Now in your user settings is the ability to allow others to view your scratch pad.
Users who are level 1 and above can view them, if you decide to let them.
Why would I want to do this?
The best reason would be that you want someone that you know, probably a mentor or a editor, to read your scratch pad so that they can see a writeup draft before it gets posted. The next best reason is that you are a sicko who likes having people watch them get dressed. Not that we're judging you.
Why can't I look at other people's scratch pads.
The only certain reason is that the other user has the viewable scratchpad option turned off. Beyond this, all is speculation. Anything could be in there. The deep dark secrets of their deepest darkest noding fantasies. Radical ideas. Erotic epistles of coronary proportions. Shopping lists. You don't know. They've turned the option off.
How does someone view a scratch pad?
You can view a scratch pad at the aptly-named Scratch Pad Viewer. You'll find a check box for it near the top of your scratch pad. You can also visit the user's homepage, and if theirs is public, you can view it from there.
Is this a one-time choice?
Nope. Feel free to toggle it on and off as you choose.
I still want my privacy!