Support » Plugin: Avatar Privacy » still pinging gravatar – not completely private it seems

  • Hi,
    I am trying to remove calls to gravatar unless users select the checkbox to use it. Also, I am hoping, in the settings, if/when I disable gravatar in the settings, to disable sending them people’s email addresses for their user, even encrypted, tied to user or not. The wording in the admin settings section, “Don’t publish encrypted E-Mail addresses for non-members of The plugin will check if a gravatar exists for a given E-Mail address.” indicates it still sends email address to gravatar to check if they’re in their system, and I am still seeing calls out to gravatar when a user logs in even though they have left the default setting not to use gravatar (technically – use gravatar unchecked). The wording of the different options is a little confusing to me, but the gist seems to be it will send something to gravitar, encrypted or non encrypted, connected to user or not, regardless of settings. This defeats some of the privacy settings of the plugin still checking with gravatar every time they log in, even if they have set to not use it, if I understand this right. If so, is there a setting available to turn off gravatar completely, no calls or info sent to them, when a user or admin unselects using gravatar? If they don’t want to use gravatar there should be no reason to ping it on the user’s login, with encrypted or non-encrypted info, I think.

    I have a lot of moving parts, so if this is from another plugin or unrelated setting you think, or If I’m just confused or missing something please let me now.
    thank you!

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  • Plugin Contributor Ammaletu


    Thanks for using the plugin. I know that there’s a lot of text on the option page. Making that easier to read and understand is on my to-do list.

    The first checkbox basically lets your server ask Gravatar, if there is a gravatar for a given mail address. If there isn’t, the plugin directly shows the default avatar icon. Visitors of the website don’t see the MD5 hash of the email address, but Gravatar does. I do trust Gravatar to not misuse these data, and there really is no other way at the moment to check if someone has a Gravatar or not.

    That being said, if a comment author or user has selected to not show a Gravatar, the plugin should not check for it. That would be rather pointless. That could mean something has changed with the WordPress internals and I need to fix this. I really hope to have some time for this plugin soon, to update it and check the functionality.

    Otherwise it could mean that you have a default avatar selected that is hosted by In that case the image is of course loaded from their servers. That’s especially true if you have a generated image as default avatar, e.g. Monster ID, Wavatar, Identicon. They look nice, but has to have the hash of the mail address to generate them. So if you don’t want calls to for users who opted out, make sure that you select as standard avatar either “no icon” or one of the three icons which I added beneath the default choices.

    Please let me know if that answers your questions. I will look into this (whether it’s a bug or not), but it might still take me a couple of weeks to finish a new release.

    I couldn’t say for sure. I understood the differences in the options, but just couldn’t see verbiage on any of the combinations that expicitely stated gravatar would not be pinged or sent info at all.
    I definitely had controls enabled and defaulted to NOT use gravatar, and my test user left gravatar unselected (=yes, disable).
    Every login appeared to still send data to gravatar. This user should not have a gravatar unless it was automatically created by some other wordpress site.
    Either way, I would think whether they had one or not, the option not to use it would disable even checking or pinging them on login. They have a local avatar already as well.
    I can’t be sure, because I have other privacy options enabled, but as soon as I disabled this plugin it appeared to quit pinging gravatar on every login for this user, defaulting to other privacy enabled, so I’m not sure this setup needs this additional protection, but wanted to let you know it sort of seems like this plugin was letting gravatar get pinged with some info though admin gave user choice, defaulted to opt out, and this user had gravatar use unchecked.
    All plugins current as of date.

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