Earlier today, somebody complained that not being able to see the poster’s profile because it was private prevented them from putting that poster on an ignore list. A workaround to this was provided by a moderator, so that’s all good.
Today I myself noticed that when the person has privatized his user profile it prevents me from seeing when the poster joined the SDMB. It seems to also prevent me from looking up that posters posting history.
These factors strike me as a bug rather than a feature. To be sure, there are aspects of a user profile that can legitimately be considered private information, but ISTM that the appropriate action for a user who wishes to remain incognito is to decline to fill ou the fields with those pieces of data. I fail to see how a user’s join date and posting history can legitimately be considered private (as in personal) information.
If the “lock the entire profile” capability can be turned off, I recommend that the administration do so, and let users who desire privacy take responsibility for it themselves.
I welcome arguments in opposition to this suggestion.