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?

  • Rather than creating a dialog via flags, I will answer this here because it's not a sensitive matter at the moment. Redaction of the links is possible if a mod has edited them out of the question. Is what you mean?
    – jonsca
    Aug 20, 2017 at 2:52

3 Answers 3


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:



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:


  • 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, 2012 at 21:37
  • Did you find anything new? I'm quite curious.
    – Spooky
    Jul 21, 2012 at 0:36
  • I didn't find anything new.
    – Tim
    Jul 21, 2012 at 8:41

Since recently, a Dropbox update makes it so that people can see your full first and last name on files that you share publicly.



on your google link i can see your full name(first and last) by simply going into details in the menu on the right. I am glad you shared this link because i will no longer share items on my google drive publicly. I am sure its very secure otherwise.

I can't get any name info or identity info from your dropbox file. I will be using dropbox from now on for link sharing. I did see a post on dropbox support that the business version of dropbox will show your full account even with shared links to files. Not true with nonbusiness free dropbox. Not sure why they did this. I imagine you can tweak the setting on business to not reveal any identity info.

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