[Foundation-l] Wikipedia tracks user behaviour via third party companies #2

Peter Gervai grinapo at gmail.com
Fri Jun 5 18:03:48 UTC 2009


I wasn't subscribed to this list, since I usually try to avoid the
politics around.

I was notified, however, that some interesting claims were made and
some steps taken (again) without any discussion whatsoever.

First, let me tell it here again - as I have told it on a different
list - that I am extremely disappointed by the lack of discussion
before someone from outside seriously interfere with other project
based on, as it turns out, incorrect informations. In the past people
with privileges (if we ever considered them that way instead of people
with work to be done) were more cautious. I would like you all
fast-handed guys to slow down and talk first, get informed, and act

I already commented elsewhere on vls, in summary I miss the discussion
and I do not believe the case actually breached any privacy, but this
isn't my concern now (as I'm in a bit of hurry).

Regarding huwp, it would have been pretty easy to find out who to ask.
Apart from the obvious choice of "anyone with any flags on huwp", it
could've been easy to identify who made the changes, and ask them.
Like, for example me.

As far as I see, lots of wasted energies go around, like people
planning how to block javascript, how to block counters, etc. It is
the wrong way. The good way is, and I'm repeating myself again, is
FIRST to get to know WHY these scripts are there in the first hand,
what solution they have to solve. This is a crucial step, fellows,
which you neglected to take. (And we all know that the reason is to
create usage stats.)

Next step should be examining whether there is anything this violates,
like, Privacy Policy. In the case of Google this is debateable, since
I don't know what is the scope of the data retention.

However I completely do know about the Hungarian stats. Let me share
the real information here, briefly, since I have to go soon, but I do
not want to let you destroy something you're not aware of.

The stats (which have, by surprise, a dedicated domain under th hu
wikipedia domain) runs on a dedicated server, with nothing else on it.
Its sole purpose to gather and publish the stats. Basically nobody
have permission to log in the servers but me, and I since I happen to
be checkuser as well it wouldn't even be ntertaining to read it, even
if it wasn't big enough making this useless. I happen to be the one
who have created the Hungarian checkuser policy, which is, as far as I
know, the strictest one in WMF projects, and it's no joke, and I
intend to follow it. (And those who are unfamiliar with me, I happen
to be the founder of huwp as well, apart from my job in computer

If you would have gathered this knowledge (which means that the server
is closed and run by an identified user to WMF), then you could have
started the discussion.

As it is obvious, don't make any interfering moves while discussing it
for days, or even weeks, wouldn't change anything.

What have you achieved with removing the code? You killed our stats,
which provides us with the statistics originally WMF provided (same
data content), but later killed off.

We'll propose (huwp) some solutions on the problem, but I'll really
have to go now. Tgr can help discussing it, and I'll thank him for his
help in advance. :-)

So, think about these in the weekend, I'm back on monday. I hop there
can be an _useful_ discussion, with thinking people and not people
acting on impulses.

Peter Gervai

More information about the foundation-l mailing list