wailor: (Default)
wailor ([personal profile] wailor) wrote in [site community profile] dw_suggestions2013-01-11 11:49 am

Some privacy incoherence

Title:
Some privacy incoherence

Area:
Profile

Summary:
There's a way that allows people to know I have updated my journal with a filter entry (and they aren't inside that filter).

Description:
Ok so here's what I've noticed:

Imagine you have a few friends and you want to post an entry to prepared a surprised b-day party just for one of them. You don't want him or her to know about it so you'll post a filter entry right? but, if that friend is smart enough and have some curiosity, he or she could discover that I've posted a new filter entry. That's a problem because that person could feel upset about it thinking that I have something to hide to him or her.

The way he or she could discover it is by my profile page. There's some information that I can't hide that tells her or him that there's something new that she or he isn't allow to see. That information is the number of "journal entries" and the "last updated".

The example I wrote up there is just one of multiple cases where it'll be necessary to hide that information and I can't think a reason why I couldn't hide it.

So, my suggestion is to allow to hide that information as I do with other things like my birthday, my location, etc.

Poll #12623 Some privacy incoherence
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 63


This suggestion:

View Answers

Should be implemented as-is.
10 (15.9%)

Should be implemented with changes. (please comment)
8 (12.7%)

Shouldn't be implemented.
32 (50.8%)

(I have no opinion)
11 (17.5%)

(Other: please comment)
2 (3.2%)

denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2013-01-16 06:01 am (UTC)(link)
For context during discussion: the reason that information is pubic is so that people can evaluate how active someone else is on the site before deciding to grant them access/approve their membership request in a community/etc.

ciaan: (barcode)

[personal profile] ciaan 2013-01-16 02:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes, when I go to their journal and see one public entry from three years ago, it's nice to be able to look at the profile and see that actually, they've posted lots of entries and comments and have been active within the last week. I don't need precise numbers or date/time stamps, but I want to be able to see that something is going on.

And I've never been offended by noticing that someone who has me added posted something I can't read, or been worried that other people will see I've posted something when they can't read it.

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melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)

[personal profile] melannen 2013-01-16 03:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Could you have it show "last active in any way" (the date you use for the "active in any way" site-wide statistic) instead of "last entry posted in this journal"? That seems like it would solve the major part of OP's privacy problem, and maybe even be more useful for assessing how active someone is on the site (since many people are more active in comments and communities than own-journal posts anyway.)

ETA: Although I can see how that might cause a different privacy issue - of the "my stalker/abusive SO knows whenever I do anything" type. (Although people in that situation would probably not like their stalker to be able to tell they've made a locked post, either.)
Edited 2013-01-16 15:39 (UTC)

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arethinn: glowing green spiral (Default)

[personal profile] arethinn 2013-01-16 07:50 pm (UTC)(link)
And this is exactly what I've used it for.

To the OP, while it does reveal to the hypothetical reader that there is something posted they could not see, it's erroneous for them to conclude there must be a filter they are not in: you could have posted a private post, for example.

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[personal profile] dhamphir - 2013-01-17 00:08 (UTC) - Expand
dhamphir: (candle)

[personal profile] dhamphir 2013-01-16 06:20 am (UTC)(link)
The thing is, last updated date is irrelevant to public posts anyway. I have posts that aren't readable by any of my friends. They're private posts just for my use.

It sounds like someone is worried about a hypothetical problem that isn't even a problem.
blue_rampion: A blue rose in the rain (Default)

[personal profile] blue_rampion 2013-01-17 06:04 am (UTC)(link)
I'm one of the people who makes a lot of private posts for my own reference as well - so I definitely agree that being upset because you can't see someone's latest post is a silly thing. Unfortunately, people are not always sensible creatures. I have actually known someone who once had to switch journals entirely because they had someone who stalked their profile for updates, and would then hound them demanding to know what they were hiding. So it can definitely be a real issue. (Whether there's any kind of viable solution though, I don't know.)
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

[personal profile] marahmarie 2013-01-18 04:30 am (UTC)(link)
No, it's a problem. I agree with OP on that, just not on how to solve it. If I have lurkers aware of this privacy loophole (which also exists on LJ and simply got ported here from there, making it endlessly old and doubtlessly well-known to lurk-y types as an end result) then they know every single time I filter-post just by comparing the last-posted date on my profile with the last posted entry on my DW that's set to public viewing. That's a huge thing right there, worrying about what strangers think you just posted, to whom, why you didn't make the entry public, and so on. It can make me feel...squirmish.

It's always bothered me. Just 'til now I couldn't think of a good way to solve the privacy leak, but I think I just did come up with something (will comment below).
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2013-01-16 06:22 am (UTC)(link)
For the number of journal entries, what about saying "about" and then the nearest reasonable order of magnitude: for under 1000 entries, to the nearest 10, say? And for over 1000, maybe show three significant digits? I have 27,288 entries right now; for someone who's not me, seeing "about 27,300" would give them a reasonable expectation of my activity over the past 12 years.

I do like being able to see the precise number for my own journal, and I don't think there are any troubleshooting things that would require that senior Support see the precise number of entries.

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[personal profile] swaldman 2013-01-16 11:49 am (UTC)(link)
IMHO this seems like a sensible (and probably easy to implement) compromise. (although it doesn't solve the "last updated" date, I guess)
Edited 2013-01-16 11:50 (UTC)
cmshaw: DC Comics: Kory cries "X'Hal!" (Default)

[personal profile] cmshaw 2013-01-16 04:34 pm (UTC)(link)
+1
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)

[personal profile] cesy 2013-01-18 02:02 pm (UTC)(link)
+1
msilverstar: (corset)

[personal profile] msilverstar 2013-01-16 07:23 am (UTC)(link)
While it seems over-dramatic to me, I like the idea of consistent and extensive privacy options.

[personal profile] swaldman 2013-01-16 11:56 am (UTC)(link)
I don't think there should be Yet Another Option for this, because of Yet More Options and because many people aren't even aware that this "number of posts" text exists and so it would be difficult to make it obvious what the option did.

I am, however, in favour of giving different information, so as to give an idea of the activity of the account while not offering an easy way to see whether hidden entries have been made. There are a few different suggestions on how to do this above.
pseudomonas: (Default)

[personal profile] pseudomonas 2013-01-16 02:26 pm (UTC)(link)
+1
fujicori: (08 ✰ Raine Sheena ✰ formal)

[personal profile] fujicori 2013-01-16 03:27 pm (UTC)(link)
+1; if there's a way to tweak the current system to both preserve specifics/privacy and give users an idea of activity, I think that's a better way to do it than adding more options.

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ninetydegrees: Drawing: a girl's face, with a yellow and green stripe over one eye (Default)

[personal profile] ninetydegrees 2013-01-16 04:13 pm (UTC)(link)
+1
turlough: branches with red leaves against a blue autumn sky (Default)

[personal profile] turlough 2013-01-16 04:40 pm (UTC)(link)
+1

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prototypical: (Hisoka believe)

[personal profile] prototypical 2013-01-16 05:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Separate from your scenario, I can (and have) heard of this being an issue for people being bullied or stalked online.

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cheyinka: A Blargg (a lava crocodile) emerging from lava. (blargg)

[personal profile] cheyinka 2013-01-16 06:39 pm (UTC)(link)
I use that information to determine whether I should log in (or log in as a different account) - if so-and-so's most recent entry was today (or this week, or whatever), I should log in (to an account that can see so-and-so's access-locked entries) and see if there's something there for me to read. There might not be (private entries, entries on a filter I can't read), but I still use that information for that purpose.

I also use it to determine whether a journal whose owner hasn't commented in my journal in a while and whose entries haven't shown up on my reading list is active on the site or not, which is useful when I populate new access filters (if someone doesn't seem to be around, including them for their comments won't do me much good).

That said, making that data less precise wouldn't completely break the way I use it; "within the last day" "within the last week", etc, would still work for me (though as [personal profile] azurelunatic noted above, that'd require making the number of entries posted also less precise - "about 9000", "around 400").
Edited (more detail) 2013-01-16 18:43 (UTC)
cmshaw: DC Comics: Kory cries "X'Hal!" (Default)

[personal profile] cmshaw 2013-01-16 09:02 pm (UTC)(link)
That said, making that data less precise wouldn't completely break the way I use it; "within the last day" "within the last week", etc, would still work for me

Yes, also this. Even just "within the last week" would be enough if you're just looking for an indication of recent action.

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[personal profile] azurelunatic - 2013-01-20 07:15 (UTC) - Expand
kake: The word "kake" written in white fixed-font on a black background. (Default)

[personal profile] kake 2013-01-17 05:20 pm (UTC)(link)
I didn't realise other people could see that I've made private posts. I am sad that they can.
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

[personal profile] marahmarie 2013-01-18 04:36 am (UTC)(link)
Voting "with changes"...my changes are to set our profiles to say, "Last publicly posted on [such and such date]" then show total entry count only to yourself and/or to others only while logged-in and always along the same filters as your access-list. Make it opt-in for those who prefer the old behavior? I really am strongly in favor of implementing this somehow.
Edited (clarity) 2013-01-18 04:38 (UTC)
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2013-01-18 04:41 am (UTC)(link)
to others only while logged-in and always along the same filters as your access-list

Couldn't do that: way, way too database-intensive.

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algeh: (Default)

[personal profile] algeh 2013-02-13 09:18 am (UTC)(link)
I know this is old, but I wanted to comment with information about how I use the "last updated" date information and why I do not support this change even though I regularly make private "note to self" posts (I keep personal copies of comments I leave elsewhere and particularly want to save in my journal this way) and used to have a disclaimer in my bio explaining to people that this was the likely cause of my "last updated" date indicating entries they couldn't see as a drama-avoidance measure.

Lately, I haven't had time to be on the internet much. In fact, older posts have been falling off the end of my Reading page without me reading them. I now have some spare time to catch up with things, and I have a small enough circle here to actually try and read what everyone's been saying for the last month or two. I do this by going to my profile page and opening each link under Mutual Subscriptions and Other Subscriptions in a new tab, which brings up each account's profile page. I then tab through all of those profile pages, opening the journals for the ones that have updated in that time and closing the tabs for the other journals. SInce I have a fair chunk of inactive folks, it's about 50/50 on how many journals I actually need to open so this saves me a fair amount of clicking over opening all of the journals blindly (I have an old computer and loading pages, particularly pages with fancy CSS, takes enough time that I care about avoiding loading these pages unnecessarily).

I also like the idea of being able to do this while not logged in. I tend to be logged in whenever I view a DW page, but if I only had one or two friends here I'd probably just view their profiles every now and then to see if it was worth logging in to see if I could read something instead. I'm not a big fan of email notifications because I prefer to check my recreational things on my own schedule as I have time rather than in "real time" when I may be overwhelmed with higher priorities.