MediaWiki Pingback Privacy Statement

From the Wikimedia Foundation
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This statement describes how and when Wikimedia Foundation collects, uses, and shares the information we receive from the MediaWiki Pingback feature.

Purpose of Feature

This feature helps us understand more about which versions of MediaWiki are in use, and on what platforms.

What Information We Collect

The pingback anonymously tracks which version of MediaWiki is being used, along with the configured database type and PHP version, as well as your operating system, system type (32-bit or 64-bit), machine hardware, server software, and memory limit. The feature also sends a unique ID with the data transmission, which is used to track upgrades made to wikis over time. In order to ensure that we are only counting live wikis, for MediaWiki versions 1.31 and greater, the pingback will repeat monthly, at which time it will gather updated information about each wiki's operation, such as memory limit or PHP version.

You may view your wiki’s ID after a pingback is sent by running the following SQL command:

SELECT * FROM updatelog WHERE ul_key="PingBack";

You can delete the ID by running the following SQL command.

DELETE FROM updatelog WHERE ul_key="PingBack":

If you delete it, a new unique ID will be generated the next time a pingback is sent. However, please note that deleting the ID could cause your instance of MediaWiki to be counted twice, thereby affecting decisions made based on the data.

How to Enable or Disable the Pingback

The web installer asks the user if they want to enable the feature during the installation of MediaWiki. The user may choose at this time to opt out of the pingback. If the user opts in, the pingback feature will send new data on the first page load after upgrading to a new version of MediaWiki and once a month thereafter. Users may choose to disable the pingback at any time by setting the $wgPingback configuration variable to false in LocalSettings.php. However, this will not delete any data that has already been transmitted to our servers.

Information Sharing and Disclosure

Raw individual data collected from this feature will not be shared publicly, though aggregated, de-identified data will be made available. The raw data will be accessible to Wikimedia staff and contractors. Volunteers and researchers may apply for access, as well. Everyone who can access the data will be subject to non-disclosure obligations with the exception of the circumstances described below.

We may disclose any collected information when required by law, when we have your permission, when needed to protect our rights, privacy, safety, users, or the general public, and when necessary to enforce our Terms of Use or any other Wikimedia policy.

Additional Information

Wikimedia Foundation is a global organization committed to promoting free and open knowledge. If you decide to use this tool, you understand that the information transferred to Wikimedia Foundation by the Pingback tool will be collected, transferred, stored, processed, disclosed and otherwise used in the U.S. as described in this Privacy Statement. You also understand that the information may be transferred by us from the U.S. to other countries, which may have different or less stringent data protection laws than your country, in order to carry out the aforementioned purposes and objectives.

Wikimedia Foundation understands the importance of user privacy. For this reason, we work to protect our users from the unauthorized disclosure or use of information we maintain. The data collected through this feature will be stored indefinitely, in order to observe trends and patterns over time. See our data retention guidelines for more information.

Please note that in the event of any differences in meaning or interpretation between the original English version of this Privacy Statement and a translation, the original English version takes precedence.