[Foundation-l] check user...

Fred Bauder fredbaud at waterwiki.info
Sun Apr 1 16:59:24 UTC 2007

>-----Original Message-----
>From: wiki_tomos at inter7.jp [mailto:wiki_tomos at inter7.jp]
>Sent: Saturday, March 31, 2007 11:33 PM
>To: foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
>Subject: [Foundation-l] check user...
>I think check user generates certain legal risk to the Foundation especially 
>when he is a minor. 
>Wikimedia Foundation has a privacy policy. It seems the Foundation is 
>expressively promising that certain information will not be released 
>to the third party unless specific conditions are met. 
>And here, "third party release" does not include, at least the 
>way I read the privacy policy, release of personal information 
>from Wikimedia Foundation to a check user. It suggests that, 
>at least in the context of privacy policy, the check users are 
>insiders for the Foundation, not a third party. 
>This, in turn, means that the Foundation has a legal responsibility 
>to make check users to understand and follow its privacy policy. 
>So when check user breaks the promise - i.e. violate the Foundation's 
>privacy policy, one may question if the Foundation is partly responsible 
>for the violation. 
>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. 
>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. 
>I am not a lawyer, so be reminded that my reasoning could be flawed.. 

Your legal reasoning is fine, although a parent could sign off on the legal liability. I think our problem is not with allowing a 15 year old to do responsible work, but with the understandable skepticism we will face if we ever have to explain it to a court or in the public press.


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