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Surveys, security and wanting to help

Camino(s) past & future
April (2015) SJPdP to SdC; Porto to SdC April (2016)
#1
This forum has had many posts from people asking members to participate in their surveys for academic purposes and many of us are happy to do so, but I think that perhaps there needs to be guidelines or basic requirements for the use of the forum by people soliciting what might turn out to be personal information. I say this because I received an email this week from a budget hotel company in the UK, whose accommodation services I have used for many years. They were informing me that their systems had been hacked and although financial details had not been compromised, email addresses had been accessed and that I should look out for any abnormal activity in my email account in the future. I read somewhere else that, in fact, date of birth and names had been accessed. Data mining (collection) is a lucrative business and the unscrupulous will try any way to get us to part with the information they can sell on to others. This post is not aimed at being alarmist, just asking if anyone thinks that we need to do more here to ensure that only genuine researchers/students etc., people with no financial objectives, are using the forum to collect info.
 

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falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#3
just asking if anyone thinks that we need to do more here to ensure that only genuine researchers/students etc., people with no financial objectives, are using the forum to collect info.
Probably not. Commercial items, like a book, get one post, and even "bumps" of that post by the author may get deleted. Personal information such as phone numbers and email addresses are prohibited, and are deleted from posts. Each Member can appraise a post/survey and choose to participate. I doubt that the Moderators want to get into the business of determining who is "genuine"!! It is hard enough monitoring threads about "who is a REAL pilgrim.":)

I dropped Facebook a half-dozen years ago because of the security concerns that now have its users confronting their addiction to it. Each of us makes choices, and choices have consequences. I personally like the freedom to make mistakes (and the freedom to avoid making them a second time).
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
#4
This forum has had many posts from people asking members to participate in their surveys for academic purposes and many of us are happy to do so, but I think that perhaps there needs to be guidelines or basic requirements for the use of the forum by people soliciting what might turn out to be personal information. I say this because I received an email this week from a budget hotel company in the UK, whose accommodation services I have used for many years. They were informing me that their systems had been hacked and although financial details had not been compromised, email addresses had been accessed and that I should look out for any abnormal activity in my email account in the future. I read somewhere else that, in fact, date of birth and names had been accessed. Data mining (collection) is a lucrative business and the unscrupulous will try any way to get us to part with the information they can sell on to others. This post is not aimed at being alarmist, just asking if anyone thinks that we need to do more here to ensure that only genuine researchers/students etc., people with no financial objectives, are using the forum to collect info.
I usually stop when the request for info gets too personal.

Wanted to buy a vegetable slicer once in the webshop of LIDL and needed to fill in my date of birth to make the purchase. I still wonder why anyone would deem that necessary? Anyway, two options: fill in a ficticious date - as long as it is over 18 and under 110 - or stop the purchase, and I choose the latter.

I do not have FB and I am very happy to use nicknames and silly avatars on the internet.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#5
I am not on FB either, nor have I ever been. Sometimes I feel like I am "missing out" and am tempted to finally sign up, but refrain, staying committed to try and keep what is left of my privacy and also know I would probably spend too much time lurking.
Being on this forum is another story ;) but at least there is more anonymity and one internet addiction is enough for me. Lol!
 

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natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#6
Thanks for the word of caution, @SEB . I used to freely give out all sorts of information, and now that the data protection laws in Europe are forcing websites to be more transparent, I see *how many* companies were tracking me before. And living overseas, I loved Facebook and used it often to connect with friends back home, but with the dawn of facial-recognition technology and newspapers/websites grabbing things off Facebook that one would think would be private information, I've scaled back a ton and removed old photos. I feel like a Debbie Downer sometimes in this area but I definitely don't want people tracking my kids' cyber footprint all over the place.

Well, this strayed a bit from your original post but since we're all sharing....
 

Paladina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycled caminos francés, Finisterre, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles et al (2018)
#7
This forum has had many posts from people asking members to participate in their surveys for academic purposes and many of us are happy to do so, but I think that perhaps there needs to be guidelines or basic requirements for the use of the forum by people soliciting what might turn out to be personal information....I read somewhere else that, in fact, date of birth and names had been accessed. Data mining (collection) is a lucrative business and the unscrupulous will try any way to get us to part with the information they can sell on to others.
A useful warning, but no survey that I have come across on this site has requested my date of birth.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#8
Academic surveys generally require participants to sign an informed consent. Data from volunteers on this site would certainly not be random or unbiased, anyway. But if one is just looking for help with homework, let us know upfront and I'm sure many would be happy to help.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April (2015) SJPdP to SdC; Porto to SdC April (2016)
#9
This is not Camino related but it is a serious issue that follows on from my original post. The university to which I am affiliated uses Gmail for our emails and I have just read that Google has admitted that the system can enable third party access to our emails. I discovered that Academia.edu and Pinterest have had access to my private communications ever since I used Google to sign up to them. This is quite a shocking abuse of privacy but apparently legal as consent for access is 'hidden' in the small print. Just spent 15 minutes sorting out how to remove access and tracking for YouTube viewings, ads etc.. I advise any forum members using Gmail to check on their privacy settings, particularly under the category of 'access' and see who has been given permission to read what you write.:mad:
 

truenorthpilgrim

"Adventure is Worthwhile" - Aesop
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances (2016)
C. Finesterre (2016)
#10
This is not Camino related but it is a serious issue that follows on from my original post. The university to which I am affiliated uses Gmail for our emails and I have just read that Google has admitted that the system can enable third party access to our emails. I discovered that Academia.edu and Pinterest have had access to my private communications ever since I used Google to sign up to them. This is quite a shocking abuse of privacy but apparently legal as consent for access is 'hidden' in the small print. Just spent 15 minutes sorting out how to remove access and tracking for YouTube viewings, ads etc.. I advise any forum members using Gmail to check on their privacy settings, particularly under the category of 'access' and see who has been given permission to read what you write.:mad:
Thank you for this! Just cleaned up my account settings...
 

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