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Old 02-12-2020, 10:01 PM   #1
86153c1d-3ebd-4643-8885
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Does Linux Questions have a privacy policy?


Hello people, I have been enjoying the forum so far, people are nice and have helped me a lot. Thanks!

I wanted to know if there is policy somewhere about what kind of data does LQ collects, in which way and for how long, since it is pretty common these days to have this kind of information available to its users. I'm guessing there is none, and if there is, is buried down deep among a lot of other sub web pages.

I think what I'm asking makes sense, I say this because I don't want to be backlashed because this doesn't matter to some, or because they think it's pointless to try to avoid data sellers, or whatever.
Privacy respecting platforms/services/products are becoming more regular nowadays, even more among FLOSS activists, and I know that to a certain extent this is relevant to the LQ community since the polls had specific sections dedicated to privacy. I know that not every Linux user necessarily cares about this, you can use X, Y or Z distro because of its customizability, or whatever, but I'm sure a whole other lot of folks do care about it.

I'm not asking that the website keeps no logs (although I would love to see that), but at least to know if there is a chance to develop a privacy policy so anyone can know what is being collected.

Also, is LQ open source?

Thanks again!
 
Old 02-13-2020, 12:28 PM   #2
jeremy
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We do have a privacy policy, and will never sell any personal information (which we collect very little of):

https://www.linuxquestions.org/linux/privacy.html

--jeremy
 
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:05 PM   #3
273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86153c1d-3ebd-4643-8885 View Post
Hello people, I have been enjoying the forum so far, people are nice and have helped me a lot. Thanks!

I wanted to know if there is policy somewhere about what kind of data does LQ collects, in which way and for how long, since it is pretty common these days to have this kind of information available to its users. I'm guessing there is none, and if there is, is buried down deep among a lot of other sub web pages.
It would have been nice of you to look for it. 😉
I've had some disagreements with moderators and raised issues with the founder of this site and they have always been professional and sensible.
As fas as I can tell this is not some run-for-add-data expertsexchange clone -- it's the real deal.
 
Old 02-13-2020, 03:19 PM   #4
jefro
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"Also, is LQ open source?"

Would be rather funny if jeremy ran this on a Microsoft Azure host.
 
Old 02-13-2020, 05:14 PM   #5
boughtonp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
It would have been nice of you to look for it.
Are you suggesting it's linked from somewhere obvious, because if so I don't see it either.

I'd expect a privacy policy to be found in at least one of two places: in the footer of every page and/or in the sitemap.

I don't see it in either of those locations, nor any of several other places:
Code:
curl -isS https://www.linuxquestions.org/ | grep -i privacy
curl -isS https://www.linuxquestions.org/linux/sitemap.html | grep -i privacy
curl -isS https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/faq.php | grep -i privacy
curl -isS https://www.linuxquestions.org/linux/rules.html | grep -i privacy
curl -isS https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/register.php | grep -i privacy

Last edited by boughtonp; 02-13-2020 at 05:17 PM.
 
Old 02-14-2020, 12:36 PM   #6
273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boughtonp View Post
Are you suggesting it's linked from somewhere obvious, because if so I don't see it either.

I'd expect a privacy policy to be found in at least one of two places: in the footer of every page and/or in the sitemap.

I don't see it in either of those locations, nor any of several other places:
Code:
curl -isS https://www.linuxquestions.org/ | grep -i privacy
curl -isS https://www.linuxquestions.org/linux/sitemap.html | grep -i privacy
curl -isS https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/faq.php | grep -i privacy
curl -isS https://www.linuxquestions.org/linux/rules.html | grep -i privacy
curl -isS https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/register.php | grep -i privacy
My apologies to both of you. Indeed, there do not appear to be any links to the policy. I did find it (not sticking up for the site here, just myself) but you are correct -- no obvious links there.
 
Old 02-14-2020, 05:55 PM   #7
86153c1d-3ebd-4643-8885
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
We do have a privacy policy, and will never sell any personal information (which we collect very little of):

https://www.linuxquestions.org/linux/privacy.html

--jeremy
Wow, thanks for answering me Jeremy, I really appreciate your hard work mainlining this web site for so many years and for creating a space when people can discuss in a really thoughtful, open and cool way! You're great.

By the way, I think you may be trying to link to this URL instead, which has a more in-depth look at what kind of data is being collected and by whom. I did find it after creating the post, but still it is kind of hidden and I wouldn't expect for it to be there. footer->advertising info->privacy policy

https://www.linuxquestions.org/privacy.html

Please take my words with kindness and those of someone who wants to create a better place, not of someone who wants to blindly criticize.

I'll try to dissect your PP because I think there are certain issues there, I believe you don't sell users' data, but I think certain statements are not fully correct either, and don't take me wrong, I don't think this is an act of bad faith, probably it was just an error at the time of writing it.


Quote:
Our Site uses cookies to save your password so you don't have to re-enter it each time you visit our site. We also use cookies so we can tell you what posts you have already read.
Are all of the fifteen cookies used on the LQ used only for this purpose? I'm not saying they aren't, I just find it difficult to believe that so many cookies are necessary for this function. Please prove me wrong.

Quote:
We use an outside ad company to display ads on our site.
Do any of these ads have trackers included?¹² It's hard for me to believe that an Amazon ads will not. Again, feel free to prove me wrong, but for the looks of it, they look like regular tracking ads and I think that if this is the case, this should also be disclosed.

Quote:
This Web site does not request any personal information or collect any information that personally identifies you or allows you to be personally contacted.
Since we do not collect any personal information on this Web site, we do not share any personal information with any third parties nor do we use any personal information for any purposes.
Even thought what data can be classified as personally identifiable or not is kind of blurry³, I think this statement is plain wrong. You use Google Analytics and Google Syndication, I can't think of a way in which you use their services/products and you are not sharing any kind of information with third parties. You may not be selling it to them, but you do are sharing it.


And lastly, but not related to the content of the policy, would you consider moving the policy to a place where it can be seen more easily?

¹ https://support.google.com/dcm/answe...5?hl=en#bwhere
² https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/19/how-...ing-works.html
³ https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/d...han-we-thought
 
Old 02-14-2020, 06:01 PM   #8
86153c1d-3ebd-4643-8885
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
It would have been nice of you to look for it. 😉
I've had some disagreements with moderators and raised issues with the founder of this site and they have always been professional and sensible.
As fas as I can tell this is not some run-for-add-data expertsexchange clone -- it's the real deal.
I know you apologized, just wanted to make clear that I don't think the moderators are not professional, sensible, or childish, I think they are really good and smart people who may have committed a mistake or just didn't consider how it was displayed.

Quote:
Are you suggesting it's linked from somewhere obvious, because if so I don't see it either.

I'd expect a privacy policy to be found in at least one of two places: in the footer of every page and/or in the sitemap.

I don't see it in either of those locations, nor any of several other places.
That was my point, a PP should be easily accessible and in a common place where everyone locates it. Thanks!

Quote:
My apologies to both of you. Indeed, there do not appear to be any links to the policy. I did find it (not sticking up for the site here, just myself) but you are correct -- no obvious links there.
Don't worry, I'm just trying to make this awesome place even better, not trying to finger point the guilty person to make them feel bad.
 
Old 02-15-2020, 05:14 AM   #9
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
We do have a privacy policy, and will never sell any personal information (which we collect very little of):

https://www.linuxquestions.org/linux/privacy.html

--jeremy
It does not jibe with my findings.

Before logging in:




After logging in:

 
2 members found this post helpful.
Old 02-15-2020, 05:55 AM   #10
rnturn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86153c1d-3ebd-4643-8885 View Post
Wow, thanks for answering me Jeremy, I really appreciate your hard work mainlining this web site for so many years and for creating a space when people can discuss in a really thoughtful, open and cool way! You're great.

By the way, I think you may be trying to link to this URL instead, which has a more in-depth look at what kind of data is being collected and by whom. I did find it after creating the post, but still it is kind of hidden and I wouldn't expect for it to be there. footer->advertising info->privacy policy

https://www.linuxquestions.org/privacy.html
Interesting question you asked there. There are so many links on the right hand side of the pages that I never noticed the lack of one pointing to a privacy policy. I can't say I recall getting peppered with pop-up notices regarding cookies, either. (Thankfully)

If I were that concerned with privacy, I guess I'd choose to not include any location in the profile information that's tacked onto all one's posts.

BTW: I love the username---especially with it being paired with the topic. I nearly immediately thought of the exchange: "I am not a number; I am a free man!!!" "Ha ha ha ha" (Sorry... Half-century-old TV reference.)
 
Old 02-15-2020, 09:46 AM   #11
jeremy
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The link you've included is very old, so may be out of date. I'll remove it to avoid confusion. I'll update the correct link with any pertinent information and add a link to it. As noted we do use advertising to support the site, which you are free to block (and are not shown if you're logged in and have a few posts). We do use analytics, which clearly falls under "operate, maintain, and improve the site", which you are also free to block with no negative impact to your LQ experience.

--jeremy
 
Old 02-18-2020, 02:10 PM   #12
86153c1d-3ebd-4643-8885
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@ondoho Thanks for providing screenshots. That's my point, even if data is not being sold is obviously being shared more that what's explicit on privacy policy, without mentioning that I'm sure whatever is being shared with Google Analytics is not "anonymized data".

Quote:
Interesting question you asked there. There are so many links on the right hand side of the pages that I never noticed the lack of one pointing to a privacy policy. I can't say I recall getting peppered with pop-up notices regarding cookies, either. (Thankfully)
I couldn't agree more, there are so many links on side and bottom so it doesn't hurt to have a clear URL to the policy. This has been added now.
Thanks a lot Jeremy!

Quote:
If I were that concerned with privacy, I guess I'd choose to not include any location in the profile information that's tacked onto all one's posts.
I haven't shared that information, but data isn't being collected only through those ways, the fact that the server can record your IP, type of browser, version of it, default language, etc, can tell a lot about you without even sharing it.

Quote:
BTW: I love the username---especially with it being paired with the topic. I nearly immediately thought of the exchange: "I am not a number; I am a free man!!!" "Ha ha ha ha" (Sorry... Half-century-old TV reference.)
Hahaha, thanks. What's that show by the way?

Quote:
The link you've included is very old, so may be out of date. I'll remove it to avoid confusion. I'll update the correct link with any pertinent information and add a link to it. As noted we do use advertising to support the site, which you are free to block (and are not shown if you're logged in and have a few posts).
I really appreciate that you have taken the time to add a clear URL to the policy now, seriously, a lot of other people would have just not even answered or wouldn't have taken my feedback from scratch.

Quote:
We do use analytics, which clearly falls under "operate, maintain, and improve the site", which you are also free to block with no negative impact to your LQ experience.
I understand it fails under that category, but I think there are certain parts which are not that correct.

From the Google Analytics privacy policy - https://policies.google.com/privacy?...US#infocollect

Quote:
We want you to understand the types of information we collect as you use our services

We collect information to provide better services to all our users — from figuring out basic stuff like which language you speak, to more complex things like which ads you’ll find most useful, the people who matter most to you online, or which YouTube videos you might like. The information Google collects, and how that information is used, depends on how you use our services and how you manage your privacy controls.

When you’re not signed in to a Google Account, we store the information we collect with unique identifiers tied to the browser, application, or device you’re using. This helps us do things like maintain your language preferences across browsing sessions.

When you’re signed in, we also collect information that we store with your Google Account, which we treat as personal information.
So I guess there are more things being collected that the ones stated on the policy? Google says it collects the language you use, for example.

Quote:
We do not share any information with any 3rd party directly.
Then this, @ondoho shared a uMatrix screenshot showing that the ads have scripts that may or may not track users, so what does directly mean on this scenario? Clicking on it? Being on the website without login? You also don't state if this is being collected to users or visitors; if only the last, users are still tracked until they log in.

Then, according to this, under CaLOPPA, it is mandatory that websites state on their policy if they are compliant or not with the Do Not Track setting.

https://www.privacypolicies.com/blog...t_Track_Clause

I know that I can block whatever I want with uMatrix, uBlock Origin or whatever, but the thing is you need to tell your users in a clear manner what kind of tracking is being used, it is about transparency and trust, not about anything else.
 
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Old 02-18-2020, 03:25 PM   #13
jeremy
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I've added a Third Party Tools section to make this more clear.

--jeremy
 
Old 02-18-2020, 04:47 PM   #14
boughtonp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86153c1d-3ebd-4643-8885 View Post
What's that show by the way?
That'll be The Prisoner.

Well worth watching, and still very relevant today.

 
3 members found this post helpful.
Old 02-18-2020, 05:20 PM   #15
astrogeek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boughtonp View Post
That'll be The Prisoner.

Well worth watching, and still very relevant today.

Many happy returns!
 
  


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