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From: Vinnie Falco (vinnie.falco_at_[hidden])
Date: 2024-02-14 16:29:11

On Wed, Feb 14, 2024 at 8:10 AM Phil Endecott via Boost <
boost_at_[hidden]> wrote:

> Before worrying about the legal jargon, the important thing is to decide
> what your privacy policy actually is. The simplest privacy policy is
> "we don't record any personal information". It's not difficult to
> translate that from plain English to legal jargon.

The site records whatever you give it, plus what is publicly available. If
you enter your name we record that. So I think it is not technically
correct to say "we don't record any personal information."

> There are a couple of issues that make it a bit more complicated in
> this case. First, you're embedding YouTube videos on the site. YouTube
> is undoubtedly doing its best to "monetize" site visitors through those;

hmm...that's a good point. I think we should have an option to disable
YouTube embeds. I despise what Big Tech companies have done to our privacy.
This new Boost website should try to lead by example, and not force the
YouTube embeds along with the tracking it comes with. I have opened a new
issue for this that you can participate in here:

The second issue is the login. If I understand correctly, the forum
> is not yet active. If that's the case, I suggest that language to address
> that can be added later. What does the "sign up" form currently do?

When you sign up, an account is created which remembers settings. If you
then, for example, submit a News item, then when a moderator approves the
posting your screen name will appear along with your avatar as the author
of the news item. And when someone clicks the name or avatar they will see
your User Profile page. There will eventually be controls to let you decide
what appears on that page. Right now I think there's nothing there except
the avatar. But there will be things like, whether or not you are an
author, how many reviews you've participated in, and so on.

> If there is anything else that you are planning to do that involves
> personal information, please tell us!

Yes well there are a lot of ideas! The over-arching theme is to aggregate
all of the publicly available information about you which is relevant to
participation in Boost. How many GitHub issues you create, how many commits
to boostorg repos do you make, how many reviews do you write or manage, and
so on. I have a theory that one of the ways to stimulate participation in
Boost is to raise the level of visibility of the contributors that are
already here. A lot of what we do is "secret" not by choice but by
circumstance. There is precedent here. wg21 was largely unknown until
Boost, C++11, and conferences made it visible and then there was a
groundswell of participation (too much, in my opinion, but that's another
discussion). When the world moved away from mailing lists, Boost was kind
of stranded on its own island. This website is the land bridge for
connecting the rest of the world back to us, but in a way that preserves
the mailing list as the primary means of communication for engineers and

> No, you really don't need these documents "just to publish information
> legally". You need these documents if you plan to invade the privacy of
> site visitors.

I always thought it was stupid how every website has to ask about how many
cookies you want, instead of just putting that in the browser as a global
setting. A website cannot "invade the privacy of site visitors" without the
help of the browser. All a website can do on its own really, without the
user's input, is log your visits and whatever information the browser
sends. But this conversation is veering into the political so I should shut
up now.

> There were a couple of questions I asked before which I don't think
> have been answered yet. Firstly, whose site is it? Does it belong to
> Boost, or to C++ Alliance? (In legal terms, who is the "data controller"?)

Currently The C++ Alliance owns everything.

> If it belongs to Boost, then I think someone representing Boost really
> needs to sign off these documents.

Who "represents Boost?"

> Secondly, why is Google Analytics on the site?

When I ask, I am told that it is needed to generate visitor reports such as
which pages are popular, who is coming from where, and so on. I'm not happy
at all that one company has a monopoly on this, so I am open to hearing
reasonable alternatives. Google Analytics has a very robust set of features
for site operators. I wouldn't mind trading some of that for a system that
didn't give free data to Google.


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