Learning The Internet

Went to IndieWebCamp Popup: Sensitive Data on Your Personal Website

Replied to IndieWebCamp Popup: Sensitive Data on Your Personal Website (

Let’s come together to discuss using our websites to host, post, share, and store sensitive data, including medical records, habit logs, personal media files, and private writing.

What are the use cases for posting sensitive data on your own website? What plumbing is needed to host and share sensitive data within (and outside) the IndieWeb? What even is “sensitive” data, anyway?

Etherpad notes

Security through obscurity would probably cover most needs for me, with a few password protected and private posts. Although, I don’t know how logistically in WordPress to not include a specific post in the feed — that would work for pages where you just don’t add it to the menu and make it a hard-to-guess URL, but not posts.

I think people are starting to see and get used to the concept of private posts, with services like Patreon and Substack offering subscriber-only content — I think the paid subscriber concept would translate well to explaining to a friend or family member why they might need to be granted permission / to log into someone’s website to read certain kinds of content.

Question to ponder: what happens to my website after I die? As Chris pointed out, it’s not just a matter of paying hosting, but also the “admin tax” of installing updates and managing security. It would be horrible to have your website taken over and turned into a spam / spyware site after your death!

I could see a service that migrates your website to a new managed hosting, and also sets up a “memorial” page on the site like people seem to use Facebook posts for, with someone to manage webmentions / comments.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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