Privacy policy

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
This is an archived version of this page, as edited by Brooke Vibber (talk | contribs) at 22:57, 8 February 2003 (Draft formulation of the implicit privacy policy on Wikipedia). It may differ significantly from the current version.
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)

Note: this is a draft document intended to document the current consensus on the site's implicit privacy policy. It is not a legal contract, and should not yet be taken as authoritative.

Interested parties are encouraged to edit this page directly or comment in the talk page to help shape an explicit policy.

Real names

While serious contributors are encouraged to use their real names, this is not required; a user account may be created using a pseudonym (but please see Wikipedia:No offensive usernames). Many of the project's major contributors are pseudonymous, and some choose not to reveal their real name.


You may optionally provide your e-mail address when creating a user account, or update it in your preferences. This is not required, but if you do choose to submit your e-mail address:

  • Other signed-in contributors may send you direct e-mail via your user page and vice-versa; your address will be revealed only if you respond
  • If you lose your password, you can have it reassigned through the login page and a temporary password sent to you.

Users' e-mail addresses are stored only on the main Wikipedia server, accessible only to the site maintainers, and are not included in the publicly available article database dumps.

IP addresses

Depending on how you are connected to the Internet, your IP address may generally identify your Internet service provider, or uniquely identify the computer from which you are connecting.

The IP addresses of anonymous contributors are permanently recorded in the publicly viewable page histories. If you do not wish to publicly reveal your IP address, you should create a user account; your user name (which may be a pseudonym) will then be recorded in place of the IP address.

Internal server logs include the IP address of every viewer; this information is used for aggregate statistics.

The IP addresses of logged-in users may occasionally be reviewed from the server logs while investigating cases of vandalism.

Other personal information

Server logs may include the operating system and browser version that viewers use; this information is used for aggregate statistics.