Being mindful of data privacy issues, Peakbagger.com has two settings that registered users can use to control access to the personal hiking/climbing data they enter into the site’s database. These setting have been present in the site since the beginning, but did not work well. As of late 2020, the privacy controls have been significantly upgraded, and they now hide accounts and ascents in a far more robust fashion.
By default, all ascent information entered by registered climbers on the site is visible to everyone on the internet. For most users, proud of their outdoor accomplishments, this is acceptable. The amount of damaging personal information shown on this site is minimal--no financial or sensitive personal data is collected at all.
Hiding an Entire Account
This option is for users who want to hide all of their account information at once, so that nothing about them can be seen by internet users--excepting the user themselves, or, optionally, their friends.
To hide an account, click on the “Edit Account” link under the main banner (when logged in). On the lower left of that page is a "Data Privacy" area with a checkbox that says “Hide all of your ascent data. . .” If you check this box, and the click “Create/Save Account”, your data will be hidden.
You will still be able to see your account data, but no one else will, unless you explicitly add people as climbing “Buddies”. The Buddies feature is explained on the Buddy help page. You can select friends to be your “buddies”, and anyone you select will be able to see all your data when they are logged in. Your buddies will see what you see, including all your ascent information. For total privacy, hide your account, don’t add any buddies, and delete the buddies you may already have--then you will be the only one with any access to your data.
If someone selects you as their buddy, that does not give them permissions to view your account. Only people you select as your buddy will be able to see your data.
Hiding an Individual Ascent
Sometimes a user will want to hide one or more single ascents, not all their data at once. Perhaps it is an ascent on private property, or one on a day when you “called in sick” and played hooky from work or school.
When you edit an Ascent, either by adding it with the “Full Add” capability or editing it afterwards, there is a "Data Privacy" area in the lower left of the page with a checkbox labeled “Hide this ascent". If you check this box and save your ascent, no one but you and your buddies will be able to see this ascent. Your non-hidden ascents will still be visible to everyone on the internet.
All the same rules for hiding an account also apply to individual ascents that are hidden. Your buddies will be able to see all your hidden ascents, but no one else.
- Hiding ascents will make many reports inconsistent on the web site. For example, if you hide an ascent of a peak on a list, then the “Front Runners List” (FRL) for that list will show your correct count when you view it, but others will see a count that reflects only your non-hidden ascents. Likewise, if you hide your entire account, you will not show up the FRL at all, unless you or your buddies are logged in.
- Sometimes, hiding an ascent will cause inconsistent dates to be seen. The default label and link for many peak lists on the site is the first date you climbed a peak. If you climbed a peak more than once, and hide your first ascent, then the site will use your first non-hidden ascent date as the default ascent for most viewers. You and your buddies will still see the hidden ascent date as your first one instead.
- Note that there is no way to distinguish between registered Peakbagger.com users and general internet users that don't have accounts. They both see the same view of your data. Only buddies you select will see everything you see.
- The Peakbagger phone apps for Android and iOS do not handle the hidden ascents well at present. In general, they keep hidden accounts and ascents from being seen by anyone, and do not take into account your buddies.
- Photos uploaded to the site are never hidden. If you want to hide your account, don't upload any photos. And if you want to hide an individual ascent, don't associate any of your photos to that climb.