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I recently realized that even without being logged in, anyone may view my complete StackExchange profile including such detailed information as when I commented on what question, what I said exactly, which questions I favourited in any of the StackExchange sites and what sites I ever signed up for even if I never actively participated in them.

This worries me as there is virtually no effort involved in obtaining this information. I do realize that anyone curious enough can and will get his hands on this data, and I accept that if I don't want this I should be more careful about posting with several accounts, giving little clues about my profile etc. However, I am not particularly worried about hiding from secret agencies. I am more concerned about noisy hiring agents, landlords etc. who "might just take a shot at it", but who will not put in enough effort to actually download a data dump of the site and use heavy machinery to analyze it.

What strikes me as odd is that I always thought of StackExchange to be entirely topic-centric, giving as little weight to user profiles (besides "rep") as possible, and yet I see myself sitting in a glass house with the possiblity for everybody to get a summary of my last year's activities off the shelf.

What's the use of this feature? How can I limit the amount of profile information that is readily accessible?

EDIT: I should clarify that what primarily concerns me is that I would like to show e.g. my StackOverflow profile to a hiring agent to demonstrate my competence in this area, but that does not mean I wish to give that agent information about my opinions about parenting (as an example). Of course I could open 15 email accounts, one for each StackExchange site and decouple them by using individual accounts for each site, but the way StackExchange is designed it is very cumbersome to use like this.

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Er, so your real name is Mr Blubb? –  Benjol Dec 19 '11 at 7:33

2 Answers 2

What is the use of this feature?

Simple: I want people to be able to easily browse my activity on the sites of the network, so they can peruse examples of my expertise, helpfulness, and clearly-posed questions.

Of course, anyone who does not wish that history to be linked does not need to partake of that feature. You can set up your profile(s) to be effectively anonymous. Many users do. And you do not need to link your accounts.

But I can assure you that a great many of us very much appreciate how easy it is to browse between our profiles and activity on all of the SE sites.

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How can I limit the amount of profile information that is readily accessible?

Just use a pseudonym and don't put any information on your profile (which it looks like you've already done). This way there is effort involved in obtaining your information. I seriously doubt most landlords or hiring agents care enough to figure your anonymous stackexchange identity out.

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