Mother. Fucker. Remember those CCPA scam emails (I wrote about at Well, if you got one, turns out you were the unwitting participant in a human subject research study by Princeton University (see

If you lost any sleep or money dealing with this, they're the ones who owe it to you.

@pluralistic This seems like something you'd be interested in. The short version is that Princeton and Radboud Universities sent scary-sounding CCPA compliance emails to a lot of test subjects who didn't volunteer to participate in their research, including lots of Mastodon admins.

@tek @pluralistic

Please contact the lead researcher for this study, Ross Teixeira (, if you have any questions, believe you received an email in error, or would like to opt out of any future communication related to the study. The additional members of the study team are Professor Jonathan Mayer at the Princeton University Center for Information Technology Policy and Professor Gunes Acar at the Radboud University Digital Security Group.

Well then.

@rysiek @pluralistic Fuck that guy. I'm contacting Princeton's Research Integrity & Assurance department at .

@tek @rysiek @pluralistic

What do you think of this then:
> Did an Institutional Review Board consider this study?

> We submitted an application detailing our research methods to the
> Princeton University Institutional Review Board, which determined that
> our study does not constitute human subjects research. The focus of
> the study is understanding website policies and practices, and emails
> associated with the study do not solicit personally identifiable
> information.

@csddumi @tek @pluralistic that's a load of bull. This affected real human lives, people lost sleep and perhaps money over this. This is a human subject study even if they fail to understand it.


@rysiek @csddumi @tek @pluralistic yeah, I had a minor panic attack last Friday night. I’ll be contacting the Research Integrity & Assurance people at Princeton to complain as well. Thanks for the write-up, Tek.

@ashfurrow @csddumi @tek @pluralistic they published an apology now:

I don't think that should stop you from contacting them anyway, of course!

@rysiek @ashfurrow @csddumi @tek @pluralistic

We submitted an application detailing our research methods to the Princeton University Institutional Review Board, which determined that our study does not constitute human subjects research.

imagine thinking that sending email - inherently a human-based communication medium - did not involve human subjects!

"we were only contacting websites! we were framed!"

Princeton is trash.

@djsundog @ashfurrow @csddumi @tek @pluralistic again, it's a case of humanity-erasure of website admins by the researchers.

Just like the Linux hypocrite commits "study" was a case of humanity-erasure of Linux kernel developers by the researchers.

They focus on the "product", and fail to understand the community and humanity behind it. I feel this is inherently tied to lack of experience with open communities, and lack of recognition that they *are different* to companies running a service.

@rysiek To quote Terry Prachett by way of Granny Weatherwax: "Evil is treating people like things. [...] Oh there's some other parts, but that's where it starts."
s all @djsundog @ashfurrow @csddumi @tek @pluralistic


the tragedy is that with 8 bln of souls around, practices, ideologies, mindsets etc that treat people as things have an operational advantage

it will take an enormous rebooting of the humanistic frame to resolve this @djsundog @ashfurrow @csddumi @tek


the historical record suggest they do, but happy to see where people draw comfort from

@djsundog @ashfurrow @csddumi @tek

On a side note Carpe Jugulum is an interesting exploration of the idea of consent. Not just Vampires harassing girls, but on the idea of governing through fear and calling it a partnership and claiming they cooperate with their citizens. Not just a funny book about vampire tropes. It really resonates with me at the moment.

@onepict One of PTerry's great strengths was the ability to both be hilarious, page-turning, heartwarming, infuriating/horrific and politically and philosophically deep all at the same time, somehow. @rysiek

I miss that feeling of a new Pratchett Novel. But there are alot of books to revisit and get something new out of. He was one of those rare authors where even on the 5th ré read there's something new to find. Especially as you get older and see more of life.

@onepict Agree entirely.

FWIW, I've charted this conversation, and will continue to update the chart periodically:

@pettter @rysiek

@onepict ... Oh, just wanted to add ...

> "...even on the 5th ré read there's something new to find."

Not limited to 5 ... seriously, not limited to 5.

@pettter @rysiek

@onepict @rysiek

finding a great deal of this in my first exposure to his writing via _good_omens_ (+ n.gaiman)

@csddumi @djsundog @rysiek @pluralistic @ashfurrow I’m annoyed at how many people confuse “website” with “company”, as though personal sites are no longer a thing.

@tek @csddumi @djsundog @rysiek @pluralistic @ashfurrow even if it *is* a company and not a community, the admins are still people.

@csddumi @rysiek @pluralistic @djsundog @ashfurrow @varve Absolutely. I think it’s worse when the recipients are individuals, though, as few people have a legal department on call and ready to advise them.

@pluralistic @ashfurrow @rysiek @csddumi I did that, and also reached out to Radboud University (who replied the next morning).

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