Sisters Wiki:Privacy policy

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This policy covers personally identifiable information collected or stored through SistersWikiDotOrg on its server in relation to the project and its users. Basically SistersWikiDotOrg collects and retains the least amount of personally identifiable information needed to fulfil the project’s operational needs.

All sites of this project are 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 these sites with logging in as a registered and approved user. By doing this, editors create a published document, and a public record of every word added, subtracted, or changed. This is a public act, and editors are identified as the author of such changes, though contrary to other wikis, in SistersWikiDotOrg these “History Pages” can only be viewed by logged-in users on the respective pages.

In general, this Policy only applies to such private information stored or held by SistersWikiDotOrg which is not publicly available. Interactions with SistersWikiDotOrg not covered by this Policy include, but are not limited to, aspects of browsing and editing pages, use of the Wiki "email user" function, where the latter is enabled by the user. These interactions may reveal a contributor's IP address, and possibly other personal information, indiscriminately to the general public. Users may also interact with one another outside of in SistersWikiDotOrg sites, 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.

SistersWikiDotOrg does require editors to register. No-one can edit without logging in with a username, i.e. without being 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. It may be possible for a username to be changed. SistersWikiDotOrg does not guarantee that a username will be changed on request within a short limit of time.

SistersWikiDotOrg limits the collection of personally identifiable user data to purposes which serve the well-being of its project, including but not limited to the following:

  • To enhance the public accountability of the project, SistersWikiDotOrg have established a number of mechanisms to prevent or remedy abusive activities. For example, when investigating abuse on a page, including the suspected use of malicious “sock puppets” (duplicate accounts), vandalism, harassment of other users, or disruptive behaviour, the IP addresses of users (derived either from those logs or from records in the database) may be used to identify the source(s) of the abusive behaviour.
  • To provide site statistics, in SistersWikiDotOrg statistically samples raw log data from users' visits. These logs are used to produce the site statistics page; 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.


When a visitor requests or reads a page, or sends email to SistersWikiDotOrg, no more information is collected than is typically collected by web sites. SistersWikiDotOrg may keep raw logs of such transactions, 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. For editors of other wikis who do not log in, the IP address used is publicly and permanently credited as the author of the edit. It may be possible for a third party to identify the author from this IP address in conjunction with other information available. So logging in with a registered username - as is necessary here - allows for better preservation of privacy.

The site sets a temporary session cookie on a visitor's computer whenever a page is visited. Readers who do not intend to log in 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 username 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. 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 SistersWikiDotOrg articles, user pages and talk pages are generally retained forever. Removing text from a page does not permanently delete it. Normally, in pages, anyone who is logged in, 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 SistersWikiDotOrg servers, but aside from the rare circumstance when SistersWikiDotOrg 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 aggregated and available to other logged-in users. 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 available via user contributions lists.

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 in SistersWikiDotOrg pages 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, though not publicly on the pages.

Logged-in users do not expose their IP address to the public except in cases of abuse, including vandalism of a SistersWikiDotOrg page by the user or by another user with the same IP address. A user's IP address is stored on the SistersWikiDotOrg server for a period of time, during which it can be seen by server administrators and by users who have been granted CheckUser access. Editors using a company mail server from home or telecommuting over a DSL or cable Internet connection are likely to be easy to identify by their IP address, in which case it may be easy to cross-identify all contributions to various pages made by that IP. Using a username is a better way of preserving privacy in this situation.

On wiki discussion pages
Any editable page can theoretically be the location of a discussion. In general, discussions on SistersWikiDotOrg occur on user talk pages (associated with particular users), on article talk pages (associated with particular articles) or in pages specially designated to function as such. Privacy expectations apply to discussion pages in the same way as they do elsewhere.

Via email
Users are required to list an email address when registering and can 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 SistersWikiDotOrg for communication. A valid email address will also enable users to reset their password if it is lost. In such a situation, users may be able to contact one of SistersWikiDotOrg administrators to enter a new e-mail address. A user can remove the account's email address from his preferences at any time to prevent it from being used. Private correspondence between users may be saved at those users' discretion and is not subject to SistersWikiDotOrg policy.

SistersWikiDotOrg is run by volunteer contributors. Some dedicated users are chosen to be given privileged access. User access levels are determined by the user's presence in various 'user groups'. 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 function, developers and others with high levels of server access.

Release: Policy on Release of Data
It is the policy of SistersWikiDotOrg 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 by SistersWikiDotOrg in any of the following situations:

  1. In response to a valid subpoena or other compulsory request from law enforcement;
  2. With permission of the affected user;
  3. When necessary for investigation of abuse complaints;
  4. Where the information pertains to page views generated by a spider or bot and its dissemination is necessary to illustrate or resolve technical issues;
  5. 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;
  6. Where it is reasonably necessary to protect the rights, property or safety of SistersWikiDotOrg, its users or the public.
  7. Except as described above, SistersWikiDotOrg policy does not permit distribution of personally identifiable information under any circumstances.

Third-party access and notifying registeres users when receiving legal process
As a general principle, the access to, and retention of, personally identifiable data in all pages should be minimal and should be used only internally to serve the well-being of the projects. Occasionally, however, SistersWikiDotOrg may receive a subpoena or other compulsory request from a law-enforcement agency or a court or equivalent government body that requests the disclosure of information about a registered user, and may be compelled by law to comply with the request.

In the event of such a legally compulsory request, SistersWikiDotOrg will attempt to notify the affected user within three business days after the arrival of such subpoena by sending a notice by email to the email address (if any) that the affected user has listed in his or her user preferences.

SistersWikiDotOrg cannot advise a user receiving such a notification regarding the law or an appropriate response to a subpoena. SistersWikiDotOrg does note, however, that such users may have the legal right to resist or limit that information in court by filing a motion to quash the subpoena. Users who wish to oppose a subpoena or other compulsory request should seek legal advice concerning applicable rights and procedures that may be available.

If SistersWikiDotOrg receives a court-filed motion to quash or otherwise limit the subpoena as a result of action by a user or their lawyer, SistersWikiDotOrg will not disclose the requested information until SistersWikiDotOrg receives an order from the court to do so.

Registered users are not required to provide an email address. However, when an affected registered user does not provide an email address SistersWikiDotOrg will not be able to notify the affected user in private email messages when it receives requests from law enforcement to disclose personally identifiable information about the user.

SistersWikiDotOrg believes that maintaining and preserving the privacy of user data is an important value. This Privacy Policy, together with other policies, resolutions, and actions by SistersWikiDotOrg, represents a committed effort to safeguard the security of the limited user information that is collected and retained on our servers. Nevertheless, SistersWikiDotOrg cannot guarantee that user information will remain private. We acknowledge that, in spite of our committed effort 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, SistersWikiDotOrg can make no guarantee against unauthorized access to information provided in the course of participating in SistersWikiDotOrg. Logged-in users can, however, minimise the information given on them to a good extent by adjusting their preferences and user credentials.