Pinboard Blog

Privacy Lock

As you saw in the previous post, many Pinboard users choose to keep their accounts completely private. About 12,000 have the 'add everything as private' setting enabled for that reason.

There are two big problems facing private users. The first is that the site is ugly. Private bookmarks have a dark background by default, to make it easy to distinguish them at a glance from public bookmarks. But this design only works well if you have few private bookmarks mixed in with a lot of public bookmarks (by a curious coincidence, my own usage pattern). Otherwise your bookmarks become a busy grey mess.

The second problem is that it's too easy to make a bookmark public by accident, particularly if you use the API. While it doesn't happen often, there's no reason these controls should be there if you don't intend to use them.

Today I'm adding a new feature to address these problems, called Privacy Lock. Privacy Lock will make it impossible to add public bookmarks to your account in any form while the setting is turned on. It will also make private bookmarks appear without a dark background, so the site is easier on the eyes.

In order to turn on Privacy Lock, you'll first have to make sure all your bookmarks are private. You can make them private by using the bulk edit link at the top of your home page.

Once the setting is on, you'll see a little padlock next to your username:

Your bookmarks will have a pretty white background, and you'll see there's no way to make them publicly visible. You can turn Privacy Lock off whenever you like, and your account will go back to its normal self.

You can toggle the new setting in the privacy tab of your settings page.

—maciej on March 05, 2013

Pinboard is a bookmarking site and personal archive with an emphasis on speed over socializing.

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