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Questions tagged [privacy]

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438 votes
12 answers
34k views

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 stackoverflow.com, all Stack Exchange sites, stackoverflow.co, stackoverflow.blog, and all other Stack Overflow sites. ...
Cesar M's user avatar
  • 21.7k
299 votes
8 answers
21k views

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 ...
Jon Ericson's user avatar
  • 79.6k
289 votes
6 answers
11k views

Under what circumstances will Stack Exchange, Inc. share private/sensitive information with the press?

What are Stack Exchange, Inc.'s policies regarding whether and when private or sensitive information will be shared by the company with the public, and particularly with the press? By "private ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 9,948
222 votes
13 answers
51k views

Is Gravatar a privacy risk?

I ran across the comment below at http://onemansblog.com/2007/02/02/protect-your-privacy-delete-internet-usage-tracks/#comment-58200 about Gravatar. I'm particularly curious of Meta Stack Overflow's ...
194 votes
1 answer
10k views

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". ...
Mad Scientist's user avatar
194 votes
1 answer
3k views

A general call for increased transparency from Stack Exchange, Incꓸ

As everyone who has so much as glanced at Meta.SE or any of a number of site metas over the last few days knows by this point, there has been a lot of controversy over the demodding (which many have ...
Gryphon's user avatar
  • 2,349
155 votes
16 answers
11k views

Can we use non-gravatar avatars?

Alternative to Gravatar has been rolled out. It would be nice to have the option to just upload an avatar rather than have to use some external service like gravatar. While gravatar may be ...
cas's user avatar
  • 1,911
150 votes
18 answers
27k views

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, ...
Philippe's user avatar
  • 21k
135 votes
2 answers
11k views

Is SE allowing ads to use fingerprinting to track users?

This is pretty much a follow-up to this meta announcement by SE. Ideally that announcement would have resolved the issue, but the language in it was vague and evasive, and there have been no ...
Mad Scientist's user avatar
132 votes
6 answers
2k views

Does Stack Exchange have a responsibility to protect the rights of their volunteers?

The question is focused on the company's responsibility for taking action without just cause against an appointed moderator on Meta Stack Exchange (herein called SE). There is a moderator contract ...
Mari-Lou A Слава Україні's user avatar
129 votes
2 answers
3k views

Off-site avatar images are a privacy risk

The user avatars that are displayed on every post are not all hosted on SE's imgur account, but on sources outside the control of Stack Exchange. The most prominent ones are Gravatar, Facebook and ...
Mad Scientist's user avatar
119 votes
5 answers
7k views

The cookie consent dialog (coming from cookielaw.org) 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 ...
mikem's user avatar
  • 1,291
107 votes
8 answers
4k views

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 ...
Aaron Yodaiken's user avatar
105 votes
0 answers
2k views

Do not load Facebook-based avatars directly from the Facebook CDN [duplicate]

Users who register for their account via Facebook get their Facebook profile photo as their default avatar. However, the avatar is not copied to SE servers or Imgur, and thus the original URL is kept. ...
ThiefMaster's user avatar
  • 15.6k
104 votes
1 answer
2k views

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 www.google-analytics.com ...
Mad Scientist's user avatar
103 votes
9 answers
3k views

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, ...
Mark Peters's user avatar
  • 1,997
99 votes
6 answers
3k views

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 ...
Zombo's user avatar
  • 1
92 votes
2 answers
807 views

Does the moderator agreement prohibit usage of certain browser extensions?

Our moderator agreement states: […] I acknowledge that I may have access to potentially personally-identifying information about Stack Overflow users and that in connection with such access […] ...
Gordon's user avatar
  • 7,074
91 votes
2 answers
3k views

Stack Exchange Privacy Policy Update

As you all know, once in a while we have to update our Privacy Policy. Now is one of those times. Here's what's different with today's update: Safe Harbor has been replaced by the EU-US Privacy ...
Adam Lear's user avatar
  • 159k
90 votes
2 answers
2k views

User data in light of Stack Overflow's / Stack Exchange, Inc.'s acquisition

I would like to know how the acquisition impacts our user data, and specifically private user data. I am aware that a large part of our contributions could be scraped from the outside (or even, ...
Levente's user avatar
  • 2,073
90 votes
5 answers
11k views

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 ...
Cesar M's user avatar
  • 21.7k
87 votes
2 answers
824 views

My real name was used in a beta invite email

I've been participating in the engineering private beta this week and filled in the form in the sidebar to invite a friend. I was very surprised to find out that my real name was sent to that person ...
stanri's user avatar
  • 1,397
82 votes
2 answers
3k views

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 ...
iBug says Reinstate Monica's user avatar
75 votes
5 answers
2k views

Did Upper Management ignore the growing tension in the TL that resulted in Monica's being axed?

I am not asking for any statements or details of the situation in TL to be revealed. I am asking just whether Upper Management ignored the situation until the situation exploded with Monica's being ...
user avatar
75 votes
1 answer
1k views

Houston, we are web bugged!

OK, so I noticed that on every page load (at least here and on Stack Overflow but guess on any Stack Exchange site) there is request for that external JS file: http://b.scorecardresearch.com/beacon.js ...
Shadow Wizard's user avatar
71 votes
4 answers
1k views

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 ...
terdon's user avatar
  • 25.3k
65 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does Stack Exchange report on the numbers of requests and orders it receives from law enforcement agencies?

Does Stack Exchange report on the numbers of requests and orders it receives from law enforcement agencies, as Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo do?
Gaia's user avatar
  • 841
65 votes
1 answer
3k views

"You’re receiving this email because you are subscribed to The Overflow Newsletter from Stack Overflow." - are you sure?

This morning I received a spam email from SE ("The Overflow - issue #1..."). At the bottom it says that "You’re receiving this email because you are subscribed to The Overflow Newsletter from Stack ...
Stuart Whitehouse's user avatar
63 votes
5 answers
1k views

Why I go by Rosie (discussion about people using pseudonyms for privacy reasons)

It’s been almost seven months since I joined the Community Team at Stack Overflow. I’ve been having a wonderful time learning the ropes, working with incredible colleagues across the company, and ...
Rosie's user avatar
  • 13.9k
63 votes
3 answers
1k views

How long should SE store IP addresses of users?

Right now as far as I know, SE stores the IP addresses used to access any SE site forever. Every moderator or employee with moderator powers can see a list of every IP address a user ever accessed the ...
Mad Scientist's user avatar
60 votes
9 answers
2k views

"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 ...
Liran Orevi's user avatar
  • 1,063
59 votes
8 answers
2k views

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 ...
user3342816's user avatar
59 votes
3 answers
832 views

Does the policy that suspension details aren't released publicly still apply even if the user says they are OK with them being released?

There is a policy that the details regarding a site suspension aren't released publicly, and that the only one who is allowed to bring it up publicly is the suspended user themselves. Officially, this ...
Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog's user avatar
58 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does Stack Exchange have an official policy on honoring "Do Not Track" browser settings?

I know that everyone in the world today wants to know pretty much everything (possibly more than one's spouse) about everyone. Does Stack Exchange have an official policy on honoring Do Not Track ...
devnull's user avatar
  • 3,735
58 votes
1 answer
639 views

Prevent exposure of messages from private chat rooms

Private chat rooms are solely used for moderation purposes, this is a hard rule by Stack Exchange. In most cases the information in such private rooms should not be made public, they often contain ...
Mad Scientist's user avatar
54 votes
4 answers
1k views

Restrict moderator tools that allow mass dumping of user emails

There is a tool available to moderators that can show up to 1000 email addresses at once with a single query. On smaller sites, this tool is probably powerful enough to create a dump of the email ...
Mad Scientist's user avatar
54 votes
1 answer
957 views

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 ...
41686d6564's user avatar
  • 15.2k
53 votes
1 answer
377 views

Sensitive flagger data is exposed via chat WebSockets (and possibly /events), allowing "private" flags to be publicly visible

So, after I figured out that I could see who starred a message (highly related), I figured I might be able to find out the flagger of a message too. So I tried. Here's some data from my logs: hichris ...
Doorknob's user avatar
  • 45.5k
50 votes
1 answer
1k views

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 ...
wizzwizz4's user avatar
  • 20.7k
50 votes
2 answers
770 views

Make clear which profile data is visible to whom

Looking at my own profile and the edit profile form, it isn't really clear to me which data will be publicly displayed/visible to registered users/visible to mods and which won't. When I look at ...
doncherry's user avatar
  • 3,118
49 votes
1 answer
642 views

Please make the "last seen" entry optional [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Last seen” time appears on Google Some people don't like being spied on by bosses or others, or revealing the frequency and intensity of their participation on SE sites. Is ...
Johannes Schaub - litb's user avatar
48 votes
0 answers
479 views

Stop automatically merging accounts without asking the users

Currently, users are automatically merged if SE detects certain situations that indicate that the users belong to the same real person. Some aspects of this have been mentioned in meta posts, but in ...
Mad Scientist's user avatar
46 votes
1 answer
437 views

Are you sure that The Overflow newsletter is GDPR compliant?

I (European citizen) just received "The Overflow" newsletter, which I was opted into without my active consent. The GDPR is very clear that users should be told in advance what their personal ...
Ambulare's user avatar
  • 371
45 votes
1 answer
835 views

Is "The Loop" covered by SO's Privacy and GDPR policies?

SO's "GDPR Policy" states in part we describe how we collect and use your data, and how we use technologies like cookies to understand how we can better help developers. However, The Loop's first ...
Mark Beadles's user avatar
45 votes
2 answers
1k views

Social media disclaimer policy for SE Staff

The most recent SE incident (as well as several others earlier) was largely inflated by the interaction of SE/SE Staff with the press and some social media interactions (tweets/re-tweets, in ...
Anton Menshov's user avatar
43 votes
2 answers
935 views

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 ...
Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog's user avatar
42 votes
2 answers
381 views

Is this data broker violating SE terms of service?

Recently SE amended its terms of use to prevent automatic scraping of site information by third parties for information brokering (at least, that's what I gathered from it). I just read about a new ...
Magisch's user avatar
  • 25.5k
40 votes
1 answer
578 views

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 ...
Mad Scientist's user avatar
39 votes
6 answers
2k views

Is posting doxxing information ever acceptable?

I would think the obvious answer here is no, but... Recently certain American politicians have been circulating some unsubstantiated doxxing information alleging to out a whistleblower. This has led ...
Alexander O'Mara's user avatar
35 votes
1 answer
589 views

Why can't SE use a non-Google captcha that invades my privacy less?

One reason that I do not like using SE is third-party elements that track me and invade my privacy: specifically, Google captcha, which I am forced to use even when logged in. I use various blockers ...
brett's user avatar
  • 407

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