Launching a Privacy Policy Built the Wiki Way

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We are happy to announce that on April 25, 2014, the Wikimedia Foundation’s Board of Trustees approved a new privacy policy. The new privacy policy explains how we collect, use and manage the information of over twenty million registered users and 490 million monthly unique visitors to the Wikimedia projects.
But the policy wouldn’t have been possible without support from users like you. The new privacy policy is the result of a community consultation spanning over eight months.

A need for a change

Early 2013, we recognized that our privacy policy, which hadn’t been updated since 2008, did not address a number of new technologies or provide enough detail to our users about how their information was being handled. But the Wikimedia way is unique — we knew that we could not develop a privacy policy without the help of the very user community the privacy policy is intended to protect. So, we launched an open call for community input on June 18, 2013, to find out what issues mattered to you and what you wanted to see in a new policy.
Armed with that input and mindful of the sensitivities invoked by recent revelations of mass governmental surveillance programs, we created an initial draft proposal for a new privacy policy and opened up a 5.5-month long online discussion.

Wikipedia: built through collaboration.

Perfecting the privacy policy through consultation

Our initial draft of the new privacy policy underwent thorough review by the Wikimedia community and sparked some spirited debate. In fact, the discussion surrounding the privacy policy, data retention guidelines and access to nonpublic information policy[1] totaled over 195,000 words and resulted in over 250 changes to the documents. What emerged was a much stronger policy that reflects the global Wikimedia community’s values.
For more information about the consultation process and how the new policy differs from the old one, please see our previous post.

What happens now?

With the Board’s approval, we will begin a month-long notice period to give everyone another chance to review the new privacy policy. Following the notice period, the policy will officially go into effect.
We thank all those that participated in this open and collaborative process, which resulted in a privacy policy that was truly developed in the wiki way. In that spirit, the new privacy policy is licensed under a free license so that anyone can reuse and build upon it when creating their own privacy policies.
Michelle Paulson, Legal Counsel*
Geoff Brigham, General Counsel
* We would like to express our sincere thanks to all those that made this policy possible — we could not have created this policy without a truly interdepartmental effort and the valuable participation and feedback from the Wikimedia global community. Special thanks goes to James Alexander, Heather Walls, Luis Villa, Roshni Patel, Toby Negrin, Megumi Yukie, Dario Taraborelli, Jorge Vargas and Tiffany Li for their incredible support during this process.

  1. The Access to Nonpublic Information Policy was also approved by the Board of Trustees on April 25, 2014. Please note, however, certain requirements under that policy will only be triggered once we have completed building necessary tools and have given community members impacted by those requirements notice as outlined in the policy.

Archive notice: This is an archived post from, which operated under different editorial and content guidelines than Diff.

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I’d be very glad to read the new privacy policy 🙂 With all the consultations done (as said above), I really think that this policy is perfected for the betterment of Wikipedia. :)))

What about your policy concerning the misappropriation of private information and searches conducted within your site? The misappropriated gathering of information by governmental or non governmental agencies or persons, and selling of private information or search information for profit by your site?
Protection of private information is paramount.

Sería genial! ¿Saben? Muchas veces vengo a buscar las respuestas a mis tareas de ciencias naturales, historia y geografía, etc. El caso es que algunas me han salido erróneas ya que algunas personas editan la publicación original (que está bien) y la cambian por una que está mala; otro caso sería el de que suben la información ya mala. Me encantaría esta nueva propuesta!

The final version of the access to nonpublic information policy is a reasonable compromise between the Foundation’s desire to keep tabs on who their volunteers are in case there is a problem and the volunteers’ desire not to hand off large amounts of their personally identifying information to the Foundation. During the discussion, the Foundation was not always effective at communicating the reasoning behind their decisions. The community, in turn, was not always clear about the reasoning behind their objections. Michelle Paulson, perhaps rightfully, avoided mentioning how heated the discussions got at times; it was not an easy process reaching… Read more »

I do not understand what this is all about. Too many lawyers words but nothing clear said for the layman. I have made small donations every time you ask for it. Moreover, I have offered to help out with the translations because some are really bad. Especially from the Latin languages e.g. French, Italian and Spanish into English. I don’t speak well enough other languages to make an accurate judgment. But I imagine it’s the same problem all around. In fact, I have made many translations of my own every time I have read a bad one but no way… Read more »

Hi Jose, I’d like to thank you for your past support and for your attentiveness to Wikimedia policy changes. To address your first concern regarding better understanding the new changes to the Wikimedia Privacy Policy, I invite you to read the snapshot of changes on the Privacy Policy talk page: The Privacy Policy FAQ may also be helpful: Regarding translation suggestions, I can tell you that as a member of the fundraising team, we are always looking for more volunteers to help us craft accurate copy. If you would like to help translate, please visit: You may… Read more »

i am interested to learn more about the new policy

why can i recommend one software that i think useful to the search result page while other software publisher can? i once edit and after a few days it has been deleted without inform. Please let me know the reasons.

Wikipedia rocks! :]

With this new thing going on, is everything on Wikipedia gonna be the same, such as the logo and whatnot?

Lots of numbers, not impressed. Lawyer talk
Bureaucratic inertia is not far away, contributing content to Wikipedia norms feels like a red tape boot camp, just like chaos this is no fun. Keep in the middle. 🙁
I’m a donator, Wikipedia is a first stop in a search, don’t turn it into a monolith please.

That is very Good Change The Privacy Policy From Wikipedia, Wikipedians and will guarantee us more security so, greetings from Argentina


It would be nice if your “privacy” policy would demand that page editors use their real names. This would protect against the frequent slander and falsehoods that litter Wiki pages on controversial subjects. People are less likely to behave unethically if they know their names are going to be open to public viewing.

Предлагаю свою посильную помощь в правке текста на русском языке. Как это можно сделать?
Где это делать? Когда можно приступить к правке текста?

Where do we go to review the new privacy policy?

Hi Tyler, the new draft is linked from the first sentence. Tou can find it at on Meta our global collaboration wiki.

Wikipedia is a most valuable and excellent site on the web. A balance between privacy and the objectivity for which Wiki is rightfully respected is indicated, but without diminishing its’ successful formula!!

I’m glad that you have made a new privacy policy and i am keen to read it can you tell me where you are supposed to view it thx butt :()

Hi butt, the new policy can be found here:

I agree. You could make real names for Wiki Account and make sure that people will not get dumb edits. Make a comments area so that people can say it is good or not or anything they want to say about the article.

Commenting on articles is useful for letting readers know whether this article is good or not.

I’d be very glad to read the new privacy policy 🙂 With all the consultations done (as said above), I really think that this policy is perfected for the betterment of Wikipedia. :)))

What will be done about neo-Nazi editors? Surely they do not deserve to have their privacy protected like Wikipedia currently does.


You really ought to use your own software for your blog, instead of going elsewhere. Unlike MediaWiki, this site breaks on the use of text scaling.
There’s no reason you can’t just make actual blog contributors users and block all articles from being edited by non-users. And then use the comment system you have set up on Wikia and are thinking about modifying for Wikipedia use.
It’s really annoying to have to scroll to read your blog.

I didn’t realize you moderated comments. You can do that by using the approved edits system. And when I say scroll, I mean scrolling sideways.
Of course, you could also bump up your text size to a reasonable level, like you did in the new Wikipedia skins.

As for comments on the blog post itself: I am very glad you are adhering to the wiki way. You had an open call for improvements, rather than relying on in-house experts. That’s the way the skin change should have been handled.

Please provide a detail explanation to the not-so-technical people. All the policies mean nothing to the ordinary reader, unless he is able to get the required information and correct it when it requires. would expect a link somewhere.

Hi Bann, if you are talking about the terms in the privacy policy, there is a glossary ( that provides definitions. There is also an FAQ section ( to further explain topics in the privacy policy. Hope that helps!

Jos #11 – I agree with your caution.
Wiki-careful how you filter w/ a privacy policy or any other well-intentioned policy that excludes persons (or governments) whose approach (no matter how insidious or distasteful) you don’t agree with. My advice- do nothing other than stay small (which you are) and continue to be open & all inclusive. (If the bastards want to tap in, they will anyway). Let the net evolve (or disolve) on it’s own & the chips fall where they may. It’s been a nice ride while it’s lasted.

I hope there is also a way to choose British English when reading articles. I am sure there are many people who prefer British spellings.

Please let me know in what way can I help in this matter and I want to be a part in this.

I really enjoy the information from your site. New to my computer and trying to figure out how to enroll on your site.

Hi Nancy. Here is the webpage where you can create a Wikipedia account. Welcome!

Подскажите как бороться с ситуацией?
Была создана страница о международном бренде MEGUIN, переведенная с немецкой страницы википедиа
На странице не было рекламы, а была общая информация по бренду.
Администратор Torin
удалил ее без каких либо обсуждений.

Privacy is important. The debate started almost a year ago and lasted 5.5 month, you say in the article. This is nothing to be proud of. Orders of months or years in the age of internet is like a century in real-time. Update policy from 2008, you say. After 6 years, where the update process took 1 year. So, the update process took 1/6 of the full time the policy as outdated.
It’s nice but overdue that it gets an update. But the time it took is nothing to be proud of.

I’d like to know the updated policy and Appreciating wikipedia’s service.

Seriously: What’s in it for you to continue to propagate deliberate misinformation worldwide?! Wikipedia is not accepted as a reputable source in either the academic or the corporate world; in fact, to use it thus makes one’s entire document/project — and its author — the object of scornful humor and/or deadly-serious suspicion. I land here from time to time only because my Kindle Reader app for Android, when tasked to define or explain a word or phrase, prioritizes Wikimedia pages by default. (Sincerely, no irony: My hat is off to the Key Account team which pulled THAT one off!) I… Read more »

Its more If I know it as it is.


There should be an on/off button for comments.

The new privacy policy is good and effective but not completely accurate, the older one was also reasonabely well. If you gonna keep your old policy as it is that is ok. Though, I’m new user but after spending 20+ days on Wikipedia I found that the oly der policy is right in some way……………………………………….

The new privacy policy is good and effective but not completely accurate, the older one was also reasonabely well. If you gonna keep your old policy as it is that is ok. Though, I’m new user but after spending 20+ days on Wikipedia I found that the older policy is right in some way……………………………………….

Me parece que estas políticas obedecen mas bien a prever requerimientos legales en US. Supongo que el valor de la información pertenece a la comunidad, el registro de todas las actividades de quienes usan la wikipedia (y demás servicios), por lo que el asunto de “improbable caso de que la fundación cambie de propietario” mas que preverlo en términos legales de un país sobre los derechos de quienes pertenecen a otros países. Creo que finalmente confianza y buena voluntad es lo que une a todos los usuarios Wiki, y que ésta particularidad se ha manifestado en el mundo a través… Read more »

I’d be very glad to read the new privacy policy 🙂 With all the consultations done (as said above), I really think that this policy is perfected for the betterment of Wikipedia. dear lounchers plzzz give the complete algorithms for programing in tables fabonacis calculator swaping e t c so on

bueno,yo estoy de acuerdo con la política de privacidad así que si puedo ayudar en algo,me gustaría que me escribieran a mi correo electrónico….XoXo :))

Wikipedia shall be 1st

How does it affect access for those that are permanently linked with Wiki.

I am very hoppy to hear about these changes taking place. I hope it is easy for you to do this. -_-

this is a very good step for the user taken by wikimedia. thank u and God bless u

This may be a time of increased turmoil and public danger but it is also a time for new opportunities to grow with and support the emerging communities globally, even, possibly, with new cloud technology to enhance Wikipedia’s mission. I, for one, am ready to give a new donation in trust that Wikipedia will be doing the right thing.

Is there any way to view the differences between the current policy and the new policy? Like comparison that shows what’s changed? Like how you can compare versions of an article.

Hi Tyler. The privacy policy was completely rewritten, but we outlined the differences between the old and new policies in a previous blog post.

Готов помочь заполнением и консультациями по различным тематикам :)Спасибо всем участникам!