Must a User Divulge His Email Address?

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Random American
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Re: Must a User Divulge His Email Address?

Post by Random American »

People who don't want to give an email don't need to be using your board, or tell them to make a second one for registrations. Not requiring an email is probably going to cause you trouble, especially with trolls and other problematic users existing on the web. A suspicious email address can be a warning sign, or a venue to ban a problem user. Yes, they can create another email, but continuously doing that will hassle some trolls into giving up. Also, as others have said, email is a communication venue.
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Re: Must a User Divulge His Email Address?

Post by HaioPaio »

Rich
I don't know one. However, I don't have a comprehensive view on that, yet.
However, let's imagine, all websites would currently ask for the email address?
Would it help in answering the question why all and any phpBB sites should be required by software restrictions to ask for users email addresses?
Let us look beyond the barrier "because anybody does it" and discover real legal or operational requirements.

The initial question did not include a suggestion to prevent every forum operator from insisting on knowing the users email address.
The question seems to include why does phpBB not provide a comfortable and simple means of safe registration without the need to divulging the personal (or even worst a fake) email address.

Without any bias I'm open for learning.

David
This seems to be an advantage to the user rather than an requirement.
Users still could accept that problem and mitigate it by proper personal data management.
The "forgotten password feature" is certainly helpful for those that cannot prevent themselves from forgetting their own passwords by other means.
I must admit that I have had benefits from such feature now and then.
However, I haven't recognised that the original question would have requested for preventing users from providing their email addresses.
I believe we should focus on alternativ ways to provided a similar level of protection to the forum operators while dealing with todays users preferences.
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RMcGirr83
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Re: Must a User Divulge His Email Address?

Post by RMcGirr83 »

The question seems to include why does phpBB not provide a comfortable and simple means of safe registration without the need to divulging the personal (or even worst a fake) email address.
What would you suggest in having the user provide something that proves they are who they state to be? What would be your suggestion for users to provide a comfortable and simple means of safe registration? It would seem to me that they have to provide >something< that can be verified to be theirs, no?
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Re: Must a User Divulge His Email Address?

Post by rxu »

That is probably just historically. At the times phpBB and other web software has originated I think email was the main web communication mean around the world, hence the way of registrations and communications to user accounts.
Personally I had a corporate board where I knew all the employees and I verified all of them myself. Email wasn't needed so I've just cut it off the registration (it was phpBB2 so I did it in the core).
For the cases board-wide emails are switched off and/or no activation is required / activation by administrator is set, email address is possibly not needed.
I just wonder what if you then switch on emails and user activation on the board while users didn't enter emails before at all. It will be impossible to communicate to accounts (notifications, reminders, passwords resetting, accounts deactivation/reactivation, account owner verification etc).
Possible alternatives would be cell phone number (via SMS) / social network accounts but that looks more complicated (and probably not free when it comes to SMS services) than simply email.
So email looks like mostly reasonable way.
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Re: Must a User Divulge His Email Address?

Post by thecoalman »

HaioPaio wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:39 pm
So, please, share with me your position why a forum owner needs to know members email addresses?
The immediate thing that comes to mind is password recovery.

I'd agree it should be optional for the forum admin to require it but I think one thing being overlooked is you don't know what the results of this would be if that were common practice. By requiring it they effectively need to get through two captchas, one for the email provider and one the forum. I realize they don't need to use gmail(or other provider) but most of them do.

As side note if you are using stop forum spam database this can be quite effective at eliminating spam accounts.

I'll also add most of my forum members are older so for them email is pretty familiar.
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Re: Must a User Divulge His Email Address?

Post by david63 »

RMcGirr83 wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:17 am
It would seem to me that they have to provide >something< that can be verified to be theirs
And then that would lead to all kinds of privacy issues - in fact in some countries it may well be illegal.

Personally I cannot see any problem with using an email address to register on a phpBB board - come to think of it I cannot think of any site that you register on that does not need an email address.
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Re: Must a User Divulge His Email Address?

Post by Mick »

How does an email system work if you don’t tell anyone?
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Re: Must a User Divulge His Email Address?

Post by AmigoJack »

david63 wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:05 pm
To send them a new password when they have lost/forgotten the original one.
This is a one reason nobody seems to understand. And, of course, this feature fails for e-mail addresses where the account owner no longer has access to.

Another reason are deactivated/banned accounts - people then start to get into contact with board administrators thru e-mail (no pun intended) and demand reactivation/getting unbanned. But their e-mails come from an address that doesn't match the one in their account profile. The problem? Anybody could state he "is" the account owner and write such an e-mail from whichever address he wants. However, if the e-mail comes from the same address that is setup in the account details then it's halfway a proof that the actual account owner has written the e-mail.

It doesn't have to be an e-mail address, it's just that almost nobody has an idea to provide an actual way to contact him once problems emerge. If you want to provide only a Twitter username then that's fine, too. (E-mail is one of the few ways that could be encrypted and/or signed, but apparently that's not valuable to anybody starting to argue about e-mail addresses.)

"Oh, that's too much of a hassle, I just signup anew" would most people think. Until board administrators who forbid this find out.
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Re: Must a User Divulge His Email Address?

Post by HaioPaio »

I see the benefits of using the email address for certain forums and I do not question what has been replied.

I would like to use a small example to illustrate the background of the initial question.

Let's assume a forum owner does not want to know the user email addresses and accepts the loss of email dependent benefits.
Let's assume the user does not want to provide an email address and accepts the loss of email dependent benefits.
The admin would set the registration settings to "no activation (immediate access)"

The system would still ask users during registration for an email address.
The admin is unable to allow registration without email address.
In the example both, the admin and the user, are willing to live without the email feature.

Now, the admin may ask: "Why is the system preventing me from doing what I would like to do.
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Re: Must a User Divulge His Email Address?

Post by AmigoJack »

HaioPaio wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:58 am
Now, the admin may ask: "Why is the system preventing me from doing what I would like to do.
That so called "question" has neither a question mark, nor the closing quotation mark.

The "answer" is simple: it has been much more common and easy to just assume that an e-mail address is always available. Nothing more, nothing less. It wouldn't be too hard for phpBB to adapt, but it would still require code changes. I ran into similar problems when e-mails bounced for members and I was neither able to simply remove their e-mail address from the profile, nor could I somewhere set "never send e-mails" to that member. If it is a feature somebody wants, create an "idea" and see how it turns out.

Edit: there's also the opposite that sometimes comes up as request: to not rely on usernames anymore but only e-mail addresses (at least for the login).
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Affin wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:51 am
The problem is probably not my English but you do not want to understand correctly.
...
We will not come anybody anyway, nevertheless, it's best to shit this.
HaioPaio
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Re: Must a User Divulge His Email Address?

Post by HaioPaio »

I can understand that reworking the code in an area without functional problems does not make sense. I had not asked for it.
I believe that an extension would be the proper way.
It is normal that requirements and preferences change over time.
With todays knowledge, a programmer would possibly include a setting to allow admins to decide.

If you find more grammatical errors in my posts, feel free to keep it. I dont‘t need it back. :D
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