Tagged: privacy issues
January 9, 2018 at 2:15 pm #33394
Do other hosts have WWOOFERS contact them to come to your farm. Then you find out they do not have a visa and want you to write them a letter inviting them?
I’m wondering are these people really joining as members just to try and get a visa to Australia – sounds like it to me.
Is it happening a lot?
I have had 2 such contacts in the last week from African people, since I started to use this new website and messaging system. Which seems to be working a treat for genuine wwoofers, already in the country, by the way.
January 9, 2018 at 10:34 pm #33404
Lisa and BradParticipant
We’ve just joined in late Nov??? during that time we haven’t had any of those requests linked to requesting letters of support. We have WWOOFers contacting us directly and I check their profile before responding. If its blank I suggest to them to fill it in and we go from there. When they arrive I check their passport and visa dates to make sure they’re still valid. Hope this helps! I don’t know the process to issue visas overseas but I don’t think we would write any letters of support. Could get very confusing for tourist, yourselves and possibly immigration. Lisa
January 9, 2018 at 10:55 pm #33405
Once I found out their status, I replied saying “No sorry I am not willing to give any invite by letter. Did you already join Australian WWOOF before getting a visa?
I think you should wait till you have your visa before contacting any hosts.”
I doubt these people will get a visa as they would be a big risk of not going home again. It sounds like they would really be looking for a sponsor. People the world over are desperate to get to Australia and will try all kinds of ways to try. I was just surprised to see they were joining wwoof as a possible way in.
I won’t be getting involved in that of course, just curious to see if others have come across this.
January 10, 2018 at 8:10 am #33408
We had an American guy contact us recently who said he liked “our wwoof profile”. We sent him to our questionnaire and have been emailing back and forth. Just found out he’s not a member and is still in the States. Your post made me think about how he accessed our wwoof profile and guess what?
ALL profiles are fully public, both wwoofers and hosts and map search. If you log out and googgle your name and host number you’ll see links to your profile on bing and google, alternatively you can just go to the wwoof website and go through all the profiles. Easy enough to look up contact details if you have a business or an address in map search. No one has to be a member to see your details.
We have three dogs and a gate but I still feel a bit weird about it as I had not realized all our details were public.
January 10, 2018 at 11:28 am #33413
OMG! What the hell!!
That should be the first thing that should be on this website then, in big letters “THIS SITE IS NOT SECURE AND ALL YOUR INFO IS OPEN FOR THE WORLD TO SEE SO BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WRITE”
This is very bad
I’m shocked actually.
I’ll be calling the office right now
What a bummer.
January 10, 2018 at 12:50 pm #33419
Thanks for calling the office today, Veronica. We appreciate your feedback. Further to our phone conversation, I’d like to point out that we always have, and still do, take our members’ privacy seriously.
If a person has not signed up as a member on this website they definitely can’t see the contact details of other members – i.e. email addresses or telephone numbers. Non-members can see the map on member profiles, though. We’ll be raising this issue with our webmaster to see if that can be changed. In the meantime, please note that you can enter your map location simply as a place (e.g. Tully) rather than as an exact street address.
Non-members can also see other details in a member’s profile, such as the type of accommodation offered and the short property description – but definitely no email addresses or telephone numbers. This is in line with many other WWOOF groups and internet-based volunteer organisations such as Helpx and Workaway, and another reason for the redevelopment of our website.
Something else to bear in mind is that in years past thousands of copies of the WWOOF book were circulating all over the country. On occasion, a WWOOF book might have been stolen, or lost, or disposed of without due consideration…
When editing your Host profile, please note the fields that say “This field can be seen by” followed by “Public” or “Members Only”. You can change these fields to one or the other: Public or Members Only, depending on what you want and don’t want others to see.
Finally, the two WWOOFers who contacted you (Frank William Ndargo and John Kameni) will be contacted by us and reminded that they must comply with the WWOOFer Guidelines which they agreed to follow when they signed up on this website. If we hear from another host that these WWOOFers have asked them for help with a visa, we will cancel the WWOOFers’ membership.
January 10, 2018 at 1:00 pm #33420
I have just changed our name back to our member number, changed our map location to the national park behind our house and changed the setting to private as you suggested. When I Bing us the member name has changed but the info in our profile is still all there. Could that just be cookies? I would not like my profile or photos to be searchable on the internet.
January 10, 2018 at 1:12 pm #33421
OK figured out you have to actually go in an change each individual area after you set it to members only. But I still can’t figure out how to make the gallery a members only area? Wwoof Office, can you help?
January 10, 2018 at 7:43 pm #33438
Update: Shane is fixing the settings on gallery tonight. He’s a pretty handy guy to have around!
January 11, 2018 at 5:06 pm #33459
Yes, Shane is AMAZING! We couldn’t have done this without him!! He is totally onto it, he has made a video to show you how to make your Galleries member only.
We had a discussion yesterday and he is looking into making the map searches member only too, the public can do list searches to see how many hosts in any area they are interested in but we think it would be far better for the map searches to be member only if possible. I will keep you posted 🙂
January 11, 2018 at 9:41 pm #33480
Lisa and BradParticipant
Possibly this is a good question to put to Hosts and WWOOFers to respond to.
You may find that potential WWOOFers use the map search to work out whether they should join. Maybe the better plan is help hosts use the location setting in a better way.
If contact details are already restricted there is a very distant chance of anyone just arriving out of the blue at your property. I think its worth asking for feedback rather than racing to a decision without much data to work out whether its the best long term decision.
We had a discussion yesterday and he is looking into making the map searches member only too, the public can do list searches to see how many hosts in any area they are interested in but we think it would be far better for the map searches to be member only if possible.
January 31, 2018 at 1:36 pm #33931
Hi Lisa and Brad,
Thanks for your comments, you do make a good point, thanks, we will certainly mull this over before we make any decisions.
Potential WWOOFers do look at the map to see if there are hosts in the areas they want to visit so it is definitely a good selling point for WWOOFers. There are still only 514 Hosts on the map out of 1440 Hosts, so we still have many hosts yet to set their locations.
We generally recommend Hosts only put their nearest Town as their location, this protects their privacy and still lets WWOOFers know basically where they are, and if they do a search for nearby Hosts they will still turn up in the search results.
February 2, 2018 at 9:11 pm #33983
Jane and DesParticipant
We have decided not to accept WWOOFers looking for their visa credentials. They were often not as much fun. We simply say “sorry, no smokers and no second visas” Saves all the discussions.
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