Forum Member Responses to the "CoinFacts Update" Letter Posted by BrettPCGS above

WingedLiberty1957WingedLiberty1957 Posts: 2,593 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 14, 2019 1:55PM in U.S. Coin Forum

Thanks Brett for posting the letter above. We appreciate your thoughtful consideration. However since you posted the letter then immediately closed the thread, it provided no method for members to give feedback, or ask a question.

I had a few thoughts.

You make it sound like the issue with CoinFacts was about "member privacy".

I had a few questions.

Just because a photo is posted, i dont think that means anyone knows to whom that coin belongs. There is no ownership link from a coin unless that person put said coin into a Registry Set. In that case, a link (or connection) is made between a cert number and a registry set from the PCGS Cert Verification page) -- and even then the owner is still shielded by a screen (pseudo) name.

If someone didn't want to be outed as an owner, it seems to me that all they need to do is not start a registry set and/or not add said coin to that publicly displayed set. So I am not sure I am understanding what you wrote about privacy in terms of the CoinFacts issue.

Further, if someone didn't want a photo taken, couldn't they submit the coin using a Standard Service and not buy an ala-carte add-on photo. Many (probably most) PCGS slabbed coins are not photographed and will never be shown in CoinFacts.

Finally, it still seems to me that the easier and cleaner solution would be to allow owners to request any of their coins to be removed from CoinFacts for existing coins. And provide a future option where people can select yay or nay. This allows people that dont want their stuff shown to be happy, yet still leaves the bulk of CoinFacts intact for the rest of us. Win-Win

Comments

  • WingedLiberty1957WingedLiberty1957 Posts: 2,593 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 14, 2019 1:56PM

    Thanks for that clarification. Couldnt there be a simple option when submitting a coin to be excluded from CoinFacts? A simple checkbox on the submission form?

    I bet well over 90% of submitters have no issue with their coins being put in CoinFacts. But why not simply give the submitter that option?

  • Senator32Senator32 Posts: 158 ✭✭✭✭

    Thanks to @WingedLiberty1957 for creating this topic. I agree that the stated privacy concerns seem like a red herring - all of the URLs for the Coinfacts images are still public...they are just not in a database available for public research.

    I am disheartened by the moves PCGS is making at the moment. Data and transparency help our hobby....not hurt it. Trying to comfort the collectors and dealers here by saying it's for our own best interest and privacy smacks of insincerity.

  • PhilLynottPhilLynott Posts: 468 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @WingedLiberty1957 said:
    Thanks for that clarification. Couldnt there be a simple option when submitting a coin to be EXCLUDED from CoinFacts? A simple checkbox on the submission form?

    I bet well over 90% of submitters have no issue with their coins being put in CoinFacts. But why not simply give the submitter that option?

    Even a simple option like that takes time to put into action and thus may be the reason for the "time out" as Brett mentioned. I think for certain with the community reaction the images will be restored eventually in some capacity but they're now tasked with trying to make everyone happy and that solution will take a little time.

    Also Brett mentions "As far as I know such a function occurs at no other certification service across all collectibles industries." - to me that's a GOOD thing. Doing things no one else is doing is what makes you stand out from everyone else.

  • MorganMan94MorganMan94 Posts: 1,195 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think this is an inappropriate thread, if he wanted forum members responses to the coinfacts update then he would have left it open for discussion and not lock it.

  • ReadyFireAimReadyFireAim Posts: 608 ✭✭✭✭

    @FadeToBlack said:
    ...the only issue I ever saw was that you can use cert verification to sometimes find if a coin is in a registry set, then go to >that registry set and contact the owner...

    I didn't check the "contact" box so my e-mail icon is not displayed.
    Everything else is public including True-Views & coin grade.

  • ColonelJessupColonelJessup Posts: 5,517 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Senator32 said:
    Thanks to @WingedLiberty1957 for creating this topic. I agree that the stated privacy concerns seem like a red herring - all of the URLs for the Coinfacts images are still public...they are just not in a database available for public research.

    I am disheartened by the moves PCGS is making at the moment. Data and transparency help our hobby....not hurt it. Trying to comfort the collectors and dealers here by saying it's for our own best interest and privacy smacks of insincerity.

    Wow, let's make it a characterological issue.

    Something like restraint or compromise could only be hypocrisy.

    As the owner and submitter of many $100K coins, all those not my own being submitted in professional confidence, the fact that such a coin exists may itself be confidential. To which we cede the right to reveal its existence for population purposes. It's NFS? By what construction do you believe your rights take precedence over mine?

    "What matters most is how well you walk through the fire" - Charles Bukowski
  • robecrobec Posts: 5,029 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Why would anyone who's worried about privacy and security create a Registry and display in an online public forum?

    This is the only way a coin can be traced to the owner by using the TrueView's cert number.

    If Joe Blow buys a coin from a shop, submits to Gold Shield with accompanying TrueView, doesn't add to any Registry and puts it in his SDB, there is no way for anyone to know who he is.

    The Cert page would say "None Found" under the "Current PCGS Registry Sets". There is absolutely no other way to discover the owner.

  • jwittenjwitten Posts: 3,586 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Why is PCGS showing any pictures at all? If privacy is really a big concern, they should remove all pictures. Take down the top 3 graded that they now show. Stop making the pcgs calander. Take down the PCGS instagram page... etc

  • messydeskmessydesk Posts: 15,847 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @WingedLiberty1957 said:
    Thanks for that clarification. Couldnt there be a simple option when submitting a coin to be EXCLUDED from CoinFacts? A simple checkbox on the submission form?

    I bet well over 90% of submitters have no issue with their coins being put in CoinFacts. But why not simply give the submitter that option?

    A simple option, yes. It may be that the biggest challenge in this respect is redesigning the submission form to accommodate it and the instructions for its use. Brett and team know that the ball is in their court on this issue, and I'm content to let this play out over the near-term future.

  • Senator32Senator32 Posts: 158 ✭✭✭✭

    "By what construction do you believe your rights take precedence over mine?"

    Not sure how this effects your "rights" at all - and please don't act like you are the only one submitting 100K coins...if you wanted full privacy you would keep all your coins raw and not participate in online discussion...and we would all be worse for it. Sharing information and discussion on numismatics is what helps our hobby grow and thrive.

    This is a simple matter of fact: the URL and certs are public. I could create a web scraper in a few hours that would so exactly what coinfacts did with the image gallery and this Coinfacts policy change would not stop that from happening....because the images and certs are already public. PCGS is giving into select interests rather than improve the system and continue to make the data on Coinfacts better and better. I will withhold full judgement for a bit to see what PCGS does - but it does not bode well.

    At the end of the day, I think we collectors are pushing back on this because the reason given is clearly not valid...and we like seeing PCGS take steps forward...not backward. More data, and easy ability to study coins makes everyone's life easier...plus helps young collectors just getting into the hobby (remember without the young collectors coming in...your 100K coins are worthless).

  • ashelandasheland Posts: 13,368 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I certainly understand the privacy issue, but what about the true-view without a cert number, but just the grade? Then we can see all the images...

  • ColonelJessupColonelJessup Posts: 5,517 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 14, 2019 4:33PM

    @Senator32 said:

    "By what construction do you believe your rights take precedence over mine?"

    Not sure how this effects your "rights" at all - and please don't act like you are the only one submitting 100K coins...if you wanted full privacy you would keep all your coins raw and not participate in online discussion...and we would all be worse for it. Sharing information and discussion on numismatics is what helps our hobby grow and thrive.

    This is a simple matter of fact: the URL and certs are public. I could create a web scraper in a few hours that would so exactly what coinfacts did with the image gallery and this Coinfacts policy change would not stop that from happening....because the images and certs are already public. PCGS is giving into select interests rather than improve the system and continue to make the data on Coinfacts better and better. I will withhold full judgement for a bit to see what PCGS does - but it does not bode well.

    At the end of the day, I think we collectors are pushing back on this because the reason given is clearly not valid...and we like seeing PCGS take steps forward...not backward. More data, and easy ability to study coins makes everyone's life easier...plus helps young collectors just getting into the hobby (remember without the young collectors coming in...your 100K coins are worthless).

    LOL, I'm not that special anymore in the $100K club. But I schooled quite a few of them. I get the idea you don't know my history or experience, or who taught me. Your loss; some others still (occasionally) listen.

    I think you should monetize you web-scraper app, or better, keep it to yourself. >:)

    Not valid, or not in anyway potentially damaging to your financial interest while helping them forward, so why not?

    Just for full disclosure, I'm opposed to the depth and breadth of the change going forward. I make more money off it than it can conceivably cost me, I still get exactly where PCGS is coming from. :o

    "What matters most is how well you walk through the fire" - Charles Bukowski
  • TopoftheHillTopoftheHill Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

    I suspect (no matter what others say) that the change had to do with a single coin being photographed with two (or more!) grades. Having a coin shown at 66 and then again at 67+ makes a TPG look bad and makes the coin more difficult to sell after grade inflation has taken its toll.

  • BochimanBochiman Posts: 24,654 ✭✭✭✭✭
    1. I appreciate Brett stepping right up into the "line of fire" and stating why he did what he did.

    2. To the point that Col.jessup made.....one "counterpoint"...? If the coin owner wants to hide its existence from the population.....well, the picture shouldn't be the issue then...it WILL show up in the pop reports...right? So, that particularly argument doesn't seem to be valid. Personally, if someone, and this can get murky over time, who owns the coin and had it submitted at the time of the picture, doesn't want it shown, they should be able to have it not shown/removed. However, what about if I submit a coin, get the pic, and want it shown....then I sell YOU the coin and YOU don't want it shown? Do you have the right to remove the pic, even if I was the one who paid for it and wanted it shown? Gets murky.

    3. I agree with catbert....I'm more interested in the "banning of some coin doctors" as that seems to indicate they were forum members......(unless it was "banning" them from submitting and had nothing to do with the forums....that wasn't made exactly clear.

    I've been told I tolerate fools poorly...that may explain things if I have a problem with you. Current ebay items - Nothing at the moment

  • labloverlablover Posts: 2,888 ✭✭✭✭

    @TopoftheHill said:
    I suspect (no matter what others say) that the change had to do with a single coin being photographed with two (or more!) grades. Having a coin shown at 66 and then again at 67+ makes a TPG look bad and makes the coin more difficult to sell after grade inflation has taken its toll.

    A quick scan of CoinFacts could solve the issue by removing the under-graded coin. Or, by scanning CoinFacts prior to uploading the regraded image. There are always solutions to an issue.

    "If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers
  • deefree49deefree49 Posts: 283 ✭✭✭

    Winged Liberty has a simple and effective solution.

    While personally, I have doubts that the majority of PCGS members want their coins kept secret and out of the CoinFacts image galleries. If that truely is the case, the solution is simple.

    Put a checkbox on the submission envelope. The person choses yes or no about inclusion of their coin. End of story!

    If the voting on the message boards is any indication of where collectors stand on this, it would seem that an overwhelming majority are fine with having their coins displayed in CoinFacts - But regardless of the percentage for or against - it is clear we want CoinFacts restored to its former glory.

    Lincoln coin lover, especially Matte Proofs
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 19,283 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @deefree49 said:
    Winged Liberty has a simple and effective solution.

    While personally, I have doubts that the majority of PCGS members want their coins kept secret and out of the CoinFacts image galleries. If that truely is the case, the solution is simple.

    Put a checkbox on the submission envelope. The person choses yes or no about inclusion of their coin. End of story!

    I don’t think it’s that simple. If the coin changes hands and the new owner wants it on CoinFacts, I think that should be supported.

  • robecrobec Posts: 5,029 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:

    @deefree49 said:
    Winged Liberty has a simple and effective solution.

    While personally, I have doubts that the majority of PCGS members want their coins kept secret and out of the CoinFacts image galleries. If that truely is the case, the solution is simple.

    Put a checkbox on the submission envelope. The person choses yes or no about inclusion of their coin. End of story!

    I don’t think it’s that simple. If the coin changes hands and the new owner wants it on CoinFacts, I think that should be supported.

    From what someone posted earlier in one of the other CoinFacts threads 20 dealers comprise 80% of PCGS's business. Unfortunately that's where the power is.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 19,283 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 15, 2019 10:38AM

    @robec said:

    @Zoins said:

    @deefree49 said:
    Winged Liberty has a simple and effective solution.

    While personally, I have doubts that the majority of PCGS members want their coins kept secret and out of the CoinFacts image galleries. If that truely is the case, the solution is simple.

    Put a checkbox on the submission envelope. The person choses yes or no about inclusion of their coin. End of story!

    I don’t think it’s that simple. If the coin changes hands and the new owner wants it on CoinFacts, I think that should be supported.

    From what someone posted earlier in one of the other CoinFacts threads 20 dealers comprise 80% of PCGS's business. Unfortunately that's where the power is.

    What if business begins to dry up for those dealers?

  • I sure hate to see coinfacts change but I am hopeful the new PCGS president will fix this issue. A signed consent should avoid privacy issues. I do understand why the high rollers want it kept quite but the so called cat is out of the bag. We all know upgrades happen and thats ok. None the less PCGS will fix this

  • RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,534 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 15, 2019 11:02AM

    Yep. The simple, noninvasive approach is a "Do Not Publish" switch in the image database. That would prevent the PCGS staff who maintain the product from having access to any image where the coin owner does not want others to see it.

    This kind of thing is very widely used - has been since the 1960s or earlier. Much better and more end-user friendly than a blanket "image drop." Planning and coordination will help a lot. :)

    At initial implementation, it will require additional administrator work to complete date/mint/variety listing that no longer have images.

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