Take the 2-minute tour ×
Web Applications Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for power users of web applications. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I would like to share some documents to the public by Google document and by Dropbox, so that the public can view the documents without downloading them, but without my identity being revealed. I wonder if the public will be able to see my account information at Google and at Dropbox? Thanks!

For example, can you find out my accounts from these two documents that I share with the public:

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Whilst you have the Google document open, if you are logged in to your account, users can (pretty much) see your email address in both the viewer list and the chat area. Even if you are logged in to an account that did not create the document, it is possible for your active account's name to be revealed if you have permission to edit the document with this account. See here for more information.

By looking at File > View revisions... within the Google Docs interface, users can see your first name (regardless of whether or not you have the document open). They can also see a list of all of the first names of the users who have modified the document. Having viewed your document, upon viewing https:­//docs.google.com/#home I can see your document as well as your first name within what I assume to be a history list.

There may be additional information that could be retrieved, but I am not aware of anything more than what I have explained so far.

Having looked at the HTML of the Dropbox page, I cannot find any trace of your email address, or anything that looks like a user ID. Furthermore, I checked my Dropbox and it seems that the URL cannot be modified to guess the other files in an account purely from a link to one file.

The template for the URLs I was seeing in my own Dropbox is as follows:

https:­//www.dropbox.com/sh/foo/bar/baz

Where...

foo is a seemingly random string that remains the same for each link for a file within this folder.

bar is a seemingly random string that is changed for each file (even if they're in the same folder).

baz is the file name - the same as you have named your file.

This means that users cannot view the other files within your Dropbox folder without you sharing the direct link to the folder. Note that the layout of your provided Dropbox link seems different. I don't know which route you have taken to come out with such a URL, but what I have said above about the URL might still apply.

With both of your provided links, I haven't any specialist knowledge in the respected areas, so I cannot be sure that there is not more than I have found.

Finally, the following pages might interest you:

https://­www.dropbox.com/help/179/en
http://­forums.dropbox.com/topic.php?id=52884

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks! Upvoted! Are you the one chatting with me? –  Tim Jul 20 '12 at 21:34
    
Yeah! Note that using Fiddler to log your web traffic might be useful, since you can perhaps find your user ID(s) and then search through the responses from the server for a string containing your ID. –  Spooky Jul 20 '12 at 21:37
    
Did you find anything new? I'm quite curious. –  Spooky Jul 21 '12 at 0:36
    
I didn't find anything new. –  Tim Jul 21 '12 at 8:41

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.