I am taking part in an online voting photo contest. In order to vote, you have to register using your email address.

Is it possible that people who run the site will be able to see my email address and to whom I have cast my vote?

  • I'm not sure that anyone can offer a definitive answer to this, it could be set up either way. The best way to tell would be to ask them. – jonsca Dec 4 '12 at 7:29
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    One has to assume the administrator of the website has full access to everything unless they say otherwise. If they are asking for your email account, then its to contact you, which means they are storing it in plain text ( otherwise its not much use to them ). – Ramhound Dec 4 '12 at 12:33
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    As asked, "Is it possible that people who run the site will be able to see my email address and to whom I have cast my vote?" - yes, you submitted your email address and your vote to a server they control, it is very possible they can tell exactly what those were. – Bob Watson Feb 11 '13 at 10:39

While it is possible to store a hash of an email address similarly to how passwords are stored in a hashed form, the only case I can think of this being used is for accessing Gravatar images, and even then the the site itself does keep cleartext entries of email addresses in their databases.

Almost certainly, if somebody asks for your email address, they have stored it for later use of some kind.

  • I agree. Not only is it plausible, it is likely they want your e-mail address for their own purpose. A valid e-mail address is not necesary to prevent online voting fraud for a simple photo contest. There are no free online services. There are only service offered in exchange for your information or supported by advertisement. – this.josh Dec 4 '12 at 6:54

Well it depends on the website where you are voting. If they have an option to hide the email address of yours from getting viewed by others then it will not. If they dont have anything like that they could see you email address.

  • If you submit information to a site (email address and vote in this case), the site owners are going to have visibility on that info regardless of which other options you set. An option to hide your address from others is likely just a flag to reveal that info on the website, not remove it from the database. – Bob Watson Feb 11 '13 at 10:43

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