Small updates to the Wikimedia Foundation’s Privacy Policies

Periodically, the Privacy team at the Wikimedia Foundation will review our privacy policies to ensure they continue to align with our commitment to privacy as well as industry standards. Earlier this year, we finalized such a review and made several minor, though important, changes. We’re sharing a summary of those changes here. 

Privacy is a core value of the Wikimedia movement; it allows the projects to be a space where everyone can access and contribute to free knowledge. Our privacy policies (yes, we have multiple!) are designed to protect the unique ways different people like editors, donors, and job applicants to the Wikimedia Foundation interact with the Wikimedia projects and our non-wiki websites, like wikimediafoundation.org.   

The changes we made to the following policies focus on making language more consistent and clarifying how to make requests regarding the very little personal data we collect. Updates to the following policies will take effect on June 25, 2021:  

Our general privacy practices are not changing. We continue to intentionally collect very little data about readers and contributors. We do not allow third-party tracking of visitors to our sites. Per our data retention guidelines, we maintain short data retention periods. We publish a transparency report twice a year to inform the public about requests for data about our users.

In these latest updates, we’ve made small administrative changes across the policies for clarity, and to ensure the language is consistent. We’ve also provided more detailed information to explain the ways we use personal information to operate the projects, and added clarity around how to contact us for certain personal data requests. Additionally, we’ve created a new Applicant Privacy Policy to explain how we handle job-seekers’ personal information. Finally, to recognize our growing communities, we’ve expanded the number of languages into which the main Privacy Policy is translated, and we will continue to expand this coverage. As always, we are grateful to the Wikimedia community members who translate the policy into additional languages. 

As we committed to in the main Privacy policy, we are providing these minor changes with at least three (3) calendar days’ prior notice. These changes will go into effect on June 25, 2021. As always, we invite everyone to comment on the policies’ talk pages. We will consider this feedback in our ongoing work to strengthen our policies and our practices. 

This update is part of our effort to regularly improve our privacy practices and protect the personal data of Wikimedia contributors, donors, and others as technology and the world change rapidly around us. Look out for updates to learn more about our approach to privacy and data security practices. If you have questions about the latest policy updates, please email us at privacy@wikimedia.org.

Aeryn Palmer, Legal Director

Special thanks to Privacy Fellow Ellen Magallanes for assistance with the preparation of this blog post, to the Wikimedia Foundation staffers who contributed to these updates, and to those across the Community Relations, Communications, Legal Affairs, and Trust and Safety teams for their hard work and support in rolling out the policies. 

Related posts: