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Guidelines & Legalese

FetLife's guidelines, privacy policy, legal info, etc.

Privacy Policy

Treat one's private data like you would want others to treat yours.

What potentially personally identifiable information do you collect?

When browsing FetLife, we log the same basic information that most websites do. For each request, we collect your IP address, browser type, language preference, the referring page, the page you requested, the actions you do on the page, and the date and time.

We also track specific events for statistical purposes (like conversion rates and to test new designs).

When you join FetLife, we ask you to choose a nickname. If you would like to keep your kink life separate from other parts of your life, we recommend you choose a distinct nickname to use within the kinky community that's different from any nickname you may use elsewhere.

We also ask you for your email address, mobile number, and date of birth. We ask you for your email address so that we can send you updates and other essential information. We ask for a potential new member's mobile number so that we can verify them via a one-time text message, which has resulted in improving the overall health of the community. And we ask for your date of birth to make sure you are of legal age.

We use cookies to keep you logged in, remember your preferences, and improve your experience on FetLife. Unlike most other websites, we do not share any information about our members with third parties. Why? Because we respect your privacy!

We send email notifications to the address associated with your account. You can update the email address associated with your profile, as well as review and customize which notifications you receive, at any time through our settings interface.

We offer members the ability to verify their profile. Verification pictures are only used for verification purposes as required by the banking system to help combat CSAM and revenge porn.

When you write to FetLife with a question or to ask for help, we'll keep that correspondence, and the email address, for future reference.

We also store any information you volunteer, like surveys, for as long as it makes sense.

What information do we NOT collect?

If you choose to support us, and we hope you do, any personally identifiable information you provide uniquely for this purpose will not be stored in any of our systems and will only be used to process the transaction.

If you're under the age of 18, you may not join FetLife. We do not knowingly collect information from anyone under the age of 18, and if we learn that a member is underage, we will delete their account immediately.

How is the information shared?

We do not share, sell, rent, or trade members' personal information with third parties for their commercial purposes.

We do however sometimes share certain aggregated, non-personally identifying information with others about how the community collectively uses FetLife. For example, we may compile statistics on how many daily, weekly, and monthly active members we have. However, we do not sell this information to advertisers or marketers.

The only times we'll ever share your info is:

  • To provide products or services you've requested.
  • To investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of any person, violations of our Terms of Service, or as otherwise required by law.
  • To provide confirmation information, such as date of birth, where required by law.
  • If FetLife is acquired by or merged with another company — we don't plan on that, but if it happens — we'll notify you well before any info about you is transferred and becomes subject to a different privacy policy.

How do you respond to legal requests for information?

FetLife won't hand your data over to anyone unless a court order says we have to. We reject requests from law enforcement when they seek data without a court order.

If we're going to share your information in response to a legal process, we'll give you notice so you can challenge it, unless we're prohibited from doing so by law or court order.

We will object to requests for information about members of our site that we believe to be improper.

For more information, see our Guidelines for Legal Requests.

How is my information stored?

We use third-party vendors and hosting partners for hardware, software, networking, storage, and related technology we need to run FetLife.

All data is written to multiple disks instantly, backed up daily, and stored in more than one location.

How is my information secured?

Whenever your data is in transit between you and us, everything is encrypted and sent using HTTPS. We are proud to say that FetLife was one of the first social networks to make HTTPS mandatory.

Profile verification pictures are encrypted at rest and require a decryption key to be able to decrypt them.

Other than your password, data isn't encrypted while it's live in our database (since it needs to be ready to send to you when you need it), but we go to great lengths to secure your data at rest.

Our database backups are encrypted using GPG.

What is your data retention policy?

Your profile is no longer accessible by other members once you delete it. Depending on the content type, it will take up to 30 days for it to be permanently deleted from our database.

When you delete your account, it's immediately enqueued for deletion. After seven days your account will be permanently deleted from our database. This includes the permanent deletion of anything you sent to us for profile verification purposes.

The only exceptions are:

  • Messages sent in group private messages
  • Suggested edits and comments on our wiki

In both of the above cases, when your account is permanently deleted, the contents will stay. But, who posted the content will no longer display i.e. no longer will it display your avatar and who posted the content.

If an account deletion is being triggered by an account verification, we give members an additional 9 days, for a total of 16 days, before your profile information is permanently deleted.

Backups and web server logs are permanently deleted within 30 days of their creation.

How do you handle browser "Do Not Track" settings?

"Do Not Track" is a privacy preference you can set in your browser if you do not want online services to collect and share certain kinds of information about your online activity.

We do not track your online browsing activity on other sites, and we do not permit third-party services to track your activity on FetLife.

Because we are not in the business of selling our friends (members) out, we don't believe we need to respond differently to an individual browser's "Do Not Track" setting.

How can I manage or delete information about me?

You can view and update your personal info at any time from your account's Edit Profile and Settings screens.

You can download a backup of your data through our data export interface. If you get locked out of your account, a link to export your data is located on the lockout page.

You can deactivate or delete your account at any time by logging into FetLife and visiting this page.

How do I contact FetLife if I have any privacy questions?

If you have any questions about our Privacy Policy, please get in touch with us at [email protected], and we'll be happy to answer any questions you might have!