Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

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david63
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by david63 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:57 pm

DavidIQ wrote:As far as I understand this cookie law, since it's VigLink setting the cookie and not the board it shouldn't matter to the board owner.
As a board/site owner I would not want to use that argument in court - especially as VigLink are not complying with the law in the EU - they make great store of FTC compliance but that is as far as it goes.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Marshalrusty » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:02 pm

Unfortunately, this is stuck in a bit of a loop, and I'd like to get to a point where you may not agree, but can at least see where we're coming from.

Thus, having read and re-read your posts, I would like to summarize our thoughts one more time, and ask that you read these before posting again so that we can focus on fresh ideas and input.

1) phpBB needs a steady stream on income in order to implement the kinds of programs we believe could have a tangible effect on the quality of the product. Off the top of my head, this includes a serious UI update, profound improvements to social media integration options, better notifications, etc.
2) Donations are not a realistic means of generating a sufficient revenue stream to make this happen. That doesn't mean we'll never accept donations, but it's not an either/or scenario, and thus is not the subject at hand.
3) There are many other noticeably invasive solutions that we did not like. VigLink doesn't affect the user experience in a tangible way.
4) Users who are taking steps, such as using browser extensions, to block ads/tracking/etc. will not be tangibly affected. Users who do not utilize these methods will likewise not be tangibly affected because nearly every other website they're visiting is doing much more than using VigLink to monetize their visitors.
5) You can choose not to enable VigLink if you don't want to. It will ask you during installation/updating and if you don't accept it, the extension will not be enabled. If there are currently bugs with this behavior in certain cases, they will be fixed. This is why we test stuff.
6) The phpBB community is diverse, quite intelligent, and had lots of differing opinions. It would be unthinkable to expect unanimous consent on the best way to do anything, let alone something as polarizing as monetization. We have carefully considered many different options and arrived at this one. You may not agree that this is the best option, but I guarantee that you have not thought about this as long as I have, or looked at as much data on this as I have. At the end of the day, we have to try stuff, and this is what we're going to try. If it doesn't work out as expected, then we'll try something else. The one thing we won't do is sit around and do nothing.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by invenio » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:43 pm

@Marshalrusty

Thank you for explaining this clearly. I have to say that I will be disabling this on my board. I run a completely advertisement free board (whether my users notice or not). I would love to have a donate option where I can show my support for phpBB directly (without any middleman or burden on my board users). If there is any other way I can contribute please let me know.

Thank you and all the other developers for your hard work and dedication to this software.

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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by HiFiKabin » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:47 pm

Marshalrusty wrote:<snip>
5) You can choose not to enable VigLink if you don't want to. It will ask you during installation/updating and if you don't accept it, the extension will not be enabled. If there are currently bugs with this behavior in certain cases, they will be fixed. This is why we test stuff.<snip>

Then I hope that this will be fixed. As it is you have to choose NOT to enable VigLink.

ALSO, re cookies. phpBB ships COPPA as part of the core. COPPA is law in the USA (some or all states. I have no idea as I live in the UK)

The Cookie Law https://www.cookielaw.org/the-cookie-law/ is applicable to ALL EU countries, yet phpBB does not seem to care.

(put simply, if your website or any add on within it drops a cookie on the users browser, then the user MUST agree to accept it. Pure functionality cookies are excluded. VigLink cookies do not IMHO fit into this catagory)

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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Pond Life » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:21 pm

Marshalrusty wrote:2) Donations are not a realistic means of generating a sufficient revenue stream to make this happen.
How can you possibly know this for certain if you won't even try it?

The cookie law is a serious concern to those of us who run sites in EU countries, that concern will not be diminished by your indifference to it. Your comments about Facecrook and Google are not relevant, I can easily avoid them, avoiding my own site would be rather silly though. You said this topic was to gauge the community reaction but when some of the community voice their concerns you try to shut us up. You have now made it clear that you will do what you want regardless of our opinions so I'm out now. I will be sticking with 3.1.x unless the 'optional' extension is completely that, opt in - disabled from the start with no effect unless the site admin chooses to enable it, like any other extension.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by canonknipser » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:28 pm

HiFiKabin wrote:yet phpBB does not seem to care.
IANAL, but isn't phpBB Limited as owner of phpBB.com a EU company? So, the cookie law is also valid for phpBB.com.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Marshalrusty » Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:53 pm

Pond Life wrote:
Marshalrusty wrote:2) Donations are not a realistic means of generating a sufficient revenue stream to make this happen.
How can you possibly know this for certain if you won't even try it?

The cookie law is a serious concern to those of us who run sites in EU countries, that concern will not be diminished by your indifference to it. Your comments about Facecrook and Google are not relevant, I can easily avoid them, avoiding my own site would be rather silly though. You said this topic was to gauge the community reaction but when some of the community voice their concerns you try to shut us up. You have now made it clear that you will do what you want regardless of our opinions so I'm out now. I will be sticking with 3.1.x unless the 'optional' extension is completely that, opt in - disabled from the start with no effect unless the site admin chooses to enable it, like any other extension.
I absolutely don't want to "shut you up", but we also can't keep going in circles on the exact same topics, as that's just not a fruitful discussion. I think you've made your point that you don't agree, and that's a perfectly respectable position to hold, but you also shouldn't expect that to mean we're going to scrap plans that were certainly not made on a whim.

Not upgrading to 3.2 is your right, but it's an incredibly antagonistic response given that you can just disable the component that you disagree with.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Marc » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:34 pm

Pond Life wrote: The cookie law is a serious concern to those of us who run sites in EU countries, that concern will not be diminished by your indifference to it. Your comments about Facecrook and Google are not relevant, I can easily avoid them, avoiding my own site would be rather silly though. You said this topic was to gauge the community reaction but when some of the community voice their concerns you try to shut us up. You have now made it clear that you will do what you want regardless of our opinions so I'm out now. I will be sticking with 3.1.x unless the 'optional' extension is completely that, opt in - disabled from the start with no effect unless the site admin chooses to enable it, like any other extension.
First of, I'd like to ask you to calm your tone. Some of your wording seems very aggressive while reading. I hope that was not your intention as that certainly does not help with having a discussion.

Pointing out that most of the concerns that were brought up here are not factually based is not "trying to shut you up". We do understand your voiced concerns and I do think we were able to clear these up (also take a look at the following explanation).

The EU cookie law applies to cookies and similar things that are stored on a person's computer and that can be used to identify that person. A vanilla phpBB install comes with 3 standard cookies: a session cookie, a user id cookie, and a auto login key. These are so-called user-input cookies (used for sessions) and authentication cookies. Both of these are clearly exempt from consent and do not require a user's consent.

We'll definitely investigate whether we need to provide users with a simple cookie notice for extensions like VigLink prior to releasing the final version of 3.2.

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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Mick » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:43 pm

Marc wrote:The EU cookie law applies to cookies and similar things that are stored on a person's computer and that can be used to identify that person. A vanilla phpBB install comes with 3 standard cookies: a session cookie, a user id cookie, and a auto login key. These are so-called user-input cookies (used for sessions) and authentication cookies. Both of these are clearly exempt from consent and do not require a user's consent.
Seriously, I hope that's the end of that.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Frank Rizzo » Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:57 pm

Thanks to the team for engaging in this issue. Whilst I do not wish to waste any of their time I do hope they understand the complete implications of using stuff like VigLink.

The points about raising funds is totally understandable but could I ask why us board operators and phpbb forum users were not asked about this first? Could it have been the case that we could have suggested and decided on a better form of monetization?

Privacy Privacy Privacy
I consider myself to be veteran privacy campaigner. For years I have fought companies and educated people on the importance of privacy. I do not just mean about using tor, vpns and such, but basic principles on why no type of tracking is acceptable.

I can expand on that if some wish but to put it simply: VigLink is going to track users. It is going to know who users are, where they came from, what they want to purchase and what they did purchase.

If you don't care about your privacy then think of this: What they know about you will cost you more. When they know what you want, and when they have algorithms that know how high you will be willing to pay, they will charge you that maximum price.

All the good work of privacy campaigners is totally undone when people fail to grasp the implications of link / ad tracking. I really just wish that phpBB had opened up to us end users first. I would have spent every spare hour I had trying to convince them why user privacy is important, and why customers will ultimately be worse off financially.

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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by DiegoPino » Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:27 am

Hi.
When test 3.2 rc-2 display the Viglink, its like Modification PhpBB 3.0 :shock:

Looks greate but not uderstand very well...
your feedback in that post its a Guide help For the New users like me.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by koraldon » Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:46 am

I just want to say thanks to the phpbb team.
They are volunteers and are doing this to improve phpbb so I think all of us should remember that and keep discussion on friendly tones.
Since this extension can easily be deleted this really is a webmaster choice. It just needs to be clearly explained during installation.

On another note, maybe you can raise funds via crowd funding?

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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by david63 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:33 am

koraldon wrote:On another note, maybe you can raise funds via crowd funding?
My understanding of crowdfunding is that it is used to raise funds for a specific venture - not to provide a revenue stream. Having said that there is possibly a place for it to augment general revenue for "one off" expenses.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Ger » Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:16 am

Marc wrote: We'll definitely investigate whether we need to provide users with a simple cookie notice for extensions like VigLink prior to releasing the final version of 3.2.
Well, for The Netherlands, it is pretty clear. I know you probably don't read Dutch, but have a look at this page: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpe ... s-plaatsen
"Rijksoverheid" is the "central government institute". This page of theirs explains the Dutch implementation of the cookie law. You could run it through Google Translate.
This paragraph applies to Viglink:
Tracking cookies: altijd toestemming vereist

Websites moeten altijd uw toestemming vragen om cookies te plaatsen die inbreuk maken op uw privacy. Vaak gaat het dan om ‘tracking’ cookies. Deze cookies houden individueel surfgedrag bij en stellen profielen op om bijvoorbeeld gerichte advertenties mogelijk te maken.
In English (my personal translation):
Tracking cookies: permission is always required
Websites must always ask your permission to set cookies that harm your privacy. These are often called ‘tracking’ cookies. These cookies track your surfing habits and compose profiles for example to enable targeted advertisements.
That seems pretty clear to me. Now this is of course only the Dutch implementation of the cookie directive, but as said before: all EU countries are obliged to implement similar law.

This would bring the need of not only a simple cookie notice, but an affirmative button for the website visitor stating that he or she allows this.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Marc » Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:51 am

That page very explicitly states tracking cookies (cookies as in text cookies that are saved in your browser) whereas analytical cookies seem to be exempt. As previously stated, we'll have a look and determine whether a cookie notice needs to be added prior to the final release of 3.2.

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