Anonymity and Technology

Are you worried about joining this site because of anonymity issues? Here’s the things we’ve put in place:

  • Becoming a member of the site, or signing up for eNews, does not make your name or email address visible to anyone, apart from the people building the site (and we’re all AA members).
  • If  your details are listed as contacts for Events or Meeting Changes, those details can only be seen by members when they’re logged in. Your details will not be visible to the general public.  HOWEVER, anyone can sign up to be a member – therefore, there is a risk that a non-AA person can join the site and therefore be able to see the contact details on Events and Meeting Changes pages. Other AA groups who follow this practice have reported no issues with non-AA people trying to sign up. If this is an issue for you, please let us know, and together we can work out a solution.
  • If you’ve chosen to be on the Contact List, those details can only be seen by Helpline volunteers when they’re logged in. Helpline volunteers have special accounts created by the web admin person, which can’t be signed up for by the general public.

Online Anonymity

The fundamental principles of AA 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 AA at the level of press, film, radio, or television.  The tradition of anonymity is explained in depth in AA publications such as The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, and the pamphlet “Understanding Anonymity.”

In addition to the formal statements of AA 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 serve best. If personal circumstances prevent such openness, the member should decline or step down from the position.


Your Privacy respects the privacy of every individual who visits. This privacy statement provides notice of the standards and terms under which the CSO Brisbane 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.

The Information We Collect

We do not collect any information without your knowledge.

When you signed up as a member of the site, the details you submitted (name and email address) were stored by the site so that you can continue to log in.

If you have signed up for the eNews, your email address will be kept in a list for sending the eNews to.

When you fill in any forms on the site (eg the volunteering forms, or the contact forms), that data is emailed to the relevant person, as well as stored in the site’s database, in case the email gets lost.

How We Use Information

We may very occasionally email all site members about important issues. eNews sign-ups will of course receive the eNews. If you have signed up to be a contact person for your group, your contact information will be added to the Contact List, so that helpline volunteers can access it if they need to contact you about a person in your area wanting to go to a meeting.

Disclosure of Information

CSO Brisbane does not lend, lease, sell, or otherwise intentionally transfer visitors’ personal information to any third party.

Maintenance of Information

Information about visitors and members that is maintained on our systems is protected using industry standard security measures. However, we cannot guarantee that the information submitted to, maintained on, or transmitted from our systems will be completely secure.

(with thanks to the Online Intergroup for ideas and some of the text of this page)

From GSO’s AA Guildelines – Internet

Decisions in the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous are usually made through an informed group conscience and the decision to create a website is no different. Whether area or district, central office or intergroup, A.A. experience suggests forming a committee to discuss all aspects of the project, including all possible concerns about the Traditions. Unless password-protected and for members only, an A.A. website is a public medium, and, therefore, requires the same safeguards that we use at the level of press, radio, and film.

Early on, it is important to agree upon a method for establishing the group conscience that represents the local A.A. community, and for informing
local groups, districts and central/intergroup offices in an area (if affected) about the committee’s progress. When the committee has reached a consensus about its role and responsibilities and the scope of the website, its findings are shared with the whole body (district, area, etc.) and a decision is made through an informed group conscience vote on whether to move ahead with the development of a website. As part of this process, committees may wish to bring technical questions to experts in the field. A guiding resource of shared A.A. experience regarding websites is the G.S.O. service piece “Frequently Asked Questions about AA Websites.”

Further reading

If you’re interested in what AA as a whole has to say about these kinds of issues, you can read the following pamphlets and guidelines (all downloadable pdfs).