I agree. Serious poachers have access to data and techniques (and for that matter money, insiders and corruption) that make many of these obscuration attempts worthless.
This obscuration is surely for opportunistic poaching/collecting, and must be carefully weighed up against negative effects such as allowing local enthusiasts to police and monitor populations (using iNat if needs be) for threats and activities.
A secondary factor that needs to be taken into account is that even highly desirable pets/plants are not usually under threat if they are easy to propagate/breed in captivity. In these cases, rather than obscuring data, breeding programmes may be a more useful way to tackle the problem.
We also have had claims that putting data on citizen science sites has led to their “extraction”, but to date none have been conclusively verified**. A few cases have been due to porcupines “poaching” the bulbs, and a few succulent cases were poached without being posted. But concerns do run high.
e.g. Mokala National Park wanted all observations of Rhinos on the reserve removed from iNat, even though the entire reserve comprises only two 20X20km blocks, with rhinos in both, and the reserve advertises Rhinos as one of its main attractions.
**A major exception is a Spanish succulent expedition to South Africa that extracted data from CS sites, Red List sites and other online data on a spectacular scale (and were confident enough to have all the data on site when caught), but despite all their homework, they discovered an unpatrolled area of the Knersvlakte Nature Reserve and just hunkered down and collected and shipped out everything suitable for several days before being discovered. What was most alarming (apart from their audacity and scale of operation) from their records is that their intent was to explore unknown groups of plants presumably to test their novelty value and potential market.
The real issue here is that obscuring the data also hides it from the conservation agencies that are supposed to be protecting and managing the populations. So a reserve manager / specialist scientist / anti-poaching team may not become aware of a species in their conservation area, until after the better resourced poachers/collectors have been in. It is not just a case of obscuring data but keeping it usable at the same time. Bearing in mind that the observer may not be aware of the ID, or of the obscuration, or of the data trusting procedures/limitations on the site. And that for many heavily utilized groups electronic data is not nearly as useful as local habitat knowledge, with collectors relying on the latter and conservation agencies on the former.
Obscuration has its pros and cons, and I dont think the disadvantages of obscuring data (or for that matter, the technique or areal scale of obscuration) have been explored adequately. We all intuitively understand the need to obscure data for various reasons (esp. rarity, trespass and land value), but the efficiency and consequences of this on subsequent data value are not so obvious.