Your Privacy, GoActuary website, and the CAS/SOA

We’ve had a number of situations on the site already that have been well handled by our dedicated moderators (thanks!). It’s become clear that we need some guidelines around what we do here with your information in situations where users are being problematic, our cooperation with the societies, and importantly, that you understand how we may use your information. As of now, here’s our draft policy wrt to working with authorities or the societies going forward:

  1. In the case of a court order that applies to the owners of this site, we will cooperate fully.
  2. In the case of illegal, threatening, or violent behavior on this site, we will, at our discretion, cooperate with and provide information to authorities such as the police.
  3. It is our intention to require that our visitors comply with CAS and SOA exam restrictions and guidelines on this site. Expect site moderators to ban and delete posts for any visitor that they perceive as having violated the restrictions and guidelines put in place by the CAS and the SOA.
  4. Upon request from the CAS or SOA, we will cooperate by providing user-identifiable information to them. For example, if you break their exam guidelines on this site, someone makes a formal complaint to a society, then we will provide user-identifiable information from this site. We’ll clarify that this is at our discretion, but expect that to be ‘we need a good reason NOT to do this’.

I’m sure we’d all prefer it to not be this way, but circumstances dictate that we have to have some sort of policy surrounding these things, and if we’re going to have a policy, that we inform you of it.

I expect there’ll be some discussion around this, and that’s welcome. The above is our first draft, but I think it encapsulates our general position on these matters.


I think it might be beneficial for item #3 to also point out that moderators consult each other and their collective decision is final.

Also, the could be under item #3, a request from the Societies to remove material will generally be honored.

Should “CAS/SOA” be something more generic like “actuarial organization”? I’m thinking of CIA, JBEA, IFA, and others from around the world?

I mean, I get that it’s mostly US actuaries, but if you thought someone was using the site to cheat on an Australian exam you’d turn them over to IAA, right?


Maybe something clarifying that for reasons other than above, you’re generally not going to share user’s information. For example, if someone was just critical of the CAS leadership, but not in any kind of violent or threatening way, and the CAS wanted to know who they were, I assume you would not share users’ information.

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That’s the ‘at our discretion’ part. We aren’t looking to deal with frivolous stuff, nor do I expect that the societies would request that. The intent is to clarify our approach with illegal and abusive behaviour as well as deliberate breaking of the societies rules.

It’s just not cricket.

I suspect that’s the case anyway, per law. At least in Canada, the general idea is that you can’t share info unless you disclose. Privacy regs and all. That’s actually one of the reasons I posted this - to make sure visitors here are aware of this. I’ve disclosed it, ‘you’ are aware, so we’re clean. The problem comes in when I’m using your data for stuff you weren’t aware of and didn’t agree to (in this case, you’re agreeing to the above by using the site).
In any event, the intention of the above is to deal with users who deliberately and knowingly are either doing illegal stuff, or deliberately and knowingly break the rules of the societies. Not currently too concerned about someone doing stuff like that inadvertently because it mostly doesn’t happen. People doing this stuff know what they’re doing. That’s why we figured fine, those people don’t enjoy privacy protection here.