Welcome to the mailbox.org user forum!

What does public/private mean in some contexts?

2967585 shared this question 2 months ago
Need Answer

I have been trying this service for about a week now, but I can't figure out what the words public/private mean in some contexts. I couldn't find anything about it on Knowledge Base either so I'm hoping someone here may be able to help.


In the calendar view, on the left panel there are 2 main categories:

  • My calendars
  • Public calendars

I can create a calendar in both of these, the default option being the "My calendars" category. And in the context menu I can create a link to share a calendar. This link can be created for all calendars, regardless of the category it is created in.

Q: What is the purpose of these 2 categories then? Are there some settings that are applied to calendars created in the "Public calendars" category? Who can access these? Also what is the default Public calendar named "All my public appointments" for? Will there be events added to this calendar by default and should I consider this a possible security/privacy risk in any way?

Address Book

The same situation can be seen in the address book menu. The 2 categories here are:

  • My address books
  • Public address books

Q: The questions I had with the calendars are applied here as well. This time there is a default "Global address book", which again has a pretty concerning name (in my opinion). Who can access this address book (or folder)? (It's in the public category and it is named global)


In the tasks view, there are no more public categories, just one named "My tasks". So at first glance there doesn't seem to be any private/public settings to figure out here.

But the setting is on each individual task. When you create a new task, you can click on "Expand form" and a checkbox named Type appears. You have to check this checkbox in order to make this task Private (that is how I understand this). This means that all tasks are created "Not Private" (in a dav client on my phone they are called Public; same in Thunderbird).

Q: Basically the question is about the same. What does public/private mean in this context(for tasks)? Is the same "setting" as the one from the calendar and address book? Why are tasks created public by default?

I know there are quite a few questions in this post, but they are all related to the same issue (I think). Maybe a knowledge base article on this topic may be of help to others as well?

Comments (4)


I also contacted tech support(TS) with this question. I will leave here their response in case anyone is wondering the same thing. I still believe that a knowledge base article would be useful to make this behavior clear for everyone.


Question from above.


Thanks for message. Public calendars. Contains calendars that are shared with all users.

The All my public appointments calendar contains the public appointments you are attending. This is also the same issue for your address book.


By all users do you mean all mailbox.org users? If so, how could a mailbox.org user find my public appointments calendar?

Also for tasks I see that all tasks are created public by default. That means that a task is shared with all users by default?


Public users are here, which you have invited by your mail address. Of course not everyone can see the calendar.


Thanks for posting your question, I'm a brand-new trial user and had the same one! I find Mailbox.org's answers confusing. "All users" definitely suggests just that--ALL Mailbox.org users. "Public" likewise suggests a wide audience you cannot apply constraints to. So, it sounds like "public" calendars and tasks (and, I guess, address book contacts) are those that you have CHOSEN to share with SPECIFIC people you correspond with? This really shouldn't be such a pain to get cleared up, nor did this confusion have to happen in the first place.

I had a similar but perhaps distinct question, which is about the "global address book" language and the fact my contact card is in there and cannot be moved out of it. Am I to assume anyone I email can see this card? Because if I set up aliases, I don't want those contacts to be able to see my primary email address. That would defeat the purpose of keeping my primary email address more controlled and providing commercial or professional contacts with an alias.


Thanking and agreeing with posters here. I have the same questions / concerns. I also agree it shouldn't be that difficult to find out, but would like to point out other services/apps have similar types of questions associated as to exactly what some parameters mean, and it can be difficult to find the answer.

I agree that given what seems to have drawn many people to mailbox.org has to do with privacy, and so these questions are of the utmost importance, so while somebody may know there is nothing to worry about, from a marketing and ease of use standpoint it should be much clearer what these mean.

My guess is that global or public in these contexts would only ever apply to multiple users using the same inbox, like a family, or that these are something of hangovers from it being designed for a business context. Like, if you were part of team, there are contacts or appointments that you want to have public or global (administered) or ones you would want private. I'm kind of assuming I'm right at this point, but again, for our own knowledge, and for the benefit of user satisfaction, I think descriptions of these functions, as well 'secret' on calendar, etc, should be easily available. Look forward to hearing a confirmation of these terms!


For further information on the functionality of Open Xchange (OX) Group ware, please also have a look at the integrated help. Currently we use this for our online office in version 7.10.4.

Click on the icon that you want to understand better (e.g. calendar) and then on the question mark on the top right.