Upcoming changes due to the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Oliver Bock
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Topic 215252

Hi everyone,

as you've mostly like noticed over the past weeks a number of online services had to change the way they process personal information or at least update their privacy policies due the legal requirements of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

We at Einstein@Home are no different. We've have updated our privacy policy accordingly and we are also going to change a few things over the coming weeks. We are going to make full news announcements before they become effective.

Today I'd like to talk about our statistics exports. While these are primarily meant for BOINC statistics services like BOINCstats, BOINC Combined Statistics or Free-DC, they might also be used by individuals and teams. Due to the GDPR we are in a situation where we effectively have to lock down anonymous access to those data. The three stats sites above are already aware of that and registered dedicated accounts with us. Obviously that can't be a model for hundreds of individual users or team. Thus we'd like to get your feedback.

  • Do you used our stats export and if so, which parts?
  • For which purposes do you use them?
  • Would it be sufficient to get access to your own data only?

Thanks!

 


Einstein@Home Project

mmonnin
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Does this only apply to mass

Does this only apply to mass stat exports? Or to other things like Top Computers?

https://einsteinathome.org/community/stats

I guess that would apply to all BOINC projects.

Chooka
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Sorry Oliver, all this GDPR

Sorry Oliver, all this GDPR b&^%#t is over my head so I can't offer any constructive feedback.

My only concern is that sites like BOINCSTATS can continue or BOINC is finished for me. No stats, no BOINC.

Hopefully you can work something out because it's the scientific community who will be the biggest losers otherwise.

 


Betreger
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That sucks, I want to be able

That sucks, I want to be able to look up people who I am competing with and what their host are. This is overreach by the EU.

JugNut
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As long as one of the main

As long as one of the main stats sites(Boinc Stats, FreeDC) still gets the stats export then that's fine by me.  If it all falls apart like it has with World Community Grid then sadly i'll follow Chooka's lead and finish crunching permanently..

Dataman
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I am in total agreement with

I am in total agreement with those who have posted comments. No stats, no work from me!

I applaud Einstein for being proactive and working out an agreement with Willy (BOINCStats) and Bok (FreeDC) in advance.

WCG (IBM), top heavy with lawyers, made a critical error by announcing nothing until a surprise implementation of new policies. Willy and Bok (and the others) would be foolish to sign a legal agreement with IBM which could open the possibility of litigation. I hope they get legal advice before doing so. They are hobbyists who provide these services out of the goodness of their hearts. Why should they expose themselves to future litigation?

As for myself, I am finished with WCG and will no longer do work there.

Thanks again for being proactive. -Dataman-

[img]http://boincstats.com/signature/-1/user/544/3/sig.png[/img]
[img]http://signature.statseb.fr/sig.py?id=136[/img]

robl
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So whatever happened to "the

So whatever happened to "the hunt for whatever".  I don't believe that distributed computing is or has ever been about credits, badges etc. or the ability to display those credits.  I will keep looking with Mr.  Einstein regardless.  Just my thoughts on the subject.  

Jim1348
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Dataman wrote:WCG (IBM), top

Dataman wrote:
WCG (IBM), top heavy with lawyers, made a critical error by announcing nothing until a surprise implementation of new policies. Willy and Bok (and the others) would be foolish to sign a legal agreement with IBM which could open the possibility of litigation. I hope they get legal advice before doing so. They are hobbyists who provide these services out of the goodness of their hearts. Why should they expose themselves to future litigation?

IBM is a large corporation that might pick up a large liability if they are found to be in violation of the GDPR.  So they take a very expansive view of how a user might be directly or indirectly identified.  It may be overly conservative, but they also make no money from WCG and are providing the service out of the goodness of their corporate heart.

So if there is a remedy, it will have to lie with the EU clarifying their regulations so that the type of sharing of information that you need is clearly allowed.  If it is not clear, IBM will say "NO".  Other projects may follow their lead too.  Most projects are associated with large universities or research organizations that have no interest in picking up a liability either.

Betreger
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Good job EU putting

Good job EU putting Distributed computing in danger of going away.

Gary Roberts
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I guess the reactions so far

I guess the reactions so far are a bit predictable - a couple of sensible comments among some others that don't seem to understand what is actually being discussed.

Have a careful read of what Oliver said:-

Oliver Bock wrote:
Today I'd like to talk about our statistics exports. While these are primarily meant for BOINC statistics services like BOINCstats, BOINC Combined Statistics or Free-DC, they might also be used by individuals and teams. Due to the GDPR we are in a situation where we effectively have to lock down anonymous access to those data.

He's talking about stats exports - the whole big blob of information about everybody.  The highlighting is mine.

I don't think he's talking about any individual and their own stats.  I'm no expert and I could be wrong, but as I understand it, your stats will always be available to you.  The restriction will be to anonymous 'others' having unfettered access to your information.  In other words, anyone wanting the whole blob will have to be identifiable and ultimately accountable for what they do with all the information.  With things like the Cambridge Analytica scandal, I would have thought that the locking down of anonymous access would be a step in the right direction.

Stats sites like BOINCstats will still be able to get the blobs - they just have to do so in an 'identifiable' manner.

Why do they have to be identifiable?  Here is just one pretty obvious reason.  Imagine a random participant wants to stop contributing and close/delete their account.  My understanding is that the organisation where the account was set up has a legally enforceable obligation to comply.  That's not the full issue.  If information about that account has been sent to other parties, those other parties are also under an obligation to remove the information as well.  So the primary organisation has to have full details about which other parties have the information.  It has a legal obligation to inform them and then they have an obligation to remove the information.

So what's the problem with a 'non-anonymous' system of stats export?  Just more red tape for the projects that have to implement a 'compliant' system, I suppose.  We should be offering sympathy rather than threatening withdrawal of support :-).

 

Cheers,
Gary.

Bernd Machenschalk
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Indeed what we plan to shut

Indeed what we plan to shut don is anonymous access to the full XML DB dumps which provide information about every user, host and team (on Einstein@Home) for statistic sites such as BOINCStats. People that use these DB dumps may contact us and get access to these in a way that allows in particular to contact (email) them about e.g. user requests to delete information. We already prepared this for the three stats sites Oliver named. The current web pages on Einstein@Home provide only dynamic information not meant to be stored e.g. in an external database, so they will not be changed.

Instead we are thinking aboiut adding another possibility to access your personal statistics without e.g. having to parse the web pages, possibly similar to WCG's XML export or API.

BM

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