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Photo Credit: Jon Ort / The Daily Princetonian

The days of using Tigerbook to find a friend’s dorm room to drop off a surprise gift or to find out what city a fellow student in precept is from are over. 

University privacy restrictions now prohibit the display of dorm building, room number, roommates, hometown, state, and country on Tigerbook. The website removed this information on Sept. 6, 2019.

In the past, Tigerbook showed every student’s name, picture, email, residential college, dorm building, room number, hometown, state, country, roommates, and major.

Tigerbook is an online directory of Princeton undergraduates originally created by Hansen Qian ’16, Ivo Crnkovic-Rubsamen ’15, and Rohan Sharma ’14 for their capstone project for COS 333: Advanced Programming Techniques. Adam Libresco ’19 and Nick Schmeller ’21 have also contributed to the website in recent years. Students must log in with the University’s CAS authentication system in order to view the information on Tigerbook. 

“We continually review how information is managed and shared at the University. To protect the privacy and security of our students, we have further restricted directory information about students that may have been available to University community members,” Deputy University Spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss wrote in an email.

Students interviewed by The Daily Princetonian seemed to be in agreement about the recent changes to information available on Tigerbook. They acknowledged reasons for the removal of information, but still did not completely agree with the decision.

“I understand why they did it for privacy and security reasons, but I also think [Tigerbook] kind of led to a sense of community and a way to contact people in different ways, especially friends who you might not know where they live, not necessarily random people,” Sarah Yashar-Gershman ’22 said.

Some interviewed students believe that only part of the restricted information should have been deleted from Tigerbook.

“Part of me wonders why some of the information was removed from the website,” Mayowa Oke ‘22 said. 

“I can understand some of the privacy concerns surrounding giving away your dorm location for any given student, but when it comes to something such as your hometown, the city you’re from, or the country you’re from, I think those are pieces of information that, when shared with the greater Princeton community, aren’t necessarily harmful and needed to be shielded away,” Oke continued.

Students suggested alternatives to the change to Tigerbook.

“I think it’ll help because there were cases of stalking, but I feel like maybe they could make it where someone is, like, ‘Oh, I accept that my location can be put up there,’” explained Vedrana Ivezic ’22. “I also don’t like it that I can’t see where people are from.”

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