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posted by on Sunday February 23 2020, @03:20PM   Printer-friendly
from the anything-not-illegal-is-compulsory dept.

Bleh. Apparently not caring what you do on other sites or even requiring any personal information isn't good enough for the state of Confusion^WCalifornia, so we have a shiny, new, temporary Privacy Policy posted on every page and linked at the top of the nav bar.

If you feel like prettying the language, layout, or whatever up before I get around to it, feel free to do so and submit a pull request.

 
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1 (2)
  • (Score: 2) by canopic jug on Sunday February 23 2020, @05:38PM (9 children)

    by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 23 2020, @05:38PM (#961462) Journal

    There is a lot of text in the policy. Would you please make the type size a lot smaller so that it is clear it is a footer or notice and not part of the informational part of the page?

    --
    Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday February 23 2020, @05:50PM (8 children)

      by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Sunday February 23 2020, @05:50PM (#961467) Homepage Journal

      Oh all right. 80% work for you?

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 2) by canopic jug on Sunday February 23 2020, @06:17PM

        by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 23 2020, @06:17PM (#961480) Journal

        Thank you very much! It's a small change, but appreciated. The size differencce is enough to break the flow so that it stays separate visually.

        --
        Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24 2020, @03:13PM (6 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24 2020, @03:13PM (#961844)

        One more small request -- could the paragraph at the bottom of the page be below the link line:

                      Home About FAQ Journals Topics Authors ...

        Privacy Policy: We don't track anyone ...

        I use the bottom "Home" link fairly often and it seems like it takes one more scroll wheel move to get past the new text.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday February 24 2020, @10:49PM (5 children)

          by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Monday February 24 2020, @10:49PM (#962053) Homepage Journal

          Don't have time to this evening. You're welcome to talk Bytram or chromas into it on IRC though. It's just a template change and a bounce to implement.

          Bytram/chromas: the default, misc, footer template from the web interface. Test any changes on dev first. Use the /home/bob/bin/bounce script on the appropriate server (dev(lithium) or prod(hydrogen AND fluorine)) after saving any changes if you want to see them.

          --
          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2020, @12:39AM (4 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2020, @12:39AM (#962108)

            Thanks for the reply. It sounds like you agree with putting the notice at the very bottom of the page--but I have no idea if this makes sense for a majority of users.

            Any further comments?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2020, @09:13AM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2020, @09:13AM (#962294)

              It makes sufficient sense to me such that I could probably do this if I had access. I just don't know why he posted it here.

              • (Score: 2) by martyb on Wednesday February 26 2020, @05:23PM (2 children)

                by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 26 2020, @05:23PM (#962970) Journal
                I can't speak for TMB, but I suspect that in only one reply, he can answer both you and chromas and me. Am not at my PC atm, but will get to it as soon as I can, unless one of them can do it before I do.
                --
                Wit is intellect, dancing.
                • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday February 26 2020, @09:38PM (1 child)

                  by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Wednesday February 26 2020, @09:38PM (#963120) Homepage Journal

                  Yup, efficiency. I don't really care where it goes as long as it doesn't make the site look like the north end of a southbound water buffalo.

                  --
                  My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2020, @04:34PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2020, @04:34PM (#963577)

                    > One more small request -- could the paragraph at the bottom of the page be below the link line:

                    Hey, I just got to the bottom of a page and the privacy policy is now at the very bottom.

                    Thank you to whoever made the change. At least to me, this is going to be easier to use. Hope that others agree.

  • (Score: 2) by Mojibake Tengu on Sunday February 23 2020, @06:55PM (2 children)

    by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Sunday February 23 2020, @06:55PM (#961494) Journal

    ...we share with nobody.

    Sharing any information with some Nobody is quite suspicious.

    I well remember that one, a hypnotizer who can change his face at will:
    https://www.databazeknih.cz/knihy/nobody-sesitova-nobody-muz-z-neznama-31762 [databazeknih.cz]

    Also, another Nobody stranger is
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Nobody_%28film%29 [wikipedia.org]

    --
    Rust programming language offends both my Intelligence and my Spirit.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by shortscreen on Sunday February 23 2020, @07:54PM

    by shortscreen (2252) on Sunday February 23 2020, @07:54PM (#961525) Journal

    old situation: massive abuse of users

    "maybe this should be regulated"

    new situation: massive abuse of users, and every page has a box to check where the user "agrees" to the abuse

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2020, @08:08PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2020, @08:08PM (#961530)

    I posted the initial comment about needing a privacy. You do collect a small amount of personally identifying information such as hashed IP addresses and, if logged in, the user name, email address, and other user-submitted content. I don't think it's correct to say you don't collect any personally identifying information. The other question is whether users can request that their accounts be deleted. Slashdot does allow this, and I believe the content of the posts from that user are changed to indicate that the account has been deleted.

    Not directly related to this, but there are a number of very out-of-date pages on the wiki such as about finances [soylentnews.org] and meetings of the board of directors [soylentnews.org]. I'm letting you know that those pages haven't been updated in years. It's not clear to me that being a Delaware PBC requires you to provide such information to people who don't own stock, but the intent expressed on the wiki is to allow ordinary users to attend meetings and ensure that their concerns are raised.

    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday February 24 2020, @01:31AM (6 children)

      by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Monday February 24 2020, @01:31AM (#961646) Homepage Journal

      I don't think it's correct to say you don't collect any personally identifying information.

      By California law it is. IP addresses may be a double-edged sword but that's one we actually won in the courts as not being legally personally identifiable. User-submitted content? That is on you. Exactly like writing your number on a stall wall after "For a good time, call". And the email address can be an MD5 hash of /dev/urandom, as long as it has an @ poked in it somewhere. So try selling your nonsense to someone who's stupid enough to buy it.

      Now the second part? Yeah, you're dead on about that. We haven't had a formal meeting in years (We have constant informal ones on IRC but I recognize that you want to nit-pick). We've no need to provide any info to the two guys who hold stock though. They do the bill paying and are the only ones who have access to the bank account since our last treasurer bowed out for personal reasons and they took up the thankless tasks of bookkeeping and paying taxes. martyb would love to be able to update those pages but not having a proper treasurer or board meetings makes that a bit of a no-go.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24 2020, @03:21AM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24 2020, @03:21AM (#961703)

        SoylentNews wouldn't exist in anything close to its current state were it not for your users. They purchase subscriptions, submit story ideas, and make lively discussions. The bottom line is that you should do right by your users.

        When whipslash purchased Slashdot, he promised to do things differently and users welcomed him with open arms. He didn't keep those promises. His interactions with users have generally turned bitter. The site is littered with trackers and ads but he seems uninterested in bring back subscriptions and using the money to make improvements. He is under no legal obligation to keep his promises to improve Slashdot. However, users feel he hasn't done right by them.

        You make a very similar impression to whipslash, rather combative toward your users. You say that you're just an ordinary user who happens to have administrative privileges. Pretty much no one accepts the mental gymnastics involved. You're not an ordinary user, a fact that is very apparent when you can see the hashed IPs of both logged-in and AC comments, then divulge whether those match between comments. If you don't want users to associate your behavior with the administration of this site, you absolutely have the ability to create another account and not tell anyone who you are. You can post whatever you want and nobody will associate it with the administration. You've made a decision not to do so. When users feel you haven't done right by them, that's when they "nit pick" and argue with you.

        I asked about account deletion, something you didn't actually answer. I also tried to suggest that even if the law doesn't consider some things to be personally identifying, users view it that way. Even if you don't think that hashed IP addresses are personally identifying, telling users that you collect that data and keep it for a certain amount of time is the right thing to do. As for the finances, what I said is I don't think the law requires that information to be publicly disclosed except to shareholders. However, I brought it to your attention anyway because, at a minimum, if you're not holding regular meetings and aren't disclosing financial reports, you may want to clarify that on those pages.

        The gratitude expressed in this story [soylentnews.org], SoylentNews' staff would do well to also express in other interactions with the users of this site. Frankly speaking, the reason I am somewhat hostile toward you is because I don't believe you conduct yourself in good faith toward others. I started reading this site because I was turned off by the hostile attitude of their owner. At times it doesn't seem like SoylentNews is much better.

        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday February 24 2020, @01:23PM (2 children)

          by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Monday February 24 2020, @01:23PM (#961812) Homepage Journal

          If you don't like my tone, adjust your approach. Come at me from the start with disingenuous bullshit attacks that you care nothing about except in how much of a rise they get out of me and you're not going to be met with any sort of a professional demeanor. You bring me genuine concerns offered with dignity and respect and you'll receive dignity and respect in return. You act like a shithead troll, I'm going to call you a shithead troll and not care about anything you have to say.

          As for account deletion? We don't do account deletion. We never will. You have every right in the world to change your contact email to president@whitehouse.gov, change your password to a random MD5 hash, not write it down, and be unable to ever log in again but not one thing you say will ever be disassociated with your username. Like life, we don't offer do-overs.

          As for the wiki pages? Talk to martyb(here)/Bytram(on IRC) if you actually have genuine complaints you'd like looked into. I don't have anything to do with the wiki except fixing it when it breaks. I was just relaying the situation to you.

          --
          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
          • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24 2020, @09:56PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24 2020, @09:56PM (#962023)

            I had typed up a retort to your comment about "shithead trolls" but I'm choosing not to post it. I'm not interested in continuing a war of words. Just as you think I'm a "shithead troll," I've thought you were drunk on power. As long as both parties choose to respond in kind, those perceptions won't change, and nothing good will come from it. That's why I'm stopping.

            Have you ever noticed that the political journal entries get 100 comments with no problem but most of the news stories posted by the editors get maybe 10-20 comments? Perhaps there's a longer residence time in the "recent journal entries" than for actual news stories, but I doubt that's the reason. I think people just like to beat each other over the head, figuratively speaking.

            I took a break from my work this afternoon to take a walk. I'm waiting on some jobs to complete and there's not a whole lot I can do until they finish running. I've gained about 30 pounds since taking my job about eight months ago and I really need to lose that weight. Some of that is due to being more sedentary and some is due to making poor decisions from the stress of dealing with a boss who is neither particularly respectful nor particularly competent. Because of the extra weight I need to lose, I sometimes get lower back pain while walking, and it causes me to walk a bit awkwardly. It's my fault for not taking action about this sooner. As I was walking and minding my own business, two women were raking a lawn when I walked past and felt the need to mock my walking for no good reason. I hadn't said anything to them, hadn't gestured to them, nor had I ignored any efforts from theirs to be polite. They weren't interested in being polite or civil. They had loud music blaring laced with profane and violent messages for all to hear. I doubt they had any interest in civility. They just felt the need to be assholes for the sake of being assholes.

            From what I can tell, there is a non-negligible amount of people who really seem to enjoy being assholes to others. Quite a few more just love to argue even when nothing productive will come from it. I strongly disagree with many aspects of your political views and I have some objections to how this site is run, but there's no reason we can't be civil to one another. I'm making the choice not to fire back with some retort that further escalates this. Arguing about politics is mostly a waste of time here, too. Almost nobody is changing their views. It's just the usual suspects beating each other over the head, figuratively speaking.

            This comment is not an attack on you, but observations about how things seem to work. It's unfortunate.

            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday February 24 2020, @11:13PM

              by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Monday February 24 2020, @11:13PM (#962065) Homepage Journal

              Like I said, man, the tone you get back from me on site matters is entirely up to you. This sort of stuff is my profession and I'm quite used to compartmentalizing and behaving in a professional manner in regards to it. I do not silently endure being insulted to my face though; I'm good enough at my job that I don't have to.

              As for story discussions... Yeah, there's only so many things about gravitational waves being detected from something where they hadn't been detected before that you can say without much deeper knowledge or repeating yourself. Politics is people though and there is always more to say on that front. Don't look to change anyone else's views, you're not going to because it's literally not possible. Only you can change your views; ditto for the rest of humanity. So use the arguments as crowdsourced internal debate and be willing to change your own views. That's primarily why I discuss politics at all. That and I enjoy mocking idiots. Feel free to consider that a character flaw if you like but I don't. I consider it negative reinforcement in the hopes that they'll put at least a little thought into their argument next time.

              --
              My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 2) by martyb on Thursday March 05 2020, @11:52PM

          by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 05 2020, @11:52PM (#967159) Journal

          I apologize for being late coming to this discussion.

          Do be aware that *I* found your comments to be level-headed and non-confrontational. You raise some very good points. In my pursuit of answers to questions raised by you (and others) in this discussion, I reached out to a board member for up-to-date financial information. I received a number of PDF files in reply. With the help of other staff members (why should something so simple be so difficult to do?), we got the files uploaded to our Wiki server and I then updated our Finances [soylentnews.org] page according. From that page you can now access a copy of the Balance Sheet AND a copy of the Profit and Loss Statement for each of our fiscal years.

          Furthermore, a story is currently scheduled for release tomorrow morning (Friday), that addresses finances and some other matters, as well.

          I thank you for reaching out and making your concerns known. If need be, I can be reached directly via e-mail at martyb (at) soylentnews (dot) org.

          --martyb

          --
          Wit is intellect, dancing.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24 2020, @04:45PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24 2020, @04:45PM (#961881)

        Serious question... Why does a Delaware entity give a rat's behind about California law? I wouldn't.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2020, @09:41PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2020, @09:41PM (#961573)

    is a post that makes a server crash considered "keeping a log"?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2020, @09:45PM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2020, @09:45PM (#961576)

    1) Why would California law apply to an organization that does not do business in California? Actual impact, not potential impact claimed by consultants to sell privacy policies.
    2) Is this related to TMB possibly abusing his admin access to find out the author of a comment: https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=36169&cid=960914 [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2020, @10:09PM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2020, @10:09PM (#961586)

      SN doesn't block Californians from using it.

      One endpoint of the transaction is therefore in CA jurisdiction.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2020, @10:18PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2020, @10:18PM (#961589)

        So why isn't CA already blocking websites that don't comply with its laws because that's how it ends isn't it?

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2020, @10:45PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2020, @10:45PM (#961601)

        As it does not contain enforcement provisions of its own, CalOPPA is expected to be enforced through California's Unfair Competition Law (UCL),[7] which prohibits unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business acts or practices.

        SN does not do business in California. The corporation is not regulated by California. Is there a federal law that makes a Delaware non-profit subject to state laws of another jurisdiction?

        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday February 24 2020, @01:41AM

          by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Monday February 24 2020, @01:41AM (#961651) Homepage Journal

          Shitty bench law, yes.

          --
          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24 2020, @02:53AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24 2020, @02:53AM (#961687)

          This isn't directly relevant to your question but SoylentNews is NOT legally a non-profit. Absolutely false. They are registered in Delaware as a public benefit corporation. A PBC can make a profit. However, the board of directors is under no legal obligation to prioritize shareholder profits above all else. SoylentNews may choose not to turn a profit at this time, but that is absolutely NOT the same as a non-profit.

          • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday February 24 2020, @01:29PM (1 child)

            by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Monday February 24 2020, @01:29PM (#961813) Homepage Journal

            This is true. To date there's been no functional difference though. Our two shareholders still refuse to let us even pay them back (buy back the stock), much less start paying dividends or anything like that.

            I'm really not sure why we went the stock route instead of having debt on the books. Apparently there's some accounting/taxes reasons it's better.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
            • (Score: 2) by martyb on Friday March 06 2020, @12:00AM

              by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 06 2020, @12:00AM (#967166) Journal

              My recollection is a bit hazy, but my understanding is that we needed an initial "stake" to get the site up-and-running. Having benevolent shareholders (who also happen to be our current board of directors) was a means to an end. It also afforded us a means to control our own destiny insomuch as we are not financially beholden to some outside entity.

              As for paying the shareholders back, I have recently been made aware that what I thought had been an operating surplus (subscriptions less expenses) has actually been an operating loss the past couple of years. A story is currently scheduled to go out tomorrow morning which will provide more information and provide documentation as to our current financial state.

              --martyb

              --
              Wit is intellect, dancing.
    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2020, @10:56PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2020, @10:56PM (#961608)

      Hopefully this: https://www.natlawreview.com/article/california-consumer-privacy-act-series-part-1-applicability-0 [natlawreview.com]
      can shed some more authoritative light on the matter.

      Most of the CCPA’s obligations apply directly to a “business,” which is an entity that:
      1. Handles personal information about California residents
      2. Determines the purposes and means of processing that personal information
      3. Does business in California and meets one of the following threshold requirements:
      a. Has annual gross revenues in excess of US$25 million
      b. Annually handles personal information regarding at least
      50,000 consumers, households, or devices
      c. Derives 50% or more of its annual revenue from selling personal information

      Haha, no.

      As for the applicability of foreign entities:

      1. Activity Wholly Outside of California
      The CCPA does not apply to conduct that takes place wholly outside of California, although it is unclear how such an exemption will apply in practice. The statute provides that this exemption applies if:
      • The business collects information while the consumer is outside of California
      • No part of the sale of the consumer’s personal information occurs in California
      • No personal information collected while the consumer is in California is sold
      Determining when a consumer is outside of California when his or her personal information is collected will be challenging for businesses. For example, given that an IP address is expressly included as personal information under the law, is a business supposed to do a reverse-lookup to determine whether an individual’s IP address originates in California?

      SN does not sell data in California. So all the excitement a nothingburger.

      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday February 24 2020, @01:39AM (1 child)

        by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Monday February 24 2020, @01:39AM (#961650) Homepage Journal

        We actually do qualify because we take subscriptions from California residents and handle personal information (email addresses) regarding at least 50k consumers, households, or devices. Now I'm pretty sure we could get any legal action thrown out because California is not entitled to legislate for any consumers, households, or devices outside California and we do not do business with enough Californians. But it would be a pain.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 2) by martyb on Friday March 06 2020, @12:10AM

          by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 06 2020, @12:10AM (#967170) Journal

          We actually do qualify because we take subscriptions from California residents and handle personal information (email addresses) regarding at least 50k consumers, households, or devices. Now I'm pretty sure we could get any legal action thrown out because California is not entitled to legislate for any consumers, households, or devices outside California and we do not do business with enough Californians. But it would be a pain.

          As of my writing this, we have a total of 9,673 registered nicknames for the site. That is well below he 50K threshold... even tallying up separate devices or households, I could argue that we are currently under the limit. That said, there is the matter that if ever were taken to court, unless we could find pro bono representation, any such activity would likely quickly drain our coffers. It behooves us to avoid, therefore, even the appearance of impropriety.

          AFAIK, IANAL, YMMV, EIEIO! =)

          --
          Wit is intellect, dancing.
    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday February 24 2020, @01:34AM

      by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Monday February 24 2020, @01:34AM (#961648) Homepage Journal

      That's not abuse. That info is clearly and intentionally displayed on every comment for all editors and admins.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday February 24 2020, @10:09PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Monday February 24 2020, @10:09PM (#962036) Journal

    Does it even exist anymore? Doesn't look like it. [wikipedia.org]

    Also, why is the privacy policy link plastered in every slashbox?

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Tuesday February 25 2020, @04:06AM (1 child)

    by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 25 2020, @04:06AM (#962213) Homepage Journal

    The thing is, we do collect data the users provide us. We collect everything they post!

    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday February 26 2020, @09:52PM

      by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Wednesday February 26 2020, @09:52PM (#963139) Homepage Journal

      Technically true but having a privacy policy on comments would be like having a privacy policy on graffiti that kids spray on your wall. I do appreciate a good bit of wiseassery though, so don't take that as a dissuasion.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
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