Student photos have been unavailable on Tigerbook since Sept. 30.
Tigerbook, an online directory of University students, was originally created by Hansen Qian ’16, Ivo Crnkovic-Rubsamen ’15, and Rohan Sharma ’14 for their capstone project in COS 333: Advanced Programming Techniques. It currently allows for the viewing of students’ names, email addresses, majors, residential colleges, and, in some cases, campus mailing addresses or phone numbers. Only members of the University community can access the site, as it requires a login through the University’s Central Authentication Service.
Prior to this year, Tigerbook also contained students’ residential colleges, dorm rooms, roommates, hometowns, states, and countries. On Sept. 6, this information was removed from Tigerbook after the University “restricted directory information about students that may have been available to University community members.”
The removal of photos, however, does not follow from any change in University policy, according to Deputy University Spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss.
“The issue may be related to the transition of the College Facebooks to a new publishing platform,” Hotchkiss wrote in an email to the Daily Princetonian. “If Tigerbook’s developers reach out to the Office of Information Technology, staff there can talk with them about the issue and possible solutions.”
Dr. Jérémie Lumbroso, the faculty member supervising the Tigerbook development team, explained that Tigerbook repackages information provided by the University and sourced elsewhere. As a result, Tigerbook did not itself host the images. Instead, the photos had been on Roxen, “a Wordpress-like platform” that was taken down on Thursday.
“This change was part of broader, much-needed, and amazing work undertaken by OIT, under the direction of George Kopf,” Lumbroso wrote in an email statement to The Daily Princetonian. He noted that such work aimed “to modernize our entire data infrastructure,” but that, “as a side effect of Roxen being taken down, Tigerbook lost access to the student photos. The developer on staff, Nick Schmeller, is working hard to fix this problem.”
Lumbroso further wrote that Tigerbook received no advance notice from the University of the changes to hometown, dorm room, and photo information.
“While over the years, there have been many friends of Tigerbook and student developers within Princeton campus (especially at OIT), it feels like Tigerbook is still a consistent afterthought, despite receiving traffic from an overwhelming majority of undergraduates on campus,“ he wrote. “This is probably part of a broader conversation about the legitimacy of student-developed apps used to streamline our campus experience.”