|Problems? Is your data what you think it is?|
Do I have privacy on PerlMonks?by SiteDocClan
|on Jun 12, 2002 at 22:41 UTC||Need Help??|
Do I have privacy on PerlMonks?
The gods (the system administrators) have full access to the site's code, database, and logs. This is necessary in the course of site maintenance and development, as in any web-based discussion board/community. (Other special user groups, such as the developers and janitors, have powers which can affect other users, but these powers are limited by constraints built into the site. The gods can have no such constraints.)
The gods use handy web-based tools for performing site maintenance tasks, and very few of these tools would be useful in user tracking. Provisions have been made to shield sensitive user information (such as passwords) from casual inspection, even by the gods. For example, the tool which allows a god to look at a user's variables does not display the password.
The gods and power users can temporarily silence users from trying to speak in the Chatterbox. This power is occasionally necessary when someone is being abusive, or (more rarely) when it is detected that one of the participants is, ehrm, not human (i.e. a 'bot).
The gods and janitors have the ability to modify the content of posts. This happens on a regular basis, although it is far more often to correct minor errors of formatting than objectionable content. (See What is consideration? for more info.)
In terms of tracking users, the gods do perform some statistical analyses of records, which are devised to treat users in the aggregate, anonymously. These tools allow the gods to isolate individual users with unusual usage patterns, without having to expose their personal data.
The gods have no interest in your voting record, and never collect or examine such stats.
The gods adhere to an ethic which reflects the site's tradition of voluntary self-restraint and respect for others.
However, there are simply no rock-solid safeguards for your personal information or your habits. You should understand this, and align your actions accordingly.
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