Sorry to Panic!

Eliezer raised an important privacy issue in a comment on my previous entry. One which I'd never really thought of in too much depth but one that is entirely valid.

Having looked into the issue of Plus account holders 'Friends Only' diaries suddenly becoming public when I run the expiry scripts for the first time in ages, I can now confirm the following;

No-one's diary will suddenly become public after a Plus account expires.

However, when you next try to customize your diary, the option for Friends Only diary will be greyed out and the tickbox will NOT have a tick in it. If you go ahead and save any changes, your diary will then become public (unless you chose to tick the private diary box).

I think that's a reasonably OK thing to do – please advise me if you disagree. On privacy issues I am (unlike Facebook ;)) always willing to hear other people's points of view and take them into account. Privacy is a serious issue.

P.S. The keen eyed amongst you may have noticed that this diary was in fact marked as Friends Only for a short time. I was testing how the system dealt with expired Plus accounts :-)

Plus Account Expiry

I've noticed (with some help from someone!) that the Plus account expiry system hasn't been running. It's probably been that way for some considerable time, at least since last time we moved servers. Which would explain why we haven't had many renewals recently – and why the budget is suffering as badly as it is!

If I ran the process now, it would 'unPlus' all those accounts with expiration dates in the past, and would therefore potentially expose Friends Only diaries to the public with no warning at all. So rather than do that immediately I thought it was prudent to actually give some warning :-)

If your Plus account expiry is showing a date in the past when you login (in the Members Button Bar) I will be running the expiry process next Friday (6th January). You will need to re-subscribe BEFORE that date in order to keep your Plus account – if it does not have an expiry date of sometime in the future. I'll reinstate the expiry system at the same time so that warnings are sent properly through e-mail again!

Apologies for that. Please note that if your Plus account expired a year ago, you do NOT need to pay for the last year. Any payment you make now will add time, it will not 'fill in' for the previous year. In other words, you won't need to pay for 2 years to become a Plus holder again. I hope that makes sense. Consider last year a freebie :-) (Unless you made a donation earlier in the year from our appeal)

Thanks, and sorry for the pain in the backside this is!