Trust user with hidden coordinates on a single observation

When I trust someone with hidden coordinates on a single observation that person can now see all my hidden coordinates. I’m not a huge fan of that, there are times when I want to make a friend or boss aware of something, but I don’t necessarily want to tell them about every single thing that is either auto-obscured or that I obscured.

Could that be changed to make it so that trusting someone with hidden coordinates only trusts them on the individual observation selected?

A feature in this vein could also help address this older request:
which proposes having a class of observations that would be shared to trusted contacts and another that would be absolutely private (unshareable).

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There have definitely been many times that I would have used such an option if it existed. I imagine it might add considerable indexing load to the infrastructure, so we’ll see what the developers have to say about it.

For sure, I would also want to retain the existing option to trust someone with all of my obscured observations.

And for what it’s worth, I agree with the poster of that other related feature request, that “Private” geoprivacy should be as the word implies, never visible to anyone else (except Staff), trusted or not. On the rare occasions someone would want to share private coordinates, that can be done via private message.


I agree on a lot of this, but I do think that it would be useful to have the ability to share observations that fall under the current “Private” category.

For one thing, there are taxa in certain areas that are automatically set to Private (I believe). If Private observations couldn’t be shared, this could seriously restrict a user’s control of their own data.

So I think that, regardless of changes, there should be a category of observation which has the location protections that the “Private” category has, but are also shareable.

This type of system could be created via another (fourth) geoprivacy category (“Super Private”?) that isn’t shared even if location data is shared, or by some other means. However, having the ability to share on a case by case basis, might lessen the need for this type of protection.

At some point, users can always just DM coordinates for a one off observation that they want to share the location of.


As I’ve pointed out a dozen times, this is only true as long as the contributer is still alive / still checking iNat / cares. To scream into the void again: iNat really needs to plan for useful data management when that option is no longer the case. Ephemerality by design (even if that is a 70 year run, at best) is going to leave a lot of future scientists gnashing their teeth that we were so short sighted.


The connection to the previous comment isn’t clear to me?

If a user who becomes inactive (for whatever reason) has granted access to obscured/private locational data to another user, that should remain available in whatever state they left their account in when they became inactive.

If they hadn’t made that data available, it would remain unavailable after they became inactive, which makes sense to me.

If I’m misunderstanding or there’s an extensive discussion on another thread that would explain, it could be useful to post that.

I just brought it up because it sounded like you were suggesting DMs as the failsafe backstop if we can’t figure out an algorithmic / systemic way to selectively share non-public data. That reminded me of other times “communicate with the user” has been suggested for other problems (e.g., sharing locations with researchers, obscured dates, taxonomy updates breaking opt-out-of-community-ID observations) and I’ve pointed this out. Someone might have chosen to selectively share their data with a “good cause” if they’d known about it, but that will eventually become impossible. Anyway, it’s not specific to this thread, I just figured I’d point out the assumption. The paradigm difference here is whether we’re approaching iNat as biodiversity data or biodiversity social media.

For what it’s worth, I support (and voted for) the original feature request.


We decided to not move forward with this and make the current system more complex. Please use projects as way to get access to certain observations.

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