is it possible to know who has submitted a poll?

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kazi
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is it possible to know who has submitted a poll?

Postby kazi » Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:24 am

Is it possible to know who all have submitted a poll?
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"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.

Ganesha
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Re: is it possible to know who has submitted a poll?

Postby Ganesha » Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:35 pm

Come on now. Voting by default is secret. Even the administrators cannot see who voted what.
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kazi
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Re: is it possible to know who has submitted a poll?

Postby kazi » Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:30 am

:) of course the vote is secret. But the fact that someone has voted or not is public.. my question is can you find out who has voted and who has not?
--
"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.

Ganesha
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Re: is it possible to know who has submitted a poll?

Postby Ganesha » Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:14 pm

I checked. This software does not allow even the administrator to see who has voted, which is really good! Seems like voting is truly secret. Of course, the admin could access the backend directly and go through individual values saved by the SQL server but it will be a tedious process full of guesswork.

kazi
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Re: is it possible to know who has submitted a poll?

Postby kazi » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:00 pm

Thanks, @Ganesha. I was under the impression that this application might not even keep any record of who voted or not. But when I went to the polling page, my vote is highlighted, which implies that the server does keep some sort of record. But really, if the application is opensource with an SQL backend, a query should not be too difficult.

From what you say, it seems like nobody is supposed to know who voted and who did not, which does seem to be an unnecessary restriction. Anyway, it is what it is. Thanks again for taking the time and trouble to investigate this matter.
--
"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.

Ganesha
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Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:51 am
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Re: is it possible to know who has submitted a poll?

Postby Ganesha » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:35 pm

You are welcome kazi.
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Umesh
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Re: is it possible to know who has submitted a poll?

Postby Umesh » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:30 am

I am not sure if we are on the same boat, but if we are talking about the poll feature in Drupal, admin can very easily track who has and who has not voted. Unbelievable but true, I in my trail could even see who voted what (as admin), but that should be because I have not updated Drupal 6.14 (and other modules) for about a year now. I will have to have a closer look in my Drupal website.

kazi
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Re: is it possible to know who has submitted a poll?

Postby kazi » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:18 pm

I'm blown away that Drupal allows even admins to see who has voted for what. Depending upon the application, it may or may not be necessary for the admin to see who has voted or not, but the vote itself should definitely be private. I'm surprised that even early versions of Drupal would allow such features. But to be fair, if the poll is just a show of hands, then surely there is no privacy. Again, it all depends on the application needs. And therefore, I tend to agree with @Umesh that it should be possible to know who has voted and who has not, even though the vote itself is private.
--
"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.

Ganesha
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Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:51 am
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Re: is it possible to know who has submitted a poll?

Postby Ganesha » Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:11 am

Yes, Drupal natively allows the admin to see everything (who has voted and chosen which vote) in an easy to use interface. And yes, ideally, I agree with you Umesh and kazi that it should have allowed you to see who has voted or not but not actually show you which choice a particular person has picked. There are two issues I want to raise here.

The admin could see this because all users that were allowed to vote were registered users. If the voting was made public with a record of ip (for making sure that one ip voted only once), the admin would not have enough data to match voters with the votes.

Secondly, regardless of whether the implementation (Drupal or PhpBB) is used, anything which incorporates database at the backend is going to have to save the voted options. So in truth, none of those systems, with regards to registered users can ever be secret. (It does not matter if encryption is enabled because the admin will have the capability to use the decryption key.)

Private websites today are manged by an individuals and thus have blanket access to everything. But if you are really concerned about a solution, the only way to make voting secret is to provide layered access to sets of different people. For example, a person who can create a poll need not have access to the database. A person who manages the database need not know what kind of data source the data is coming from. That way, the access would be compartmentalized and hence privacy and security is maintained.
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kazi
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Re: is it possible to know who has submitted a poll?

Postby kazi » Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:03 pm

Talking about solutions, I agree with @Ganesha about taking a layered approach. But we have to remember that that is just one of the models, and a primitive one at that. Most businesses find the layered approach too inflexible. There are other security models more suited to commercial enterprises. System administrators would probably take this solution with love and hate -- hate because admins hate to give away privileges, and, love because layered approach is a stringent model for security. An admin once suggested a layered model applicable not only to users but also to software and hardware systems.

But about the two issues raised, I disagree with both. First, because we were not talking about public polling from the very start. So privacy of unregistered pollsters is a non issue. Second, I do not know about the encryption features of Drupal/PhpBB, but I think that even a simple hash would make it expensive for even the admin to determine a hidden value. Its a different matter that the admin might have the privilege to reset it. Thus, the layered approach is already doing its magic, in a way.
--
"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.


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