This page has information about how to get the consent you need to use Wikimetrics to evaluate in-person events you run.
Privacy and transparency are important in the Wikimedia movement. When using Wikimetrics, consider your cohort’s expectations regarding how their information will be collected and analyzed. This document does not provide legal recommendations based on the laws of any particular country, but tips to help you quickly, easily, and clearly communicate with your potential cohort about Wikimetrics. You should be aware that most countries have various laws about privacy and data protection, which may apply to the information you are collecting, depending upon factors such as your location, the type of information you intend to collect, how, and from whom. Please note that the Wikimedia Foundation legal team is unable to represent individual users or movement organizations (for more information, see our disclaimer). You should consult with local counsel in order to ensure that you understand these laws and how they may apply to you, your participants, and the data you collect. Your local chapter may have suggestions to help you find counsel.
How to get consent for Wikimetrics
- Use these tips to create a consent form. Make the form available online if possible.
- Notify those signing up for the event on-wiki about your planned use of Wikimetrics at the event. If the consent form is available online, link to it from the sign-up page.
- Ask them to indicate in their signature whether or not they would like to be part of the Wikimetrics cohort.
- Print out the consent form and ask participants who did not sign up for Wikimetrics online to fill it out at the event.
- Once everyone who chooses to opt-in has filled it out, you have your cohort to evaluate in Wikimetrics!
Creating the form
- Use these forms at every in person event you do if you intend on evaluating with Wiki Metrics.
- Remember, participants have the right to not sign the consent form. They may simply choose not to opt-in to Wikimetrics.
- Include information about your privacy practices in your consent form. If you have conducted a survey before, you may have provided survey participants with a privacy statement. In a Wikimetrics consent form, you may want to include some of the same information as you would provide in a privacy statement. For example, when WMF conducts a survey, we explain the purpose of the survey, what information we are collecting, how long we will retain it, how we will use and share it, and if we will publish it. And we include consent language where the participant confirms that they consent to the terms of the privacy statement.
- Be sure to note that you will be transferring the data to the Wikimedia Foundation in the United States.
- Collect as many usernames as possible to ensure that your evaluation is meaningful. You won’t have a comprehensive picture of a program if you only have one username out of a dozen participants.
Points of Caution
- Avoid associating participants’ real names or other personally identifying information with their usernames. If you have reason to collect other information about participants (for example, to contact them for follow-up), have them consent to that collection and use in a separate form and do not share that information unless you have specific consent from the participant to do so.
- Do not publish data about an individual user. Always anonymize and aggregate data assessed via Wikimetrics.
- If you plan to collect information beyond usernames: certain information may be considered personal or sensitive information, based upon applicable laws. This information could require special handling. We strongly encourage you not to collect it. If you have questions about collecting this information, you should speak with local counsel.
Here is an example of a community-created Wikimetrics consent form:
What NOT to collect
Due to privacy laws in the United States of America and the European Union you cannot collect certain information via the forms. You can always use an anonymous survey to do that.
Most often, you cannot collect the following information via these forms as they would be identifiable:
- Real names (in a way it can be identified with a specific user)
- Date of birth
- Age (in a way it can be identified with a specific user)
- Gender, sexual orientation, racial or ethnic origins if it can be identified with a specific user
- Medical conditions or disabilities
- Phone numbers
- Social security numbers or other governmental identification numbers
- Political affiliations
All you need to do is add a sign-up section so participants can provide their username as requested on the forms.
- Long Form — You can use this as the opt-in form disclosure. If you chose to use the medium or short form, make sure you keep a copy of this printed out to show participants if requested.
- Medium Form — Also have long form available if you use this as the opt-in form disclosure.
- Short Form — Also have long form available if you use this as the opt-in form disclosure.
- Having trouble getting people to sign in or fill out the form? Consider the Cookies by the exit learning pattern!
- If participants are signing up for an event on an on-wiki page, and you want to add them to your Wikimetrics cohort, it’s best to be clear about how their information will be used.
- You can place a large and clear notice on the page when it is first created, noting that event participants will be added to Wikimetrics, with the same information as the consent form to be handed out in-person. You can also provide an email address to contact the organizers to sign up for the event, for those who do not want to be included in Wikimetrics by signing up on-wiki.