How can users edit what information is collected about them by SE, in particular information collected about them when they are NOT on EL&U:

If you use the Stack Overflow Network, both Stack Overflow and third parties will use cookies to track and monitor some of your activities on and off the Stack Overflow Network, and store and access some data about you, your browsing history, and your usage of the Stack Overflow Network. [Link here]

Users may be uncomfortable with SE collecting information about what they do when not on the SE metwork, or about them selling this information to third parties whose behaviour they cannot control (privacy policy or no privacy policy). I have looked at my account settings from the "Edit Profile & Settings" tab and cannot see any way to do disable this there.

  • Before you edit, what kind of info is collected about you by SE cookies? – Mitch May 30 at 16:04
  • @Mitch "If you use the Stack Overflow Network, both Stack Overflow and third parties will use cookies to track and monitor some of your activities on and off the Stack Overflow Network, and store and access some data about you, your browsing history, and your usage of the Stack Overflow Network." – Araucaria May 30 at 16:26
  • 1
    Oh. GPDR. 1) ELU is not the place for this, but maybe Meta.SE 2) Info in cookies is information like the IP address you're running your browser on; it's not a preference, it's the state of things. You can turn off cookies, but that will hamper the functionality of SE for you. 3) google 'How to clear, remove and manage cookies' for your browser type, Chrome, Safari, IE, FF, etc and you'll see what you can do with cookies. – Mitch May 30 at 16:57
  • Because Meta.SE is not actually a Meta site but a main site, I can't migrate this question there. However, you might be interested in this question and answer and how you can disable personalised predictions. – Andrew Leach May 30 at 17:31
  • It looks like data is only collected for Stack Overflow - when I try to download my data from ell.stackexchange.com/users/prediction-data the tags and such it references are the same as the download from Stack Overflow. – ColleenV May 30 at 18:38

I think you're asking about what SE has made available to you because of the recent GPDR laws in Europe (May 25, 2018).

  • your user profile and settings are still editable as you noted by the usual way
  • cookies are really an browser webpage device that helps among many things maintain state (so for example you won't have to log on again if you close the tab). It is not an editable thing. It keeps track . You may not be able to edit it but you can certainly delete it for any site so that a new cookie will be generated or turn them off for a site altogether. This may affect performance of that website. Each browser (Firefox, TE, Safari, etc) has it's own Cookie manager hidden somewhere deep inside that browsers settings.
  • As to user frequency info, SE has a web page to download it at

https://english.stackexchange.com/users/prediction-data https://stackoverflow.com/users/prediction-data

All these links give you the same file. The json file that gets downloaded has the data for all SE sites. It's not really visiting behavior but more which tags you have more points with (which is behavior of a sort).

Note that like cookies, this is not data you can edit, it's just a passive recording of what tags you have points with.

I am in no way a representative of the SE dev team, so I do not know if this is it, or if more personal information will be added to this file (from inspection, my understanding of this file is that there is way more information about individual user behavior on this site that should be exposed per GDPR.

  • I've edited my question to make it clearer (I kinda thought I'd clarified my concerns for you in my comment). My concerns, and I suspect those of other users, relates to SE/EL&U collecting information about users when they are NOT on SE sites. And also collecting that info and SELLING it to other people whose behaviour they cannot control, including the reselling on of that information. I don't think anyone cares about information collected for functionality whilst they are on the network (well, I certainly don't). – Araucaria May 31 at 7:55

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