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Privacy in this forum- how serious should we take this?
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coffein
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Feb 2011
Posts: 11
Location: abroad
Expertise: I love coffee

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Posted Sun May 6, 2012, 9:54am
Subject: Privacy in this forum- how serious should we take this?
 

Hi

I would like to have a statement of a moderator or the owner here regarding privacy.

I was surprised to see in your privacy statement under the point #4 the following: ("CoffeeGeek Privacy Policies")

...You may have wondered why we ask for two email addresses. The public one is the one others see if they visit your Member Profile page, or when you write a review or post a comment. This is an optional email address and you can make it real (name@name.com), spamproofed, (name@removethis.name.com), or fake if you choose (name@noemailsorry)....

That sounds good so far. BUT when you want to use your buy&sell section, you mandatory ask for a real email address, my homeaddress and my real name all 3 publicly visible for everybody. See here:

"**MUST READ** Buy, Sell and Trade Forum Rules (updated May 2014)"


...NEW You must complete all of the Listing Details fields located directly below the main text field.  The text fields are Price, Location, First Name and Last Name.  Also the Type of Sale must also be selected from the drop down menu (For Sale, For Trade, For Sale or Trade, or Wanted to Buy) below that menu the agreement box must also be selected (verifying that it is a private sale {see rule #4}). You must have a valid email address as your "public email' in order to post, or list a valid, unobstructed email in your for sale / trade / buy post.....

This is how it looks like for example:

Listing Details
Asking / Suggested Price: 2200
Seller Name: Omar Brioso
Seller Location: Orange County, CA
Sale Type: For Sale
plus real email address


I guess everybody knows, how you can misuse the information displayed publicly in an internet forum. Thieves know this too, not only spam spiders. It is so easy nowadays to know what kind of value you have at home and what kind of hobbies you have thanks to superficial usage of forum posters.

I have a problem beeing searched by people I do not know via google search or the professional spiders like www.123people.com *, www.yasni.com etc. or spam spiders. I neither want to show my current or future boss what I am doing, what gear I have and what my personal preferences in life are. It is none of their business.

So why do you force the members to display all this publicly suddenly? It is definitely against protection of our privacy. If I want to buy or sell something, I am not planning to become famous as a writer of a review. I have no ego to see my name everywhere on the net. I just want to protect my privacy. Every forum offers privacy without exceptions for different section i.e. buy & sell.



*For those of you, who are not familiar with what this can lead to, here a short reading how those specilaized search companies are stealing your data and will never delete it again!:

123people Information United States

123people.com is a free real time people search tool that looks into nearly every corner of the web. Using our proprietary search algorithm, you can find comprehensive and centralized person related information consisting of public records, phone numbers, addresses, images, videos and email addresses. Search Facebook and other social networking sites like mySpace, Linkedin, Xing, Wikipedia profiles and much more. All of this rich media profile content is pulled from an extensive list of international as well as regional relevant sources, all to enable you to find people in real time. Find friends and business contacts now!

After that, those companies are selling this information to everybody they want to, by the way...



So I would strongly advise to change this stange privacy policy to one that is in line with the interests of your members.
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dana_leighton
Moderator
dana_leighton
Joined: 11 Jan 2002
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Posted Sun May 6, 2012, 5:47pm
Subject: Re: Privacy in this forum- how serious should we take this?
 

coffein Said:

when you want to use your buy&sell section, you mandatory ask for a real email address, my homeaddress and my real name all 3 publicly visible for everybody ... So why do you force the members to display all this publicly suddenly? It is definitely against protection of our privacy.

Posted May 6, 2012 link

Hi "Coffein Coffein" (I would use your real name, but for obvious reasons you have omitted it from your profile):

It is not at all suddenly or recently that we've had this policy. It was put in place a few years ago. The main reason we do this for the BS&T forum is that we feel it will help discourage disreputable or dishonest sellers from posting an item for sale or trade. It is obviously not foolproof, in that someone could use a fake name, email, or city to post in the BS&T but it would likely be found out sooner or later. We have had some sales go sour and this information has helped us find the seller and help the buyer who was affected (although we still say buyer beware around here - we can't guarantee that all sales will go smoothly or that we can intervene if it does not).

The BS&T is the only place where we have this policy. We have had other members who have wanted to sell without providing this information, but it is required if you want to use the BS&T. The BS&T is the only place where you need to reveal that information; if you're uncomfortable with it, then don't use the BS&T.

Cheers,
Dana

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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Ian
Moderator
Ian
Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1,470
Location: England

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012, 3:27am
Subject: Re: Privacy in this forum- how serious should we take this?
 

As Dana inferred, we have those scammers who have ripped off buyers and sellers in the past to thank for this policy.



coffein Said:

...So why do you force the members to display all this publicly suddenly?

Posted May 6, 2012 link

No one is being forced to do anything -  use of the BST forum is entirely optional. In fact, I use ebay to sell stuff as I prefer to keep my privacy and there is also a certain degree of protection on the deal.




So I would strongly advise to change this stange privacy policy to one that is in line with the interests of your members.

Of course, there's nothing stopping you from starting up your own BST website if you don't like the rules on this one ;)


Cheers

Ian

 
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JonR10
Senior Member
JonR10
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 10,376
Location: Houston, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012, 4:38am
Subject: Re: Privacy in this forum- how serious should we take this?
 

There are other websites that allow you to buy and sell anonymously.
Coffeegeek BST is a community function.  

If you will read the "optional reading" post in the BST forum, your questions would be answered more fully
"The Purpose of the BST Forum - optional reading updated May 2014"  

We do understand privacy concerns, but the bottom line is this - if you want to use this forum to sell something, you have to list your real, full name and your location and have an unobstructed public email address. If you list your city in you profile for public viewing, you do not have to list it again in the forum posting. however, if you choose not to have an unobstructed email address or choose not to list your location, then do not use this forum to sell your coffee related equipment.  

Cheers,
Jon

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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