Wikipedia:Phase II feature requests/Cookies, logins, and privacy

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This page is obsolete! It is an archive of old feature requests that were still active on 2002 July 20, when we moved from Phase II to Phase III of the software. Many requests were implemented then, while others became obsolete due to being rejected by the community. See Wikipedia:Feature requests for current requests.

Cookies, logins, and privacy

  • In addition, given that the certain cookies have stopped working, can't I have a "log in" to confirm my id? Everytime I hit "preferences" otherwise, I get a new user ID.
  • I noticed last weekend that I can set my ID in Preferences to anybody else's, certainly, if they are not using it. I would not care if people had mutlyiple IDs. But, I do see a problem in my setting my ID to, say Larry Sanger and entering content all over which will wrongly be identified as his in recent changes. And possibly elsewhere. RoseParks
    • There is a secure user-ID already--it is the "User ID number" shown on the Preferences page. If you are using recent versions of MSIE or Netscape you can see the ID number and the IP address by moving the mouse over the user name. (A popup saying something like "ID 1622 from 165.79.13.xxx" should appear.) It should be non-trivial for anyone else to use that ID number, since it protected by a random number in the user's cookie (which is compared with a copy on the server). Eventually a more conventional username/password combination may become an option, but this is unlikely to happen soon. --CliffordAdams (or somebody with ID 1675 :-)
    • I second the request for a more conventional username/password combination. This is one thing necessary to make the website fully scaleable. --User:LMS
  • The ".xxx" bit in dynamic IP addresses is commendable, but is there a way to do something similar for people logging in from institutions with static IP addresses ending in letters? The last one I saw listed the entire address. Certainly anyone with a static IP should have a firewall, but I think we've seen enough mischievous people wander through that the precaution of masking the IP still has merit. And no that's not a rhetorical question, as I'll be logging on from a static IP starting in early June 2002. --KQ

I'm not sure "privacy" is a good thing here. The price one pays for freedom is accountability: anyone should be able to edit anything, but I don't think they should be able to do so without being identified (at least with their chosen pseudonym--they can still hide behind whatever anonymity their Internet connection gives them). When I find some vandalism, for example, I look back in the Recent Changes list for that same IP and check those pages--I usually find more. Likewise, when I get to know certain posters, I get to know what might be interesting or important to read. If someone is concerned about privacy, that's his problem, and he should take the burden of using software to anonymize himself (and there's plenty of software available to do that). --LDC

  • I, for one, do not care about anonymity here, but pseudonymity would be fine. We almost have the latter with userids, were it not for the "from IP-Address" misfeature. LDC, if you know that userid 715 broke a page, is it really harder to find all other pages touched by them without knowing three octets of their IP? The main use I see for that is correlating pseudonyms to realnames, which is mainly useful for prosecution (I don't assume that we want to criminalize WikiVandals, though), or ... direct marketing. --Robbe

I think you've misunderstood. What I'm talking about specifically is not having the entire static IP address shown of someone logging in from an address ending in letters. All it would take is to .xxx a portion of it so that the firewall is not constantly fending off requests. This is the same courtesy already extended to people logging in from any IP address ending in numerals. My concern for it stems from the fact that it identifies where the person works or attends school, which if you'll pardon my saying so, is not necessarily anyone's business. If it's not workable then you can expect to have me not continue contributing. --KQ

I usually use a static IP, but Recent Changes (hover over my name) only shows a masked IP, not my domain. Did you see this on the main Wikipedia, or one of the internationals? UseModWiki can turn off name lookup, and I'd assumed from the RC display that it was turned off.

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