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It seems that I'm unable to persistently remove my email address from my profile pages.

Initially removing my email address works fine, I simply visit my profile page on any site associated with my account, edit my email and press the Save And Copy Profile To All Stack Exchange Accounts button. So far, so good.

However, if I'm logged out; whether logging out manually or visiting the site from a new device; I then log into any of my sites using the Stack Exchange method and the following happens:

  • For the profile page on that site, the email field is automatically re-populated.
  • For the profile page on subsequently visited sites, I'm automatically logged in but the email field remains empty.
  • I have tested logging into each of the sites and it's only ever the first site that I log into where the profile pages get repopulated with my email address.

Is this expected behavior of Stack Exchange sites or a bug?

Other things to note:

  • 2
    I guess it simply gets added back in because that's the account you log in with. Nobody (besides moderators) can see it anyway. – Bart Feb 27 '13 at 13:44
  • @Bart - I figured as much, I just wondered if it's a bug or is there some logical reason for it. – Goran Mottram Feb 27 '13 at 13:49
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When you log in, if the provider you're using gives us an email (which is most providers) we'll put it into your user profile.

The reason we do this is to help with account recovery. A great many people think we can look them up with the email associated with their Google account, or their Facebook user name, or what have you; when naive OpenID and OAuth give us nothing of the sort. To fix this, rather a while ago, we started recording emails sent by providers (which is technically optional in the relevant specs) into user profiles (in, as you noted, hidden from most users) fields. While mainly for account recovery, this also helps with issues reported by email since people often omit things like the account or site involved.

Basically we do this to help identify people, mostly for account recovery purposes. We could keep this in a hidden field somewhere, but I think it's better that it can be viewed.

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