Distrust in the privacy of our health care system is one of the reasons that only about 20% of cancer survivors get professional help for their sexual problems. We’ve all read about hackers stealing identification and insurance records from health care systems or people on staff at a hospital peeking at a neighbor or celebrity’s chart. We imagine that sometimes our doctors joke about patients’ juicier revelations with a colleague or partner. Your sex life is one of the most private aspects of your health and should be handled with respect and empathy.
Your privacy can also be at risk if you use online x-rated websites or even if you have a “connected” vibrator. Last month, Standard Innovation, a Canadian company settled a violation of privacy lawsuit for 3.75 million dollars. They make We-Vibe sex toys, vibrators that one partner wears and the other controls through a Bluetooth connection on a smartphone, after downloading a We-Connect mobile app. This may seem like an erotic and fun way to have “phone sex.” If you are wearing a We-Vibe, you are presumably consenting to be the vibratee (although I shudder to think of what would happen if one’s long-distance lover—or worse a hacker—started pushing your buttons while you were in a business meeting!). However, Standard Innovation neglected to inform their customers that they were recording how partners used the app, in order to improve future products and marketing, including gathering information linked to identifiable IP addresses.
Will2Love wants your trust, so we protect your privacy in a number of different ways.
1) Will2Love is not a downloadable app, but rather a website that requires a login to use any services that would involve your disclosing personal information. Although vibrators can be fun, we think the really important connection is between your brain and your own sexual parts.
2) Even when you join our online community, we advise you to create an alias—a name that allows you to stay anonymous if you choose to post comments or questions in our forums or on our blog posts.
3) Will2Love does not submit any charges to your health insurance. Paying modest fees out of pocket for our self-help online programs or telehealth services is affordable for most people, especially given high deductibles and co-payments, and limited coverage for many mental health services (treatment for sexual problems or for couples is often not covered by private insurers). You have much more privacy, since we do not have to summarize your health information to an insurer to get your services covered.
4) We do not even keep a record of your credit card on our website, but rather use Payleap to accept your payment, a service with very high standards of security. We do not have Payleap email you a receipt, but instead have an invoice on our website that you can print yourself for your records. On your credit card bill our charges are identified as coming from W2L to further protect your privacy.
5) Even though we are not required by law to meet the federal HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) standards for privacy and security of your health information, we have gone through a rigorous training and audit process to be HIPAA-certified. Our website sits on a server that meets HIPAA standards. Even our phone and email are encrypted.
Going through cancer treatment is often depersonalizing and anything but private. You wear hospital gowns that let too much hang out and hear your oncologist discuss you with residents as the tumour du jour. If you lose your hair during chemo, have visible scars, or an amputation, you get accustomed to stares from total strangers. Will2Love wants to help you feel like an attractive, sexy, and private person again. We hope you will trust us with your thoughts and feelings.
This educational material is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace, or substitute for, professional advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read in this educational material.