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Release Notes (Website, Geocaching® app, Adventure Lab®: Account deletion request submission) - May 31, 2022


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Release Notes (Website, Geocaching® app, Adventure Lab®: Account deletion request submission) - May 31, 2022

 

Geocaching HQ is making an ongoing effort to comply with a growing number of global privacy laws. 

 

One requirement of these laws is to offer users the option to delete their account and all associated data. With today’s release, the process is more easily accessible and more automated.


On the website:
The account settings page now includes a “Delete your account” button. Please review the information closely before clicking the button to ensure a smooth process.

 

Settings - default.png

 

Players must then again confirm their intention to delete their account. This is to avoid misclicks. 

 

 

Settings - modal-delete.png

 

 

Players then have the opportunity to provide feedback on why they wish to delete their account. This is optional.

 

 

Settings - modal-feedback.png

 

 

Once their request is submitted, players will be logged out and see a confirmation screen that their request has been received. They will also receive a confirmation email. Account deletion takes place within 30 days after this point. 

 

confirmation web page.png

requestReceivedEmail.JPG

 

 

While account deletion is pending, players may log in and cancel their current deletion request on the account settings page. 

 

 

Settings - disabled.png

Players will receive an email confirming that their account has been deleted.

 

 

confirmationDeletionComplete.JPG

 

IMPORTANT
We ask that players do not submit bogus deletion requests for testing purposes. Deletion requests may occur right away, but no later than 30 days from request submission. If you submit a request and cannot cancel it before deletion takes place, your account cannot be restored. Deletion is final.


In the Geocaching® app
We have added a link in the Geocaching® app that transfers you to the previously described web experience.

 

When you click the link and reach the website, you must log in again. This is for security reasons.

 

gcApp-data-deletion.png

 

 

In the Adventure Lab® app
In the next few weeks, we will add the same  link in the Adventure Lab® app that transfers you to the previously described web experience.

 

When you click the link, there is an explanation of why you must visit Geocaching.com to request account deletion. Once you reach the website, you must log in again. This is for security reasons.

 

 

AL_Account-1.png

 

AL_Account-2.png

 

 

Please see this Help Center article for more details about the account deletion process. 

 

More details about Geocaching HQ’s privacy law compliance can be found in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

 

Sven (Bl4ckH4wkGER) is watching this thread to answer questions whenever possible.
 
Any posts in this thread should relate to features in this release. Comments unrelated to the release may be removed. Please direct unrelated comments to other appropriate threads. Thanks!

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Just now, Max and 99 said:

That's a lot to read, so maybe I missed it, but when someone deletes their account, will their active geocaches/ALs (if any) be automatically archived/not-public?

 

No, you will need to do that yourself before you can submit your deletion request.

This is explained on the first page linked in the above release notes: https://www.geocaching.com/account/settings/account and in the first screenshot.

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8 minutes ago, Bl4ckH4wkGER said:

 

No, you will need to do that yourself before you can submit your deletion request.

This is explained on the first page linked in the above release notes: https://www.geocaching.com/account/settings/account and in the first screenshot.

"need to do that yourself", meaning the system won't allow you to delete your account if you have any active geocaches or ALs?

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30 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

"need to do that yourself", meaning the system won't allow you to delete your account if you have any active geocaches or ALs?


Your response within less than 5 minutes after the initial long post with several screenshots and linked pages to check out as well as your current response indicate that you may not have closely read the resources that we provided. In order to make this an effective use of both of our time, please do so.

It specifically outlines the actions a player must take to ensure a smooth deletion process before submitting their request. So yes, there are actions you and only you must take in order to proceed through the process:
 

Quote

Before you disable or delete your account, you must do the following:

  1. Archive or adopt out all of your geocaches.
    • You will no longer be able to edit your cache page once it has been archived.
  2. If you own Adventures, log in to the Adventure Lab® builder and set each Adventure to Off.
  3. Drop all trackables in your inventory that you don't own in nearby physical caches to make sure they continue on their journey.
  4. Review and remove any personal information, such as photos or text, from your owned geocaches, trackables, Waymarks, Wherigo cartridges, and Adventure Lab listings.
  5. Cancel your Premium membership
    • If purchased from an app store, follow the instructions in the Google Play or Apple App Store to cancel your subscription.
    • If you purchased on Geocaching.com, disabling or deleting your account will immediately cancel your subscription.


We will NOT do these for you.


Failure to do so may lead to disruptions and delays at different stages of the process, including when you try to initially submit the request. Similar to the disable account flow, this may look like this (there are other versions of this warning):


Warning.JPG

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Quote

If you choose to delete your account:

  • We will erase all of your logs, gallery photos, and profile information.

I don't want to believe that this is a necessary measure to comply with privacy laws but IANAL.

 

It reads as if the logs are completely removed without any remains.

Please, please leave at least the date and the logtype together with an "deleted_user" visible in the log history of all caches.

 

Every user should have the right to delete certain, specific information she or he no longer wants to be accessible on the internet.

But I disagree that deleting a big number of logs written with the explicit intention to be published and to be seen for all, just with the click of a button is in order.

 

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On 6/1/2022 at 11:55 AM, Hynz said:

I don't want to believe that this is a necessary measure to comply with privacy laws..

It reads as if the logs are completely removed without any remains.

Please, please leave at least the date and the logtype together with an "deleted_user" visible in the log history of all caches.

[...]

 

I completely agree and fully support the request to leave the trace of the log, without reference to the opted-out user

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Based on the most recent comments it may be helpful to clarify that this release doesn't change anything about what data is deleted. The deletion scope has been the same over the last couple years. It's hence unlikely to be changed at this point.

 

The primary benefit of this release is the accessibly of the data deletion option. This will give players more control and reduce staff time spent on manual processing.

 

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17 hours ago, Bl4ckH4wkGER said:

this release doesn't change anything about what data is deleted.

Interesting, thanks for that information.

 

I think nobody here knows about the quantity of such deletion request from the past. I assume it was rather low.

So I'm suprised that it seems necessary to reduce staff time for it but regardless of the numbers from the past it's obvious that this numbers will increase now because it's possible to do it without any hassle for the user.

I imagine new users trying out geocaching, writing some logs and after finding out that they no longer enjoy the hobby decide to quit and since the button exist they (and maybe even longer paritipating members) will click it assuming that's even the prefered action in that situation.

 

Could you please add some text to make it clear that this is the least prefered option for the community of participants and should only be choosen in exeptional cases.

 

I see (to my disappointment) that the possibility to hide the found caches and the gallery is already used to an extent that is noteworthy. I wished also on that settings page it is made clear that (while possible to eventually comply with certain privacy laws) hiding this information are not the prefered settings in a  community driven hobby/game.

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Posted (edited)

I know there are some geocachers who leave the hobby in a huff because they got into some disagreement with their Reviewer or HQ. These are not usually newbies. I worry those people with sour grapes will make use of this feature more than people with privacy concerns, destroying chunks of geo-history in the process.

 

Until now I wasn't aware it was possible to delete an entire account. 

Edited by JL_HSTRE
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Posted (edited)

Interesting read, I never thought about all the breadcrumbs you leave all over geocaching.com and what needs to be cleaned up when you cancel/delete your account.

If someone I've had a conversation with, deleted their account, would I see anything in my message center?

Like a archive message on the thread or a [user has been deleted] message or do the messages just disappear?

Edited by ardila.nl
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On 6/7/2022 at 4:09 AM, Hynz said:

I imagine new users trying out geocaching, writing some logs and after finding out that they no longer enjoy the hobby decide to quit and since the button exist they (and maybe even longer paritipating members) will click it assuming that's even the prefered action in that situation.

 

Could you please add some text to make it clear that this is the least prefered option for the community of participants and should only be choosen in exeptional cases.

 

Users have the legal right to be in control of their data. As such, this isn't about what you, I, or anybody else would prefer.

 

So we won't be able to add copy that discourages them from exercising their rights. That said, I don't see anything in that new copy that actively encourages players to go this route either.

 

8 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

I know there are some geocachers who leave the hobby in a huff because they got into some disagreement with their Reviewer or HQ. These are not usually newbies. I worry those people with sour grapes will make use of this feature more than people with privacy concerns, destroying chunks of geo-history in the process.

 

I can reassure you that of the thousands of accounts we have deleted over the last fours years, the number of players who match your description is very very small. 

 

6 hours ago, ardila.nl said:

If someone I've had a conversation with, deleted their account, would I see anything in my message center?

Like a archive message on the thread or a [user has been deleted] message or do the messages just disappear?

 

The messages will disappear. 

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