[INDOLOGY] Academia.edu and privacy issues

Brendan S. Gillon, Prof. brendan.gillon at mcgill.ca
Wed Nov 25 02:51:00 UTC 2020

I had a similar problem with academia.edu. I have made two attempts to unsubscribe.

Brendan S. Gillon                            email: brendan.gillon at mcgill.ca
Department of Linguistics
McGill University                             tel.:  001 514 398 4868
1085, Avenue Docteur-Penfield
Montreal, Quebec                           fax.:  001 514 398 7088

webpage: http://webpages.mcgill.ca/staff/group3/bgillo/web/
From: INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info> on behalf of Dominik Wujastyk via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info>
Sent: November 24, 2020 9:46 PM
To: Harry Spier <vasishtha.spier at gmail.com>
Cc: Indology <indology at list.indology.info>
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Academia.edu and privacy issues

This is worrying.  I've been getting Academia.edu "push" suggestions too, but I haven't connected them with my emails.

Gmail emails are encrypted by default, end-to-end.  TLS encryption (as long as the recipient has TLS too).  So Academia.edu can't see them.

Google searches are public (see the fascinating Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, Everybody Lies), but not who did the searching afaik.

It's hard to know how this is happening, but it is a bit creepy.  I'll ask the Academia.edu people.


On Tue, 24 Nov 2020 at 16:06, Harry Spier via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>> wrote:
Dear list members,
I'm sharing this with the list since so many members also use Academia.edu.

A while back I had an email exchange with a list member and the same day I received an email from Academia.edu highlighting a paper by the list member I'd just been emailing.  Today I received an email from a colleague not a member of Academia.edu. That email discussed a particular hymn and had the hymns name in the email title.  Within 15 minutes of receiving that email,  I received an email from Academia.edu highlighting an article about the hymn I'd just been emailed about.

I use Gmail.  I think this means that if you are a Academia.edu member and also a gmail user, then  Academia.edu knows who and when you email someone or someone emails you, the title of the email and possibly the contents of the email.

As far as I can see looking at the Gmail privacy, Gmail doesn't say they don't share email contents and I think  to join Academia.edu you have to give them access to your contents list.

I've removed Academia.edu from access to my contacts list and hopefully this will solve the problem.

Harry Spier
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