talk:Privacy policy


Does this site have a privacy policy? If so, where is it? If not, why not?

And a good day to you too. We don't have an official privacy policy, but you might want to take a look at Feature requests/Cookies, logins, and privacy. CGS 22:12 16 Jul 2003 (UTC).
No, we don't. It's been suggested in the past (by, for example, user:BigFatBuddha), but nobody managed to get round to it. Martin 09:56 17 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Please see m:Draft privacy policy (anon)
A privacy policy would be a good thing. Anyone so inclined could learn a great deal about an individuals's interests and personality by analyzing the server statistics of this site (correlating IP addresses to articles submitted/edited, etc). It would be nice for anyone concerned about their privacy to know: what information is collected about them on this site; why it's being collected; how that information is safeguarded; whether it's stored indefinitely or destroyed after a certain time; who has access to the info; whether the information will be sold, traded, or given away to third parties; what is to happen to the information should ownership of Wikipedia pass to another organization/business; how cookies are used; etc. Data mining by criminals and the private sector is already a serious concern, but with things like the Patriot Act and Total Information Awareness in the US, and similar initiatives being taken by the Canadian government (I don't know about the rest of the world), it's obvious the state has a growing interest in monitoring citizens' web-surfing habits, too. A privacy policy wouldn't eliminate those concerns, but it could go some way towards addressing them. Thanks, original poster

the whole point of wikis is that there is no privacy. You are accountable for your edits. -- Tarquin 17:16 17 Jul 2003 (UTC)

If that is true, then why are people (such as me) allowed to post here more-or-less anonymously? Why not force people to open an account here before posting? Besides, that's besides the point. The purpose of a privacy policy is not to guarantee people's privacy on the website, but to explain where the website stands on privacy issues. Does Wikipedia sell information to private companies? Will you be put on a government list of 'suspected terrorists' 3 years from now because of that article you submitted on the Black Panthers? I don't know, because Wikipedia doesn't have a privacy policy. original poster

Wikipedia holds no personal information beyond what people choose to put on their user pages. You don't need to give your email address, and I'm sure Jimbo can say words to the effect that he won't sell them. As for Black Panthers... well, everyone can read the site. And everyone can see your IP (if you edited anonymously) or your username (if you have one). You currently need dev access to get the IP from the username edit, so your privacy is pretty secure I would say. -- Tarquin 19:58 17 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I agree with the original poster that a privacy policy would be a Good Thing. meta:draft privacy policy is a good start. It's obvious to folks like Tarquin, but privacy-sensitive newcomers will want to know this up front. Martin

I also agree with the original poster. I am new to Wikipedia and I am very excited about it. I want to create a username and furnish my email so I can be contacted by other site users (securely), get my password emailed to me if I forget it, etc. However, I have a blanket policy that I do not give out my email address to anyone who is not willing to make me a promise up front that they will not sell it. Why, when I get a lot of spam anyway? Because I don't want to encourage or enable the spam "machine". I am disappointed that Wikipedia does not make a promise of this kind.

Because in all other respects Wikipedia seems to be very progressive and a Good Thing I will likely go ahead and do it just this once. However, the fact remains that all those thousands of valuable (to spammers) email addresses are stored together in one place somewhere on one of the Wikipedia servers. I strongly suggest that the site administrators make a promise to the effect that the column "EmailAddress" in the database table "Users" -- or the equivalent thereof in the Wikipedia backend data repository -- is private and secure information that is not sold or disclosed without the knowledge of the user. To me, that's what a privacy policy is about -- we promise we won't go behind your back and sell/distribute your information.

It does seem ironic to me that the best way to ensure privacy is to post anonymously... -Sean Curtin 21:21, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)