Talk:Privacy policy

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Wikimedia Foundation Privacy Policy (discussion)
This is the talk page for discussing Wikimedia's Privacy Policy.
Please contact the Ombudsman commission if you wish to report a Privacy Policy violation.

Privacy policy (talk)

Examples (talk)

Older versions:

What is changing?

Several comments below ask about what’s new in this draft as compared to the current privacy policy. To help new folks just joining the conversation, we have outlined the main changes in this box. But feel free to join the discussion about these changes here.

As a general matter, because the current privacy policy was written in 2008, it did not anticipate many technologies that we are using today. Where the current policy is silent, the new draft spells out to users how their data is collected and used. Here are some specific examples:

  1. Cookies: The current policy mentions the use of temporary session cookies and broadly states some differences in the use of cookies between mere reading and logged-in reading or editing. The FAQ in the new draft lists specific cookies that we use and specifies what they are used for and when they expire. The draft policy further clarifies that we will never use third-party cookies without permission from users. It also outlines other technologies that we may consider using to collect data like tracking pixels or local storage.
  2. Location data: Whereas the current policy does not address collection and use of location data, the draft policy spells out how you may be communicating the location of your device through GPS and similar technologies, meta data from uploaded images, and IP addresses. It also explains how we may use that data.
  3. Information we receive automatically: The current policy does not clearly explain that we can receive certain data automatically. The new draft explains that when you make requests to our servers you submit certain information automatically. It also specifies how we use this information to administer the sites, provide greater security, fight vandalism, optimize mobile applications, and otherwise make it easier for you to use the sites.
  4. Limited data sharing: The current policy narrowly states that user passwords and cookies shouldn’t be disclosed except as required by law, but doesn’t specify how other data may be shared. The new draft expressly lists how all data may be shared, not just passwords and cookies. This includes discussing how we share some data with volunteer developers, whose work is essential for our open source projects. It also includes providing non-personal data to researchers who can share their findings with our community so that we can understand the projects and make them better.
  5. Never selling user data: The current policy doesn’t mention this. While long-term editors and community members understand that selling data is against our ethos, newcomers have no way of knowing how our projects are different from most other websites unless we expressly tell them. The new draft spells out that we would never sell or rent their data or use it to sell them anything.
  6. Notifications: We introduced notifications after the current policy was drafted. So, unsurprisingly, it doesn’t mention them. The new draft explains how notifications are used, that they can sometimes collect data through tracking pixels, and how you can opt out.
  7. Scope of the policy: The current policy states its scope in general terms, and we want to be clearer about when the policy applies. The new draft includes a section explaining what the policy does and doesn’t cover in more detail.
  8. Surveys and feedback: The current policy doesn’t specifically address surveys and feedback forms. The new draft explains when we may use surveys and how we will notify you what information we collect.
  9. Procedures for updating the policy: The new draft specifically indicates how we will notify you if the policy needs to be changed. This is consistent with our current practice, but we want to make our commitment clear: we will provide advance notice for substantial changes to the privacy policy, allow community comment, and provide those changes in multiple languages.

This is of course not a comprehensive list of changes. If you see other changes that you are curious about, feel free to raise them and we will clarify the intent.

The purpose of a privacy policy is to inform users about what information is collected, how it is used, and whom it is shared with. The current policy did this well back when it was written, but it is simply outdated. We hope that with your help the new policy will address all the relevant information about use of personal data on the projects.

YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 01:07, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Slight/Major (depending on POV) changes to definition of PII, this policy, and data retention policy as a result of question about headers from Verdy_p[edit]

verdy p asked a question about HTTP headers on the data retention policy, and so we did some final reviews of our language on that issue. As part of that review, we realized Friday that there was a sentence in the main privacy policy that was poorly drafted (not future-proof) and inaccurate. It prohibited collecting four specific browser properties. This is bad drafting, because it isn't future-proof: what if new browser properties are added by browser manufacturers? What if we realize other existing properties are problematic? It also was inaccurate because some of this sort of data may be collected (but usually not retained or logged) for useful, non-harmful purposes. For example, it could be used to help determine how to make fonts available efficiently as part of our language work.

Reviewing this also made us realize that we'd made a similar drafting mistake in the definition of PII- it was not flexible enough to require us to protect new forms of identifying information we might see in the future.

We think the best way to handle this is in three parts, and have made changes to match:

  1. Broaden the definition of PII by adding "at least", so that if we discover that there are new types of identifying information, we can cover them as necessary. This would cover these four headers, for example, but could also cover other things in the future. (change)
  2. Added headers specifically as an example in the data retention policy, so that it is clear this sort of data has to be protected in the same way all other PII. (change)
  3. Delete the specific sentence. (change)

We think, on the whole, that these changes make us more able to handle new types of data in the future, while protecting them in the same way we protect other data instead of in a special case. Please let us know if you have any concerns. -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 18:47, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Slight changes? Not in my view! This is MAJOR change. Revoking a commitment, the DAY BEFORE debate is scheduled to close, that browser sniffing is incompatible with this Policy is no slight change. I'm trying not to blow my lid, but I'm really pissed off! The deadline needed extension because of the change and needs extension, retroactively, now. Although it appeared at first that this MAJOR change was slipped in under the wire, I understand that it was prompted by verdy_p's questions starting 1/15. Still, asumming all that LVilla says is valid regarding future-proof-ness, that in no way justifies total removal of the commitment from the policy. The policy is now, once again, a blatant lie. I had fixed it. The time for considering such radical changes was back in December when this was discussed AT LENGTH. @LVilla (WMF): what about that discussion? I'm disappointed that no one else involved in the December discussion said a thing about this troubling change!
  1. Change 1 is awful; see the December discussion. I said then, "Let's not set a bad example and be deceitful about what we collect…" With the changes LVilla has made, if adopted, Wikimedia WILL BE setTING a bad example and beING deceitful about what IT collectS. If that happens, I'll be ASHAMED to be associated with it!
  2. Change 2 is awful for the same reasons.
  3. Change 3 … slight? Yeah, and nothing Snowden blew the whistle on was illegal.

I think the community is owed an apology and I think the changes need to be revisited. We need to stop lying to our users. Lying to our fellow users is inexcusable. If anyone wants to talk to me about this offline, let me know. --Elvey (talk) 06:44, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

@LVilla (WMF):, involved in the December discussion:@Geoffbrigham:, @Drdee:, @Stephen LaPorte (WMF): No response to my comment above? If this isn't going to be addressed, I guess I can ping the board directly to let them know, before they vote. --Elvey (talk) 02:24, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

We didn't respond because I don't think your criticisms are accurate, and your tone suggests you do not want to have a constructive conversation. In particular, the change you've characterized as "deceitful" allows us to add more things, but not take them away, from the list. I think most people would agree that, as we mentioned above, this is a pro-user and pro-future-proofing step - it allows us to protect users more in the future, but not less. If you'd like to take that to the board, feel free, but I'll feel very comfortable explaining to them why you're wrong. Sorry that we disagree. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 18:09, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
You revoked a commitment to users that browser sniffing is incompatible with this Policy. That is no slight change, no matter how you spin it. And it seems inexplicable to me why you think that revoking a pro-user commitment to collecting less data is a "pro-user" step. But intelligent people disagree sometimes. --Elvey (talk) 02:31, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
The bottom line is that I pushed for and gained consensus for language that made it clear that the privacy policy would not allow browser sniffing. It was added and stayed in the draft for weeks. Then on the last day, it was removed. Now we have a privacy policy that allows browser sniffing, and yet claims to be informative. That's an untenable situation. That's the bottom line. If this is in any way inaccurate, I welcome corrections. Specific corrections only. Vague assertions based on no specific facts, as in your last comment, are not appropriate. --Elvey (talk) 06:35, 6 May 2014 (UTC) (update 20:49, 10 May 2014 (UTC): @Geoffbrigham:, @Drdee:, @Stephen LaPorte (WMF):, @LuisV (WMF): Well? )
But wait, the checkuser tool contains the IP address, Operating system and browser in order to identify potential sockpuppet accounts. Are you saying that they cannot do that anymore? Reguyla (talk) 18:15, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
The concern is that these individual things could be combined into a maybe-unique tracking tool, like a cookie. As we pointed out in the original comment above, we think the best way to deal with this concern is through the definition of PII and the data retention policy. This way we treat it in the same, careful way that we treat other personal information, instead of creating a separate, badly-defined category that can't be expanded or adapted as technology changes. We think overall that is both much safer for users and more likely to work in 3-5 years. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 00:36, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, LuisV and Elvey. Elvey: your concerns were noted and welcome. Luis's position is persuasive and considerate; and reflected in the policy adopted. SJ talk  19:10, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
With all due respect Luis, if the technology to do this right is 3-5 years out, then we shouldn't be leaving the privacy policy vulnerable to abuse for the next 3-5 years. I agree the policy needs updating and I agree that tools like the Checkuser tool need to be updated. But exempting a large chunk of the population with the most access to PII just doesn't make sense. Just in the last week there have been a flurry of incidents on the english Wikipedia where admins and even some members of the Arbitration commmittee, who have access to the Oversight and checkuser tools BTW, have displayed stunning lacks of good judgment. They tols multiple users to "fuck off", literally, not figuratively, they issued legal threats to an editor and someone even contacted an editors employer and included their Wikipedia user name and their real life identity. Now with this privacy policy they would be exempted from privacy policy completely. You may not agree with me and you may not change a word in the privacy policy, but I wanted to be on record for stating clearly and with no misunderstandings that these things are not ok. Reguyla (talk) 14:10, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
Can you post a link to a thread where this flurry of incidents was discussed?--Elvey (talk) 18:24, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

@LVilla (WMF):, would you please change the subject of this thread, as suggested by SJ, here?I went ahead and changed it.

Note, Folks: Wider discussion opened with an RFC at .en's Village Pump: --Elvey (talk) 01:21, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

For the record I'm less concerned by the classic sniffing of browser capabilities: these headers are made with the purpose of allowing technical adaptation and compatibility and not really about "spying" users.
My question was about a much larger set of headers, including those that culd be inserted by random browser plugins that we don't use and don't need to develop our content to be available to the largest public.
But there are some concerns about logging and keeping data like prefered language : this preference is only temporary and does need archiving. All that matters is to know which language to render for the UI, and the content of the UI is not personal data and is unrelated to what users are doing in Wikimedia sites. If this data (incuding possible unique identifiers generated by plugins, which are even stronger than IP addresses) is used for collecting demographic data, the policies sed in Wikimetrics should be applied and we shouldn't need to archive it for individual users: this is personal data, used only by CheckUser admins, and that should be subject to the CheckUser policy, not used for anything else.
It is a concern because many users don't have any idea about what is transmitted in these protocol headers (and sometimes these unique IDs are inserted in protocol headers by malwares or adwares tracking users without user permission, in an attempt to bypass standard cookie filters, to track these users wherever they go in the Internet, we should not depend on them and shuld make sure than no other third party will be able to derive user data from our archive logs to correlate them with tracks left on other sites).
Note that some plugins are appending these IDs within the "User-Agent" string (normaly used only to sniff browser capabilities), so the full unfiltered User-Agent string should be considerd also as personal data (and the substrings we are sniffing in User-Agent should be very generic, never user-specific or specific to very a small community, including obscure browser names).
If developers need to get a log of values used in User-Agent strings extracted from server logs, in order to study some trends in new browser types we should support, they should request only this data and get an archive taken from a limited time period with minimal filtering of users (for example, filtering by version if IE prior IE5 is OK; per country is OK; per large ISP is OK; but per IP or per small IP block are bad). Such extraction of data for research & software development/improvement will be provided only to some developers, agreeing to not use specific substrings gound in these logs that could identity very small groups of users, we can sniff substrings in user-agent stings only if they are likely to match more than about 100 users over a short period outside peak hours (and this should not include the early detection of alpha versions of browsers tested by a few users; but such detection could be done experimentally on small wiki test sites or private wiki sites, whose content does not really matter and where some standard anti-abuse policies may be tested with contents that would not be accepted on a standard open project). verdy_p (talk) 09:14, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Tracking pixel[edit]

Where's the discussion which determined that this technique with "less than the best reputation" is needed on the voyage? The phrase "tracking pixel" doesn't even exist in the cookie FAQ. More dirty laundry hanging in the front yard, s'il vous plaît, if you're serious about public comment. MaxEnt (talk) 07:29, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

In the archive maybe. I´m not qualified to answer the FAQ problem. Alexpl (talk) 08:24, 9 May 2014 (UTC) Obviously they're very very serious about creating the appearance of consultation with and acceptance of help from the user community. However, the history of edits shows otherwise, I saw no users arguing for the opaqueness around critical issues like profiling that I tried to address through comments and edits. And yet the edits I proposed and contributed were removed. On the plus side, although the policy is certainly not clear about what it is collected, at least it no longer claims to be clear about what it is collected. Earlier versions both were not clear and yet claimed to be clear. --Elvey (talk) 03:25, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
MaxEnt (talk), you can find tracking pixels in our glossary of key terms. If you would like to read some of the discussion we had during the consultation regarding this topic, please see answers from tech here and discussion regarding third party data collection here. RPatel (WMF) (talk) 18:59, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
RPatel (WMF), please stop keep not conforming to gender stereotypes of this awesome New Yorker cartoon! </joke> :-) (The #Anchors you added are helpful.) --Elvey (talk) 08:35, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Exemptions from the Privacy Policy[edit]

I'm going to make this brief, because I don't think anyone really cares anyway, but I have a bit of a problem with the wording of this new privacy policy. In particular the part which says that Admins and functionaries (checkusers and the like) are exempt. Now I realize that there has been a developed culture where the admins here are treated like royalty and I agree there needs to be some language that allows them to do their tasks. But to say they are exempt from policy referring to Privacy information is a big problem for me. Functionaries I can go with because their identity and age are vetted. But administrators are selected by the community and their identities are never verified. There is enough problems with admin abuse on Wikipedia. We really should not be writing language that specifically excludes the from privacy policy. Reguyla (talk) 02:17, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Are you referring to the "To Protect You, Ourselves & Others" section? The box on the left summarizes the cases when "users with certain administrative rights" can disclose information:
  • enforce or investigate potential violations of Foundation or community-based policies;
  • protect our organization, infrastructure, employees, contractors, or the public; or
  • prevent imminent or serious bodily harm or death to a person.
The third definitely makes sense. The second one is somewhat vague (protect the public/employees from what?), but seems reasonable. However, the first one could potentially be problematic. Violating WMF policy is very different from violating a "community-based" policy. Which part of the new privacy policy are you concerned with? I don't see anything where admins "are exempt", but I admit I only searched the document for the word "admin[istrator]". PiRSquared17 (talk) 22:07, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
Have you tried uncollapsing? The most important parts of the text are the two collapsed ones. Or, Talk:Privacy_policy/Archives/2014#Google Analytics, GitHub ribbon, Facebook like button, etc. and the three threads linked from it (plus some others). --Nemo 16:34, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
Oh yeah I read every word, which leads to a seperate issue of it being very long and sufficiently complex and legalistic to ensure very few will take the time to read it. In regards to the matter of admins and privacy. There are multiple problems with not clearly defining their role in the privacy policy. For example:
  1. There are about 1400 admins on the english wiki alone with varying levels of activity and interpretations of policy. Of that, only about 500 edit more than once every thirty days and of that less than 100 edit every day.
  2. They are not vetted through the WMF and are anonymous, makning privacy security dubious
  3. Even the the Functionaries like checkuser are questionable because eventhought their identifications are verified through the WMF. The verification process is pretty limited and the documentation isn't retained.
So I would recommend rewording the part about Admins like Checkuser, to refer to functionaries instead of admins and I would lose the loose wording of who is exempt. We don't have that many roles, we should just list them. Reguyla (talk) 18:12, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
@Nemo: Why are those boxes collapsed? They contain important information.
@Reguyla: Ah, I think I see what you are referring to now. "Administrative volunteers, such as CheckUsers or Stewards" is not clear whether it includes normal admins (sysops) or only CU/OS/Stewards (who are at least identified to the Wikimedia Foundation and have specific policies, as well as the access to nonpublic information policy). It would make sense to list out the specific groups or rights this covers. I don't see why admins should be exempt from policies regarding privacy. This wording seems to allow admins, essentially normal users with a few extra buttons, to disregard the privacy of other users, if I am interpreting it correctly.
@LVilla (WMF): are normal admins (sysops) exempt from this policy, or does that wording only apply to CU/OS/Stewards, who have more specific policies? PiRSquared17 (talk) 21:53, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
Hi Reguyla & PiRSquared17. Thank you for your comments and questions. We wanted to clarify why administrative volunteers are excluded from the privacy policy. The privacy policy is meant to be an agreement between the Foundation and its users on how the Foundation will handle user data. The Foundation can’t control the actions of community members such as administrative volunteers, so we don’t include them under the privacy policy. However, administrative volunteers, including CheckUsers and Stewards are subject to the access to nonpublic information policy (access policy). Under the access policy, these volunteers must sign a confidentiality agreement which requires them to treat any personal information that they handle according to the same standards outlined in the privacy policy. So, even though administrative volunteers are not included in the privacy policy, the access policy and the confidentiality agreement require them to follow the same rules set forth in the privacy policy. I hope that clears up any confusion. RPatel (WMF) (talk) 20:48, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
The Access to nonpublic information policy does not apply to "normal" sysops who are not identified to the Wikimedia Foundation, but who may have access to some private data (deleted edits). PiRSquared17 (talk) 23:07, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
@RPatel, Thank you for the response, but here is my problem with that. Checkusers, Oversighters and Stewards may sign an agreement and have their information vetted. Regular admins do not. They are still anonymous and since the "normal" admins have access to material which has been deleted, oftentimes including personal details like Email addresses, phonenumbers, etc. of edits made or derogatory material on BLP's, significant privacy issues can still be an issue. Also, your argument that you make about "the access policy and the confidentiality agreement require them to follow the same rules set forth in the privacy policy" is also applicable to regular editors, who frequently do not follow them. We have seen over the years a number of admins get in trouble, desysopped, banned, etc. for violations. Worse, we have also seen a number of admins, including some in the last week or two on Wikipedia, get away with pretty severe violations. So although I do not expect the WMF to make any changes, I still have serious concerns and hesitations about admins being exempted from the Privacy policy. Frankly, the admins are already held to a much lower bar than regular editors and frequently allowed to get away with things that would cause a regular editor to be blocked or banned entirely from the site, so this is just another example, of enabling a group of editors to be exempt from the policies that govern the site. Reguyla (talk) 20:22, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
@RPatel (WMF):, @LVilla (WMF): Reguyla- We haven't heard back since 16/20 May so I did diff because regular administrators clearly do have access to nonpublic information covered and defined by the Privacy Policy and because of the statement above by RPatel (WMF) that
"The Foundation can’t control the actions of community members such as administrative volunteers, However, administrative volunteers... are subject to the access to nonpublic information policy. Under the access policy, [all] these volunteers must sign a confidentiality agreement which requires them to treat any personal information that they handle according to the same standards outlined in the privacy policy."
I was reverted by Odder ~40 mins ago, without so much as an edit summary or other follow-up.
PiRSquared17 On what basis can you say that? I've provided two arguments for why that's not the case. We can't just put in place policies that are a more contradictory mess than the status quo. --Elvey (talk) 19:30, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
@PiRSquared17, I don't buy the argumetn that we can't control them so we just exempt them from teh policy. That makes absolutely no sense. Reguyla (talk) 20:10, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
@Elvey: My basis for that claim: The new version of the access to nonpublic information policy does not include admins in the list of users it covers. Also, admins do not necessarily meet the minimum requirements listed there. In fact, it says "Community members with the ability to access content or user information which has been removed from administrator view". If they wanted to include admins, then they wouldn't have added "which has been removed from administrator view". Being bold is fine in most cases, but (IMHO) you can't just add something to a WMF policy draft that was recommended to the Board without even discussing it on the talk page. FYI this seems to be the current version of that policy. PiRSquared17 (talk) 20:21, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
@Reguyla: I'm not sure what you're referring to (whom can't we control?). PiRSquared17 (talk) 20:21, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm quoting your statement above where you say "The Foundation can’t control the actions of community members such as administrative volunteers". If that is the case, then that would also imply you can't control the editors either which makes the whole privacy policy pointless. You absolutely can control the admin corps, you have simply chosen not too and that is the problem. On En anyway the admins haev engrained a culture where they are above reproach and are exempt from policy already. Its next to impossible to remove the tools from even the most abusive admins and now they are exempted from the privacy policy too. I'm sorry but I have to wave the BS flag on that. I don't really even agree that the functionaries should be "exempt" but should be identified as having special roles that "requires" them to have access. Admins are not vetted through the WMF and they should not be exempt from the privacy policy. Reguyla (talk) 20:29, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
@Reguyla: I never said that; RPatel did. For what it's worth I agree with you. PiRSquared17 (talk) 20:45, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
Did you see this, Reguyla? PiRSquared17 (talk) 15:15, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes sorry, it looked like you said it. Reguyla (talk) 17:12, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Good points, @Reguyla:. What language changes should we make to avoid using "exempt" ? --Elvey (talk) 20:53, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't know to be honest I would have to think about it. I'm pretty disallusioned with Wikipedia and the WMF at the moment so frankly I don't think they would listen to me anyway and anything I said would be a wsate of my time. I just wanted to make sure it was known that making admins exempt from privacy policy was absolutely not appropriate and was going to enable more abuse. Realistically nothing would ever happen anyway. The WMF stands behind the admins and I don't think they have ever interfered and the same goes for the admins themselves. Even if one is wrong they rarely admit it publicly and find reasons to defend even the most offensive violations of policy. So even if we said they were going to cooked over open flames if they violated the provacy policy nothing would happen because the WMF doesn't have any intention or desire of invovling them in the projects. Its beneath them.Reguyla (talk) 15:03, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
PiRSquared17: Either way, something must change. I agree when you say it's not OK that "This wording seems to allow admins, essentially normal users with a few extra buttons, to disregard the privacy of other users, if I am interpreting it correctly." We both see it as a problem. If I mustn't be bold, what then? It's OK for Odder to revert without so much as an edit summary or other follow-up? I say no. What do you say? We did discuss the need for a change, if not the actual change that I made, on this talk page, and the WMF took no action, for over a week, and I referred to this talk page in my edit summary. Please suggest or make a change that's better than the one I made. --Elvey (talk) 20:53, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
I think your edit summary here is a good example. PiRSquared17 (talk) 21:02, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
PiRSquared17: Of? Something must change. I agree when you say it's not OK that "This wording seems to allow admins, essentially normal users with a few extra buttons, to disregard the privacy of other users, if I am interpreting it correctly." We both see it as a problem. It's OK for Odder to revert without so much as an edit summary or other follow-up? I say no. What do you say? We did discuss the need for a change, if not the actual change that I made, on this talk page, and the WMF took no action, for over a week, and I referred to this talk page in my edit summary. Please suggest or make a change that's better than the one I made. --Elvey (talk) 20:53, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
The community consultation is over, according to the notice on the privacy policy and the access to nonpublic information policy, so I'm not sure. Has anyone from the WMF (perhaps RPatel) replied since? PiRSquared17 (talk) 22:07, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Hi all. Sorry for the delay in response and for any confusion caused by my earlier response that referred to “administrative volunteers” — different types of volunteers should not have been lumped together with that phrase.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be concerned that regular administrators (sysops) are not subject to the Access to Nonpublic Information Policy, but have access to material that has been removed from general public view (which may contain sensitive information, like email addresses, that was posted publicly).

By posting information publicly online, even if it is later removed from general public view, that information falls outside the scope of the Privacy Policy. The Privacy Policy covers "personal information", which is defined as "[i]nformation you provide us or information we collect from you that could be used to personally identify you" "if it is otherwise nonpublic.” Because sysops do not handle "personal information" within the scope of the Privacy Policy, we did not apply the Access Policy to sysops. Rules regarding sensitive information that has been removed from general view but still viewable by sysops is addressed in other policies, such as the oversight policy. Under the oversight policy, if a user is uncomfortable with sysops being able to view sensitive information in a particular situation, the user can ask for that information to be hidden. Oversighters who would handle these types of requests are subject to the Access Policy.

It is also worth noting that the Access Policy is meant to set minimum requirements for community members that do handle “personal information” as defined by the Privacy Policy. It does not limit a particular project’s community from imposing additional requirements or obligations upon community members, such as sysops who handle sensitive information. Each community must decide what is right for them and create policies accordingly. RPatel (WMF) (talk) 00:04, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

@RPatel (WMF): - That isn't entirely true and let me give you a couple examples why. Personal information, that would normally not be available or visible online is frequently passed around the backchannels through mailing lists and IRC while discussing issues or just in idle chitchat. That information is not generally allowed on Wikimedia projects and would generally be oversighted or at least revdelled. But it cannot be in the emails and IRC channels and these things are frequently logged and retained. I think we have all seen cases were these were used or leaked in inappropriate manners. The UTRS system is another good example. Lots of personal info is available there and any admin can have access. In fact there is a wanring message stating as such when the UTRS system is used. Many non admins have access to it as well making the problem even worse but thats a seperate issue. By exempting admins from the Privacy policy as its currently worded, is asking for trouble. IMO, if it ever went to court, any decent lawyer would have a good arguement for any number of exceptions to why the privacy policy violated users rights/reasonable expectation of privacy. I'm fairly surprised it hasn't already happened.
This privacy policy doesn't just cover Wikipedia or a couple projects. It is an umbrella policy designed to cover them all. Now if the WMF wants to restrict admins to those who are willing to provide personal info to the WMF to verify their identity or do that for those who wish to operate in the backchannels of IRC or UTRS, then maybe I could agree its fine. Another good step forward would be for the WMF to perform some oversite of the functionaries and admins of the Wikipedia site which is sorely lacking. But I don't think doing that is going to happen.
I for one already have serious concerns about the collegiality and civility problems of the english Wikipedia and the severe lack of leadership and oversight of the admins and functionaries of the project. If the site continues down its current path without some oversight or intervention by the WMF HQ team, no one is going to want to edit except some bullies and POV pushers (its almost to that point now). Exempting them is the last thing we should be doing to curb the rampant abuses that are already occurring. Reguyla (talk) 17:51, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Definitions, simplification, reopening discussion[edit]

RPatel (WMF) [edit:revised] Can you add a definition of nonpublic information based on the one from Confidentiality_agreement_for_nonpublic_information to the definition section, or remove the need for one? SMcCandlish, we could fork/edit Privacy_policy/Proposed_Revisions --Elvey (talk) 10:25, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
So, I don't think we should still have a notice that "Our Privacy Policy is changing on 6 June 2014". But since we do, to which version can we be switching? The one in place a month ago? the one with the fix RPatel just made? I don't think we can do the latter. So I think we should fix the outstanding policy issues and then repost notice that "Our Privacy Policy is changing on x xxx 2014".--Elvey (talk) 18:25, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
Hi Elvey, thanks for the question and suggestion. The privacy policy that will go into effect is the one that was approved by the Board, only changed since the Board's approval to correct typos, like the one pointed out above. To respond to your suggestion to add a definition of nonpublic information to the privacy policy, I wanted to point you to the definition of "personal information" in the definition section, which covers information that "is otherwise nonpublic and can be used to identify" users. The definition from the confidentiality agreement was not included in the privacy policy because that definition is geared towards information that volunteers would have and that is governed by the access to nonpublic information policy. For example, the confidentiality agreement definition specifies information users "receive either from tools provided to you as an authorized Wikimedia community member or from other such members." --unsigned comment byRPatel (WMF).
RPatel (WMF), are you aware that the Privacy Policy itself uses the term nonpublic information multiple times? Some of those uses of the term are far from any reference to the confidentiality agreement. I find it hard to imagine an argument for why is it better to leave the definition-and its very existence-hidden away. What's the benefit? Elvey (talk) 27 May
Hi Elvey. First, sorry about the previous unsigned comment! I think my previous comment was unclear. I read your suggestion as to take the exact definition from the confidentiality agreement and add it to the privacy policy, and I was trying to explain that the confidentiality agreement definition would not make sense in the privacy policy context (because it talks about authorized community members getting information through tools). But if you are just suggesting that a definition of nonpublic information be included, not necessarily the same definition from the confidentiality agreement, I want to respond to that as well. The privacy policy defines personal information and delineates how the Foundation handles it. Nonpublic information is a broader term that does not necessarily include personal information. For example, anonymized data that contains no personal information is "nonpublic" until we release it, whereas non-anonymized data containing personal information that has not been released (and would not be except as permitted under the privacy policy) would be both "nonpublic" and "personal information". The privacy policy does use the term "nonpublic information" and in most cases it's in reference to certain users with admin rights-- "who are supposed to agree to follow our Access to Nonpublic Information Policy" and nonpublic information is discussed in that policy. I don't think we're trying to hide its definition or existence but instead trying to be more specific by defining personal information. RPatel (WMF) (talk) 20:52, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
RPatel (WMF), Thank you for that explanation and for your patience. Indeed, Nonpublic information, private information, private user information, personal information - a lot of terms; perhaps a Venn diagram is called for. After having read the "Privacy-related pages", a user should know what is collected, know that WM employs it, and that access is restricted to approved projects and user groups, only. How should we resolve the problem of "Nonpublic information" not being defined where it is used? I have 2 ideas: A and B:
A) If we eliminate the term 'nonpublic information' from the Privacy Policy like this, is it a better policy? The Privacy Policy stops committing to protect the anonymized data you mention; is changing the status of the data in that section of the Venn diagram a significant negative? I don't see it. We simplify the document, eliminating an undefined term.
B)A definition of nonpublic information be included. I propose this one, which I derived from the extant one: "Nonpublic information. Nonpublic information is private information, including private user information, disclosure of which is covered by the Confidentiality agreement for nonpublic information. Nonpublic information includes personal information. It does not include information about a user that that user otherwise makes public on the Wikimedia projects."
Thoughts on these or other solutions, or the other changes I'm discussing with LVilla? --Elvey (talk) 20:21, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Hi Elvey. Sorry for the delay in responding. We added a definition of nonpublic information here. Thank you for the suggestion! RPatel (WMF) (talk) 18:24, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Wahoo! Thank you for taking it. --Elvey (talk) 07:39, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

ERq 8592464 - phrase[edit]

"We believe that information-gathering and use should must go hand-in-hand with transparency."

to show strong commitment to the principle. Ivan Pozdeev (talk) 14:12, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Important Consideration: I hope it's not too late, but fear it is.[edit]

It may have been discussed already, and realized the time and didn't have time to read the content of this page. If is has, then forgive and disregard this section.

It pertains to the fact that every user, whether or not a "functionary" exposes himself to possibility of civil or criminal prosecution for defamatory remarks made about another user. I've been doing research on WMF's concerns about attrition and plateaud new user registrations. One thing led to another, resulting in a dominoe effect landing me as the subject in a discussion group titled with my own username. Though the guidelines when opening a new topic state not to discuss anything defamatory or libelous, the fact of the matter is that everyone who comments about me in the room is in there to say not nice things... much of it defamatory and libelous. The admins are the worst.

Now, no one there seems to get it. I was protecting that room because I was protecting WMF, WP and other users from implicating themselves. Does anyone here know what I am talking about? It's everywhere on WP... plenty of notice about it.

You should begin with the actual Section of the article which is, itself, a violation of criminal law insofar as it begs for critique: PRESIDENTISTVB. Before I could do what is necessary to clarify the issue, I was blocked. All I could then do was edit my own talk page, so I created a section in answer to it: 60 Hours a Slave. I sent an email to Oversight to explain it a little better. You can read the letter I wrote to the Oversight Committee and then view these other two docs: [ONE] [TWO] (PW is username of admin who blocked me.)

The bottom line, as the three external references on my talk page reveal is that every user risks his personal, private information being revealed via court order accompanying a lawsuit, and I firmly believe all users should be made aware of it, in a more prominent way than we have been. I've linked some graphics in the content on my talk page. Make sure you read the three linked articles/items.

Again, if I'm visiting an area already fully discussed, then all I can say is, THANK YOU.

Best regards,

PresidentistVB (talk) 03:37, 3 June 2014 (UTC) PresidentistVB

Good luck but I don't expect the WMF to make any changes here. Its become pretty clear to me that the WMF doesn't have any interest in protecting editors rights or the rights of the readers. They only seem interested in further insulating the admins thus expanding the us and the mentality of adminship on Wikipedia. Unfortunately there is a seperate discussion about this on the English Wikipedia that has much more active discussion than here and I cannot edit there because I was banned to shut me up for criticising abusive admins. Reguyla (talk) 11:21, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

L'application de la politique de confidentialité est-elle rétroactive intra muros de WP, quand des Wiki ne l'ont pas respectée auparavant en interne à l'égard d'autres wiki?[edit]

Problème passé (2012) sur une dénonciation : un Wikipédien a divulgué mon nom véritable, en l'associant à mon pseudonyme, en page de discussion d'article. A present, cette dénonciation de mon patronyme lié à mon pseudonyme continue d'être répétée dans les pages correspondantes à la demande d'information sur ma personne sur Internet quand on tape mon nom véritable. Le wikipédien dénonciateur n'a pas été inquiété et se trouve toujours parmi les contributeurs de la communauté Wikipedia. --Bruinek (talk) 12:03, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Suite en 2014 du même problème de harcèlement déguisé de ma personne privée soi-disant au nom des "principes de WP": sur, le même wikipédien a récidivé en m'interpellant par mon prénom véritable au lieu d'utiliser mon nom d'utilisateur dans "l'historique" de l'article sur l'écrivain Jean Sulivan le 5 juin 2014 à 21:25. Cf. aussi l'observation que j'ai faite à ce sujet dans la page de discussion de l'article Jean Sulivan : Violation de la politique de confidentialité de Wikipedia par.... Donc, que penser quand un wikipédien commence lui-même par violer la politique de confidentialité de WP pour dénoncer en public un autre wikipédien qu'il critique - quel que soit le motif invoqué -, en utilisant le nom véritable de cette personne, associé à son pseudonyme d'utilisateur? Ce wikipédien dénonciateur d'une information privée sur un autre wikipédien a-t-il pour le moins le droit de continuer de faire partie de la communauté Wikipedia? Sachant que l'information diffamatoire en question continue de figurer sur les pages du moteur de recherche Google (par exemple) dans les "réponses" fournies à mon nom véritable d'auteur par rapport à mes travaux de chercheur, livre et articles publiés! Et sachant que j'ai averti un administrateur du problème en 2012 et à nouveau en juin 2014. Ce wikipédien ne met-il pas Wikipedia en contradiction juridique flagrante à mon propos avec mon droit d'auteur sur Internet ? Moi seul(e), en tant qu'auteur, ai le droit à la divulgation de mon nom, y compris sous un pseudonyme (comme dans Wikipedia), et au retrait ! Voir Droit d'auteur et internet 2.2 Droit moral et internet: "Le droit moral de l'auteur correspond au droit à la paternité (ou droit au nom), au droit au respect de l’œuvre, au droit de divulgation et au droit de repentir ou de retrait. Ces droits sont inaliénables, perpétuels, insaisissables et imprescriptibles".--Bruinek (talk) 11:57, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Pour l'incident de 2012, on peut difficilement revenir dessus (et le mieux c'était alors d'oublier dans les archives et tu peux toujours aussi demander à un admin de supprimer une info de l'historique public des pags concernées), c'est un peu tard, mais concernant celui de juin 2014 la politique était applicable. Parle-z’en à un admin de Wikipédia. Si tu fais preuve de harcèlement, celui qui fait ça devrait être sanctionné. On ne peut pas publier d'info privée sur quelqu'un sans son autorisation, même si l'auteur dispose de l'information. Maintenant si ça se limite à ton prénom c'est difficilement identifiable. S'il mentionne ton nom et qu'il n'est pas extrêmement courant (comme Martin, nom le plus utilisé en France...) c'est difficile de te localiser.
L'ennui c'est qu'il risque fort s'il t'a identifié de continuer à publier tout ce qu'il trouve sur toi, et verser toutes tes autres activités sur le web (surtout si tu as un compte sur un réseau social bien connu, ou si tu y as publié une photo de toi et aussi sur d'autres réseaux beaucoup plus sensibles comme des sites de rencontre) que tu ne voudrais pas lier à Wikipédia. Il n'est pas acceptable sur Wikipédia d'utiliser des infos glanées sur d'autres sites (et fortiori aussi sur les réseaux sociaux privés, c'est une violation de leur propre droit d'auteur qui ne donne accès à leur contenu que sur le site pour un usage privé, ou pour les démarchages commerciaux via certains filtrages et paiement de droits d'accès limité). S'il a obtenu des infos en rapprochant avec un réseau social, il a commis une violation de droit d'auteur (copyright) du site concerné. verdy_p (talk) 12:08, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Note quand même: regarde [[1]] et tu verras qu'il y a une redirection qui mentionne un nom explicite. C'est public et si tu ne veux pas de cette redirection, demande à un admin de supprimer cette page de redirection. Quand tu as demandé le renommage de ton compte, la redirection n'aurait pas du être créée, ou bien l'admin qui a fait ça aurait du la supprimer immédiatement et rendre la page invisible de l'historique public et du journal public des suppressions. Ce renommage a eu lieu le 30 novembre 2007 à 21:34, il était visible en 2012, donc il n'y a pas eu de violation d'identité manifeste. Tu aurais du t'en rendre compte plus vite !‎ verdy_p (talk) 12:13, 15 June 2014 (UTC)


I'm more than 10 years present, but I do not seem to be able to revert a vandalism here. See and the edits of the IP just now. I cannot revert them. It is a shitty system when you should study how to do it. A revert of a vandalism should be simple. -jkb- 22:50, 22 August 2014 (UTC) - - - P.S. My feeling is that more and more users are exluded from editing here. -jkb- 22:52, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

I've reverted those edits. For pages translated using Translate extension, you have to revert the edits to the translation units separately. Special:Contributions/ and revert the edits to the pages in Translations: namespace. --Glaisher (talk) 08:40, 23 August 2014 (UTC)