Announcing the Wikimedia Foundation’s updated Donor Privacy Policy

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Photo by Phil Roeder, CC BY 2.0.
Photo by Phil Roeder, CC BY 2.0.

The Wikimedia Foundation is committed to providing a space where anyone can access and contribute to free knowledge. Privacy is an important value of the Wikimedia movement, and one of our foremost concerns here at the Foundation. To that end, protecting the personal information of users, donors, and community members around the globe is a top priority.
Today, we are pleased to announce the latest update of our Donor Privacy Policy, which provides donors with more information about the data we collect, and how we handle and protect it. We believe that when you entrust us with your data, we have a responsibility to remain transparent about and accountable for our information-handling procedures.
The updated policy enumerates the Foundation’s practices for collecting, using, maintaining, protecting, and disclosing donor information in more detailed and robust terms. Little has changed substantively from the previous policy, which was last updated in 2011, but this version is more comprehensive and clearer.
Some key features of the updated policy are as follows:

  • The policy covers the collection, transfer, processing, storage, disclosure, and use of personal and non-personal information collected during the process of making a donation to the Wikimedia Foundation, or interacting with donation- and fundraising-related sites, emails, and banners.
  • The policy does not cover other uses of Foundation projects or sites (such as Wikipedia) which continue to be covered by our main Privacy Policy. The new policy also does not cover donations to or other interactions with Wikimedia affiliates or chapters, which are separate entities. Their handling of donor data is covered by their respective privacy policies and practices.
  • The policy affirms that the Foundation will never sell, trade, or rent the nonpublic personal information of donors.
  • The policy enumerates the purposes for which donor information may be used and strictly limits the circumstances under which we may share donor information (such as with online payment processors, or with a donor’s permission).
  • The policy recognizes that donors may wish to remain anonymous, and that the Foundation strives to honor such requests and preserve donor anonymity when possible.

With the launch of the new Donor Privacy Policy, which goes into effect today, February 1, 2017, the Wikimedia Foundation reinforces our commitment to transparency and the protection of donor privacy. If you have questions about the policy, please email us at
Aeryn Palmer, Legal Counsel
Michael Beattie, Donor Services Manager

Special thanks to Legal Fellow Tarun Krishnakumar for assistance with the preparation of this blog post.

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

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