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Thread: Privacy

  1. #1
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    Privacy

    What do you guys do when there's a complaint generated by a third party about a site that you host? Do you just forward that email to the client including the contents of the entire email or do you strip all information out? Are there privacy issues regarding this? And if the person doing the complaining tells you (the host) to NOT divulge their email information to the client, do you have to comply?

  2. #2
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    Depends I guess, should ask the complaintant to contact the website host themselves first???
    Luke
    oh yeah...

  3. #3
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    What if all you did was forward the original complaint letter, one that the original complainer didn't say to keep confidential?

  4. #4
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    I would not "forward" the letter. I might include the context of it in an email to my client. But, I wouldn't simply forward the letter.
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  5. #5
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    Originally posted by SoftWareRevue
    I would not "forward" the letter. I might include the context of it in an email to my client. But, I wouldn't simply forward the letter.
    What I'm inquiring about is if there's any privacy law that would prohibit me from forwarding such an email?

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by Skeptical
    What I'm inquiring about is if there's any privacy law that would prohibit me from forwarding such an email?
    <I am not a lawyer, but> I would suggest you'd look at the case on its merits.

    For example, if the owners of vBulletin contacted you and advised you that a hosted site was running an illegal copy of their software, you could safely tell your client "the owners of vBulletin have contacted us about your site...".

    If Bob Smith wrote and advised that abcplumbing.com was using a picture that Bob claimed copyright on, then you would probably want to ask your client if they have anything to add to a claim you have received regarding the picture, without devulging who the complainant is, and see if you can get to the bottom of it. Possibly ask Bob Smith for some verification of the claim as well.

    But if it was me, and Bob Smith specifically requested that he not be identified for whatever reason, I'd ask for his complaint by registered post before taking any action and I'd keep that complaint on file for future reference.

    In short, I'd want to know why Bob Smith would not want to be identified since his identification forms the basis of his copyright claim.

    Cheers

    Gary

  7. #7
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    Very good points. But my main concern is, if I decide to just forward the email to the owner of the site being complained about, can I get into any type of trouble legally?

    Let's say hypothetically the site owner gets mad and decides to take revenge on the complainer (since he knows the identity of the complainer through the forwarding of the email). Would I be liable for anything there, even though the complainer never asked me to keep his identity confidential?

  8. #8
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    Take another issue for example. I see lots of hosts posting private personal info about clients that did chargebacks. Now I'm pretty sure that would run afowl of some sort of privacy law wouldn't it?

  9. #9
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    It soley depends on the complaint, personally I would direct the person who was complaining to the actual site owner. Even if Bob said that the site was using a copyrighted image he still has to prove it. Technically he has to prove it to a judge who then has to send you a court order to have it removed, otherwise if you force the client to remove it and/or cancel their account because of it, they in theory could come back and sue you if the claim is false. So just be careful
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  10. #10
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    Originally posted by DanielP
    It soley depends on the complaint, personally I would direct the person who was complaining to the actual site owner. Even if Bob said that the site was using a copyrighted image he still has to prove it. Technically he has to prove it to a judge who then has to send you a court order to have it removed, otherwise if you force the client to remove it and/or cancel their account because of it, they in theory could come back and sue you if the claim is false. So just be careful
    But wouldn't that violate the privacy of your customer because you're divulging the contact info to the complainer?

  11. #11
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    Yeah, it's a shady area. It could depend on a few things, not least your working relationship with the site owner. I don't think I would simply forward the email on. I would get involved as a middleman to a certain extent. But if it wasn't being resolved quickly and amicably I would ask the complainant to contact the site owner directly or yourself "officially" (including being prepared to identify himself).

    Regards

    Gary

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by Skeptical
    But wouldn't that violate the privacy of your customer because you're divulging the contact info to the complainer?
    I would assume the complainant has investigated who the site owner is, at least by way of the domain whois or contact info on the site. Something is missing from your questions here...because there's too many gaps that would/should have already been filled.

    Cheers

    Gary

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by DanielP
    It soley depends on the complaint, personally I would direct the person who was complaining to the actual site owner. Even if Bob said that the site was using a copyrighted image he still has to prove it. Technically he has to prove it to a judge who then has to send you a court order to have it removed, otherwise if you force the client to remove it and/or cancel their account because of it, they in theory could come back and sue you if the claim is false. So just be careful
    Actually as far as I understand it you're wrong, under the DCMA if someone makes a complaint you have to remove the offending material whilst it is investigated.
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  14. #14
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    Originally posted by Editor


    I would assume the complainant has investigated who the site owner is, at least by way of the domain whois or contact info on the site. Something is missing from your questions here...because there's too many gaps that would/should have already been filled.

    Cheers

    Gary
    Well often times site owners don't put down contact info on their sites, or never respond to the email addresses in their domain whois info. Suppose their contact email was totally different from that in the whois.

  15. #15
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    As for any laws, I dont think it breaks any. But if the person Identifies themselves, as a creater of something, or a company who made a product and wanted it off a persons site, its not rocket science to find out who made the complaint. If its something like a person is offended by content of a site(use your imagination on this one) then I think you should inform the person but leave out a name/email
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  16. #16
    In my case I would have a e-mail ready of notice and send to client and take notes and gather caller information just to have it all on the record.
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