Freedom of speech is essential to the Wikimedia movement—our projects cannot flourish in an ecosystem where individuals cannot speak freely. Our users trust us to protect their identities against unlawful disclosure and we take this responsibility seriously.
However, every year, governments, individuals, and corporations ask us to disclose user data. Often, we have no nonpublic information to disclose because we collect little nonpublic information about users and retain that information for a short period of time. But when we do have data, we carefully evaluate every request before considering disclosure. If the requests do not meet our standards — if they are overly broad, unclear, or irrelevant — we will push back on behalf of our users.
Below, you will find more information about the requests for user data we receive.
Awareness that the Government may be watching chills associational and expressive freedoms. And the Government’s unrestrained power to assemble data that reveal private aspects of identity is susceptible to abuse.
Compared to other companies, we received relatively few requests*
* Due to the inconsistent release dates across different organizations, comparison data for the period covered by this report (January 2015 - June 2015) was not available, so we are presenting the comparison data above for July 2014 - December 2014. Please also note that figures for Wikimedia include additional types of requests for user data that are not included in the other organizations' figures. See the FAQ for more details.