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  1. Feb 2, 2014 #1


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    Gold Member

    I have a question regarding the privacy of the members of PF. I am wondering if our private messages are recoverable by admins or anyone else, as well as what exactly is being stored. If Greg was sent a subpoena for a member's private message history, would that be possible? Are the members being protected? Is there even an obligation to protect us?

    Is there only a technological limiting reason for why IP Addresses are needed to register accounts and to log on? Would it be possible to not store that information? For us to post with only our Username and no IP address or anything else associated with us, unless of course choosing to reveal more on our profile page.

    How much do the admins know about us??

    Hopefully this doesn't come off as stark, I am just curious.

    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 2, 2014 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    I've flagged this for attention from Greg. He's traveling at the moment, so there may be a delay in responding. In the meantime, any posts from non-admins speculating about our possible policy on these questions will be removed. Let's wait till we can get it from the "horse's mouth", so to speak.

    (I assume you've seen the privacy policy which is linked at the bottom of every page here. It doesn't appear to mention private messages explicitly.)
  4. Feb 2, 2014 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Private messages are addressed in the forum guidelines.

    As far as how much is archived and for how long, that would be a question for Greg as to whether he wishes to answer.
  5. Feb 4, 2014 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    All internet communication works via IP addresses. You cannot be in the internet without an IP address. Concerning storing that information:
    It has a juristic reason. Forum owners do not want to be responsible for posts made by other members, so there has to be some (at least theoretical) way to say "he did that, not me".

    See our https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=131804 [Broken]:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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