Nov

3

[email protected], Spec, and Privacy Concerns

Written by

fuck erbody
fuck erbody

Unless they’re all part of the Illuminati

When Sam “Ruby Prince” Aarons told us he was selling [email protected] to Spectator, we were happy for him–it’s a big sell and it makes sense; Sam’s graduating this year and [email protected] will need upkeep after he’s gone.

But next thing we know we’re getting all these freaked tips and noticing concerned conversation by the sanest people in the room. There were worries about personal information and documents being gathered by Spec through [email protected] After taking a moment to indulge in conspiracy theories, we reached out to Sam to see how valid these privacy concerns are.

Per Sam, the owner of [email protected] only knows “the name of the document, where it was sent, metadata (double-sided, collated), the pseudonym, IP address and that’s it.”

Moreover, though, Aarons allayed fears of Spec changing the code to have access to more information–and it’s partly on you to watch out for that:

[email protected] is an open-source project meaning that everyone is free to view the source code and understand how the site works. By reading this source code, it’s clear to see that without exception documents are deleted right after being sent to the printers. Changing this behavior requires changing this publicly available code, thus making it clear to everyone what the new behavior is. Columbia has very strict privacy guidelines; so much so that I received a disciplinary hearing based on the thought that I could be doing such a thing. Having the code be open allows every party (user, owner, and school) to trust the application and allow it to continue working.”

[email protected]’s unofficial flag via Shutterstock

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19 Comments

  1. So...  

    what do we need to do to make sure our shit isn't accessed/seen by spec?

    • Sorry, but

      they're just not that into you.

    • Anonymous  

      don’t use [email protected], or for that matter any other service you don’t trust.

  2. Damian

    Spec already has all of your information. That's why Sammy Roth's hair is so big. It's full of secrets.

  3. Anonymous  

    But what if I WANT Spec to stalk me?

  4. Anonymous  

    There’s nothing stopping Spec from running a different version of [email protected] on the server than what is available publicly. Then they can siphon data a la Bloomberg.

  5. The cat sitting behind you.  

    Actually, you can do a lot with that data. For example, you can track trends in types of works being printed through [email protected] to various printers through keywords in the name of the document. It could be that certain printers have a history printing lots of essays and most likely ones to avoid when printing 5 minutes after class started.

  6. yo

    spec don't give a fuck about your shitty papers

    #sensationalistbwog

  7. anon

    let be honest spec sucks

  8. Million Dollar Idea?

    If I were starting a printing/copy shop and I worked near Princeton University, one interesting name would be "Prints-a-Ton University". Discuss.

  9. CLAIRE PARKER

    STILL WAITING FOR MY DATE WITH SAM AARONS, BWOG

    • Anonymous  

      Claire idk who you are but today my [email protected] name was "happy belated birthday Claire Parker" soo happy belated birthday.

  10. Makes sense  

    Because it would be impossible for Spec to run a different version on their servers

  11. lol bwog

    starting shit. typical

  12. well

    this is ridiculous. why is it that bwog is always shitting on spec but spec never shits on bwog? stop being a jealous little brother

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