[uf-discuss] A microformat for relationship availability and preference?

Ben Ward lists at ben-ward.co.uk
Thu Dec 21 04:59:23 PST 2006

On 21 Dec 2006, at 10:10, Ciaran McNulty wrote:
> Inherent in the Microformats movement is the desire to make
> information easier to publish and aggregate, but people need to
> consider carefully what parts they want to make available about
> themselves and their relationships to others.
> In my day job, I keep seeing places where an hCard would be useful
> where organisations are publishing contact information, but far from
> wanting to make it easily parsable they seem to put all their efforts
> into trying to obfuscate it to avoid getting more spam!

With this issue, it makes no difference whether you publish  
microformats or not. Phone numbers and email addresses (even postal  
addresses) are all parsable without microformats — with sufficient  
effort and regular expression complexity.

Spammers will go to that effort; it's their business to gleen  
information to abuse. I'm sure they'd be delighted to find hCards to  
parse and make their lives a little easier, but I don't see that it  
gives them any information that they wouldn't have got otherwise,  
through other means.

As always, the only way to keep information private on the internet  
is not to publish it in the first place.


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