Wikimedia Foundation Transparency Report/June 2016/Requests for User Data

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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.

If we must produce information due to a legally valid request, we will notify the affected user before we disclose, if we are legally permitted and have the means to do so. In certain cases, we may help find assistance for users to fight an invalid request.

Below, you will find more information about the requests for user data we receive.

Heather Brooke May 12.jpg

We need to codify our values and build consensus around what we want from a free society and a free Internet. We need to put into law protections for our privacy and our right to speak and assemble.

— Heather Brooke, Journalist, (2012)
JAN – JUN 2016
Total user data requests
JAN – JUN 2016
Percentage of times information produced


JAN – JUN 2016
Total number of requests 13
Informal Non-Government Requests 7
Informal Government Requests 6
Civil Subpoenas 0
Criminal Subpoenas 0
Administrative Subpoenas 0
Search Warrants 0
Court Orders 0
National Security Requests 0
Information Produced 0
User Accounts Potentially Affected 14
User Accounts Actually Affected 0
User Accounts Notified 0
JAN – JUN 2016
Content requests
JAN – JUN 2016
Non-content requests

JUL – DEC 2015
Compared to other companies, we received relatively few requests[1]
Company Requests received Requests granted
Facebook 46,710 31,691
Google 40,677 26,033
Twitter 5,560 3,558
LinkedIn 139 91
Wikimedia 25 1
  1. Due to the inconsistent release dates across different organizations, comparison data for the period covered by this report (January - June 2016) was not available, so we are presenting the comparison data above for July 2015 - December 2015. 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.
JAN – JUN 2016
Requests for user data, and how we responded
By request type:
Received Partial All
Informal non-government requests 7 0 0
Informal government requests 6 0 0
Civil subpoenas 0 0 0
Court orders 0 0 0
Criminal subpoenas 0 0 0
Administrative subpoenas 0 0 0
Search warrants 0 0 0
By country:
Flag of Germany Germany 3 0 0
Flag of United States United States 3 0 0
Flag of Australia Australia 1 0 0
Flag of Austria Austria 1 0 0
Flag of Brazil Brazil 1 0 0
Flag of France France 1 0 0
Flag of India India 1 0 0
Flag of Italy Italy 1 0 0
Flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom 1 0 0
JAN – JUN 2016
Government requests breakdown
Informal Government Requests Total 6
Australia State Police 1
France Local Police 1
Germany Local Police 1
India Local police 1
Italy Judicial Police 1
United Kingdom Politicians, candidates & political parties 1