Wikipedia talk:Privacy policy

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Archive discussions[edit]

See old discussions regarding this page (from around 2005):

Untitled[edit]

Does this site have a privacy policy? If so, where is it? If not, why not?

And a good day to you too. We don't have an official privacy policy, but you might want to take a look at Feature requests/Cookies, logins, and privacy. CGS 22:12 16 Jul 2003 (UTC).
No, we don't. It's been suggested in the past (by, for example, user:BigFatBuddha), but nobody managed to get round to it. Martin 09:56 17 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Please see m:Draft privacy policy (anon)
A privacy policy would be a good thing. Anyone so inclined could learn a great deal about an individuals's interests and personality by analyzing the server statistics of this site (correlating IP addresses to articles submitted/edited, etc). It would be nice for anyone concerned about their privacy to know: what information is collected about them on this site; why it's being collected; how that information is safeguarded; whether it's stored indefinitely or destroyed after a certain time; who has access to the info; whether the information will be sold, traded, or given away to third parties; what is to happen to the information should ownership of Wikipedia pass to another organization/business; how cookies are used; etc. Data mining by criminals and the private sector is already a serious concern, but with things like the Patriot Act and Total Information Awareness in the US, and similar initiatives being taken by the Canadian government (I don't know about the rest of the world), it's obvious the state has a growing interest in monitoring citizens' web-surfing habits, too. A privacy policy wouldn't eliminate those concerns, but it could go some way towards addressing them. Thanks, original poster


the whole point of wikis is that there is no privacy. You are accountable for your edits. -- Tarquin 17:16 17 Jul 2003 (UTC)

If that is true, then why are people (such as me) allowed to post here more-or-less anonymously? Why not force people to open an account here before posting? Besides, that's besides the point. The purpose of a privacy policy is not to guarantee people's privacy on the website, but to explain where the website stands on privacy issues. Does Wikipedia sell information to private companies? Will you be put on a government list of 'suspected terrorists' 3 years from now because of that article you submitted on the Black Panthers? I don't know, because Wikipedia doesn't have a privacy policy. original poster

Wikipedia holds no personal information beyond what people choose to put on their user pages. You don't need to give your email address, and I'm sure Jimbo can say words to the effect that he won't sell them. As for Black Panthers... well, everyone can read the site. And everyone can see your IP (if you edited anonymously) or your username (if you have one). You currently need dev access to get the IP from the username edit, so your privacy is pretty secure I would say. -- Tarquin 19:58 17 Jul 2003 (UTC)


I agree with the original poster that a privacy policy would be a Good Thing. meta:draft privacy policy is a good start. It's obvious to folks like Tarquin, but privacy-sensitive newcomers will want to know this up front. Martin


I also agree with the original poster. I am new to Wikipedia and I am very excited about it. I want to create a username and furnish my email so I can be contacted by other site users (securely), get my password emailed to me if I forget it, etc. However, I have a blanket policy that I do not give out my email address to anyone who is not willing to make me a promise up front that they will not sell it. Why, when I get a lot of spam anyway? Because I don't want to encourage or enable the spam "machine". I am disappointed that Wikipedia does not make a promise of this kind.

Because in all other respects Wikipedia seems to be very progressive and a Good Thing I will likely go ahead and do it just this once. However, the fact remains that all those thousands of valuable (to spammers) email addresses are stored together in one place somewhere on one of the Wikipedia servers. I strongly suggest that the site administrators make a promise to the effect that the column "EmailAddress" in the database table "Users" -- or the equivalent thereof in the Wikipedia backend data repository -- is private and secure information that is not sold or disclosed without the knowledge of the user. To me, that's what a privacy policy is about -- we promise we won't go behind your back and sell/distribute your information.


It does seem ironic to me that the best way to ensure privacy is to post anonymously... -Sean Curtin 21:21, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)


This came up on Wikipedia: Village pump (policy):

privacy policy[edit]

I think Wikipedia should follow web standards and post a privacy policy link on its main page, that points to a page saying exactly what info Wikipedia is maintaining about users, and what it does with browser cookies. Obviously it keeps detailed records of edits. That's fine. What I'd like to know is more about ordinary browsing without editing. Specifically:

  1. How long are access logs retained?
  2. If a user is logged in (personal ID stored in a cookie), is that cookie included in the access logs, so the logs show what articles the person has been reading?
  3. Who has access to the logs?
  4. Can Wikipedia's maintainers state that they've never gotten any PATRIOT Act orders to reveal anyone's browsing history? (If they /have/ gotten such orders, they may not be allowed to say so, but if they haven't gotten such orders, they can say they haven't). So an answer like "no comment" can be interpreted as "yes, Wikipedia has turned stuff over to Homeland security."

Thanks.

I second this. An explicit privacy policy is a good idea for almost any website, if only to ensure our readers' peace of mind, and the cookies and logging on extends the potential problems with this site a bit beyond Joe's Random Site. Deco 12:17, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I third this. I am suprised it has taken this long to be discussed, or perhaps this discussion exists elsewhere but there was not a page @ Privacy Policy. So I used Tech Republic's free Privacy Policy template as the basis for this very important document. I will copy this thread to the discussion @ Talk:Privacy_Policy - Gabriel Kent 22:59, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • I support this suggestion. Does Wikipedia currently have a privacy policy? If not, one should be made. If so, it should be made more visible. This may need to be discussed on the mailing lists. --Improv 16:21, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
This discussion belongs at m:Privacy policy where they've been trying to put one together for a year. -- Cyrius| 18:21, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Oops. Also see Wikipedia: Privacy policy and Wikipedia talk: Privacy policy. Deco 04:33, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Footer[edit]

This page says it's supposed to be linked from the footer of all pages on the site; I don't see that link anywhere. -- Beland 13:12, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

It's not been done yet. See bug 1999. Angela.
It's now in MediaWiki:Copyright. Angela. 19:05, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Category discussion[edit]

This page might get a new policy category; the discussion is at WP:VPP#Wikipedia administrative policy. - Dank (push to talk) 23:27, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Please see discussions at WT:POLICY#Tweak to list of legal policies and WT:Terms of use. The "policy" label moved to WP:Wikimedia policy, which now links the relevant page at wmf:. - Dank (push to talk) 19:01, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Community consultation: Remit of the Ombudsman Commission[edit]

The Ombudsman Commission would like to consult the community on their opinions about the remit of the Commission. Please see this notice. Feel free to cross-post this notice to any appropriate noticeboard. --(ʞɿɐʇ) ɐuɐʞsǝp 15:10, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

RFC regarding the scope of the Ombudsman Commission[edit]

The Ombudsman Commission is currently holding a request for comment. Currently, the Commission only hears complaints regarding the privacy policy. We propose to change the scope of the Commission to also include hearing complaints about the global Checkuser and m:Oversight policy policies.

For more information please visit the RFC, which can be found at m:Requests for comment/Scope of Ombudsman Commission. Please direct all questions and comments there.

For the Ombudsman Commission,

--(ʞɿɐʇ) ɐuɐʞsǝp 21:24, 6 May 2013 (UTC)