Privacy (and Private Messages):
Privacy is held in high regard at Climb ZA. User passwords are stored as encrypted ciphertext, the tables containing PM’s are not available via administrative interfaces to the database, and reading through a user’s messages without consent or legal subpoena is grounds for removal from the Climb ZA staff. HOWEVER, once you have divulged an item of information — your name, your phone number, your dog’s favorite color — in a public forum or to a non-administrative user of the site, that information is no longer a secret, and we will take no action to obscure it should you change your mind. You cannot un-ring a bell, and we will silently ignore requests to do so. You should use your best judgment in deciding who to trust, on Climb ZA as in life. In general, it is in extremely poor taste to post the contents of email or private messages, but some people simply have no taste. Your messages are transmitted to us as plaintext, and stored as plaintext; an ill-intentioned recipient can repost excerpts of your conversations and there is little we can do to stop them. Please exercise good judgment in your dealings with others — as a rule of thumb, if you would be uncomfortable seeing something you wrote on the front page of the Weekend Argus, perhaps you shouldn’t be PM’ing or emailing it in the first place. If it’s something that might trigger an investigation, you DEFINITELY should think twice before sending it.
If the owners and operators of Climb ZA are subpoenaed in an investigation of a user, we will co-operate with the relevant authorities and your information may be seized by the agencies involved. This includes, but is not limited to, submitted photographs, profile information, private messages, email, chat records, and all forum posts. Short of a legal obligation to do so, there is no acceptable reason for the owners or volunteer administrators to invade a user’s privacy; such behavior is cause for review and indefinite suspension. Administrators are entrusted with a greater level of oversight than moderators, and are expected to exercise good judgment in using it.