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Print@CU, Spec, and Privacy Concerns

fuck erbody

Unless they’re all part of the Illuminati

When Sam “Ruby Prince” Aarons told us he was selling Print@CU to Spectator, we were happy for him–it’s a big sell and it makes sense; Sam’s graduating this year and Print@CU 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 Print@CU. 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 Print@CU 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:

“Print@CU 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.”

Print@CU’s unofficial flag via Shutterstock

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  • So... says:

    @So... what do we need to do to make sure our shit isn’t accessed/seen by spec?

    1. Sorry, but says:

      @Sorry, but they’re just not that into you.

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous don’t use print@cu, or for that matter any other service you don’t trust.

  • Damian says:

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

    1. I'm so sorry but says:

      @I'm so sorry but Sam Aarons more like Aaron Samuels

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous But what if I WANT Spec to stalk me?

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous There’s nothing stopping Spec from running a different version of Print@CU on the server than what is available publicly. Then they can siphon data a la Bloomberg.

  • The cat sitting behind you. says:

    @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 Print@CU 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.

  • yo says:

    @yo spec don’t give a fuck about your shitty papers


    1. Yeah says:

      @Yeah You guys Spec editors have enough things to read and copy edit already. They certainly don’t need more to keep them busy.

  • anon says:

    @anon let be honest spec sucks

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Can’t we just amend that to all college news sucking. Because they all suck hard enough to get a basketball through a garden hose.

  • Million Dollar Idea? says:

    @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.

    1. Alan? says:

      @Alan? is that you?



    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Claire idk who you are but today my print@cu name was “happy belated birthday Claire Parker” soo happy belated birthday.

  • Makes sense says:

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

  • lol bwog says:

    @lol bwog starting shit. typical

  • well says:

    @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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