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A note on our approach to privacy

Photo by Ardfern, CC BY-SA 3.0.

We at the Wikimedia Foundation are pleased that organizations across the world are currently rethinking their privacy policies. We have always strongly valued the privacy of our volunteers, readers, and donors, but this moment has given us an opportunity to look at our own privacy policy and see how it can be strengthened.

We see privacy as an important foundation for intellectual freedom, and we believe that the trust of our community is deeply linked to several practices:

  • We intentionally collect very little data about readers and contributors, and provide a transparent view of the data we keep—and do not keep.
  • We work with our communities and invite open community vetting of our privacy-related policies.
  • We remain accountable to the community, including a volunteer ombudsman commission that responds to any reported privacy-related concerns.
  • We support our open source platform, which among other benefits, allows anyone to examine and discover any vulnerabilities in our code.

We do not allow third-party tracking of visitors to our sites. We have short data retention periods (see our data retention guidelines). We proactively publish a transparency report, informing the public about requests for data about our contributors. We have a comprehensive privacy policy, developed with community input.

We are always looking for ways to improve our privacy and data security practices in partnership with our community of contributors and users.

As a result of our most recent review, we are updating our privacy policy, which now clarifies the definition of “personal information,” and has been reorganized to improve readability without changing the overall intentions previously set by the community. As promised in the policy, we are providing these minor changes with three (3) calendar days’ prior notice. These changes will go into effect on May 24, 2018. As always, we want your thoughts and feedback, and invite everyone to comment on the policy talk page over the next thirty (30) calendar days. We are also grateful to our volunteer community, who are actively working on translations of this policy.

We will continue looking for ways to improve and help make clearer to everyone our privacy practices and policy as technology and the world change rapidly around us.

Look out for more updates, both here and on the Wikimedia-l mailing list, to learn more about our approach to privacy and data security practices.

Wikimedia Foundation

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