Pinkstuff will be shut down permanently between the 1st of May 2018 and the 24th May 2018 and all your data will be deleted, including the backups. Sorry. This appears to be the only sensible legal way forward.


Pinkstuff is hosted in the UK, and under changes to UK law coming on the 25th May (the general data protection regulation) the people who run pinkstuff are liable to a 20 million euro fine if we cannot adequately implement the rights below, which is sadly impossible for us to do due to the history of pinkstuff.

The right to be forgotten

You have the right to have all your personally identifiable information deleted including emails, command history, any records anyone's applications are keeping, IRC logs and addresses. That includes having the data deleted from all the backups. Our backup systems do not support selective deletion. So I'd need a way to delete just your account, and a way to know that it was you who was asking. Unfortunately we cannot in general tell who you are in order to approve the request to be deleted. This is because we have not kept accurate records of who's who. So, we have no way to identify you. This is really the core of the problem with pinkstuff.

The right to data portability

You have the right to get hold of all your personal data. This is another reason we can't just wait until someone asks to be forgotten and then immediately delete pinkstuff and all its backups.

The right to be informed

You have the right to know what data pinkstuff is holding on you. Unfortunately we don't know since we do not have a complete understanding of everything being done on pinkstuff. It is not possible to force people into a general consent; the new rule is that any consent must be opt in and specific to people's needs.

If you'd like to help making an official alternative that provides these rights

To implement these rights would require us to set up a formal organisation (probably a registered charity) and register with the Information Commisionar Officer, and then to have everyone reapply for an account so we make sure we have a way to prove that it is you for legal purposes. Maybe some people should do that. We don't see how it possible for a new charity to adopt all the data currently help by pinkstuff, but we are open to discussion on this point.

Please can I have my data now

If you can log into pinkstuff you should be able to retrieve everything you have access to. We are happy to help.

If you have lost access or want help: access to pinkstuff was granted to people we know, and to people they knew and so on, so please reach out via the people you know to someone who has root access. These include:

Well that's another fine mess you've got me into

The reason this is particularly hard for pinkstuff is that it was always run in a very informal way. We added accounts for people without obtaining and maintaining alternative contact details. We used the standard multi-user Linux setup which unfortunately spreads potentially personal data throughout the filesystem. If we were doing this from scratch we'd have to structure it by user, e.g. one container per individual or organisation. Do get in touch if you'd like help or advice on making other arrangements.

Please change your mind, you're being unreasonable

The text above was very painful to write. We feel we did a lot of good with pinkstuff and the world has now changed. Providing cloud services wihtout fastidious care of personal data has massive real world impact so it wouldn't actually be right to continue without a lot more control in place, and sadly a clean break is necessary to provide that control. With containers and virtualisation (which weren't affordable when we started pinkstuff) it is now very cheap or in some cases free to get a cloud server or use a cloud service and we encourage you to explore the many opportunities available to use - e.g. Amazon, Google cloud and gmail or Linode, or various providers of free Wordpress hosting .
Version 2. (Fixed a couple of links) Last modified: Sat Mar 31 08:38:59 BST 2018