The site offers four levels of privacy: Low, Medium, High, and Paranoid. To really understand what these mean though, you need to know something about the different audiences and different kinds of user data that the site defines.
There are three different AUDIENCES:
- GUESTS: A guest is any person on the internet who browses to the site but does not register and login.
- REGISTERED USERS: A registered user is anyone who has registered an account on CellarTracker and has logged in. Since there are no restrictions beyond the terms and conditions on who can register, this can still be a pretty broad audience.
- CELLARTRACKER BUDDIES: You can name specific registered CellarTracker users (by their ID#) and provide them with privileges to see your cellar.
There are three main pieces of DATA that are exposed on the site:
- USER HANDLE: Your handle is your login name. Some people choose to use their actual name, others use nicknames, and others use obviously anonymous monikers. In some cases the site will expose this handle in association with your other data (tasting notes, inventory, purchases, consumed bottles) or in a list of users. One approach to all of this privacy stuff is to stick with an anonymous handle, although the intent of the other options here is in fact to allow you to share an appropriate level of data with the community.
- TASTING NOTES: The site allows you to record your own impressions on a wine as a tasting note. In fact, one of the the main attractions to the site is the growing community of such notes.
- CELLAR DATA: Depending upon your privacy level, the site can also expose information about the number of bottles of a wine that you have, where and when you purchased them, and when you consumed them. NOTE: The site only expose purchase price or valuation to other users in aggregate (e.g. average price or value of a wine held by multiple users).
OK, now that we have that out of the way, let's talk in detail about what data is exposed to what audiences at each privacy level.
- LOW: Apart from the aforementioned fact that a user's specific purchase price and valuation are never shown to other users, that is the only limit on what aspects of your cellar can be seen. Any user can see how many bottles you have in your cellar and look at the entire list. When looking at a specific wine in your cellar, non-guests can see how much you have purchased, where and when, and the number of bottles you currently have in inventory. (When drilling down to a specific wine, guests only see the tasting notes.)
- MEDIUM: The main distinction about medium security is that guests cannot browse your cellar data in its entirety. Guests can see your handle and your tasting notes. Registered users can browse your entire cellar list and can see specifics on each wine in your cellar.
- HIGH: When this option is chosen, only buddies can see your cellar list and details about your wine. However, all users can see your tasting notes and your handle in association with those notes.
- PARANOID: The only difference from the high option is that guests see 'Anonymous' instead of your handle in association with your notes.
As you can see, the privacy options are geared towards sharing of tasting notes yet with significant control over what is seen about your cellar data.
NOTE: Even at the highest privacy levels, the total number of bottles in a cellar is still exposed in association with the USER HANDLE unless you set the new option to
"Hide my count of bottles from people who cannot see my cellar" on this screen.