Obscured observations only showing month observed for other users

So when I look at this observation I see observed March 8 10:09 pm but when others see it they only see observed March 2022

Apparently this is happening to many of my observations how do I get it to hide the location but not effect the date

1 Like

(I’ve moved this to casual as it isn’t a bug)

As of July last year, obscuring locations also obscures the date and time for the observation itself, and for IDs/comments. This was implemented to help strengthen obscuration and make it harder to interpolate true locations. You can read a good discussion about this here, plus more info here.

It’s not possible to decouple obscuration of the location and date; either both or neither are obscured.

(I’ve also hidden your screenshots since they showed obscured info)

13 Likes

I hate this so much it’s awful it’s makes sense for particular taxons but if your choosing to obscure an observation location it should be a choice as to whether you obscure the date as well. Surely it wouldn’t be hard to add a button to chose, this is infuriating this kind anti-usability crap is why so many people quit inat

3 Likes

You can make another post about wanting it changed if that’s something you’d want to pursue.

I personally obscure all my observations for security reasons (I’ve had stalkers… Gross stuff.) and I would honestly be fine with only obscuring the date for some and only the location for other things. Sometimes I would prefer only one element being obscured over the other vs both being obscured. It would be nice to be able to pick if you want one or both obscured instead of automatically having both obscured.

The reason behind obscuring the date and time was because people were able to find the location of things when people observed multiple things within a short span of time and the time was visible which made it easy to compare to the unobscured observations.

I think a smart solution would be for all automatically obscured observations to have to have both location and time and date obscured but when people are choosing to obscure, they should be given the option to choose what elements they want obscured.

7 Likes

For some background I obscure all observations at my house because I don’t want strangers knowing exactly where I live but I wouldn’t care in the slightest if they knew what neighbourhood I lived in so this level FOR ME (and surely others) is extremely overprotective. It was already really annoying you couldn’t choose the level a observations location was obscured eg pick a bounding box size rather then the automatic huge box, this on top it almost makes he want to quit doing observations at my home,

1 Like

yeah. and for that reason it makes total sense for threatened species to have the date obscuration unchangeable.

but when its a personal choice to obscure an otherwise unobscured, unprotected thing, yeah, i think it would be nice to have an option. like i dont care if someone knows that i observed a bug at my house yesterday, i just dont want them to know my address. and sometimes id even LIKE the dates visible, like if im documenting something as it grows

i like that as an idea too. like how you can manually set a circle of error for where exactly the observation is when you are sharing the location. which is how some people “manually obscure” locations already! just like with dates, i think protected species should have it unalterable by default, but it would be nice to be able to customize it for other situations. in the meantime, that can be somewhat done by deliberately putting the location pin somewhere that isnt your house, then stretching the circle to encompass your house.

i observed a plant virus and the default obscuration put it in the everglades instead of the suburbs, and i really didnt like the possible implications of that so i just stuck it in some other suburbs then made the circle cover my house. i really wish my box for my home observations didnt go to the everglades. i would really love to change that

5 Likes

I feel this hard. I’d really enjoy the date being visible for a whole bunch of things I upload. It’d be cool to see more options for this but I understand that it probably wouldn’t be high on their to-do list.

2 Likes

My solution to this has been to just put the observation pin elsewhere in my neighborhood, with an uncertainty radius that covers my actual house. That way the date can remain unchanged.

That, or just put the date in the description as a comment.

11 Likes

Another idea for an additional option to obscure date or location but where it runs out and becomes public after a set time limit you choose. I sometimes obscure local obs. but make them public to inat projects and some researchers, but keep obs. from more public places like large city parks public.

Check out the solution that others have suggested which is to “manually” obscure by choosing a location that isn’t your house but with an accuracy circle large enough to include your house. This will let you fine tune the degree of intentional “error” as well as make the date available for anyone to see (assuming that a species isn’t auto-obscured due to being threatened/endangered, etc.). It is a little more work, but about as much work as it would take to customize date and accuracy of obscuration would be if that were an option.

5 Likes

Your data doesn’t change from being obscured, and you can see date of upload, comments, etc. just as fine, so what’s the big deal if others can’t? Who cares, if location is obscured anyway, which makes it not really useful already for use on iNat? And if you have specific people in mind, just add them to the list, so they can see true locations and dates.

4 Likes

this is actually the more secure way to “obscure” locations, as long as you’re always using the same location to represent your house. (“pinning” the location in the upload screen helps to make sure this is the case.) the reason it’s more secure is because you never input the true location of your house anywhere in the system. the system’s built-in obscuring functionality works fine in most cases, but it’s not going to prevent a truly determined bad actor from discovering your true coordinates one way or another.

5 Likes

I suspect this issue may apply to some taxa, but not all. For most moths, those data would be sufficient - they are rarely confined to one specific place or flight date.
@dallon Did your stalkers get your data from iNat? This is an honest question - I’ve always assumed that iNat would be the last place stalkers would look for personal details. I don’t have any experience with that reprehensible behaviour.

I Shouldn’t have to use a sloppy work around when there’s a rather easy solution

2 Likes

Most of my at home observations are flying insects, and the exact date observed for many species is potentially just as useful if that more useful for much research as a exact location

Then I agree with others, using bigger circle suits you more, btw when change happened many complained about it being not an option to turn off/on, maybe it actually isn’t so easy to add or it’d be here already.

Yes. I know because I wasn’t being approached at my home address but at parks that I often frequent and post observations at. I think it’s probably not a very common issue in general but I’m predisposed to have people trying to find me because of my job. It’s not worth the risk to me to have the exact location shown anymore so the fact that obscuring is an option means a lot to me.

To get back on track though, more options for the obscuring feature would be nice but ultimately, there are other workarounds that people suggested.

6 Likes

Wow. That is terrible.

2 Likes

There’s all the observations I’ve made already though going through hundreds if not over a thousand observations to modify them is a huge pain in the ass

1 Like

You could do it only for those in need of id, if that makes number smaller, or copy+paste date as you visit them if that’s faster than changing location.