Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

I am new here. I keep checking so many beautiful post/ answers. It really a great place for everyone getting to know about the software programming. Lot of people post so much knowledge in terms of solutions and algorithms that may be proprietary/ open source information. The least amount of personal information I can provide is my email id, if I connect with google/ facebook etc. However, the email id itself reveal my association and the work I do. This makes me believe that Personally identifiable on SO should be absolutely safe and not available to anyone, even the admins. My concerns are:

  1. Who can see my PII on SO?
  2. Is it safe from attacks?

Thanks. I am hoping to spent a great deal of time here. This is a great place.

share|improve this question
Why don't you simply use an account not associated with your workplace if you are that paranoid? – ThiefMaster Jul 17 '12 at 13:41
If your email isn't available to the admins who's going to contact you about your account? – BoltClock's a Unicorn Jul 17 '12 at 13:41
It may be a paranoid/ unimaginable aspect associated with how SO works, but I think those who want to break things find ways to do it in unimaginable ways. Most people have work place information available publically on linkedin/ facebook/ google. Not all will use open id, hence the question. – goddy Jul 17 '12 at 13:50
An unsalted, unkeyed, single iteration md5 hash of your email address can be seen by everybody. So I strongly recommend not using any email address you don't want to be associated with. Just use a freemailer. Registering a new email address takes just a few minutes. – CodesInChaos Jul 17 '12 at 15:11
@BoltClock'saUnicorn - How does SO contact accounts linked with OpenId, as they do not have associated email ids, as told by ThiefMaster in his answer. – goddy Jul 17 '12 at 15:50
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Exactly who has access to your Personally Identifying Information (PII) and what it can be used for is covered in the Privacy Policy.

But the gist is that SE complies with the strict EU requirements, and will generally not share any of your PII with anyone not employed by them, or working directly on their behalf, like vendors or mods, who are all required to agree to adhere to the same requirements.

share|improve this answer
What is this "vendors" bit? This seems new to me... could you clarify? Who exactly is a vendor? – Lorem Ipsum Oct 15 '12 at 2:52
@yoda, a "vendor" would be an entity we hire to function like an employee would (doing things for us in exchange for compensation) but who is not an employee. So, for example, a consultant or company that is hired to do database optimization for us might be need to have access to some PII to perform that task. They are bound by the rules in our agreement, but aren't "us" in the legal sense, which is why we mention them explicitly. – Jaydles Oct 15 '12 at 14:27
Thanks for the clarification :) – Lorem Ipsum Oct 15 '12 at 16:54

Your personal information such as the email address and the IP address are available to Stack Exchange employees and Community Moderators who accepted the Moderator Agreement.

However, using an email on SO is not required at all - you can use an OpenID provider that does not require an email or does not pass it to the site using it.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .