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Stack Overflow

StackOverflow is a question-and-answer forum for computer science related issues.


Handling

Does the policy allow personally-targeted or behavioral marketing? Yes

0/10

Decided Sept. 8, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

Possible Options

Yes0/10
Yes, but you can opt-out3.5/10
Yes, but you must opt-in7/10
No10/10

Citation

When you register for an account, and when you interact with Stack Overflow, we and authorized third parties place cookies on you and your account activity as described in more detail within our Cookies Policy. We use this information to serve you certain advertising content.

Note

There is no clear opt-out function.

Click here to suggest a change or to flag this conclusion as incorrect, or here for more information.


Does the service allow third-party access to private personal data? Yes, not all parties specified

0/10

Decided Sept. 8, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

The policy allows sharing personal data with third-parties (not just critical service providers), and does not explicitly list the third-parties.

This may come in the form of outright data sharing or by using local third-party analytics software (such as Google Analytics, which collects a plethora of user information).

Note that whether the policy allows sharing aggregated user data does not affect this question.

If the personal data is encrypted when it passes through the third-party, it does not count as third-party access (as the data is inaccessible to that party).

If personal data has been made public by, for example, posting it to a blog, it does not count as private personal information (and is therefore not considered by this question).

Possible Options

Yes, not all parties specified0/10
Yes, all parties specified (including non-critical service providers such as advertisers)3/10
Yes, not all parties specified (but only to critical service providers)7/10
Yes, all parties specified (only to critical service providers)8/10
No10/10

Citation

Stack Overflow partners with third parties to display advertisements on our public Network and within our Talent Platform. These partnerships provide third parties access to the developer community to promote themselves or services and to provide you with visibility into companies and third parties seeking to recruit you for employment opportunities, and for other purposes. In providing this opportunity, Stack Overflow and its third party partners may collect and use your personal information to tailor your advertising experience to suit your interests, skills, as well as to monitor your account activity in order to optimize our Products and Services.

Click here to suggest a change or to flag this conclusion as incorrect, or here for more information.


Does the service allow you to permanently delete your personal data? Yes, using an automated mechanism

5/5

Decided Sept. 8, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Even if there is a reasonable delay before the data is fully deleted (as is common), the data still counts as "permanently deleted" and satisfies the parameters for this question.

Possible Options

No0/5
Yes, by contacting someone3/5
Yes, using an automated mechanism5/5
N/A (no personal information collected)5/5

Citation

Stack Overflow will delete personal information stored on you, which we are not required by necessity to maintain.

Note

Note that on the profile management page, there is an option to delete your account. It has the following warning text:

"User deletion is irreversible! By sending this request, your votes will be revoked, and all of your content will be made anonymous."

Click here to suggest a change or to flag this conclusion as incorrect, or here for more information.


When does the policy allow law enforcement access to personal data? Only when required by a court order or subpoena

4/5

Decided Sept. 7, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Possible Options

Always0/5
Not specified0/5
When reasonably requested3/5
Only when required by a court order or subpoena4/5
N/A (no personal data to share)5/5
Never (special legal jurisdiction)5/5

Citation

Stack Overflow will not disclose your personal information to legal authorities except where such disclosure is by lawful request, including to meet legitimate national security or law enforcement demands (including a subpoena, court order, or other lawful legal demand by a legal authority with lawful jurisdiction).

Click here to suggest a change or to flag this conclusion as incorrect, or here for more information.


Transparency

Does the policy require users to be notified in case of a data breach? No

0/7

Decided Sept. 8, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 8% of the final score.

Note that all companies operating in the EU are subject to Art. 33 of the GDPR, which requires companies to notify their data protection authority of a data breach within 72 hours of discovering it.

Possible Options

No0/7
Yes, eventually5/7
Yes, within 72 hours7/7
N/A (the service collects so little personal data that notification would not be possible)7/7

Note

The policy does not specify a data breach protocol.

Click here to suggest a change or to flag this conclusion as incorrect, or here for more information.


Will the affected users be notified when the policy is meaningfully changed? Yes

5/5

Decided Sept. 7, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Possible Options

No0/5
Yes5/5
N/A (no personal data—or contact information—collected)5/5

Citation

We may amend or update this policy from time to time, and will notify you of any material changes to this policy.

Click here to suggest a change or to flag this conclusion as incorrect, or here for more information.


Is the policy's history made available? Yes, with revisions or a change-log

5/5

Decided Sept. 7, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Possible Options

No0/5
Only the date it was last modified3/5
Yes, with revisions or a change-log5/5

Citation

Previous versions of this privacy policy are available upon request.

Click here to suggest a change or to flag this conclusion as incorrect, or here for more information.


Does the policy outline the service's general security practices? Yes

2/3

Decided Sept. 7, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 4% of the final score.

Possible Options

No0/3
Somewhat1/3
Yes2/3
Yes, including audits2.5/3
N/A (no personal data collected)3/3
Yes, including independent audits3/3

Citation

Security is important to us and we know it is important to you. Stack Overflow follows generally accepted standards to protect your personal information when processing, transferring, and storing your personal information including Transport Layer Security (“TLS”), by restricting your personal data when we do not need to access it and by keeping your personal data only as necessary to perform our legitimate business interests.

Click here to suggest a change or to flag this conclusion as incorrect, or here for more information.


Collection

Does the service collect personal data from third parties? No

10/10

Decided Sept. 8, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

This includes the use of data brokers and independent verification authorities (such as background check providers).

Possible Options

Yes0/10
Only for critical data7/10
No10/10

Note

The policy does not mention sharing data with any third parties.

Click here to suggest a change or to flag this conclusion as incorrect, or here for more information.


Is it clear why the service collects the personal data that it does? Yes

10/10

Decided Sept. 8, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

This question deals with transparency. Even if the service uses data for reasons that aren't ideal for privacy, provided they list all of those uses, the service can still receive full credit for this question. However, if they are not explicit about their uses (by employing language like "such as"), a lower score is assigned.

Possible Options

No0/10
Somewhat4/10
Mostly7/10
Yes10/10
No personal data is collected10/10

Note

For each bit of data Stack Overflow collects, it clearly discloses why that information is being collected.

Click here to suggest a change or to flag this conclusion as incorrect, or here for more information.


Does the policy list the personal data it collects? Yes, generally

7/10

Decided Sept. 7, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

All general categories of collected personal data are listed, though not all types of personal data are explicitly mentioned (for example, the list might use a phrase like 'such as' when listing types of personal data).

Possible Options

No0/10
Only summarily3/10
Yes, generally7/10
Yes, exhaustively10/10
N/A (no personal information is collected)10/10

Citation

We collect information such as your username, password, email address, IP address (collected at each site visit). ... ...we collect a record of your communications with us and other third parties that are accessible to chat participants and certain authorized third parties. Other account information and usage information including your IP address and browser data... ... we collect certain personal information on you the account holder (or account unregistered job seeker) ... Data from advertising technologies like cookies, web beacons, pixels, ad tags, and browser/device identifiers Information you have provided to us directly including profile information, your Developer Story, and in limited instances your job history Usage analytics including your visits to the Network, browsing and search history Information from our advertising partners (e.g., device type and location) ... On behalf of the Entity, we collect Company or Entity name, Team Representative name, the names of authorized users, and you may elect to provide a Company or Team logo, trademark, or photo for account association purposes. ... Stack Overflow collects certain application metadata

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Does the service allow the user to control whether personal data is used or collected for non-critical purposes? On an opt-out basis, but only for some non-critical data/uses

1.5/5

Decided Sept. 7, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Some services allow users to opt-out or opt-in to of non-critical collection or use of personal data, such as collecting data for personalized advertisements.

Possible Options

No0/5
On an opt-out basis, but only for some non-critical data/uses1.5/5
On an opt-out basis, for all non-critical data/uses3/5
N/A (no data used for non-critical purposes)5/5
On an opt-in basis5/5

Citation

Privacy is a guiding principle of all Stack Overflow Products and Services and we value your privacy. To this end, we provide you with the ability to control how your information is stored, and what information is collected. You may change or correct your account settings, and choose not to share certain information by creating a pseudonymous account. Additionally, much of the data we collect is voluntary and your choice entirely to provide us or not. You may also remove certain optional information that you no longer wish to be publicly displayed, such as your photo, or job history. In the event Stack Overflow decides to provide additional opt-out or opt-in mechanisms under the Privacy Shield Framework, the mechanisms will be clear, conspicuous, and readily available for you to exercise your choice.

Click here to suggest a change or to flag this conclusion as incorrect, or here for more information.



Warnings

Stack Overflow has no warnings published on PrivacySpy. PrivacySpy publishes warnings when it learns a service has announced a data breach or is found misusing user data. If you believe a warning should be published for Stack Overflow, submit one here.


Highlighted Policy Snapshot ALPHA

Highlighted policy snapshots are a highly experimental feature that provide an annotated version of the privacy policy (displayed in a simplified 'reader view') with automatically-generated highlights. This feature is still in its early stages, so apologies if things don't look right!

5.8/10

How we calculate ratings →


Version Added

Sept. 7, 2019

Ratings Updated

Sept. 15, 2019

Warnings

0

Maintained by

YuriiStasiuk

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