Readers of this site are probably aware that I think Cameron Slater is a technological idiot. Well he has just proved it again. There was a comment on our site referring to some of the IP/e-mail matching going on at another site recently which I’m quite irate about. Slater immediately jumped to the wrong conclusion, probably because he is known to datamatch private information himself and assumes everyone else has his low ethical standards.
A week or so ago, one of our commentators was having gossip spread around the Labour camp that they were one of our authors. Like all possible security breaches on this site I investigated because if it came from this site it would violate our privacy provisions (and I’d have someones guts for garters).
I contacted the two people concerned and established the following:-
If it had been The Standard that the leak had happened at, then the correct person would have been outed – not the commentator that got defamed. I am sure of where the breach of privacy happened, and it was not at this site. I am also sure of which site that the security breach happened at.
I immediately contacted two of the operators of the other blog site and informed them of the security breach at their site. I also told them that I was furious about it and that they’d better clean up their act pronto. Subsequently I’ve also become aware of other possible instances of privacy breaches at that site fitting a similar pattern.
We do not disclose any information to third parties. This includes what you add to your profile that is not public on the blog. In particular your real name and e-mail. Similarly if you are not logged in and enter a comment, we do not disclose the e-mail you enter on your message.
E-mail addresses are only used by the sysop or moderators if they need to contact you. This will usually be because of your behavior or other peoples behavior to you on the blog. Sometimes it will be used if we’re really interested in something you wrote.
IP’s are only used when looking at moderation and banning. We will often look to see other pseudonyms have been used by the same person on this site. Very useful when dealing with repeat offenders.
What you write in comments, your name/pseudonym and website is public and will be visible to anyone who reads the site. That is far more than the number of people who comment. Don’t write something that you’d be ashamed of in 20 years because it will probably still be visible. Better yet, don’t use your real name – use a pseudonym.
In a large part this statement is because of fools like Cameron Slater who show no respect for the privacy of people. He regularly attempts to ‘out’ our authors and even commentators (and invariably fails) and doesn’t even have a policy statement about privacy on his site. Neither does a similar fool on the site that leaked the the incorrect information.