogs and transaction data as a result of these purchases. All aggregate data remain the property of SeekWellness, Inc. This data is not shared with other organizations; but if it were in the future, an email notice would be sent to you with a simple opt-in opportunity. Once SeekWellness begins collecting this information, your records will be available to you by sending an email message requesting a copy of your complete record. Instructions on how to maintain your records will be included by return email. Any information about users that have not accessed SeekWellness after a 12-month period of inactivity will be removed from storage. All information is stored on a secure server within and is not shared with other organizations.

  • Does the website require personal information (mother's maiden name or a social security number) as a password? You should probably not provide this kind of information to a website for any reason.

    SeekWellness Response: You are free to use whatever passwords are convenient for you. 

  • If a website releases information to third parties, it should tell you how you can stop the website from disseminating your information at a later date. It should also tell you how and when and to whom it releases your information and for what purpose and whether these entities have signed an agreement to treat your information the same way as the original website to whom you've given it.

    SeekWellness Response: If and when SeekWellness shares information about you with other organizations, it will notify you by email of the planned use and purpose for sharing the information as well as your procedure for preventing the sharing. It is a SeekWellness policy not to share information with other organizations unless they sign an agreement to guard your information with provisions that are equal to or stronger than its own.

    SeekWellness uses WebTrends Live software to track visitor traffic to and on the website. Please read the WebTrends Privacy Policy; you should refer to the WebTrends Live Privacy Policy to learn how they collect and use information. WebTrends Live fully complies with applicable law; and protects privacy in a manner consistent with the principles of an industry-approved privacy certification program. 

    SeekWellness uses third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.

    SeekWellness uses the Google AdSense program to serve ads. Google makes these statements about information it collects for this program from its users:

    "We may share with third parties certain pieces of aggregated, non-personal information, such as the number of users who searched for a particular term, for example, or how many users clicked on a particular advertisement. Such information does not identify you individually. “Aggregated non-personal information” is information that is recorded about users and collected into groups so that it no longer reflects or references an individually identifiable user. Publishers who use Google products on their websites must notify their users of the use of cookies and/or web beacons to collect data in the ad serving process.

    The DoubleClick DART cookie is used by Google in the ads served on publisher websites displaying AdSense for content ads. When users visit an AdSense publisher's website and either view or click on an ad, a cookie may be dropped on that end user's browser. The data gathered from these cookies will be used to help AdSense publishers better serve and manage the ads on their site(s) and across the web. 

    • Google's use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to our users based on their visit to SeekWellness and other sites on the Internet.
    • Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy. 

The website should describe its security system for storing your personal information including encryption software, if used, passwords, physical storage characteristics, and the personnel policies that determine who has access to your information within the organization.

SeeWellness Response: SeekWellness encrypts all passwords and keeps its database behind a firewall in its own directory. This allows SeekWellness to filter out and prevent all but specific types of information from entering or leaving the server and database.
Furthermore, for the purposes of e-commerce, the website uses SSL (Secure Socket Layer) as a protocol:

    • to authenticate that both the users and website are who they say they are
    • to insure that data is transferred without being tampered with
    • to encrypt data during transfer so that only the intended recipient can read it.
  • The SeekWellness server is located with Electronic Consultants, Inc and is physically stored in a special locked room with cameras and security guards that check visitors in and out of the room. Everything is tracked and only specific individuals have access to the physical machine - SeekWellness' Internet Manager and representatives of Electronic Consultants, Inc where the machine is housed. 

    1. The existence of a seal from TRUSTe or other such entities does not necessarily mean that the website has adequate privacy protection. There are many examples of websites using these seals that have poor or inadequate privacy policies. You are your own best resource for protecting your privacy.

      SeekWellness Response: SeekWellness would rather have an agreement with its visitors to provide reasonable safeguards in storing and using their information than an agreement with a privacy organization that does not police websites about privacy issues. 

    2. Email messages sent to any website are not usually secure - do not send confidential information via email to anyone unless you are using a secure server.


    The Privacy Journal

    Effective January 1, 2001 
    Last updated July 19, 2011



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