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

Samuel Klein meta.sj at gmail.com
Sat Jun 6 02:46:03 UTC 2009

Michael Snow writes:
> Maybe it's just the lawyer in me, but I read those comments primarily as
> a defense against a perceived "prosecution" for allegedly violating the
> privacy policy.

I don't read them that way - rather as saying "This isn't clearly in
violation; it has been working for a long time and has been publicly
discussed before, ending in [default] acceptance; we weren't given any
notice.  What gives?"

Brian<Brian.Mingus at colorado.edu> writes:
> This argument - which is effectively that community members should be
> considered Wikimedia Foundation staff members - is very brittle. It is
> neither sound nor valid. Do yourself a favor and consider the logic of the
> other side. It will save you from confusion later when you realize that you
> were the only person who didn't see it earlier.

Peter said that he could run whatever was being done on an external
server on a WMF machine that [core] developers have access to.  What
does this have to do with being Foundation staff?

Peter Gervai writes:
> But we - as huwp - don't stick to this server, as I mentioned, and I'd
> gladly put it up on WMF servers, even if this do not really mean or
> change anything. But I find it unacceptable that anyone kill off the
> stats which was running for plenty of years now, without even trying
> to look around. I see that it's pretty easy, since neither of you use
> it, it's somebody else's problem. Try to see for a moment like it's
> not.
> And since it was okay for the past 5 years I'd be glad if you would
> continue the discussion WHILE reverting your changes. I don't believe
> a few days would make a difference.

This seems like the heart of the matter.  It sounds as though hu:wp
wants to find a way to continue having access to stats; are happy to
make this happen in a way that other devs are comfortable with (and
willing to help), but feel slighted.

Robert Rhode writes:
> Sorry for the abrupt way that things were handled, but erring on the
> side of protecting user privacy is generally a good thing.  Now that
> you are here discussing the matter, I'd hope a reasonable solution can
> be found.

You said it.  While f-l isn't the place to find a technical solution
(though this thread looks promising -
it may be the right place to discuss how to foreshadow and discuss
changes that address the power balance between local and global
projects.  I can imagine similar changes resulting from adding a
global wikimedia policy that is known to contradict policies on a few
mid-sized wikis, and then instantly implementing the result.

[Peter: would you have considered a mention on this list notice?  on
wikitech?  on hu:wp?]


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