Privacy on this site

Bluetrix

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I recently joined Linux.org. I did so for several reasons, the main reason was to get information from the horses mouth. I like it here.

As all of us know, or should know, privacy of personal information is paramount.

After looking around this site today, I discovered to my dismay some personal information is on display for all to read. It didn't take me long to find the shut off valve to stop the leak, however since I joined and until a few minutes ago, that information has been public by default. This information should be, "opt in" at signup, not "opt out" after signup.

I had to jump through the hoops proving I wasn't a bot when I signed up, yet at last count before posting this there were 12 bots on this site. They are identified as bots and what bot they are, ie: Google, Bing etc, if you know where to look, it's not forefront.
Bing advertises : "We help you turn information into action", uh-huh, action. It's what they don't tell you about that information/action that concerns me. I paraphrased the advertisement part. I classify ALL bots in the same category but do understand the need to have site questions queued for those that search for them on the internet.

I can't recall ever having to keep personal information private on any site I have joined via opting out after I joined. Personal information should be private and when you join the option of publishing or not has to be offered then, not after the horse has left the barn.

My .02 for what it's worth.
 


wizardfromoz

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Valid concerns, James and I expect the person best situated to respond is our Admin, @Rob ?

What say you, Rob?

Wizard
 

Condobloke

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Agreement here too. i have been looking for the 'edit' button on my profile page to get rid of info that is my business....no one else's.

Good topic, Blue.
 

Bluetrix

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I wish I could tell you how I did it, I stumbled on the 'cure'.
Why is it important?
Here's why:

Robot: Bing
Viewing member profile Jakir hussain, A moment ago

I had to wait and watch a while, but there it is.

I think I clicked on my icon and then profile page, but I can't see edit there now.
 

Condobloke

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Click on your name....top right hand corner of any page you are on.....then open "privacy".....click to remove ' Show day and month of birth Show year of birth"....then click to SAVE CHANGES at bottom of page.

All of these "choices" appear to have been answered YES, by default.

I am not seeing anything on jakir's page.....
 

wizardfromoz

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OK, I get the picture now, thanks James (and weren't you going to be catching zzzz's? :))

Where you can see this (I have just spotted one viewing another Member's profile) is by going to your Profile page and then clicking "Current Visitors". There you will see both Guests and Bots and where they were/are.

The one I spotted was viewing a Member's userid starting with "A", but another was also viewing a Thread, which is entirely appropriate for the Search Engines to rank us well.

The bot I spotted was an MSN Bot.

Hot Thread, James :), I am flat out keeping up :confused:

Gotta go, though, and no doubt @Rob will have input.

BTW the link at the bottom of my page for Privacy Policy is not working currently, but it can be viewed at https://www.linux.org/help/privacy-policy

Wiz
 

Condobloke

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lolll....my hear bleeds (pure battery acid )
 

Bluetrix

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BTW the link at the bottom of my page for Privacy Policy is not working currently, but it can be viewed at https://www.linux.org/help/privacy-policy
Now that I think about it, that's how I set about looking for the "privacy policy" and then stumbled on the 'cure'. I clicked at the bottom of the page and it just popped me up to a block set of posts. Hell, I clicked on everything clickable, which is probably why I couldn't recall where I found the 'cure'.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Nothing at all to do with old timers disease.

Having read the privacy policy, I feel it is at odds with itself on some points.

Perhaps I am tilting at windmills, but it's not my imagination at work.
Bluetrix
 

atanere

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As all of us know, or should know, privacy of personal information is paramount.
And you should also know to never trust the Internet to keep your information secure! :eek::D

You were wise enough not to reveal your true name.... why did you provide a true birth date? Still.... think! Your birth date means nothing at all without your true name... it is just one date out of many. You have not risked your identity by this.

No matter whether an Internet forum, a shopping site (like Amazon), your bank or credit card, or your doctor's office.... anything you "sign up" for online will have some type of privacy controls available to you. That should always be your first stop, and not an afterthought, if you are concerned about privacy/security. And still, your bank may be hacked, or Amazon, or whoever. I have been caught in data breaches a number of times now, and luckily with no ill effect so far.

Your privacy and security is your responsibility. If you are as paranoid as I am.... you should "freeze" your credit with all three of the major credit bureaus if you are in the U.S. In some states this can be done for free, in others there may be a fee (usually no more than $10, per bureau). This is about the strongest step available to you... but don't be fooled if the credit bureaus offer you a "credit lock" instead. That is not the same thing. A "freeze" is stronger, and it has been demanded to be available from the bureaus by all 50 states... they can't turn you down for this. But this isn't about Linux, so I'd recommend Google for more details if you want it (in your particular state).

Cheers
 

wizardfromoz

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Told you we were an opinionated bunch, didn't I James? :D

Might be because of our age (take no prisoners):rolleyes:. And Stan (@atanere ) is 83 days my Senior and my age is still a matter of public record, lol.

Stan has the biggest mouth on the site, and I the second ;)

Your birth date means nothing at all without your true name... it is just one date out of many. You have not risked your identity by this.
Totally agreed. I think, though, there is a valid marketing strategy in establishing demographics, provided the particulars are non-invasive.

In the 16 (wonderful) months Brian and I have been here (from Stalag 13), during the 2nd half of that time we have witnessed an exponential growth in Members joining, aged say 57 to 75. Some weeks it seems like almost every 2nd person is a Senior.

This has got to be a good thing, if with our numbers, we can influence the computer industry. It is about time we are able to ask a salesman or a reseller "Yes, but will it run Linux?"

Now I'm perhaps going off-topic, so I'll mosey along and have my 3rd coffee for the morning and annoy help someone else.

Cheers all

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 

Condobloke

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Bloody stalag 13....you got that right !....all the misery of a stalag without any of the fun of the televised version !

I agree...we take few, if any, prisoners.

When a person signs up to Linux.org.....certain info is asked for. Name, DOB, etc

As honest people we give that info candidly. . To discover a little way down the track that the info provided is open to every bot etc to harvest is something of a surprise. Naive ?......possibly/apparently.

I, for one, do not expect to need to second guess/lie in order to sign up here safely.
 

Bluetrix

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Your privacy and security is your responsibility
Sure Stan, it's my fault for being stupid enough to expect a .ORG to be any different than a .com. Since .org's typically have an agenda of persuasion rather than education, one can expect a slant on views and still learn. You enter knowing what to expect. I belong to several orgs, none by default openly provide personal information.

But, you are correct, it is MY responsibility not to trust anything on the internet. If I ever needed a reminder of this, herein it lies.

I feel it's also my responsibility to bring it out in the open when I find an abuse. Yes, it's an abuse not to tell people that their personal information is not protected by default.

Not everyone is as callus as we are. So many are lambs being led to slaughter by openly and without their knowledge, providing personal information. This information should be held in confidence by the entity requiring such solely for the purpose of signing up.

Make all the aggregate, non identifiable data available, it does serve a purpose. Identifiable information should not by default be openly available, it only serves nefarious interests. Furthermore, any site that knowingly leaves it's members personal information public without telling them from the start ... breath Blue ... breathe ...
ahem ... says nothing worthy about that site.

You are right Stan, it's all my fault that I expected it to be any different here than at any scam site. How dare me point a flaw out. Let them eat cake.

It isn't just one piece of information stored here that identifies you. Bots are good at piecing together data points from all websites you maintain a presence on, but you know this. To aid them in their quest by turning a blind eye is questionable at best.

Happy to see at least one member is okay with this situation. I for one am not. If you are playing devil's advocate, job well done.

When I write something while pissed off, I generally wait a day and reread it before posting. Not gonna wait this time. I will however wait to see admin's take on this issue before trudging off to find a different Linux site. You people have a lot to offer, but I have personal standards. I will not justify the unjustifiable, nor abet by remaining silent.

<\rant>
Bluetrix
 

wizardfromoz

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Hey James, chill a little and take a read of this, from Brian

https://www.linux.org/threads/are-we-doing-it-right-here-at-linux-org.18534/

If you can see other than that this site is about having fun with Linux, then let us know, and yes, you are, I know :)

Stan has been away for a week, else he would have been one of the first to welcome you. If not the first, given he is US-based.

This site was in place for a number of years, and then April last year it was reorganised and Rob took the helm. I believe it is going places, but resources to implement change are an issue.

Stan and I are a two-man band in hammering spammers over several hours a day, just to keep them out of your face. And I have been a Mod for all of 5 - 6 weeks.

I am, nominally, a Member of 11 Forums, since 2014, but for all but (this) one, have only made the briefest of appearances, eg to say hello, or to ask a specific question of eg Mageia or Manjaro.

This is where I hang my hat. Hope you continue to do so too?

Chris
 

Condobloke

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Hang around, James. I am sure Rob will make some sense of the whole thing for us.

We are a highly 'addictive' lot here....I have hung my hat here after enduring a great deal of rubbish from other sites....

My memberships have reduced to two (2).......here and bc.....but the greater part of my time is spent Here

I like the company. I enjoy the effortless banter....I more than like the intelligence present here..........breathe James...

Brian
 

Bluetrix

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Hey James, chill a little and take a read of this, from Brian
My apologies.

My post came across as mean spirited. By my own standards I am not a mean person. Nor do I normally respond so vehemently to a reply.
But to put the blame of this issue squarely at my front door is just not correct. As I stated, I generally wait a day before replying if my emotions override my intellect. I could have and should have responded with just one line. "If you are playing devils advocate, good job"

I can take the fire on my feet when I deserve it.

Bluetrix <---- closed door softly
 

wizardfromoz

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I'll just show you folks this



... and the Post was from Brian.

So there are four (4) people in agreement in that Like, that's consensus.

Staff here are Admin @Rob , @ryanvade , @Scotsgeek , @atanere (Stan), and a cute cuddly thing called @LinuxBot , which is responsible for here . I am starting to think LinuxBot may not be a real person, but I have only been a Mod for 5 minutes, it seems.

When Brian and I started here May 1 2017, numbers were 4,600 plus change, now 15,610 :).

Some of those joined since then were previous Members rejoining, and Members with more tenure than I could say what numbers were before the re-org, but to my mind whatever way you look at it, we are doing something right? Yeah?

We can't afford to be complacent, we can only hope to see this site go onwards and upwards, and we are richer for taking on Members such as your good self, James, and just a little poorer if you shuffle off somewhere else.

There's no law written on stone tablets that says we have to have only one Forum membership, take out multiple and see what you think.

Cheers

Chris
 


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