Loomio
October 14th, 2012 01:12

Privacy concern: displaying emails

Richard D. Bartlett
Richard D. Bartlett Public Seen by 74

We got this feedback from a user today: "I've just noticed that when I click on anyone's name, their email address pops up. I'm not happy about this, as it's bad from a privacy point of view. I don't want my email address visible to anyone who looks.

Please at least give us the option to hide our email addresses in the settings."

Personally I agree that this is a valid privacy concern. However, there is a pragmatic reasoning behind displaying emails: it's useful a) when you want to direct-message someone, and b) when you want to invite an existing user to a new group.

I imagine this won't be an issue in the future: case a) will be fixed when we have an internal messaging system in place and case b) will be fixed when we implement Trello-style usernames.

What should we do in the meantime to patch the privacy hole without creating a UX regression? Is the user's suggestion (add a 'hide email' setting) workable?

Aaron Thornton

Aaron Thornton October 14th, 2012 02:00

we could give the user an option to hide email adress on their user settings. Easy enough to implement as a plug until we get the new feature set finished

Jon Lemmon

Jon Lemmon October 14th, 2012 20:24

It's only visible to people within the group. Communicating this clearly is probably the best first step. Then also providing a "hide email address" option.

Aaron Thornton

Aaron Thornton October 14th, 2012 20:48

Great point Jon. That would make me feel more comfortable.

Benjamin Knight

Benjamin Knight October 14th, 2012 22:01

Agreed on both points Mr Lemmon, I think that sounds like some really sensible first steps.

Jon Lemmon

Jon Lemmon October 15th, 2012 06:23

I'm thinking for now we just be clear that the email is only displayed to group members.

@Richard - would you be interested in mocking this up or just adding it to the app? It'd just be something in the popup like "(Email is only viewable to members of this group)"

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett October 16th, 2012 21:58

Follow up from the user concerned: "...If it's only group members who can see email addresses, that's no so bad for the time being, but if the email addresses can be hidden once you've got your private message system working, that would be great, and an option in the settings 'allow users to send me private messages [or 'emails', as it is currently]' would be great, to give us the choice whether people can contact us directly."

Matthew Bartlett

Matthew Bartlett October 17th, 2012 22:37

@RDB, do we really want to add private messaging? Feels to me like Yet Another Inbox. I'm assuming your talking asynchronous — not chat (which I'm all in favour of).

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett October 17th, 2012 22:43

Asynchronous vs. instant messaging is an interesting question in light of e.g. Facebook and Yammer integrating their chat and mail into one box with two interfaces.

I'm not hearing an immediate need for Loomio to implement either, to be honest.

Benjamin Knight

Benjamin Knight October 17th, 2012 23:48

I think @mentions will do heaps to relieve any need for a private messaging system, at least in the intermediate term

Danyl Strype

Danyl Strype October 23rd, 2012 02:39

Please don't create a private inbox in Loomio. We use an email address to subscribe to Loomio in the first place. For most users, that's all the inbox they'll ever need. However, a private messaging system that allows me to email another Loomio user without ever knowing their email address (until they decide to give it to me) would be great, and would deal to the privacy issue your concerned user raised.

I do think realtime chat would be useful to users of Loomio. For example, Loomio with chat (text and voice) would replace everything the TimeBankers have been using Skype for. I suggest instead of writing it from scratch, you find some existing RoR chat code which implements open standards (eg XMPP/ Jabber, IRC, Mumble/Murmur), and plug it in as an optional module.

Chris Taklis

Chris Taklis August 22nd, 2013 11:19

that is a big problem to some members privacy.

I suggest to be an option to each member can hide if he/she wish his/her email from public list of memberships.

Chris Taklis

Chris Taklis started a proposal August 22nd, 2013 11:22

Members choose if their email will be hidden or public listed. Closed 1:42am - Sunday 1 Sep 2013

Outcome
by Chris Taklis February 27th, 2017 22:26

Passed. We wait now from developers to make it real.

To be an option on users settings, and each member choose if his/her email will be public listed or hidden on membership list of the group he/she is member.

Results
Agree - 9
Abstain - 9
Disagree - 9
Block - 9
9 people have voted (3%)
Chris Taklis

Chris Taklis
Agree
August 22nd, 2013 11:23

Joshua Vial

Joshua Vial
Agree
August 22nd, 2013 16:10

this should be a priority fix

Z

zack
Agree
August 23rd, 2013 21:46

yes, with priority

Simon Tegg

Simon Tegg
Agree
August 24th, 2013 00:46

Rob Guthrie

Rob Guthrie
Agree
August 30th, 2013 01:46

Rob Guthrie

Rob Guthrie
Agree
August 30th, 2013 01:46

Thanks for bringing this up.

Danyl Strype

Danyl Strype
Agree
August 30th, 2013 05:58

privacy is good! Also, some people may use one email address for Loomio, but prefer to receive emails from group members at a different address.

 vivien maidaborn

vivien maidaborn
Agree
August 30th, 2013 19:14

Benjamin Knight

Benjamin Knight
Agree
August 30th, 2013 21:09

Neil Morris

Neil Morris
Agree
August 30th, 2013 21:32

Chris Taklis

Chris Taklis February 15th, 2014 15:59

any progress of this???

We (a coalition of Direct Democracy in Greece and Pirates) want to use a loomio for a project for our prefectures. And it is big problem now, because everyone will have access to others email.

That privacy concerns everyone. If the project succeeds, we are talking about maybe thousand members, and that is a huge database of email who everyone can use it as he/she wants, and not always for good purpose.

We want at least the option to groups to hide the email so no one can see it... (or can see it only the coordinators).

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett February 16th, 2014 04:44

I'm going to prioritise it @christaklis.

Chris Taklis

Chris Taklis February 16th, 2014 07:00

thanks Richard.

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett February 16th, 2014 22:13

Just like that! @christaklis emails are not shown on user profiles now. Thanks to the quick surgery of @robertguthrie!

If you are a group coordinator, you can see the emails of your group members on the Members page.

Chris Taklis

Chris Taklis February 17th, 2014 06:46

excellent... and very quick...

thanks!