[Wikimedia-l] [WikiEN-l] "Stocking personal details"

WereSpielChequers werespielchequers at gmail.com
Sun Aug 19 16:11:14 UTC 2012

It isn't just a French issue, the whole of the European Union has Data
Protection Law based on the

And the categories of "Sensitive" data are similar across the EU.
Ethnicity, religion, health and Political opinion being perhaps the most
relevant to us. I think that not all countries defined criminal record as
Sensitive, and the UK apparently opted out of the philosophical opinions
bit, but the legislation across Europe has commonalities, though it would
be stretching a point to describe it as harmonised.

But the good thing is that it isn't as simple as a ban on processing such
data, there are various exemptions, and I'm pretty sure they include if the
individual has made that information publicly known. So French citizens are
allowed to know what political party their President is a member of, and
they can't be prosecuted simply for categorising the Pope as a Roman
Catholic. However just because somebody's parents, siblings and children
have self identified as Jewish doesn't mean that they also have disclosed
that information about themselves.

Now that we have chapters in some of these countries it might be worth
starting a dialogue with the various Information Commissioners (apologies
if this is already happening). I would hope that our existing policies
largely cover us here, provided that is that we editors living in the EU
treat what they consider to be "sensitive" data about living people as
contentious data.  But there could be some grey areas, for example if no EU
source is covering something then an EU editor sourcing a fact from a
reliable source in the US might be in difficulty. Especially if that "fact"
was something that EU sources weren't covering because they had no legal
basis to do so.

I would hope that we could get some guidelines agreed between European
chapter and their national Information Commissioners, and that those
guidelines could then be communicated to editors; Both to reassure people
as to where the boundaries are and so that we in Europe know to leave
certain things to our colleagues outside the EU.


On 19 August 2012 13:23, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 at gmail.com> wrote:

> As French Wikimedians are unlikely to see this thread here on wikien-l (and
> wikifr-l seems moribund), I've dropped a post about this to wikimedia-l.
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2012-August/121744.html
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