Privacy policy

Privacy policy officially adopted

The Wikimedia Foundation last week approved its privacy policy after two years of development. Although not a truly finished product, it apparently has progressed far enough along to be adopted officially.

On Sunday, Wikimedia Trustee Anthere reported that the Board of Trustees had approved the latest draft of the privacy policy at its last meeting. Translation of the policy into other languages is currently underway.

The privacy policy was originally drafted on Meta in February 2003, but progress in getting it adopted has been slow since then. At various points, efforts have been made to further develop and improve the policy, which has produced the current version of the text.

Policy terms and provisions

The policy explains what information is collected by the Wikimedia servers and how this information is handled. Most of the focus is on identifiable information that can be associated with editors, although it acknowledges that the viewing of pages is also logged, primarily for statistical purposes. It also explains briefly how IP addresses, user accounts, and the relationships between them are handled.

All of the information collected is available to the developers for technical purposes. The policy states that it will not be released except with permission, when legally required, under certain circumstances to deal with abuse, or when "necessary to protect the rights, property or safety of the Wikimedia Foundation, its users or the public."

Addressing the issues raised recently with some users disclosing their account passwords (see archived stories), the policy states, "All users are encouraged to select strong passwords and to never share them. No one shall knowingly expose the password of another user to public release either directly or indirectly."

Immediately following the announcement, a number of people read the policy and found various corrections that needed to be made. Trustee Angela explained that the adoption of the policy as "official" was intended "to encourage people to actually look at it and comment on it since it's been basically ignored for months". Appropriate changes will still be incorporated into the official text of the policy on the Foundation's website.

+ Add a comment

Discuss this story

To follow comments, add the page to your watchlist. If your comment has not appeared here, you can try purging the cache.
No comments yet. Yours could be the first!


The Signpost · written by many · served by Sinepost V0.9 · 🄯 CC-BY-SA 4.0