Physics Forums privacy policy

  • Thread starter pervect
  • Start date

pervect

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Insights Author
9,338
711
Does PF have a privacy policy? An anonymous entity was asking me this question, and i didn't have an answer for him/it.
 

Evo

Mentor
22,464
2,278
I don't believe that Greg has ever issued a formal policy, but he doesn't sell or share members e-mail addresses or personal information. I have never received e-mail notification other than from Greg himself, such a s a forum newsletter or a happy birthday note (none of which I've received this year), so perhaps those no longer are being sent out.

What exactly is your friend woried about?
 

pervect

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Insights Author
9,338
711
I really don't know what he's worried about, but he'd be an asset to the relativity forum if he decided to participate.
 

Evo

Mentor
22,464
2,278
pervect said:
I really don't know what he's worried about, but he'd be an asset to the relativity forum if he decided to participate.
You'll have to convince him of how nice we are. :smile:

You know from being here that members don't get spammed and you don't have to reveal your real identity if you chose not to.
 
304
1
Greg should make a privacy policy if there are going to be people worried about this.
 

Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
6,904
14
I don't see why we shouldn't have a Privacy Policy.
 

chroot

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,098
33
We should have a privacy policy. I'll see if I can look around and find one that I can mold into being appropriate for the site.

- Warren
 
304
1
chroot said:
We should have a privacy policy. I'll see if I can look around and find one that I can mold into being appropriate for the site.

- Warren
Aren't you soppsed to right it on your own and not use a policy of another site?
 

chroot

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,098
33
Why should I have to write it from scratch? I'm not a lawyer. I won't violate copyrights, of course, but there's no "rule" that all privacy policies must be written from scratch. If it meets our needs, then what would be the problem with it?

- Warren
 

Nereid

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,309
1
A clear, succinct privacy policy would be an asset for PF.

Among other things, it may help to encourage older, experienced folk to participate in PF (and overcome http://yeodoug.com/articles/text/what_happened.html" [Broken]).
 
Last edited by a moderator:

pervect

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Insights Author
9,338
711
Here's some more feedback from the person I was talking about earlier...

First: a quick remark about the privacy policy question. I can't discuss all of my concerns in public, but one thing I would like to know is where the money to run the site is coming from. If there is no clear answer, I'd be concerned that the money might be coming from selling data on forum users to marketing firms, for example. And who has laptops containing the user database which they might leave in their car, which might be broken into? In any case, the Wikipedia privacy policy would be an obvious model for chroot to examine :-/
As a long time user, I would say that the obvious sources of monetary support for PF are the Google advertisements, and the contributions of people who pay to support the forum (and incidentally avoid those advertisments in the process).

Inside joke: I can't positively rule out contributions from the Church of Scientology as a support for PF, though.

see for example the thread from April 1, for instance:

https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=116136


As the "man in the middle", I don't particularly endorse nor not endorse the Wikipedia privacy policy as a model for PF, I'm just passing along a third parties concerns and suggestions.
 

chroot

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,098
33
pervect,

The user database contains nothing even remotely identifying, with the exception of the email address. The only reason we require an email address is a very unfortunate one: the bad guys force us to do it. The email address is only necessary to prevent spammers from making up hundreds of new user accounts in the span of a couple of minutes and bombing the site with gigabytes of spam posts.

The site does not make a profit, nor does it intend to. The only sources of revenue are Google Ad click-throughs and individual contributors who voluntarily choose to financially support it.

The database is stored on the server itself, and there are few backup copies on Greg's home computers. Again, the database contains nothing of use to anyone except perhaps the email address. I encourage users who are concerned about their email privacy to do one of the following:

1) They may create a "junk" email address just for the purpose of these kinds of subscriptions. They can even delete the entire email account after they're done signing up -- we don't need your email for any reason after you've proven you're a human being (and not a spam bot) by receiving and responding to one signup confirmation email.

2) They may use a disposable address service like spamgourmet.org or jetable.org, or one of the many anonymous remailers available on the Internet.

We, the staff of PF, are nothing more than a bunch of volunteers who are passionate about science and science education, and wish to discuss it in a pleasant environment.

I'll throw together a complete privacy policy in a bit. Thanks for bringing my attention to this, pervect.

- Warren
 
304
1
chroot said:
The user database contains nothing even remotely identifying, with the exception of the email address. The only reason we require an email address is a very unfortunate one: the bad guys force us to do it. The email address is only necessary to prevent spammers from making up hundreds of new user accounts in the span of a couple of minutes and bombing the site with gigabytes of spam posts.

The site does not make a profit, nor does it intend to. The only sources of revenue are Google Ad click-throughs and individual contributors who voluntarily choose to financially support it.

The database is stored on the server itself, and there are few backup copies on Greg's home computers. Again, the database contains nothing of use to anyone except perhaps the email address. I encourage users who are concerned about their email privacy to do one of the following:

1) They may create a "junk" email address just for the purpose of these kinds of subscriptions. They can even delete the entire email account after they're done signing up -- we don't need your email for any reason after you've proven you're a human being (and not a spam bot) by receiving and responding to one signup confirmation email.

2) They may use a disposable address service like spamgourmet.org or jetable.org, or one of the many anonymous remailers available on the Internet.

We, the staff of PF, are nothing more than a bunch of volunteers who are passionate about science and science education, and wish to discuss it in a pleasant environment.

I'll throw together a complete privacy policy in a bit. Thanks for bringing my attention to this, pervect.
So is this PF's new priacy plociy?
 

Evo

Mentor
22,464
2,278
scott1 said:
So is this PF's new priacy plociy?
No, chroot said he will put one together.
 

chroot

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,098
33
I have distributed a copy of my proposed privacy policy to the staff. After the majority of the staff have accepted the proposal and any ammendments, it will be posted and stickied here, in the Feedback and Announcements forum.

- Warren
 

Want to reply to this thread?

"Physics Forums privacy policy" You must log in or register to reply here.

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving
Top