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

Brian Brian.Mingus at colorado.edu
Sat Jun 6 18:19:47 UTC 2009

This is another e-mail on this subject that just strikes me as flawed. These
are not vague privacy fears - they are real privacy fears. I see a
fundamental failure by those involved in this controversy to understand this

On Sat, Jun 6, 2009 at 1:31 AM, Tisza Gergő <gtisza at gmail.com> wrote:

> Robert Rohde <rarohde at ...> writes:
> > You may not be aware, but the relaying of page view data to third
> > party analysis platforms has been tried on a number of occasions in
> > the past and consistently shutdown.  (I think this even includes cases
> > before the Privacy Policy was adopted.)
> >
> > However, to my recollection there has never been a case that quite
> > mirrors yours since we are talking about a privately hosted server
> > administered by a highly trusted community member.
> The (WM-DE-owned) toolserver ran a statistics script called WikiCharts for
> a few
> years, which worked with data relayed by Common.js from several wikipedias,
> including de and en. While that is not exactly the same situation (as the
> has access to the toolserver), I think it proves my point that passing IP
> data
> to an (in the strict organizational sense) third-party server does not
> necessarily violate the privacy policy, neither letter nor spirit, as long
> as
> that server remains within the larger WM community.
> It is important to understand that this is a much more general question
> than
> that of web statistics: any third-party service that interacts with the
> standard
> wiki user interface receives private data, whether it needs it or not,
> because
> the user interface (the HTML page) is "executed" in the user's browser, and
> the
> browser has to contact the third-party service, and it cannot hide its IP
> in
> that process. For example, we considered setting up some sort of spell
> checking
> service for hu.wp. That is something that cannot be done well centrally -
> there
> is too much difference between languages. And if you do it with a local
> server,
> it has to communicate with the user's browser, and could in theory log
> requests
> and correlate them with edits on the wiki, thus it has to conform with the
> privacy guidelines. It would be a shame if all such uses would be blindly
> forbidden because of vague privacy fears.
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

More information about the foundation-l mailing list