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Thread: User Privacy -- Important Private Message Notice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    St. Louis
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    Default User Privacy -- Important Private Message Notice

    All,

    When you send a private message, your PM is confidential. As administrator I can not see the message -- however:

    If you have email notification turned on for PM, and if you reply directly via email, your response comes back to me, the administrator.

    So.. if you get an email from the database saying you have a new private message, be sure you are replying to the member who sent you the PM, NOT the email address that sends you the PM.

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Best regards,

    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
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    Default

    A litle late in declaring this breech of privacy John. I am extremely disappointed that my privacy has been compromised.
    Last edited by Zamis; 01-05-2007 at 12:49 PM.
    M Pimentel

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    St. Louis
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    473

    Default Clarification:

    No privacy has been compromised.

    What happened was two members were having a private message conversation. The forum database emailed that member to tell her there was a PM at the forum. Instead of going back to the forum to reply to the PM, the member replied to the email, which goes back to me since my forum email account sends the PM notification via email.

    Now I'm being publicly accused of a privacy breech, even though I immediately emailed both members personally to inform both of them I had been sent the email. If there was anything sneaky going on I would not have written both members and made this post here.

    I can NOT see anybody's private messages.

    If members have email notification turned on for private messages, the forum sends you an automatic email that says you have a PM. I do not see that email to members. Or the message.

    In this case, a member replied to the email that notified her of the PM. That sent the contents of her email back to my personal inbox, since I am support@dairyforums.com.

    NOTE:

    I can not see any private message contents except my own.

    If a member emails their private message to my email address, I will see the PM. That is what happened in this case

    Ways to avoid this:

    In your personal profile, uncheck the box that notifies you of a PM by email.

    OR,

    Do not reply to the email that tells you about the PM. Go back to your PM and reply from there.

    Any questions, just ask.

    John
    Last edited by administrator; 01-05-2007 at 02:56 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    St. Louis
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    Default P.s.

    All,

    Just so we are clear, I am not a Web master. I am just a guy trying to help the dairy industry, and I can barely keep the site running with what I know about the Web.

    I have two valued members mad at me because they think I violated their privacy by seeing their PM.

    A while back, there were two other instances of this. Those PM's were nothing personal, but it puzzled me. At that time, privacy issues never occurred to me, because the PMs were not personal at all. I emailed those members to let them know it happened and to ask them what happened from their end to try to figure out why I was getting their PM emailed to me, thinking there was something going on with the forum software. I posted a request for help and said that it had happened right away:

    http://www.dairyforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=214

    As of today, 72 people have read that post, in which I disclosed the situation was happening. Now we all know it why and when it happens -- as explained higher up in this thread.

    This experience has cost me a couple of forum friends, but it also raised attention about an important concern that we all share -- online privacy.

    Please know that I'm doing the best I can, I am an honest person who is a strong supporter of privacy rights, and your privacy is very important to me. That's why I disclosed the situation EACH TIME it happened.

    However, know that everything on this forum sits on a database on my server. I can not see PMs in the control panel, so far as I know, but they are all stored somewhere in the server. (They must be or we couldn't see them in our PM control panel.) That's just how the software works. I will never go looking for your PMs. If they come to me because you email them to me by accident I will let you know. I promise.

    If you want more clarification or to talk about it, I will be happy to answer your questions.

    thanks,

    John
    Last edited by administrator; 01-05-2007 at 04:46 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Location
    Kansas
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    Default

    A couple months ago this happened to me. My fault, rather than return to dairyForums and enter private message system, I got lazy and clicked on the notification link in my e-mail box. I can assure you John contacted me right away in an attempt to troubleshoot the problem. He, like I recognized that it was a glitch in the system and never really thought through the whole privacy issue. Neither of us had any reason to do so.
    I guess it's unfortunate if folks feel their information was read by someone other than intended for. I can understand their viewpoint. At the same time I cannot see where the Administrator, John O. in this case, would have any desire to or motivation for reading a bunch of private conversations between members. Nothing to be gained on his part there. The fact that he immediately notified me when I made that mistake and tryed to troubleshoot the system glitch to prevent further occurences says to me that he has done the right thing all along.
    As I said, this mixup is unfortunate - But I think a little forgiveness and move on is probably for the best. I think we should all be thankful such a forum exists where folks with the same interests can discuss and debate the aspects of the dairy business. Good that you all can voice your opinion and talk about if, and when a problem comes up.
    Just my opinion.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2006
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    USA
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    Default

    I agree with you, Faye.

    No hard feelings on my part, John.
    ~your decisions are only as good as the information you base them on~

  7. #7
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    Central WI
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    Default

    And since the NSA (BigBrother) can listen in on your phone calls or read your electronic mail, there really isn't such a thing as a "personal" message anyway!

  8. #8
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    St. Louis
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    Default

    Now that there has been clarity around this, and because I have installed an automatic reminder message on the PM email notification, we should not have repeat incidents.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Location
    Tennessee
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    Default

    I apologize for the misunderstanding that has caused me to lose moderator status, LOL, but I would like to be clear. Had the administrator not focused on the content of the message and simply referred the sender of the e-mail, which was not me, a reminder about privacy, it would not have caused me any concern at all. As it progressed however, John phoned me at home about the message and expressed concern for the content. The content, in a nutshell expressed disappointment in the forum, the homesteading forum, which I agreed with.I had posted as much in "Renaming the Forum," not long ago. Faye Farms I hope you will remain in touch by phone.
    M Pimentel

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    St. Louis
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    Default

    When a moderator says the forum is disappointing in an email that comes to me, yes, I'm going to phone and ask about that. I want the forum to work for people and if there's anything I can do to fix something I will.

    There are no more moderators mostly because the spammer problem seems to have been corrected, thanks to a lot of help from Marcia.

    If we keep beating this horse we won't be able to even sell the meat, so let's please move on.

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