This policy covers personally identifiable information collected or stored by ARMwiki, which collects and retains the least amount of personally identifiable information needed to fulfill operational requirements.
The public and collaborative nature of the projects
ARMwiki is collaboratively developed by its users using the MediaWiki software. Anyone with Internet access (and not otherwise restricted from doing so) may edit the publicly editable pages of ARMwiki after logging in as a registered user. By doing this, such users become editors, and as such they create a published document, and a public record of every word added, subtracted, or changed. This is a public act, and editors are identified publicly as the author of such changes. All contributions made to ARMwiki, and all publicly available information about those contributions, are irrevocably licensed and may be freely copied, quoted, reused and adapted by third parties with few restrictions.
Restrictions to this policy
Interactions with ARMwiki which are not covered by this Policy include, but are not limited to, aspects of browsing and editing pages, use of the wiki "email user" function, and other such inter-user correspondance. These interactions may reveal a contributor's IP address, and possibly other personal information, indiscriminately to the general public, or to specific groups of volunteers acting independently.
Users may also interact with one another outside of ARMwiki, via email, IRC or other chat, or independent websites, and should assess the risks involved, and their personal need for privacy, before using these methods of communication.
ARMwiki requires editors to register with the wiki system. Users are identified by their chosen username. Users select a password, which is confidential and used to verify the integrity of their account. Except insofar as it may be required by law, no person should disclose, or knowingly expose, either user passwords and/or cookies generated to identify a user. Once created, user accounts will not be removed, and usernames cannot be changed.
Purpose of the collection of private information
ARMwiki limits the collection of personally identifiable user data to purposes which serve the well-being of the project, including but not limited to the following:
- To enhance the protection and accountability of the project. While ARMwiki is fairly open (registering and confirming an email address are straightforward one-time activities), it is also possible for this system to be abused to the detriment of the project or its users. IP addresses (derived either from logs or from records in the database) may be used to identify the source(s) of the abusive behavior. This information may be shared by users with administrative or judicial authority in order to protect the project.
- To provide site statistics. The wiki software statistically samples raw log data from users' visits. These logs are used to produce the site statistics pages; the raw log data is not made public.
- To solve technical problems. Log data may be examined by developers in the course of solving technical problems and in tracking down badly-behaved web spiders that overwhelm the site.
Details of data retention
When a visitor requests or reads a page, or sends email to the server, no more information is collected than is typically collected by web sites. Raw logs may be retained for statistical purposes, but these will not be published or used to track legitimate users.
When a page is edited by a logged-in editor, the server confidentially stores related IP information for a limited period of time. This information is automatically deleted after a set period.
ARMwiki sets a temporary session cookie on a visitor's computer whenever a page is visited. Readers who do not intend to log in or edit may deny this cookie; it will be deleted at the end of the browser's session. More cookies may be set when one logs in to maintain logged-in status. If one saves a user name or password in one's browser, that information will be saved for up to 30 days, and this information will be resent to the server on every visit to ARMwiki.
Contributors using a public machine who do not wish to show their username to future users of the machine should clear these cookies after use.
Edits or other contributions to articles, user pages and talk pages are generally retained forever. Removing text from a project does not permanently delete it. Normally, in projects, anyone can look at a previous version of an article and see what was there. Even if an article is "deleted", a user entrusted with higher level of access may still see what was removed from public view. Information can be permanently deleted by individuals with access to the server, but aside from the rare circumstance when it is required to delete editing-history material in response to a court order or equivalent legal process, there is no guarantee any permanent deletion will happen.
User contributions are also aggregated and publicly available. User contributions are aggregated according to their registration and login status. Data on user contributions, such as the times at which users edited and the number of edits they have made, are publicly available via user contributions lists, and in aggregated forms published by other users.
No more information on users and other visitors reading pages is collected than is typically collected in server logs by web sites. Aside from the above raw log data collected for general purposes, page visits do not expose a visitor's identity publicly. Sampled raw log data may include the IP address of any user, but it is not reproduced publicly.
Edits to articles are identified with the username of the editor, and editing history is aggregated by author in a contribution list. Such information will be available permanently.
Logged in users do not expose their IP address to the public except in cases of abuse, including vandalism of an article by the user or by another user with the same IP address. A user's IP address is stored on the server for a period of time, during which it can be seen by server administrators and by users who have been granted CheckUser access.
Unlike "real Wiki", anonymous edits are not permitted, so users will always be identified in the edit history by a user name, not their IP address.
Users are not required to list an email address when registering, however a confirmed address is necessary in order to edit. Users who provide a valid email address can choose to enable other logged-in users to send email to them through the wiki. When receiving an email from other users through this system, one's email address is not revealed to them. When choosing to send an email to other users, one's email is displayed as the sender.
The email address put into one's user preferences may be used by the ARMwiki for communication. Users whose accounts do not have a valid email address will not be able to reset their password if it is lost, and will not be able to edit a page.
Private correspondence between users may be saved at those users' discretion and is not subject to this policy.
Access to and release of personally identifiable information
ARMwiki is run by volunteer contributors. Some dedicated users are chosen to be given privileged access. User group rights and group members are reachable in every project from the Special:ListGroupRights page.
Other users who may have access to private identifiable information include, but are not limited to, users who have access to the CheckUser and Oversight functions, and developers and others with high levels of server access. Sharing information with other privileged users is not considered "distribution."
Release: Policy on Release of Data
It is the policy of ARMwiki that personally identifiable data collected in the server logs, or through records in the database via the CheckUser feature, or through other non-publicly-available methods, may be released in any of the following situations:
- In response to a valid subpoena or other compulsory request from law enforcement,
- With permission of the affected user,
- When necessary for investigation of abuse complaints,
- Where the information pertains to page views generated by a spider or bot and its dissemination is necessary to illustrate or resolve technical issues,
- Where the user has been vandalizing articles or persistently behaving in a disruptive way, data may be released to a service provider, carrier, or other third-party entity to assist in the targeting of IP blocks, or to assist in the formulation of a complaint to relevant Internet Service Providers,
- Where it is reasonably necessary to protect the rights, property or safety of the Wikimedia Foundation, its users or the public.
As a general principle, the access to, and retention of, personally identifiable data in all projects should be minimal and should be used only internally to serve the well-being of the project. If a law-enforcement agency or a court (or equivalent) issues a subpoena or similar request for disclosure of information, we will attempt to contact the user, but note that we cannot guarantee to be able to do this, and in addition it is not possible for us to provide legal advice. It is to be noted that a user may have the right to file a counter motion to quash such a subpoena or limit the data that may be disseminated - consult a legal professional for advice.
ARMwiki believes that maintaining and preserving the privacy of user data is an important value, and represents our desire to safeguard the security of the limited user information that is collected and retained on our server. Nevertheless, we cannot guarantee that user information will remain private. We acknowledge that, in spite of efforts to protect private user information, determined individuals may still develop data-mining and other methods to uncover such information and disclose it. For this reason, we can make no guarantee against unauthorised access to information provided in the course of participating to this project.