Should team members be public?

we currently have an open discussion on our github page:

I this discussion I have come into a disagreement with another community member about whether people in the should be forced to bind their real life identities to their online identity used for ptio. The reason for this would be is that people will then be personally responsable in case of bad advice. I happen to disagree with this line of thought, but I would like some community input:

  • PTIO team members should Bind publicly with their real life identities.
  • PTIO team members should not have to Bind publicly with their real life identities.

0 voters


i’ll leave my comment on the github thread - just reading through it and saw something that really burns me up

no lol

A pseudonym is a public identity.

PrivacyToolsIO does not pretend to be some scientific publishing outfit.

If readers are not happy with the advice given, they are free to go elsewhere.


agree … and even if did have that status it wouldn’t be any more creditable in my eyes - “science” today is largely bought and paid for

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I’d say def leave it up to the person. I am super public about who I am, but I have a professional reason to. Not everyone else does and some could have risks in doing so.


I don’t think they should be public.

no, staying anon should be an option.

After reading all of what was going on, I’ve come to the conclusion that you can still output great advice while remaining anonymous. How? They should explain how and why their advice is good.

For you crypto geeks, think of it as like public crypto systems. The algorithm(the advice, why, how, etc) itself is public. Yet the key(the real person behind it) is secret. Why and how is really important.

It should be the users’ choices whether they will be anonymous or not.

I think your initial github response is a very good idea:
“about page, with a little history of who started the project, why and how it was started, and what our mission is. Below that we could even list some of the team members and (optionally)? List some way to contact them.”

and i do not believe actual identity need be provided at all; however, a good about page as you describe above including a list of team members (you guys are our representatives behind the project) is a good idea. just a handle/pic/tiny bio would suffice unless desired otherwise by the individual team member same goes for adding contact and encryption preferences.

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The problem with trying to lay blame for “giving bad advice” is that the sheer complexity of computers and everything interconnected with them, and the way that the ecosystem changes so rapidly, places a great many factors on whether or not something works or it doesn’t outside of the control of the PTIO staff.

Even the software developers that are charged with the responsibility of maintaining the operating systems and cryptosystems that we depend upon to make our systems work don’t assume liability for mistakes, since even in their case there is a lot of stuff that is outside of their control.

Given that, it is unrealistic to expect that part-time volunteers who are running this project out of their own pockets should be made to shoulder that kind of liability, especially in what could become a professional capacity.


:+1: I am not entirely sure how it is for me, “historically” I was very open as I thought I wasn’t going to live long anyway, I guess later openess became part of my personality and I find it difficult to not be myself and nowadays I have a better change of getting employed through openess.

I am also involved with a political party in Finland, so my identity might be easy to correlate due to something I say and my age and neighbourhood and similar are public due to having been a candidate in local elections, possibly visible due to my status in some associations and some public association position applying questions include that information.

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Ah, this is such a great topic, and we have thought about this in our company as well.
In the end for us we decided that building trust requires a certain amount of openness, for us the linking of online identities made the most sense, so we all linked our github profiles.

But this is an interesting topic.


There are many ways in which one can attest to one’s credibility. I think those leading the project should attempt to show they are legitimately concerned about and knowledgeable about privacy but that does not necessarily mean uniting online and offline personas.

PTIO could do something like’s About page, where everyone’s a bird :grin:

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That’s actually kind of cool.