Duncan asked about the security implications of multiple persona We decided that this wasn't a good fit - that it would inspire debate rather than an answer.

I wonder what would happen if the question were rewritten to request input into a risk assessment on persona's. I'm not sure that Duncan expressed it well, but I think that the underlying topic is interesting; this is the kind of thing that makes my professional life interesting. But it would have to be revised to a risk assessment rather than a discussion.

The counterargument is that risk assessments are intrinsically discursive; I can credit that argument. Risk folks do love to talk and argue, and risk assessments don't always converge to a simple answer.

  • "We decided that this wasn't a good fit" - Perhaps this is off-topic or too nitpicky, but I'm not sure whether that's accurate (depending upon who you include in the "we").
    – D.W.
    Dec 15, 2012 at 2:44

2 Answers 2


I'm not convinced the question should be closed in the first place.

I feel that there's something self-contradictory about saying ~"the question would lead to an entire book"~ but also ~"there's not much to write about, from a security perspective"~. Those can't both be true. The question does say "From a security viewpoint, what are the benefits/drawbacks for...", so the question is already scoped to just a security perspective. If there are no security implications, then the question will receive an answer saying there are no significantly security implications (hopefully with some explanation), and that seems better than closing the question.

For me, this does feel like a plausibly on-topic question, in a way that I can't really justify rationally (and thus which may be faulty or illogical). I have not yet heard an argument for closing it that persuades me. That doesn't mean there is no such reason, just that the reasons I've heard yet haven't persuaded me, for what little that's worth.

Then again, personally I may be biased towards being accepting of this kind of question. Anyway, I have no strong confidence that my position is the right one, but I did want to make sure the opposing viewpoint got aired.


I'll copy / paste my comment from the question here for discussion:

As a person who flagged it commented, "This is a great question... to write a book on." Aside from that, there isn't actually a security implication unless one of your persona's is upsetting mobsters, governments, etc. Providers widely vary in how they care: Twitter, for example, doesn't care how many accounts you spin up, or how many people use them. Facebook only wants you to have one account for yourself, but it isn't because of security. Then there's the question of your situation, and whether (and why) linking them might matter. I think you would simply have to be far more narrow.

  • 3
    Er what? No security implication? Or do you consider privacy not to count as security? I do think that the question is awfully broad, but it's firmly on-topic. Dec 15, 2012 at 21:52
  • 1
    I agree with @Gilles here, I read it very much as a privacy question.
    – AviD Mod
    Dec 16, 2012 at 9:52

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