New Privacy Settings

Up until today, CityStrides used the privacy settings from your run tracking service. So, if you were public there then you’d be public here. If you were private there then you’d be private here.

This is very simple, and I would love to have left it at that. However…
I get a lot of complaints from people that their activities are public in CityStrides. It’s probably the biggest reason (that I hear about) for people to leave the site, as well.

So starting today, CityStrides allows you to set custom privacy settings.

Existing users are set to a ‘Per Activity’ privacy setting, so there will be no change for you.
New users are set so that everything is completely private by default.

The privacy settings are split into three areas:

  • There is one for Activities themselves. This applies to whether anyone will see any of your activities at all.
  • There is one for location data. This applies to maps, completed/progressed streets, running cities, and the leaderboard.
  • There is one for City / Street / Leaderboard listings. This applies to being present in City pages/lists, and sharing your list of Cities.

There are three options for the Activity/Location privacy setting (City privacy is either public or private):

  • One is ‘Everyone’, which makes your account completely public.
  • One is ‘Just Me’, which makes your account completely private.
  • One is ‘Per Activity’, which makes each of your Activities have its own setting.

Changing either of these settings (click on Settings in the menu to do that) triggers some code to run in the background. This code updates all of your activities to have the newly selected privacy level. This makes changing from one level to another take some time, but it grealy simplifies my interaction with Activities.

I hope you enjoy this change … As always, I’d love to hear your feedback!
Have fun out there!

Update: There’s a newly-added City privacy. It’s geared towards whether or not you want to appear on City pages / lists, and whether you want your list of Cities shared.


After looking at the settings, if I enable Activities to everyone but keep location information private, the activity will show up on the activities page, and when someone clicks on my profile? But clicking on any particular activity will not show Map overlay, specific streets progressed, or the cities I’m running?

That’s correct, @eamidon
Everything should be visible to you, but for everyone else your description is accurate.

Sorry I wasn’t clearer in the original post … It’s all a bit more complicated than I’d like, but I think it’s important to separate “the fact that an activity occurred” from “the location details that are tied to that activity/user”.

That location setting applies to anywhere within the site that relates to your location … So you won’t appear as a Strider in a city, you won’t appear on the Leaderboard, your activities won’t display progressed/completed streets, and your activities won’t have maps.

Ok thats a nice improvement! It’ll be nice to be able to share some of my activity with the site while not having to give access to everything.

I’ll still advocate for a future improvement for a “public completed streets map” privacy setting, but private (or friends) location data. :smiley:

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Once we get past the all-or-nothing public/private setting, there has to be a very detailed and clear set of options.

My mind immediately goes to a list of checkboxes indicating which things should be public (maps / completed streets / leaderboard / city presence)… it all gets very complicated.

That’s not to say I don’t want it. :smile:

I think you need to make sure it’s really clear, on signup, that new users will have maps that are private by default, even if their Strava is public. So they pretty much immediately make their stuff public. (Already ran into this issue today.)

I also would let idiots that don’t understand their Strava is public leave the site, but that’s just me.

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The last step in the signup wizard is a page to update settings … but you’re right - I’m not explicitly stating that their stuff is private. Thanks!

With the new private settings I miss some striders in my cities. That is of course ok, if people donot want to share anything. But that also means they are not in the ranking anymore. Is there a way you can give the real overal ranking? See my earlier question if you can add a ranking nr to the people?

@JamesChevalier is the “Friends only” privacy thing implemented? How do I add friends?

That privacy layer is an option, but the site itself doesn’t have “friends” yet.

What do you think the main benefits of a friends feature is?
How do you imagine it being used?
What are the most relevant stats that you’d be looking for, for your friends?

I really need to understand what you and other Striders want out of this feature, so I don’t build the wrong thing. :smiley:

The MAIN benefit of friends is privacy; my buddy for some reason didn’t want to make his map public (I guess it becomes incredibly obvious where you live) but he wanted to share it with me. So adding me as a friend would allow that.

The only other benefit I can see is that if I had a quick friends section I wouldn’t have to bookmark everyone’s lifemaps. I could just ‘friend’ someone, and then my profile could have a quick link to all my friends.

My friend who just signed up (for citystrides) assumed incorrectly that Strava friend’s list would transfer over to citystrides. So that might be an option for you; just copy my followers list, if you can get it.


I think the meaning/use of the feature is faily obvious: it is the same as we would use friends in Apps like Strava, Runkeepers, Facebook, Twitter etc. I am not to keen to share my data to the whole world So i would choose friends I f i Could. Frieds would also be a App like Tapirii …

Newbie here and trying to familiarize myself with the site/functionality. Looking to add ‘friends’ and came across this post in a search.

Has there been any movement/changes on the adding friends feature?

There is no friends or explicit social side to the site at this point (besides the forum!), no.


I think the bummer is that if James implements too much in the way of social media type features, he risks the services he pulls from revoking his API access (looking at you, Strava)