Questions tagged [privacy]

For questions related to user privacy.

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15 votes
0 answers

How does Stack Exchange enforce its advertising policies?

How does Stack Exchange ensure that ads don't deliver a tracking pixel if I have opted out of cookies? Is it impossible for an ad to track me if I have opted out of targeting pixels or could an ad ...
-39 votes
5 answers

Upcoming privacy updates: removal of the Activity data section and Google conversion pixel deprecation

Activity Data section within the Users Preference page Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange sites currently have an “Activity data” section within the Users Preference page. It looks like this: What’s ...
32 votes
1 answer

Possible to see any user's site preferences (privacy breach)

Most current user profile-related pages contain user-id in the URL section, e.g. my edit profile page: If you try to open it you will see a 404 stub: ...
15 votes
0 answers

In the data request page, what does the "Do not sell my information" request type do?

The recent "Upcoming privacy updates: removal of the Activity data section and Google conversion pixel deprecation" communication made me realize that the Data Request submit page includes &...
19 votes
1 answer

Which information on my profile is visible to others?

When editing my user profile (name, date of birth, etc.), how can I tell which information can be seen by other users (publicly visible) and what is only used by the system (and how it's used)?
13 votes
0 answers

The Activity Data section of the user settings page is misleading

The new advertising policy states: Retargeting pixels are allowed for a limited number of vetted and pre-approved Programmatic partners. On the settings page of my profile it states: Stack Overflow ...
-23 votes
2 answers

Allow regular (non-moderator) users to easily view if/when a moderator accessed their PII

Mods can view some PIIs of SE users. There seems to be no easy for regular (non-moderator) users to view if/when a moderator accessed their PII. Feature request: allow regular (non-moderator) users to ...
17 votes
3 answers

Can a user request to know if/when a moderator accessed their PII?

Moderator have access to user's PII, for the sake of moderation activities. Can a regular user request at any moment to know when and if moderators of a given community have accessed their PII?
107 votes
8 answers

Allowing images from external sources opens doors to serious security exploits and privacy risks

Note: Please see this answer for more info on how this poses a security risk. I'm sure you guys already know this, but allowing users to put images from any source in questions means that askers can ...
-3 votes
1 answer

Does SE track previous website access?

I am wondering if tracks or otherwise has a record of specific user-initiated access to the site, from a certain device at a specific time and date.
16 votes
1 answer

Update to cookie consent modal for EEA/UK users

Our sites feature a cookie consent banner to ask users for permission to store cookies on their devices. It currently looks like this: In order for us to continue to serve personalized ads in the EEA ...
3 votes
0 answers

Do Stack Exchange websites know my location? [duplicate]

Do Stack Exchange websites know my location? Stack Exchange uses cookies, right? Do my coordinates go to some database?
28 votes
1 answer

Will the tracking pixels replace the existing advertiser tracking?

The company has recently announced a change to its advertising practices: they plan to allow the use of tracking pixels by select advertisers. I am under the impression that this is merely formalising ...
20 votes
0 answers

Honour the Do Not Track header

2011-10-26: waffles's answer to Do Not Track header: We do not do anything special for the proposed spec. There is no requirement anywhere that we implement anything. A bill may be passed in congress ...
4 votes
1 answer

Can one view who visited a chatroom, and if so, how?

One view the list of users who are currently in a chatroom. Can one view who visited a chatroom in the past (past = before they left the chatroom), and if so, how?
78 votes
2 answers

More than 15k bottles of Viagra from Kenya, asking 110+ people for money, seriously?

I received a strange mail from a well-known SE user with the following body two days ago: HALLO EVERYONE. I am writing to you from Kenya. I have recently come into contact with a great bunches of ...
48 votes
1 answer

Replace Google Analytics with a transparent, privacy-respecting alternative

Earlier this year, Google announced that Universal Analytics (UA) will be going away and will stop processing new data after July 1, 2023. Stack Exchange currently plans to switch to Google Analytics ...
118 votes
5 answers

The cookie consent dialog (coming from keeps popping up

Recently, every time I hit a new page in Stack Exchange, whether it be the list of questions in a given forum, or a specific question, I get a pop-up like this: Your privacy By clicking “Accept all ...
-38 votes
3 answers

Are there some ways to prevent abuse from moderators? [duplicate]

I don't know why, but I got my account suspended for 1 month for allegedly voting myself, but I don't remember doing that in the last 1.5 years roughly speaking. The only reason I voted for myself ...
0 votes
0 answers

Why am I unable to close the cookie consent popup on iOS 12.5.7? [duplicate]

Not a Duplicate It does not seem to be a duplicate of these: The cookie consent dialog (coming from keeps popping up Why can't I dismiss these Stack Exchange cookie popups on mobile ...
439 votes
12 answers

We've added a "Necessary cookies only" option to the cookie consent popup

We’ve added a “Necessary cookies only” option to our cookie consent banner across, all Stack Exchange sites,,, and all other Stack Overflow sites. ...
71 votes
4 answers

Users need to be able to remove themselves and all their data from the site

Many users no longer feel safe participating here and don't feel comfortable with SE having data about them. While there is a way to delete your account which will result in all your posts being ...
99 votes
6 answers

John Oliver calling out Stack Exchange cookie dialog

In the recent Data Brokers episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver showed this picture: (jump to relevant part around 18:57) which is of the Stack Exchange cookie screen. He said this: Privacy ...
18 votes
1 answer

Area 51 uses insecure avatar generation

Area 51 uses a different system for avatars than the rest of the network. While on every other site Gravatar URIs are salted, on Area 51 they aren't because it hasn't been updated (Area 51 uses a 2011 ...
12 votes
0 answers

Use a different CAPTCHA provider for privacy and security [duplicate]

Note: this is not a duplicate of Replacing reCAPTCHA or Please use another captcha than reCaptcha, because this post is chiefly about privacy and security concerns, and not usability, challenge ...
25 votes
0 answers

Anonymized chat messages are now searchable by user

Something appears to have changed recently whereby anonymised messages have become searchable under the user. For example; This ...
5 votes
4 answers

Which user IP addresses can moderators view?

Moderators may view user IP addresses. E.g., moderators can view the user's last known IP address, when viewing a deleted user. Which other user IP addresses can moderators view? E.g., can they view ...
9 votes
0 answers

Solution for semi-anonymous posts / accounts

I'd like to discuss private / anonymous posts or accounts. I know, these posts are public, and linked to you in some way or another. Ok, "semi-anonymous", are you happy now? No, this simply ...
101 votes
9 answers

Privacy leak in permalink?

Update (Jan 8, 2019) This is now 8 years old, but still getting occasional upvotes/attention, so I thought it's worth giving a summary of the current state. Despite originally being status-declined, ...
3 votes
1 answer

Does Stack Exchange collect immutable data?

I want to use Stack Exchange but I am unsure what data is collected. The data I am most worried about is data that cannot change, like my race, device id's, or legal identity. Does SE collect data ...
12 votes
0 answers

Why are Filter Subscriptions public? And can that be changed?

A while ago, I discovered the Filtered Questions feature on (not to be confused with custom filters on individual sites) and wanted to use it to receive email notifications about ...
12 votes
1 answer

Do moderators need to remove their user ID from shared SE links in moderator messages in order to remain anonymous?

The moderator messaging system was recently changed so that the identity of the moderator who sends a message is hidden from the recipient: The signature on the template moderator messages will be ...
6 votes
1 answer

Can Google and Cloudflare find my SE password?

We are using Firefox with the NoScript extension on GNU/Linux, mainly for security reasons. When we go to the login page of a Stack Exchange site, say, the NoScript extension ...
52 votes
1 answer

Can you make bookmarks private OR make it abundantly clear that they're not? [duplicate]

This is not a duplicate of Can there be an option to keep your list of bookmarks private? for the reasons mentioned below.* When I started using the favorites (now, bookmarks) feature years ago, I had ...
40 votes
1 answer

The Flow State homepage is tracking users without consent

I just took a look at the Agenda of the SO Flow State conference, and I noticed that it seemed a bit absurdly slow and buggy for such a simple site. So I poked around with the dev tools and noticed ...
19 votes
0 answers

Websockets can be used to spy on users' activity

Stack Exchange's removal of "last seen" has demonstrated that the time that users are active is considered private information. However, there are still a variety of ways to circumvent that, ...
299 votes
8 answers

Why we don't keep public records of suspensions

Whenever the topic of a suspended user crops up, there's often confusion about what information moderators ought to share and what they should keep private. Sometimes moderators are just as unsure as ...
44 votes
2 answers

Anonymize or hash the user ID part of a shared link so users can earn badges for sharing links without any privacy leaks or prank/troll risks

The "share" link underneath a post includes the sharing user's ID for the purposes of awarding the user with Announcer, Booster, and Publicist badges in case enough users from different IP ...
8 votes
2 answers

Why is my userid in links I copy? [duplicate]

If you right click/copy "link", your user id is appended at the end of every link you create. e.g. I am 111307, and I have nothing to do with the ...
33 votes
5 answers

Is seeing other people's bookmarks a privacy issue?

I can see that anyone can see other peoples' bookmarks. I don't care much about this, but I was thinking: is this a privacy issue? For example, someone downvoted some questions or wrote negative ...
104 votes
1 answer

Stop tracking users without their consent

Right now, if you visit an SE site the following things happen: two cookies _ga and _gid are saved, those contain unique IDs used for Google Analytics a request is made to ...
193 votes
1 answer

Why is the Google Analytics cookie defined as "strictly necessary" and saved without consent?

When you open a Stack Exchange site the first time you are asked about your consent for storing cookies. You can disallow all cookies except those that are defined as "strictly necessary". ...
7 votes
1 answer

Given an imgur image URL, can one see which user uploaded it, and if so, how?

Given an imgur image URL (e.g.,, I uploaded it just for the example), can one see which user uploaded it, and if so, how?
11 votes
2 answers

What's with the SE pulse survey and is the community OK with SE gathering personal data?

So first of all a "pulse survey" is basically a survey to factor user sentiment about something. This is usually a product or something that a company sells. How did we do then? How ...
90 votes
5 answers

We’ve made changes to our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy - January 2022

We’ve just made two adjustments to our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy. They were made to return a section that was accidentally removed about the DMCA Designated Agent - there’s little to no ...
4 votes
1 answer

Why doesn't the privacy popup go away? Can you fix it? [duplicate]

I sometimes have a popup that shows up and refuses to go. Regardless what button I click it doesn't react. It just stays and covers part of the page. I have to resort to ctrl-shift-C to remove it. ...
-8 votes
2 answers

"this user prefers to keep an air of mystery about them" - can this wording be changed?

I'm posting this question anonymously for obvious reasons. It should be on meta, but I can't post there anonymously. It would be great if someone would move it there. The new head of the Department ...
59 votes
8 answers

SE is a dating site (revisit the last seen field)

We have amongst others: Please make the "last seen" entry optional (which is not a duplicate of) "Last seen" time appears on Google and SE profile pages and should be removed ...
60 votes
9 answers

"Last seen" time appears on Google and SE profile pages and should be removed

I've just noticed that someone can Google my name and instantly know If I'm on Stack Overflow, because it shows the "seen 6 minutes ago." It's shown on the results screen, the searcher doesn't even ...
149 votes
18 answers

Updates to Privacy Policy (September 2021)

As you know, periodically we update our privacy policy. Today is one of those days: we've made a few changes to the privacy policy. The policy covers how we collect and use data on the entire network, ...

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