January 21, 2011 in Feedback
I wasn't aware of this functionality until I got a question from one member. I my opinion this is very bad, what could possibly be a reason for an admin to read private chats logs?
Private chats should not be logged, neither should moderators/admins have access to private chats in realtime. (Don't know if this is possible)
You are the administrator and paying for the chat system, so you have access to the private chat logs. If you don't feel you should look at them, simply don't look at them. By default the logging page only shows public chats until you explicitly check the "private" or "both" checkbox at the bottom, so you'll never see the private chat logs unless you go looking for them.
Even if I'm paying I cant see any reason for having access to private chats. It is like a mobile company should be allowed to listen to their customers telephone calls. This is totally unacceptable, at least in the country I live.
Of course I would never use this opportunity, but the users don't know me personally and they feel uncomfortable. Which I fully understand. This limits the use of the chat system.
At least there should be a warning about this when you open a private chat.
email sent via the board is not private, nor are board messages between members (just a little more tricky to find). The chat is no different and when one member issues a complaint about another over something that went down in the chat, you'll be glad of the logs.
Email is different because people might use the forum to spam/scam someone. PM's also have to be stored, because of this we call it IM at our forum, instead of P(ersonal)M.
Although I have never ever read members messages. (forum is 8 years old, 33k members)
Public chat must be logged, because, as you say, people might do thing that can lead to complaints and the admin must verify what has been going on.Private chat is something completely different, should be no reason for storing that on the server.
I'm surprised that people are not more concerned about the privacy of their customers. Or forum members that is.
Its the internet, privacy is a joke out there.
While RIM India might agree with you I think if someone plots a crime in your private chat and the cops call you might want a record. Also if someone says someone threatened them on your board in a private chat you would want to prove it either way. I doubt many users would expect that there is no record somewhere of any sort of cloud communication. When you have a board up you have a responsibility to your users. Certainly you should never snoop or reveal private conversations to others. But you might also be called to protect a user from abuse. The logs may be your friend one day.
Also, note that you can control how many days logs are kept. Not sure what zero does.
If you are really concerned about it, ask in the resources forum and I'm positive someone can show you how to modify the task that pulls the logs to clear out private chats. They are flagged different, so it's entirely possible to change the code to not store them on your server.
We have no intention of changing the default behavior of the software, however. Many board admins have a real need to be able to access these (i.e. if their site is geared towards children and they have to ensure the children on the site are protected), so we have made the default behavior the safest for all parties. You have to specifically opt to see the private chats, but they are there if you need to.
I don't know if this is already possible, maybe I just need to be told how to do it.
It would be useful if the moderators could see what was being said in private chat, either by way of a log file or in real-time. In order to fully moderate the chat room and ban people who are breaking the rules we need to know what is being said in private chat.
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