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Submissions/The Wikimedia Approach to Privacy - Developing a New Privacy Policy

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong

After careful consideration, the programme committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2013 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no.
Subject no.
Title of the submission
The Wikimedia Approach to Privacy - Developing a New Privacy Policy
Type of submission
Author of the submission
Michelle Paulson, Legal Counsel (with Geoff Brigham, General Counsel)
Country of origin
Wikimedia Foundation
E-mail address
Mpaulson (WMF)
Personal homepage or blog
The Wikimedia projects and movement have significantly grown and changed over the past 5 years. As we continue to evolve, we need a privacy policy that can keep up with us. This session will explore some of the privacy challenges that the movement faces and introduce some proposals as to how to tackle those challenges in a new, easy-to-read privacy policy. We will go into how transparency, as well as heavy participation and feedback from the community, is essential in creating a policy that reflects the values of the Wikimedia movement.
Detailed proposal
We expect to introduce a new updated privacy policy for community consultation - much as we did with the terms of use. We hope to have a draft to the community by Wikimania. We found that the community consultation was obviously instrumental in issuing a terms of use that made sense, given our community and its values, and we feel the same way about the privacy policy. There are a number of interesting values that we need to balance in drafting any new privacy policy. We appropriately insist on transparency as a community, yet we are also insistent on upholding the privacy of our users. We gather very little information on users, unlike most other sites, and we are quite restrictive in our use of even that limited information. For example, we would never sell it to third parties, obviously. Yet, we do want to understand and analyze our projects and programs to ensure that they are effectively furthering the mission of the community and providing a useful experience for our editors and readers. That kind of analysis may require some use of user information. We hope that this session will be a starting point of this discussion as we articulate the values that we would like reflected in the new privacy policy. It represents the beginning of a multi-month conversation and consultation with the community on one of the most critical values of our movement.
Analysis and Public Engagement
Length of presentation/talk
60 minutes
Language of presentation/talk
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Slides or further information (optional)
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  1. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:53, 3 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
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