Dr. Eiko Fried: “In December 2021, Robin Kok wrote a series of tweets about his Elsevier data access request. I did the same a few days later. This here is the resulting collaborative blog post, summarizing our journey in trying to understand what data Elsevier collects; what data Elsevier has collected on us two specifically; and trying to get this data deleted. A PDF version of this blog post is also available…To start with, of course they have information we have provided them with in our interactions with Elsevier journals: full names, academic affiliations, university e-mail addresses, completed reviews and corresponding journals, times when we declined review requests, and so on. Apart from this, there was a list of IP addresses. Checking these IP addresses identified one of us in the small city we live in, rather than where our university is located. We also found several personal user IDs, which is likely how Elsevier connects our data across platforms and accounts. We were also surprised to see multiple (correct) private mobile phone numbers and e-mail addresses included…And there is more. Elsevier tracks which emails you open, the number of links per email clicked, and so on…We also found our personal address and bank account details, probably because we had received a small payment for serving as a statistical reviewer. These €55 sure came with a privacy cost larger than anticipated…”
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