[Foundation-l] check user...

Samuel Klein meta.sj at gmail.com
Sun Apr 1 06:53:11 UTC 2007

On Sun, 1 Apr 2007, wiki_tomos at inter7.jp wrote:

> I think check user generates certain legal risk to the Foundation especially
> when he is a minor.

Please help quantify "certain risk".
Simply modifying a page generates certain risk.

> If a check user is legally a minor, he may be able to legally get away with
> breaking promises he has made, including the compliance with privacy policy.
> I am not sure if minors really are less reliable than adults, but if they
> are equally unreliable, then the Foundation is more responsible for minors'
> violation of privacy policy than adults.
> So, not because minors are less reliable, but because adults can bear
> more legal risk when they abuse their check user privilege, it is legally
> safer for the Foundation to limit the check user to adults.

I don't know how much risk there really is here, or what kinds of case 
studies in the rest of the real world represent parallels that might shed 
light on the question.  This all seems rather hypothetical -- because 
everyone editing anonymously is already sharing this kind of information, 
and because this is far, far less invasive than the kinds of privacy 
violations that a site or group that collects real private personal data
might worry about.

When have there been checkuser abuses, or anything close to checkuser 
abuses, that led to damage to others?  When has such damage or perceived 
damage led to potential risk?  How would any of this in practice come down 
to the personal responsibility and accountability of an individual 
checkuser?  It all seems quite remote to me.

If none of thse things has happened and the possibility is both remote to 
the nth degree and likely to trigger yellow flags before it becomes a 
possibility, it seems more reasonable to set in place a process for 
regular policy review, than to throw in CYA clauses for no specific reason 
("must not be a minor" "must reveal and verify identity" "must sign a 
waiver accepting responsibility for any damage caused as the result of 
work" "must be personally bonded and insured for related work")

> How significant this difference? That is perhaps open to debate.
> I personally think that the better course of action to mitigate the
> legal risk is to treat check users as outsiders in the privacy policy.

As outsiders -- what does this mean?


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