Security Culture and Personal Info

Hey, y'all.  Thinking about security culture and sharing personal info. This is something long-term SubRosa staffers know, but not necessarily patrons, visitors, and prospective volunteers.

Our policy is to never give out any personal info about staffers and volunteers without their explicit consent.  That includes telling when someone staffs, sharing phone numbers, confirming someone's name or nickname, or, for that matter, even confirming who does and doesn't staff at the infoshop. 

It is good basic security culture (and good manners) to respect where other people draw boundaries around their own privacy, which may be different from where you draw your own boundaries.

Here are some examples of things you can expect us not to share:
  • Anyone's phone numbers, full names, nicknames, or other personal info without their explicit consent
  • Staffer's schedules or when they work at SubRosa
  • Private or staff emails
  • Things said in our staff meetings
  • Challenges or conflicts with other staff members, volunteers, or patrons
The reasons for this are many:  First, we want to know we trust each other to have our backs. And part of that is knowing we can respect each others boundaries.  
Next, consider just a few possible scenarios in which staffers, volunteers, or patrons may wish to keep their info private: Individuals may be the subject of law enforcement interest -- the tiny bits of information you inadvertently give them may be used against friends.  Some individuals are survivors of physical or sexual violence or intimidation by ex-partners -- they may prefer to remain under the radar.  Some individuals may have public positions that could be endangered by sharing publicly that they are involved in an openly anarchist space. For that matter, some people may just prefer to keep their info private.

Your unwillingness to volunteer info about others may frustrate some people, but if they are really friends, they should understand.  Generally, you might try something like: "I'm not comfortable sharing information about that person without their consent.  I hope you understand. I can try to pass a message on for you if you'd like."
In a similar vein, SubRosa has a photo/recording policy that attempts to protect people's privacy.  We ask video and audio recorders to let the staffer know they want to take photos or record and get explicit positive consent from anyone who might be recorded or photographed.

This is important for all of our safety, so I hope people take it to heart.  I'd like to hear other people's perspectives and voices on this.

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