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Codidact Meta is the meta-discussion site for the Codidact community network and the Codidact software. Whether you have bug reports or feature requests, support questions or rule discussions that touch the whole network – this is the site for you.

A Site for Privacy and Data Protection Enthusiasts

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Privacy is important. Especially in the time of the Internet.

Hence there are software solutions to improve your personal privacy (most commonly known: TOR). And there are laws, which mandate a certain level of privacy (most commonly known, likely: GDPR).

However, in my real life experience, few people know of what those laws mean and even fewer know of the tools. That's bad, because privacy is a human right. Furthermore, many laws are written in a confusing way, which most people don't understand. Therefore there may be companies, that want to fulfill the legal requirements, but need help with that.

What if there were a Codidact community for such Privacy enthusiasts?

Some things I'd suggest to consider on-topic:

  • Questions about the usage and functionality of privacy tools (TOR, VPNs, ...)
  • Questions about how to better protect your data while being online
  • Questions about privacy laws, including abstract case support (but of course no specific legal advise)
  • Questions about how to implement certain privacy law rules (for example: which type of cookie banner should I choose?) (possibly too subjective??)

Some things I'd suggest to consider off-topic:

  • specific legal advise
  • check-my-site-or-approach questions
  • questions asking for assistance with something clearly illegal (example: how do I buy illegal drug X on TOR)

Anything else? What do you think? Would you be interested?


Technical considerations (all suggestions by me; feel free to suggest something different):

  • Site Name: "Privacy"
  • Site URL: privacy.codidact.com
  • Special Features Needed: likely none, possibly MathJax for encryption stuff if that's on-topic
Why should this post be closed?

5 comments

Wouldn't all of this be covered either by a "Power User" site or a Law site? Or in case it's a pure technical question about how to implement something, Software Dev. Seems to me that the scope of this proposed site will be far to narrow to get an active community. Lundin‭ 20 days ago

Also, illegal content ought to be covered by the CoC and not by community scope. Lundin‭ 20 days ago

@Lundin Some of these things may be covered by a Power User or a Law site, yes. However, given what I currently know of our current user base, I assume that there are more people able to contribute in a Privacy than a general Law site. And yes, illegal content is banned via the ToC, but does it harm to specify it redundantly? luap42‭ 20 days ago

Might be worth quoting from our Privacy Policy: "We want you to be able to trust us when we say: that we respect your privacy; that we don’t ask for information we don’t need; that we take care of the information you give us." Privacy is a fundamental right, and I'm pleased to see that Codidact takes that seriously. DonielF‭ 20 days ago

Consider expanding this broader to Information Security, which includes these areas but has additional areas. How we, if more interested in the legal and regulatory aspects, perhaps consider a Law site since this is just one area of law. laserkittens‭ 19 days ago

5 answers

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The name "privacy" is too broad. My first mental images have nothing to do with what your proposed site is about. I think of how much the public can see me when I'm out and about doing things, how anonymous I am at the grocery store, stalking, what others know about how I vote, what I read, etc.

It seems you are really talking about internet or maybe on-line privacy. That's fine if that's what you want your site to be about, but recognize that is a small subset of overall "privacy".

broadening the scope to general "Security"?

That has the same problem as "privacy", in that I don't think you mean to include the lock on my front door, how to keep my car from getting stolen, a whole pile of doomsday prepper issues, how much the country should spend on its military, etc.

Names like "e-privacy", "online privacy", "data privacy", and "data security" seem to describe better what you intend the site to be.

The site name is the one thing that needs to be considered from everyone else's point of view. Once inside the site, you can use whatever domain-specific jargon the users agree on. But the site name has to make sense to everyone else out there.

1 comment

This is an interesting problem, I didn't really think about so far. I think the "official" term for this is "e-privacy", but as I understand it, the term excludes some aspects of data protection laws, namely how they are applied to non-digital data processing. Maybe "E-Privacy & Data Protection", or, as was suggested in an other answer, broadening the scope to general "Security"? What do you think? luap42‭ 20 days ago

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Inspired by the help page for the parallel Somewhere Else here's a few other test scenarios not already covered by your list:

  1. Security and privacy start before you sign on to the Internet. What hardware are you using, and in what physical environment? There's plenty to talk about offline in respect to online privacy as well; should such topics as social engineering (ex. phishing) and physical security of data centers and computers be on-topic?
  2. Cryptography is an incredibly broad field. Should the math piece of it be left to Math Codidact and the implementation to Software Codidact, or would we allow such questions on Privacy Codidact?

3 comments

Cryptography is more than maths, so it'd be interesting to see it here instead, although the abstract mathematical questions shouldn't be off-topic on maths Mithrandir24601‭ 20 days ago

Aye. Broadening the scope to more general "Security" might be a good idea. With regards to Crypto, I think anything that involves Crypto should be on-topic, also if it also includes Math. However, some math problem, that coincidentally is also relevant for Crypto, should be off-topic IMHO. luap42‭ 20 days ago

Sounds like a question about the math for crypto would be on-topic either on this community or on Math, and the asker would choose based on focus or personal preference. That's fine; scopes overlap sometimes. Monica Cellio‭ 20 days ago

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This is certainly a topic I'm interested in (I suppose I could be described as a "Privacy Enthusiast"), but I'm trying to understand exactly what kinds of questions and answers (and answerers, most importantly) this is going to try to attract. Is this primarily about online privacy, or also about being tracked through automated license plate readers or someone looking into my house through my living room window? Would questions about implementing better privacy for one's company or web site be on topic (like "How do I configure Apache to use TLS with Perfect Forward Secrecy?" or "What information can I ask of my employees when they request time off?") or just personal privacy?

I'm also wary of how one will draw the line at refusing to answer questions that are "clearly illegal", when laws and legality vary between jurisdictions. I mean, I suspect there are countries where the use of Tor at all could be illegal, though maybe a better example would be the use of Tor to circumvent "geo-blocking" may be against a site's terms of use which may or may not be illegal depending on the jurisdictions (or prosecutors) involved. While I think a resource for "How to use Tor" and similar tools would be a Good Thing, it can very quickly get into some murky waters that Codidact (as a young organization) may have second thoughts about dipping its toes into.

It also seems like it could be really broad. For example, I run my own mail server, in part because I like the privacy implications of owning my own data rather than it being hosted by a free "web mail" provider. So would that make any question about hosting one's own email on-topic? Or would it just be something like, "As a best practice you want your data to not be owned by other companies, but we can't help you actually implement doing so."?

And I think my main concern mostly comes down to this: Who will be the people answering questions here, since it seems like you'd need a wide variety to be able to give good comprehensive answers to anything privacy-related. Again I really like the high-level concept, I'm just having trouble picturing how it could end up really working in practice.

9 comments

Thanks for your interesting questions. I'm going to try to answer them, but feel free to remind me of some if I forget them. (1) as I intended it, this is supposed to be more about e-privacy, with the aspects of non-digital data protection (laws). However, some people suggested to broaden the scope to general "Security" and I'm generally open to that, although it'll need some consideration of course. luap42‭ 20 days ago

(2) re helping with privacy: I'm thinking, that any such question which is connected to privacy not just coincidentally should be on-topic. So if you have a setup and ask how to make it more secure/privacy friendly, on-topic (within the rules for good vs bad questions). However, asking how to configure a device, just because it has privacy settings, should be IMHO off-topic. luap42‭ 20 days ago

(3) you are right, that identifying posts as "illegal" is hard, especially with multinationality. Hence I was thinking, that only posts clearly intended to break the law should be off topic. So either it's obvious from the object (ex: buying drugs via TOR, child abuse/pornography) or it's obvious from the context (ex: "Hey, this is illegal here, how can I do it anyway?") luap42‭ 20 days ago

(4) for the email server question, I'd repeat my answer from (2). If something is just coincidental to privacy ("how do I set up a mail server"), it's IMHO off-topic, even though it may be caused by privacy aspects or considerations. luap42‭ 20 days ago

(5) I'm hoping that we'll find a broad set of interested people through this interest check post. And I think, we won't need to have experts for every possible sub-topic of Privacy/Security at the beginning; they'll likely come over time. So if we had experts in three or four main topics, that could possibly be fine (I'm not a community expert FWIW). I'm considering myself somehow a GDPR-expert (I read that thing at least ;)), so that's one :) luap42‭ 20 days ago

Show 4 more comments
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Record your interest here

If you are interested in helping to build this site, please leave a comment describing your level of interest (casual visitor, enthusiast, expert in this topic within the site's scope, something else?), or edit the post directly. I'll edit comments into the post later.

  • My level of interest in this would be between "casual visitor" and "enthusiast". — ghost-in-the-zsh‭

  • I would be a casual asker. I have almost no expertise to offer. - Monica Cellio

  • I'm an self-proclaimed expert with GDPR and would also be interested in asking and answering other questions - luap42

  • Count me in. I'm trying to get into the field more seriously, and I feel I have what to offer for true beginners as well. — DonielF‭

2 comments

My level of interest in this would be between "casual visitor" and "enthusiast". ghost-in-the-zsh‭ 21 days ago

Count me in. I'm trying to get into the field more seriously, and I feel I have what to offer for true beginners as well. DonielF‭ 20 days ago

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I suggest we divide Q&A into these two categories,

Q&A - General Q&A about what users can do to protect their privacy

  • Questions about the usage and functionality of privacy tools
    • Tor, VPNs, Adblockers, etc.
  • Questions about how to better protect your data while being online
    • E.g. browser configuration
  • Questions about how companies track you (and how to avoid being tracked)
    • "What is fingerprinting?"
    • "What are third-party cookies?"

Legal - Q&A about privacy laws (IF this is in scope)

  • Questions about privacy laws, including abstract case support (but of course no specific legal advise)
  • Questions about how to implement certain privacy law rules
    • "Which type of cookie banner should I choose?"

1 comment

Hard disagree, at least at first. I say include all of these questions in one category (especially considering the overlap between the two), and maybe at a later point we can split them into two categories if we see there's enough questions in each to warrant separate categories. DonielF‭ 20 days ago

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