Revision History - Privacy Policy
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These policies were created after a thorough and wide-ranging consultation with the Wikimedia community to address transparently our data collection, retention, and sharing policies with our community and the public.
MAJOR revision.
Incorporating notification requirement passed at April 2008 Board meeting.
New privacy policy approved by board as of 21st of june 2006.
This is the initial version that ParanoidPaul captured. It is not necessarily the first version of the document.

  From the Wikimedia Foundation Revision as of 18:33, 4 April 2012 by Thehelpfulone (talk | contribs) (remove excess link, and space)
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	This policy is approved by the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees to apply to all Wikimedia projects.
 It may not be circumvented, eroded, or ignored by local policies.   

 		 WIKIMEDIA POLICIES	WANT TO HELP TRANSLATE? TRANSLATE THE MISSING MESSAGES.   This is a summary of the Privacy Policy. To read the full terms, click here. Disclaimer: This summary is not a part of the Privacy Policy and is not a legal document. It is simply a handy reference for understanding the full Privacy Policy. Think of it as the user-friendly interface to our Privacy Policy. 


	 Access to nonpublic dataRead, edit, or use any Wikimedia Site without registering an account.
 	 Data retention
 	 Non discrimination
 	 TrademarksRegister for an account without providing an email address or real name.


	 Code of conductMake public contributions. 
 	 Conflict of interestRegister an account or update your user page.
 	 Credit card usageUse the Wikimedia Sites. 
 	 Send us emails or participate in a survey or give feedback. 

	 Delegation of authority 	WE ARE COMMITTED TO:  

	 SubdelegationDescribing how your information may be used or shared in this Privacy Policy.
 	 Using reasonable measures to keep your information secure.
 	 Never selling your information or sharing it with third parties for marketing purposes.

 	 Only sharing your information in limited circumstances, such as to improve the Wikimedia Sites, to comply with the law, or to protect you and others.
 	 Retaining your data for the shortest possible time that is consistent with maintaining, understanding, and improving the Wikimedia Sites, and our obligations under law.

 	 Duty entertainment
 	 Pluralism, internationalism, and diversity
 	 Travel approval
 	 Whistleblower	BE AWARE:  

  Other 	 Any content you add or any change that you make to a Wikimedia Site will be publicly and permanently available.

 	 If you add content or make a change to a Wikimedia Site without logging in, that content or change will be publicly and permanently attributed to the IP address used at the time rather than a username.

 	 Our community of volunteer editors and contributors is a self-policing body. Certain administrators of the Wikimedia Sites, who are chosen by the community, use tools that grant them limited access to nonpublic information about recent contributions so they may protect the Wikimedia Sites and enforce policies.

 	 This Privacy Policy does not apply to all sites and services run by the Wikimedia Foundation, such as sites or services that have their own privacy policy (like the Wikimedia Shop) or sites or services run by third parties (like third-party developer projects on Wikimedia Labs).
 	 As part of our commitment to education and research around the world, we occasionally release public information and aggregated or non-personal information to the general public through data dumps and data sets.
 	 For the protection of the Wikimedia Foundation and other users, if you do not agree with this Privacy Policy, you may not use the Wikimedia Sites.

	 Requests for user information
 	 Feedback privacy statement
 	 Friendly space policy
 	 Fundraising principles
 	 Funds dissemination principles
 	 Legal policies
 	 Purchasing and disbursements procedures    Introduction Use of info Sharing Protection Important info    

 This version of the Privacy policy was approved in October 2008 by the Board of Trustees. Discussion and proposed changes are welcome on the talk page at Meta. It is requested that this notice be translated and linked from the footer (MediaWiki:Copyright) of every page.		CONTENTS 


 1 General Scope
 	 2 The public and collaborative nature of the projects
 	 3 Activities on Foundation projects
 	 4 User accounts and authorship
 	 5 Purpose of the collection of private informationIntroduction 

	 6 Details of data retention1.1 Welcome! 

	 6.1 General expectations  	 1.1.1 Definitions
 	 1.1.2 What This Privacy Policy Does & Doesn't Cover

 	 6.1.1 IP and other technical information
 	 6.1.2 Cookies
 	 6.1.3 Page history	 2 Use of info 

	 6.1.4 User contribution2.1 Types of Information We Receive From You, How We Get It, & How We Use It Reading projects2.1.1 Your Public Contributions Editing projects Discussions2.1.2 Account Information & Registration

  	 7 Access	 2.1.3 Information Related to and releaseYour Use of personally identifiable information
 	 8 Disclaimerthe Wikimedia Sites 

GENERAL SCOPE Information We Receive Automatically Information We Collect Emails Surveys & Feedback

	This policy covers personally identifiable information collected or stored by the Foundation on its servers in relation to the Projects and their communities. Consistent with its Data Retention Policy, the Foundation collects and retains the least amount of personally identifiable information needed to fulfill the Projects' operational needs. Location Information 


	All Projects of the Wikimedia Foundation are collaboratively developed by its users using the MediaWiki software. Anyone with Internet access (and not otherwise restricted from doing so) may edit the publicly editable pages of these sites with or without logging in as a registered user. By doing this, editors create a published document, and a public record of every word added, subtracted, or changed. This is a public act, and editors are identified publicly as the author of such changes. All contributions made to a Project, and all publicly available information about those contributions, are irrevocably licensed and may be freely copied, quoted, reused and adapted by third parties with few restrictions.  	 3 Sharing 

ACTIVITIES ON FOUNDATION PROJECTS	 3.1 When May We Share Your Information? 

	In general, this Policy only applies to private information stored or held by 	 3.1.1 With Your Permission
 	 3.1.2 For Legal Reasons
 	 3.1.3 If the Foundation whichOrganization is not publicly available. Transferred (Really Unlikely!)
 	 3.1.4 To Protect You, Ourselves & Others
 	 3.1.5 To Our Service Providers
 	 3.1.6 To Understand & Experiment
 	 3.1.7 Because You Made It Public

	Interactions with the Projects not covered by this Policy include, but are not limited to, aspects of browsing and editing pages, use of the wiki "email user" function, subscribing and posting to Foundation hosted email lists, and corresponding with volunteers via the Foundation's ticketing system ("OTRS"). These interactions may reveal a contributor's IP address, and possibly other personal information, indiscriminately to the general public, or to specific groups of volunteers acting independently of the Foundation.	 4 Protection 

	Users may also interact with one another outside of Foundation sites, via email, IRC or other chat, or independent websites, and should assess the risks involved, and their personal need for privacy, before using these methods of communication.   	 4.1 How Do We Protect Your Data?
 	 4.2 How Long Do We Keep Your Data?


	The Foundation does not require editors to register with a project. Anyone can edit without logging in with a username, in which case they will be identified by network IP address. Users that do register are identified by their chosen username. Users select a password, which 	 5.1 Where is confidential and used to verify the integrity of their account. Except insofar as it may be required by law, no person should disclose, or knowingly expose, either user passwords and/or cookies generated to identify a user. Once created, user accounts will not be removed. It may be possibleFoundation & What Does That Mean for a usernameMe?
 	 5.2 Our Response to be changed, depending on the policies of individual projects. The Foundation does not guarantee that a username will be changed on request.  Do Not Track (DNT) signals
 	 5.3 Changes to This Privacy Policy
 	 5.4 Contact Us
 	 5.5 Thank You!


	The Foundation limits the collection of personally identifiable user data to purposes which serve the well-being of its projects, including but not limited to the following:  To enhance the public accountability of the projects. The Foundation recognizes that any system that is open enough to allow the greatest possible participation of the general public will also be vulnerable to certain kinds of abuse and counterproductive behavior. The Foundation and the project communities have established a number of mechanisms to prevent or remedy abusive activities. For example, when investigating abuse on a project, including the suspected use of malicious “sockpuppets” (duplicate accounts), vandalism, harassment of other users, or disruptive behavior, the IP addresses of users (derived either from those logs or from records in the database) may be used to identify the source(s) of the abusive behavior. This information may be shared by users with administrative authority who are charged by their communities with protecting the projects. To provide site statistics. The Foundation statistically samples raw log data from users' visits. These logs are used to produce the site statistics pages; the raw log data is not made public. To solve technical problems. Log data may be examined by developers in the course of solving technical problems and in tracking down badly-behaved web spiders that overwhelm the site. WELCOME!

DETAILS OF DATA RETENTION	The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization that operates collaborative, free knowledge websites, like Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, and Wiktionary. 

GENERAL EXPECTATIONS	This Policy explains how we collect, use, and share your personal information.  

Ip And Other Technical Information	 We collect very little personal information about you.
 	 We do not rent or sell your information to third parties.

 When a visitor requests or reads a page, or sends email to a	By using Wikimedia server, no more information is collected than is typically collected by web sites. The Wikimedia Foundation may keep raw logs of such transactions, but these will not be published or used to track legitimate users. When a page is edited by a logged-in editor, the server confidentially stores related IP information for a limited period of time. This information is automatically deleted after a set period. For editors who do not log in, the IP address used is publicly and permanently credited as the author of the edit. It may be possible for a third partySites, you consent to identify the author from this IP address in conjunction with other information available. Logging in with a registered username allows for better preservation of privacy. Policy.    

Cookies	The Wikimedia movement is founded on a simple, but powerful principle: we can do more together than any of us can do alone. We cannot work collectively without gathering, sharing, and analyzing information about our users as we seek new ways to make the Wikimedia Sites more useable, safer, and more beneficial. 

 The sites set a temporary session cookie on a visitor's computer whenever a Project page is visited. Readers who do not intend to log in or edit may deny this cookie; it will be deleted at	We believe that information-gathering and use should go hand-in-hand with transparency. This Privacy Policy explains how the end ofWikimedia Foundation, the browser's session. More cookies may be set when one logs in to maintain logged-in status. If one saves a user name or password in one's browser,non-profit organization that information will be saved for up to 30 days,hosts the Wikimedia Sites, like Wikipedia, collects, uses, and thisshares information will be resent towe receive from you through your use of the server on every visitWikimedia Sites. It is essential to the same Project. Contributorsunderstand that, by using a public machine who do not wish to show their username to future usersany of the machine should clear these cookies after use.Wikimedia Sites, you consent to the collection, transfer, processing, storage, disclosure, and use of your information as described in this Privacy Policy. That means that reading this Policy carefully is important. 

Page History	We believe that you shouldn't have to provide personal information to participate in the free knowledge movement. You do not have to provide things like your real name, address, or date of birth to sign up for a standard account or contribute content to the Wikimedia Sites. 

 Edits	We do not sell or other contributionsrent your nonpublic information, nor do we give it to a Project on its articles, user pages and talk pages are generally retained forever. Removing text from a project does not permanently delete it. Normally, in projects, anyone can look at a previous version of an article and see what was there. Even if an article is "deleted", a user entrusted with higher level of access may still see what was removed from public view. Information can be permanently deleted by individuals with accessothers to Wikimedia servers, but aside from the rare circumstance whensell you anything. We use it to figure out how to make the Foundation is requiredWikimedia Sites more engaging and accessible, to delete editing-history material in responsesee which ideas work, and to a court order or equivalent legal process, there is no guarantee any permanent deletion will happen.make learning and contributing more fun. Put simply: we use this information to make the Wikimedia Sites better for you. 

User Contribution	After all, it's people like you, the champions of free knowledge, who make it possible for the Wikimedia Sites to not only exist, but also grow and thrive. 

 User contributions are also aggregated and publicly available. User contributions are aggregated according to their registration and login status. Data on user contributions, such as the times at which users edited and the number of edits they have made, are publicly available via user contributions lists, and in aggregated forms published by other users. Definitions

Reading Projects	Because everyone (not just lawyers) should be able to easily understand how and why their information is collected and used, we use common language instead of more formal terms throughout this Policy. To help ensure your understanding of some particular key terms, here is a table of translations: 

 No more information on users and other visitors reading pages is collected than is typically collected in server logs by web sites. Aside from the above raw log data collected for general purposes, page visits do not expose a visitor's identity publicly. Sampled raw log data may include the IP address of any user, but it is not reproduced publicly.		 WHEN WE SAY... 
 		 ... WE MEAN: 

Editing Projects 		 "the Wikimedia Foundation" / "the Foundation" / "we" / "us" / "our" 
 		 The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., the non-profit organization that operates the Wikimedia Sites. 

 Edits to Project pages are identified with the username or network IP address of the editor,		 "Wikimedia Sites" / "our services" 
 		 Wikimedia websites and editing history is aggregated by author in a contribution list. Such information will be available permanently on the projects. Logged in registered users: Logged in users do not expose their IP address to the public except in casesservices (regardless of abuse,language), including vandalism of a wiki page by the user or by another user with the same IP address. A user's IP address is stored on the wiki servers for a period of time, during which it can be seen by server administratorsour main projects, such as Wikipedia and by users who have been granted CheckUser access. IP address information,Wikimedia Commons, as well as mobile applications, APIs, emails, and its connection to any usernames that share it, may be released under certain circumstances (see below). Editors using a company mail server from home or telecommuting over a DSL or cable Internet connection, are likely to be easy to identify by their IP address; in which case it may be easy to cross-identify all contributions to various Projects made by that IP. Using a username is a better way of preserving privacy in this situation. Unlogged-in registered usersnotifications; excluding, however, sites and unregistered users: Editors who have not loggedservices listed in may be identified by network IP address. Depending on one's connection, this IP address may be traceable to a large Internet service provider or more specifically to a school, place of business or home. It may be possible to use this information in combination with other information, including editing style and preferences, to identify an author completely.the "What This Privacy Policy Doesn't Cover" section below. 

Discussions 		 "you" / "your" / "me" 
 		 You, regardless of whether you are an individual, group, or organization, and regardless of whether you are using the Wikimedia Sites or our services on behalf of yourself or someone else. 

 On wiki discussion pages: Any editable page can theoretically be		 "this Policy" / "this Privacy Policy" 
 		 This document, entitled the location of a discussion. In general, discussions on"Wikimedia Foundation projects occur on user talk pages (associated with particular users), on article talk pages (associated with particular articles) or in pages specially designated to function as forums (e.g., the Village Pump). Privacy expectations apply to discussion pages in the same way as they do elsewhere. Via email: Users are not required to list an email address when registering. Users who provide a valid email address can enable other logged-in users to send email to them through the wiki. When receiving an email from other users through this system, one's email address is not revealed to them. When choosing to send an email to other users, one's email is displayed as the sender. The email address put into one's user preferences may be used by the Foundation for communication. Users whose accounts do not have a valid email address will not be able to reset their password if it is lost. In such a situation, however, users may be able to contact one of the Wikimedia server administrators to enter a new e-mail address. A user can remove the account's email address from his preferences at any time to prevent it from being used. Private correspondence between users may be saved at those users' discretion and is not subject to Wikimedia Foundation policy. On mailing lists: The email addresses used to subscribe and post to Project mailing lists are exposed to other subscribers. The list archives of most such mailing lists are public, and searches of public archives may be performed on the Web. Subscribers' addresses may also be quoted in other users' messages. These email addresses and any messages sent to a mailing list may be archived and may remain available to the public permanently. Via OTRS: Some e-mail addresses (such as info-en at wikimedia dot org) forward mail to a team of volunteers trusted by the Foundation to use a ticket system, such as OTRS, to respond. Mail sent to this system is not publicly visible, but volunteers selected by the Foundation will have access to it. The ticket system team may discuss the contents of received mail with other contributors in order to respond effectively. Mail to private addresses of members of Board of Trustees and to staff of the Foundation may also be forwarded to the OTRS team. These messages and e-mail addresses may be saved by members of the OTRS team and any email service they use, and may remain available to them. On IRC: IRC channels are not officially part of the Wikimedia Foundation and are not operated on Wikimedia controlled servers. The IP address of users who chat over such a service may be exposed to other participants. IRC users' privacy on each channel can only be protected according to the policies of the respective service and channel. Different channels have different policies on whether logs may be published.Policy". 

 		 Content you add or changes you make to any Wikimedia Sites. 

	Access: 		 "personal information" 
 		 Information you provide us or information we collect from you that could be used to personally identify you. To be clear, while we do not necessarily collect all of the following types of information, we consider at least the following to be “personal information” if it is otherwise nonpublic and can be used to identify you: (a) your real name, address, phone number, email address, password, identification number on government-issued ID, IP address, user-agent information, credit card number; (b) when associated with one of the items in subsection (a), any sensitive data such as date of birth, gender, sexual orientation, racial or ethnic origins, marital or familial status, medical conditions or disabilities, political affiliation, and religion; and (c) any of the items in subsections (a) or (b) when associated with your user account. 

	Projects 		 "third party" / "third parties" 
 		 Individuals, entities, websites, services, products, and applications that are primarily runnot controlled, managed, or operated by volunteer contributors. Some dedicatedthe Wikimedia Foundation. This includes other Wikimedia users are chosen byand independent organizations or groups who help promote the community to be given privileged access. For example, for an English Wikipedia user,Wikimedia movement such as Wikimedia chapters, thematic organizations, and user access levels to Wikipedia are determined by the user's presence in various 'user groups'. User group rightsgroups as well as volunteers, employees, directors, officers, grant recipients, and group members are reachable in every project from the Special:ListGroupRights of those organizations or groups. 

	Other users who may have access to private identifiable information include, but	We recognize that only a minority of you are not limited to, users who have access to OTRS, or tofamiliar with technical terms like “tracking pixels” and “cookies” used in the CheckUser and Oversight functions, users elected by project communitiesPrivacy Policy. Whether you are brand new to serve as stewardsprivacy terminology or Arbitrators, Wikimedia Foundation employees, trustees, appointees, and contractors and agents employed by the Foundation, and developers and others with high levelsyou are an expert who just wants a refresher, you might find our Glossary of server access.Key Terms helpful. 

	Access to and publication of this information is governed by the Access to nonpublic data policy, as well as specific policies covering some of the functions in question. Sharing information with other privileged users is not considered "distribution." What This Privacy Policy Does & Doesn't Cover

	Release:	Except as explained below, this Privacy Policy on Releaseapplies to our collection and handling of Data information about you that we receive as a result of your use of any of the Wikimedia Sites. This Policy also applies to information that we receive from our partners or other third parties. To understand more about what this Privacy Policy covers, please see below.  

	It is the policy of Wikimedia that personally identifiable data collected in the server logs, or through records in the database via the CheckUser feature, or through other non-publicly-available methods, may be released by Wikimedia volunteers or staff, in any of the following situations:   		EXAMPLES OF WHAT THIS PRIVACY POLICY COVERS 

	 In response to a valid subpoena or other compulsory request from law enforcement,
 	 With permission of	For the affected user,
 	 When necessary for investigationsake of abuse complaints,
 	 Where the information pertains to page views generated by a spider or bot and its dissemination is necessary to illustrate or resolve technical issues,
 	 Where the user has been vandalizing articles or persistently behaving in a disruptive way, data may be released to a service provider, carrier, or other third-party entity to assist in the targetingclarity, this Privacy Policy covers, regardless of IP blocks, or to assist in the formulation of a complaint to relevant Internet Service Providers,
 	 Where it is reasonably necessary to protect the rights, property or safety of the Wikimedia Foundation, its users or the public.language:  

	Except	 All of our major sites (found at list of major projects), such as described above, WikimediaWikipedia, including user pages, discussion pages, and noticeboards. 
 	 Our blogs and APIs (unless we have provided a separate policy does not permit distribution of personally identifiable information under any circumstances.for those services). 
 	 Our mobile sites and applications, which can be found on our official list. 
 	 Emails, SMS, and notifications from us or sent to us from you.

	Third-party access and notifying registered users when receiving legal process:	This Privacy Policy, however, does not cover some situations where we may gather or process information. For example, some uses may be covered by separate privacy policies (like those of the Wikimedia Shop) or sites or services run by third parties (such as third-party developer projects on Wikimedia Labs). To understand more about what this Privacy Policy does not cover, please see below. 

	As a general principle, the access to, and retention of, personally identifiable data in all projects should be minimal and should be used only internally to serve the well-being of the projects. Occasionally, however, the Foundation may receive a subpoena or other compulsory request from a law-enforcement agency or a court or equivalent government body that requests the disclosure of information about a registered user, and may be compelled by law to comply with the request. In the event of such a legally compulsory request, the Foundation will attempt to notify the affected user within three business days after the arrival of such subpoena by sending a notice by email to the email address (if any) that the affected user has listed in his or her user preferences. 		MORE ON WHAT THIS PRIVACY POLICY DOESN’T COVER 

	The Foundation cannot advise a user receiving such a notification regarding	This section is part of the law or an appropriate responsePrivacy Policy and is meant to a subpoena. The Foundation does note, however, that such users may have the legal right to resist or limit that informationexplain in courtdetail which situations are not covered by filing a motion to quash the subpoena. Users who wish to oppose a subpoena or other compulsory request should seek legal advice concerning applicable rights and procedures that may be available.our Privacy Policy.   WIKIMEDIA SITES WITH ALTERNATIVE POLICIES   SOME WIKIMEDIA FOUNDATION WEBSITES HAVE ALTERNATIVE PRIVACY POLICIES OR PROVISIONS THAT DIFFER FROM THIS PRIVACY POLICY. THESE WEBSITES INCLUDE: 

	If	 WIKIMEDIA SHOP (covered by the Foundation receives a court-filed motion to quash or otherwise limitshop's policy); and
 	 DONATE.WIKIMEDIA.ORG, including the subpoenadonation process, such as clicking on a result of actiondonation banner (covered by a user or their lawyer, the Foundation will not disclose the requested information until Wikimedia receives an order from the court to do so. Donor Privacy Policy).

	Registered users are not required to  These websites, and others like them, will provide an email address. However, when an affected registered user does not provide an email address, the Foundation will not be ablea link to notify the affected user in private email messages whentheir privacy policy (if it receives requests from law enforcementstands alone) or to disclose personally identifiable information aboutan explanation of any differing provisions (if the user.  site's policy is based on this Privacy Policy).  COMMUNITY MEMBERS  THE WIKIMEDIA SITES ARE COLLABORATIVE LABORS OF LOVE THAT ARE CONSTANTLY MAINTAINED AND UPDATED BY A GLOBAL COMMUNITY OF VOLUNTEERS. AS A RESULT, SOME VOLUNTEERS HAVE ACCESS TO CERTAIN NONPUBLIC INFORMATION, AND USE OF THAT INFORMATION MAY NOT BE GOVERNED BY THIS PRIVACY POLICY. EXAMPLES INCLUDE: 

DISCLAIMER	 ADMINISTRATIVE VOLUNTEERS, such as CheckUsers or Stewards. These are volunteers who enforce Wikimedia Site policies and ensure the safety of the Wikimedia Sites. When these administrators access nonpublic information, they are required to comply with our Access to Nonpublic Information Policy, as well as other, tool-specific policies.
 	 TOOL PROVIDERS. We support platforms for third-party developers to experiment and develop new tools and sites, such as Labs When you use one of the tools developed by these volunteers, you may transfer information to them. When these volunteers access nonpublic information, they are required to comply with the terms governing the particular platform the tool is available on.

	The Wikimedia Foundation believes	 OTHER USERS. We provide several tools that maintaining and preserving the privacy of user data is an important value. This Privacy Policy, togetherallow users to communicate with other policies, resolutions, and actionseach other. The communications may be covered by this Policy while they pass through our systems, but the Foundation, represents a committed effort to safeguard the security of the limited user information that is collectedusers who receive these communications, and retained on our servers. Nevertheless,what they do with the Foundation cannot guarantee that user information will remain private. We acknowledge that, in spite of our committed effort to protect private user information, determined individuals may still develop data-mining and other methods to uncover such information and disclose it. Forcommunications once they receive them, are not covered by this reason, the Foundation can make no guarantee against unauthorized access to information provided in the course of participating in Foundation Projects or related communities.     Retrieved from ""  Categories:Policy. Examples include: 

	 posting to Foundation-hosted email lists;
 	 requesting support from volunteers through our online ticketing system (email sent to info[at] goes to this system);
 	 emailing other users through the Wikimedia Sites (for example, by using the "Email this user" feature); and
 	 chatting on IRC (such as on the #wikipedia channel).


	 SERVICE PROVIDERS whom we may use to help provide our services to you. For example, our actions regarding your information on our blog are covered by this Privacy Policy, but if our blog were hosted by WordPress, WordPress may also collect information sent automatically by your browser or through cookies that they set. If you are curious about any third-party provider's privacy practices, you should refer directly to their privacy policy.
 	 WEBSITES RUN BY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS, like websites linked to from the "References" sections of Wikipedia, or run by Wikimedia chapters or other movement organizations. These organizations may receive information from you if you visit their websites after using one of the Wikimedia Sites. They are governed by their own privacy policies.
 	 MOBILE APPLICATIONS PROVIDED BY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS OR INDIVIDUALS. These organizations or individuals may receive information from you if you use those applications to access the Wikimedia Sites or Wikimedia Site content. They are governed by their own privacy policies.
 	 THIRD-PARTY DATA-COLLECTING TOOLS that are placed on Wikimedia Sites by volunteers or other third parties. Sometimes, volunteers may place a data-collecting tool, such as a script, gadget, tracking pixel, or share button, on a Wikimedia Site without our knowledge. This Policy does not cover how third parties handle the information they receive as a result of such a tool. If you come across such a third-party tool, and you believe it violates this Policy, you can remove the tool yourself, or report it to privacy[at] so we can investigate.

	Where community policies govern information, such as the CheckUser policy, the relevant community may add to the rules and obligations set out in this Policy. However, they are not permitted to create new exceptions or otherwise reduce the protections offered by this Policy.  Back to top    



Your Public Contributions

	Whatever you post on Wikimedia Sites can be seen and used by everyone.    

	The Wikimedia Sites were primarily created to help you share your knowledge with the world, and we share your contributions because you have asked us to do so. 

	When you make a contribution to any Wikimedia Site, including on user or discussion pages, you are creating a permanent, public record of every piece of content added, removed, or altered by you. The page history will show when your contribution or deletion was made, as well as your username (if you are signed in) or your IP address (if you are not signed in). We may use your public contributions, either aggregated with the public contributions of others or individually, to create new features or data-related products for you or to learn more about how the Wikimedia Sites are used. 

	Unless this Policy says otherwise, you should assume that information that you actively contribute to the Wikimedia Sites, including personal information, is publicly visible and can be found by search engines. Like most things on the Internet, anything you share may be copied and redistributed throughout the Internet by other people. Please do not contribute any information that you are uncomfortable making permanently public, like revealing your real name or location in your contributions. 

	You should be aware that specific data made public by you or aggregated data that is made public by us can be used by anyone for analysis and to infer information about users, such as which country a user is from, political affiliation, and gender.  Back to top     

Account Information & Registration

	You do not need to create an account to use any Wikimedia Site. 

	If you do create an account, you do not need to give us your name or email address. 

	If you do not create an account, your contributions will be publicly attributed to your IP address.    

	Want to create an account? Great! Don't want to create an account? No problem! 

	 You are not required to create an account to read or contribute to a Wikimedia Site, except under rare circumstances. However, if you contribute without signing in, your contribution will be publicly attributed to the IP address associated with your device. 

	 If you want to create a standard account, in most cases we require only a username and a password. Your username will be publicly visible, so please be careful about using your real name as your username. Your password is only used to verify that the account is yours. Your IP address is also automatically submitted to us, and we record it temporarily to help prevent abuse. No other personal information is required: no name, no email address, no date of birth, no credit card information. 

	Once created, user accounts cannot be removed entirely (although you can usually hide the information on your user page if you choose to). This is because your public contributions must be associated with their author (you!). So make sure you pick a name that you will be comfortable with for years to come. 

	To gain a better understanding of the demographics of our users, to localize our services, and to learn how we can improve our services, we may ask you for more demographic information, such as gender or age, about yourself. We will tell you if such information is intended to be public or private, so that you can make an informed decision about whether you want to provide us with that information. Providing such information is always completely optional. If you don't want to, you don't have to--it's as simple as that.  Back to top     

Information Related To Your Use Of The Wikimedia Sites

	We may use common technologies to collect information about how you use Wikimedia Sites. 

	We use this information to enhance your user experience and to develop new features.    

	We want to make the Wikimedia Sites better for you by learning more about how you use them. Examples of this might include how often you visit the Wikimedia Sites, what you like, what you find helpful, how you get to the Wikimedia Sites, and whether you would use a helpful feature more if we explained it differently. We also want this Policy and our practices to reflect our community's values. For this reason, we keep information related to your use of the Wikimedia Sites confidential, except as provided in this Policy.  Back to top     

Information We Receive Automatically

	Like other websites, we receive some information about you automatically when you visit the Wikimedia Sites. This information helps us administer the Wikimedia Sites and enhance your user experience.    

	Because of how browsers work and similar to other major websites, we receive some information automatically when you visit the Wikimedia Sites. This information includes the type of device you are using (possibly including unique device identification numbers, for some beta versions of our mobile applications), the type and version of your browser, your browser's language preference, the type and version of your device's operating system, in some cases the name of your internet service provider or mobile carrier, the website that referred you to the Wikimedia Sites, which pages you request and visit, and the date and time of each request you make to the Wikimedia Sites. 

	Put simply, we use this information to enhance your experience with Wikimedia Sites. For example, we use this information to administer the sites, provide greater security, and fight vandalism; optimize mobile applications, customize content and set language preferences, test features to see what works, and improve performance; understand how users interact with the Wikimedia Sites, track and study use of various features, gain understanding about the demographics of the different Wikimedia Sites, and analyze trends.  Back to top     

Information We Collect

	We use a variety of commonly-used technologies, like cookies, to understand how you use the Wikimedia Sites, make our services safer and easier to use, and to help create a better and more personalized experience for you.    

	We actively collect some types of information with a variety of commonly-used technologies. These generally include tracking pixels, JavaScript, and a variety of "locally stored data" technologies, such as cookies and local storage. We realize that some of these technologies do not have the best reputation in town and can be used for less-than-noble purposes. So we want to be as clear as we can about why we use these methods and the type of information we collect with them. 

	Depending on which technology we use, locally stored data can be anything from text, pictures, and whole articles (as we explain further below) to personal information (like your IP address) and information about your use of the Wikimedia Sites (like your username or the time of your visit). 

	We use this information to make your experience with the Wikimedia Sites safer and better, to gain a greater understanding of user preferences and their interaction with the Wikimedia Sites, and to generally improve our services. We will never use third-party cookies, unless we get your permission to do so. If you ever come across a third-party data collection tool that has not been authorized by you (such as one that may have been mistakenly placed by another user or administrator), please report it to us at 

	Locally stored data, JavaScript, and tracking pixels help us do things like:  

	 Provide you with a personalized experience, such as using cookies to know your language preference, to remember the user preferences you set so we can provide you with the customized look and feel that you want, and to tell you about interesting Wikimedia issues and events in your area.
 	 Deliver more relevant content to you faster. For example, we may use local storage to store your most recently read articles directly on your device, so they can be retrieved quickly. Also, we may use cookies to learn about the topics searched so that we can optimize the search results we deliver to you.
 	 Understand how you use the Wikimedia Sites, so that we know what works and what is useful. For example, we might use cookies to learn about the list of articles you are following on your watchlist so that we can recommend similar articles that you may be interested in.
 	 Understand how you use the Wikimedia Sites across different devices, so that we can make our varied Wikimedia Sites more efficient and effective for you.
 	 Make the Wikimedia Sites more convenient to use, such as by using cookies to maintain your session when you log in or to remember your username in the login field.

	 Want to know even more? You can read more about some of the specific cookies we use, when they expire, and what we use them for in our FAQ. 

	 We believe this data collection helps improve your user experience, but you may remove or disable some or all locally stored data through your browser settings, depending on your browser. You can learn more about some options you have in our FAQ. While locally stored data may not be necessary to use our sites, some features may not function properly if you disable locally stored data. 

	 While the examples above concerning information about you collected through the use of data collection tools are kept confidential in accordance with this Policy, please note that some information about the actions taken by your username is made publicly available through public logs alongside actions taken by other users. For example, a public log may include the date your account was created on a Wikimedia Site along with the dates that other accounts were created on a Wikimedia Site. Information available through public logs will not include personal information about you.  Back to top     


	If you choose to provide your email address, we will keep it confidential, except as provided in this Policy. 

	We may occasionally send you emails about important information. 

	You may choose to opt out of certain kinds of notifications.    

	You have the option of providing an email address at the time of registration or in later interactions with the Wikimedia Sites. If you do so, your email address is kept confidential, except as provided in this Policy. We do not sell, rent, or use your email address to advertise third-party products or services to you. 

	We use your email address to let you know about things that are happening with the Foundation, the Wikimedia Sites, or the Wikimedia movement, such as telling you important information about your account, letting you know if something is changing about the Wikimedia Sites or policies, and alerting you when there has been a change to an article that you have decided to follow. Please note that if you email us, we may keep your message, email address, and any other information you provide us, so that we can process and respond to your request. 

	You can choose to limit some of these kinds of notifications, like those alerting you if an article changes. Others, such as those containing critical information that all users need to know to participate successfully in the Wikimedia Sites, you may not be able to opt out of. You can manage what kinds of notifications you receive and how often you receive them by going to your Notifications Preferences. You can learn more about email and notifications and how to change your preferences in our FAQ. 

	 We will never ask for your password by email (but may send you a temporary password via email if you have requested a password reset). If you ever receive such an email, please let us know by sending it to, so we can investigate the source of the email. 

	Direct communications between users (such as messages sent through the "Email this user" feature), to the extent such communications are nonpublic and stored in or in transit through Wikimedia Foundation systems, are kept confidential by us, except as provided in this Policy.  Back to top     

Surveys & Feedback

	We may ask you to provide us with information through a survey or provide feedback, but you will never be obligated to participate.    

	Participating in optional surveys or providing feedback helps us make the Wikimedia Sites better. Because every survey and request for feedback may be used for various purposes, we will tell you, at the time we give you the survey or request for feedback, how we plan on using your answers and any personal information you provide. If you don't feel comfortable with how we plan on using the survey or feedback results, you are not obligated to take the survey or give feedback.  Back to top     

Location Information

Gps & Other Location Technologies

	If you consent, we can use commonly-used location technologies to show you more relevant content.    

	Some features we offer work better if we know what area you are in. But it's completely up to you whether or not you want us to use geolocation tools to make some features available to you. If you consent, we can use GPS (and other technologies commonly used to determine location) to show you more relevant content. We keep information obtained by these technologies confidential, except as provided in this Policy. You can learn more by checking out the list of examples of how we use these technologies in our FAQ.  Back to top     


	We may automatically receive location data from your device. For example, if you upload a photo using the Wikimedia Commons mobile app, please be aware that the default setting on your mobile device typically results in the metadata associated with your photo being included in the upload.    

	Sometimes, we may automatically receive location data from your device. For example, if you want to upload a photo on the Wikimedia Commons mobile app, we may receive metadata, such as the place and time you took the photo, automatically from your device. Please be aware that, unlike location information collected using GPS signals described above, the default setting on your mobile device typically includes the metadata in your photo or video upload to the Wikimedia Sites. If you do not want metadata sent to us and made public at the time of your upload, please change your settings on your device.  Back to top     

Ip Addresses

	When you visit any Wikimedia Site, we automatically receive the IP address of the device you are using to access the Internet, which can be used to infer your geographical location.    

	Finally, when you visit any Wikimedia Site, we automatically receive the IP address of the device (or your proxy server) you are using to access the Internet, which could be used to infer your geographical location. We keep IP addresses confidential, except as provided in this Policy. For example, if you make a contribution without signing into your account, your IP address used at the time will be publicly and permanently recorded. If you are visiting Wikimedia Sites with your mobile device, we may use your IP address to provide anonymized or aggregated information to service providers regarding the volume of usage in certain areas. We use IP addresses for research and analytics; to better personalize content, notices, and settings for you; to fight spam, identity theft, malware, and other kinds of abuse; and to provide better mobile and other applications.  Back to top    



	We may share your information when you give us specific permission to do so.    

With Your Permission

	We may share your information for a particular purpose, if you agree. You can find more information in the list of examples in our FAQ.  Back to top     

For Legal Reasons

	We will disclose your information in response to an official legal process only if we believe it to be legally valid. We will notify you of such requests when possible.    

	We may access, preserve, or disclose your personal information if we reasonably believe it necessary to satisfy a valid and legally enforceable warrant, subpoena, court order, law or regulation, or other judicial or administrative order. However, if we believe that a particular request for disclosure of a user's information is legally invalid or an abuse of the legal system and the affected user does not intend to oppose the disclosure themselves, we will try our best to fight it. We are committed to notifying you via email at least ten (10) calendar days, when possible, before we disclose your personal information in response to a legal demand. However, we may only provide notice if we are not legally restrained from contacting you, there is no credible threat to life or limb that is created or increased by disclosing the request, and you have provided us with an email address. 

	Nothing in this Privacy Policy is intended to limit any legal objections or defenses you may have to a third party's request (whether it be civil, criminal, or governmental) to disclose your information. We recommend seeking the advice of legal counsel immediately if such a request is made involving you. 

	For more information, see our Subpoena FAQ.  Back to top     

If The Organization Is Transferred (Really Unlikely!)

	In the unlikely event that the ownership of the Foundation changes, we will provide you 30 days notice before any personal information is transferred to the new owners or becomes subject to a different privacy policy.    

	In the extremely unlikely event that ownership of all or substantially all of the Foundation changes, or we go through a reorganization (such as a merger, consolidation, or acquisition), we will continue to keep your personal information confidential, except as provided in this Policy, and provide notice to you via the Wikimedia Sites and a notification on WikimediaAnnounce-L or similar mailing list at least thirty (30) calendar days before any personal information is transferred or becomes subject to a different privacy policy.  Back to top     

To Protect You, Ourselves & Others

	We, or users with certain administrative rights, may disclose information that is reasonably necessary to:  

	 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.

	We, or particular users with certain administrative rights as described below, may need to share your personal information if it is reasonably believed to be necessary to enforce or investigate potential violations of our Terms of Use, this Privacy Policy, or any Foundation or user community-based policies. We may also need to access and share information to investigate and defend ourselves against legal threats or actions. 

	Wikimedia Sites are collaborative, with users writing most of the policies and selecting from amongst themselves people to hold certain administrative rights. These rights may include access to limited amounts of otherwise nonpublic information about recent contributions and activity by other users. They use this access to help protect against vandalism and abuse, fight harassment of other users, and generally try to minimize disruptive behavior on the Wikimedia Sites. These various user-selected administrative groups have their own privacy and confidentiality guidelines, but all such groups are supposed to agree to follow our Access to Nonpublic Information Policy. These user-selected administrative groups are accountable to other users through checks and balances: users are selected through a community-driven process and overseen by their peers through a logged history of their actions. However, the legal names of these users are not known to the Wikimedia Foundation. 

	We hope that this never comes up, but we may disclose your personal information if we believe that it's reasonably necessary to prevent imminent and serious bodily harm or death to a person, or to protect our organization, employees, contractors, users, or the public. We may also disclose your personal information if we reasonably believe it necessary to detect, prevent, or otherwise assess and address potential spam, malware, fraud, abuse, unlawful activity, and security or technical concerns. (Check out the list of examples in our FAQ for more information.)  Back to top     

To Our Service Providers

	We may disclose personal information to our third-party service providers or contractors to help run or improve the Wikimedia Sites and provide services in support of our mission.    

	As hard as we may try, we can't do it all. So sometimes we use third-party service providers or contractors who help run or improve the Wikimedia Sites for you and other users. We may give access to your personal information to these providers or contractors as needed to perform their services for us or to use their tools and services. We put requirements, such as confidentiality agreements, in place to help ensure that these service providers treat your information consistently with, and no less protective of your privacy than, the principles of this Policy. (Check out the list of examples in our FAQ.)  Back to top     

To Understand & Experiment

	We may give volunteer developers and researchers access to systems that contain your information to allow them to protect, develop, and contribute to the Wikimedia Sites. 

	We may also share non-personal or aggregated information with third parties interested in studying the Wikimedia Sites. 

	When we share information with third parties for these purposes, we put reasonable technical and contractual protections in place to protect your information consistent with this Policy.    

	The open-source software that powers the Wikimedia Sites depends on the contributions of volunteer software developers, who spend time writing and testing code to help it improve and evolve with our users' needs. To facilitate their work, we may give some developers limited access to systems that contain your personal information, but only as reasonably necessary for them to develop and contribute to the Wikimedia Sites. 

	Similarly, we may share non-personal or aggregated information with researchers, scholars, academics, and other interested third parties who wish to study the Wikimedia Sites. Sharing this information helps them understand usage, viewing, and demographics statistics and patterns. They then can share their findings with us and our users so that we can all better understand and improve the Wikimedia Sites. 

	When we give access to personal information to third-party developers or researchers, we put requirements, such as reasonable technical and contractual protections, in place to help ensure that these service providers treat your information consistently with the principles of this Policy and in accordance with our instructions. If these developers or researchers later publish their work or findings, we ask that they not disclose your personal information. Please note that, despite the obligations we impose on developers and researchers, we cannot guarantee that they will abide by our agreement, nor do we guarantee that we will regularly screen or audit their projects. (You can learn more about re-identification in our FAQ.)  Back to top     

Because You Made It Public

	Information that you post is public and can been seen and used by everyone.    

	Any information you post publicly on the Wikimedia Sites is just that – public. For example, if you put your mailing address on your talk page, that is public, and not protected by this Policy. And if you edit without registering or logging into your account, your IP address will be seen publicly. Please think carefully about your desired level of anonymity before you disclose personal information on your user page or elsewhere.  Back to top    



	We use a variety of physical and technical measures, policies, and procedures to help protect your information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure.    

	We strive to protect your information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. We use a variety of physical and technical measures, policies, and procedures (such as access control procedures, network firewalls, and physical security) designed to protect our systems and your personal information. Unfortunately, there's no such thing as completely secure data transmission or storage, so we can't guarantee that our security will not be breached (by technical measures or through violation of our policies and procedures).  Back to top     


	We only keep your personal information as long as necessary to maintain, understand, and improve the Wikimedia Sites or to comply with U.S. law.    

	Once we receive personal information from you, we keep it for the shortest possible time that is consistent with the maintenance, understanding, and improvement of the Wikimedia Sites, and our obligations under applicable U.S. law. Non-personal information may be retained indefinitely. (Check out the list of examples in our FAQ.) 

	 Please remember that certain information is retained and displayed indefinitely, such as your IP address (if you edit while not logged in) and any public contributions to the Wikimedia Sites.  Back to top    




	You are consenting to the use of your information in the U.S. and to the transfer of that information to other countries in connection to providing our services to you and others.    

	The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, California, with servers and data centers located in the U.S. If you decide to use Wikimedia Sites, whether from inside or outside of the U.S., you consent to the collection, transfer, storage, processing, disclosure, and other uses of your information in the U.S. as described in this Privacy Policy. You also consent to the transfer of your information by us from the U.S. to other countries, which may have different or less stringent data protection laws than your country, in connection with providing services to you.  Back to top     


	We do not allow tracking by third-party websites you have not visited. 

	We do not share your data with third parties for marketing purposes.    

	We are strongly committed to not sharing nonpublic information with third parties. In particular, we do not allow tracking by third-party websites you have not visited (including analytics services, advertising networks, and social platforms), nor do we share your information with any third parties for marketing purposes. Under this Policy, we may share your information only under particular situations, which you can learn more about in the "When May We Share Your Information" section of this Privacy Policy. 

	Because we protect all users in this manner, we do not change our behavior in response to a web browser's "do not track" signal. 

	For more information regarding Do Not Track signals and how we handle them, please visit our FAQ.  Back to top     


	Substantial changes to this Policy will not be made until after a public comment period of at least 30 days.    

	Because things naturally change over time and we want to ensure our Privacy Policy accurately reflects our practices and the law, it may be necessary to modify this Privacy Policy from time to time. We reserve the right to do so in the following manner:  

	 In the event of substantial changes, we will provide the proposed changes to our users in at least three (3) languages (selected at our discretion) for open comment period lasting at least thirty (30) calendar days. Prior to the start of any comment period, we will provide notice of such changes and the opportunity to comment via the Wikimedia Sites, and via a notification on WikimediaAnnounce-L or a similar mailing list.
 	 For minor changes, such as grammatical fixes, administrative or legal changes, or corrections of inaccurate statements, we will post the changes and, when possible, provide at least three (3) calendar days' prior notice via WikimediaAnnounce-L or similar mailing list.

	We ask that you please review the most up-to-date version of our PRIVACY POLICY. Your continued use of the Wikimedia Sites after this Privacy Policy becomes effective constitutes acceptance of this Privacy Policy on your part. Your continued use of the Wikimedia Sites after any subsequent version of this Privacy Policy becomes effective, following notice as outlined above, constitutes acceptance of that version of the Privacy Policy on your part. 


	If you have questions or suggestions about this Privacy Policy, or the information collected under this Privacy Policy, please email us at or contact us directly. 


	Thank you for reading our Privacy Policy. We hope you enjoy using the Wikimedia Sites and appreciate your participation in creating, maintaining, and constantly working to improve the largest repository of free knowledge in the world. 





	 PRIVACY POLICY ·   FAQ ·   Glossary of key terms ·   Wikimedia blog privacy policy ·   Subpoena FAQ ·   Access to nonpublic information ·   Data retention guidelines · Donor policy ·   Requests for user information          Retrieved from ""  Categories: 

	 Privacy policy

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