Kate the Short (kateshort) wrote in suggestions,
Kate the Short

Standardize and increase privacy options for information in profile.

Standardize and increase privacy options for information in profile.

Short, concise description of the idea
Allow users to set each individual piece of their profile information so that it will display to Everyone, Registered Users, Friends Only, or Nobody.

Full description of the idea
Currently, the security and privacy levels on the different pieces of profile information are not consistent:

* Schools: Everybody, Friends Only, Nobody.

* Website: If you enter it, it shows to Everybody.

* Location: Registered Users, Nobody.

* Contact info: Everybody, Friends Only, Nobody.
* EXCEPTION: IM Contact info for LJTalk: Can hide the LJTalk address and show it to Nobody even if the others are shown to Everybody.

* Text messaging: Everybody, Registered Users, Friends Only, Nobody.

Some of us have IM nicknames or website addresses that actually include our real names, so it would be nice to . Likewise, some of us would like to be able to list our location information and show it only to our Friends, something a little more secure than showing it to all registered users.

Therefore, I'm asking whether the above fields can have increased and standardized security, so that you can choose to display some of them to Everyone (maybe I don't mind my schools being listed, 'cause they're Hogwarts and Unseen University, and that info can be indexed by search engines), some only to Registered Users (maybe my LJTalk address, so anyone logged in can see it but I won't get spam email from it), some only to Friends (maybe my website address that includes my last name, so that's it isn't publicly connected to my LJ username and other information), and some to Nobody (temporarily hide it from stalkers, or stuff that I assume LJ uses for statistical purposes).

While we're at it, I'd LOVE to have that option for each individual IM address (we all know that some people have public IM addresses and some that are friends only), but that may need to be a further suggestion down the line.

An ordered list of benefits
  • Better choice among security options for profile information will make LJ users happier.
  • Consistency of security options for different pieces of profile information may make it easier for users to understand what can be shown and what can be hidden.
  • Ability to display some information just to Registered Users or Friends instead of just to Everyone will make users happy, since they will be less likely to get spammed by random individuals.

An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • Some people will not feel that the work justifies the level of privacy (the "nothing on the Internet is really private, even friends-locked LJ posts" argument).
  • Some people will feel that it's so much easier to just post any of that information in a Friends-locked post. (This is true, but then what's the point of having *any* privacy settings for *any* of the profile information? And besides, if I want to see if I can contact someone who just friended me or contacted me in some way, I first look to their profile page-- I don't surf through their entire journal seeing where they listed their IM screennames, their personal website, their contact email, and the like.)
  • If implemented, it will take time (=$) to code and further time to implement and test.
  • The info that is already there may need to default to whatever the original settings were, and that may be more difficult to code.
  • Some of the new coding may be broken in some way, so people will bitch about the changes.
  • There will be Drama, for this is LJ. :)

An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
  • Discuss here in suggestions.
  • Post a survey to lj_feedback to get input from a larger group of users as to the kinds of changes they want for the security of some of these items. See which of those items seem to be a big priority vs. less of a priority.
  • Assign someone to code the items, starting with the items that seem to be the biggest priority and the easiest to do.
  • Base the coding on existing coding for profile information (perhaps on the "accept text messages from" module, since that has coding for Everyone, Registered Users, Friends, Nobody).
  • Announce the upcoming change/benefits in lj_releases and/or news at least a week ahead of time, so that the users know what's being implemented when and aren't surprised by it.
  • Implement the coding and watch LJ rejoice in the new security level(s).
  • If necessary, repeat as needed for items lower down on the feedback survey.
Tags: profile/userinfo, security, ~ listed - needs retagging
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