Security and privacy

 
 
Picture of Mary James
Default setting shows email addresses of students
 

We use Moodle 1.9.5. I've learned the hard way on this - a default setting which shows people's email addresses in forum posts when the cron sends out emails. The default tooks like this:

Use email address in replyforum_replytouser
Default: Yes
When a forum post is mailed out, should it contain the user's email address so that recipients can reply personally rather than via the forum? Even if set to 'Yes' users can choose in their profile to keep their email address secret.
The trouble is that the default is Yes - isn't this a massive breach of privacy or should I have done a lot of other things in permissions? 
My point is, surely the default should be "No" so that if you want to show everyone's email addresses you actively have to do something?
Mary James, CIH
 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Bente Olsen
Re: Default setting shows email addresses of students
 
I agree that this subject is worth a discussion and that privacy has to be taken seriously. I do not feel though, that privacy is the issue here, while users can choose to hide their email addresses in their profile. I guess you normally would expect that it is common to use email in a virtual learning environment.
Instead I think that this setting contradict Moodles purpose to encourage collaboration?
 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Mary James
Re: Default setting shows email addresses of students
 

Bente,

I think it's the default setting which concerns me most.  Many students don't think to hide their email addresses, and I think we ought to protect ALL users on a site regardless of whether they individually want to be visible or not. In my case, we have 18,000 members on a course which is discussing Governance within our organisation. If I don't look after their email addresses, then I'd be letting them down as their professional body.

If the email address is disguised in the email from a forum, the student can't reply direct to the person who posted, instead they go to the forum and reply there to the benefit of all.

I don't know whether to log this in Tracker? What do you think?

Mary

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Bente Olsen
Re: Default setting shows email addresses of students
 
Hi Mary

You might have a point concerning the forum emails. Participants in general won't expect that their forum posts will be send by mail with their own address as sender. Besides it should be the participants them selves that choose to share their email address with others, Moodle should not make that decision for them.

Furthermore I think the 'single email pr forum' setting, is default for 'Email digest type' property in the user profile. I do not use that setting, but I guess Moodle only use the participants address when that setting is used?

So in the end I think it would be a good idea to change these two default settings - from both a privacy and a collaborative point of view (forum posts should be replied to in forum).

/Bente
 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Mary James
Re: Default setting shows email addresses of students
 

Hi Bente, I have logged this in the Tracker as MDL 20404 and I'll hope the developers agree to my suggestion. Thanks for your support.

Mary

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Bente Olsen
Re: Default setting shows email addresses of students
 
Hi Mary

I have given you my vote on MDL-20404 and created MDL-20405 for the Email digest type - in the tracker it is to different issues.

Bente
 
Average of ratings:Useful (1)
Picture of Chad Outten
Re: Default setting shows email addresses of students
Group Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Testers
+1 for MDL-20405
 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Andreas Gounaris
Re: Default setting shows email addresses of students
 

Are there any news on this?

I'm using version 2.0 RC1 and I still can't find any global setting for the default behavior. I strongly support the idea of having the default set to "hide" so all students reply through the site, especially in forum posts. Other users should definitely see all replies, that's the point of the forum anyway.

Taking a step further, I would suggest the bottom menu of a message to include an extra link "reply privately" which will do the job. No need to say that a precondition for this functionality to be enabled, at the user level, is when senders have set their email address visibility to true.

This is really important to me right now, if anybody has any workaround, I would be grateful.

Thanks

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Helen Foster
Re: Default setting shows email addresses of students
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Hi Andreas,

The setting 'Use email address in reply' can be found in Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > Forum in Moodle 2.0.

 
Average of ratings:Useful (2)
Picture of Andreas Gounaris
Re: Default setting shows email addresses of students
 

I've missed this one, thank you Helen

 
Average of ratings: -