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Privacy Evaluation for Wikipedia.org

Last updated January 17, 2020

Overview

The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization that operates collaborative, free knowledge websites, like Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, and Wiktionary. Wikipedia.org states their mission is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content. The terms of Wikipedia state the service was primarily created to help users share their knowledge with the world, and Wikipedia shares a user's contributions because they have provided consent to do so. In addition, the terms state Wikipedia does not share personal information with analytics services, advertising networks, or social platforms, and they do not share users' information with any third parties for marketing purposes. The terms of Wikipedia state they strive to protect users' information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. Lastly, the terms of Wikipedia do not specifically state the service is intended for children under 13 or students, but it is commonly used by children and students everyday around the world as a trusted resource for knowledge and education.

Wikipedia.org can be accessed through its website, and is available for download at the iOS App Store, the Google Play Store, and Amazon Appstore. The Privacy Policy and Terms of Use used for this evaluation can be found on Wikipedia.org’s website, iOS App Store, the Google Play Store, and Amazon Appstore.This evaluation only considers policies that have been made publicly available prior to an individual using the application or service.

Safety

The terms of Wikipedia state the service was primarily created to help users share their knowledge with the world, and Wikipedia shares a user's contributions because they have provided consent to do so. The terms state Wikipedia does not take an editorial role, because the service is collaboratively edited. This means that Wikipedia does not monitor or edit the content of the websites, and they do not take any responsibility for user content. In addition, the terms specify that usernames will be publicly visible, so users should be careful about using their real name as their username.

Notice will be provided if information is intended to be public or private, so that a user can make an informed decision about whether they want to provide the service with that information. Users should be aware that any content they add or any changes they make to a website will be publicly and permanently available and can be seen and used by everyone, which is the purpose of the service. The terms of Wikipedia also state they provide tools that allow users to communicate with each other. Direct communications between users (such as messages sent through the "Email this user" feature) are kept confidential by the service to the extent the communications are non-public.

Privacy

The terms of Wikipedia state they believe users shouldn't have to provide personal information to participate in the free knowledge movement. Users do not have to provide information such as their real name, address, or date of birth to contribute. However, if a user contributes without signing in, their contribution will be publicly attributed to the IP address associated with their device.

In addition, the terms state Wikipedia does not share personal information with analytics services, advertising networks, or social platforms, and they do not share users' information with any third parties for marketing purposes. The terms also specify Wikipedia does not rent or sell users' information to third parties and they do not allow tracking by third-party websites users have not visited.

The terms state Wikipedia may share non-personal or aggregated information with researchers, scholars, academics, and other interested third parties who wish to study the Wikimedia sites. When the service gives access to personal information to third-party developers or researchers, they put requirements, such as reasonable technical and contractual protections in place to help ensure that third-party service providers treat users' information consistently with the principles of the service and in accordance with Wikipedia's instructions.

Security

The terms of Wikipedia state they strive to protect users' information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. The terms specify they use a variety of physical and technical measures, policies, and procedures (such as access control procedures, network firewalls, and physical security) designed to protect their systems and users' personal information. Unfortunately, the terms do not state whether they encrypt information in transit or while at rest, and whether or not they provide notice to users in the event of a data breach.

Compliance

The terms of Wikipedia do not specifically state the service is intended for children under 13 or students, but it is commonly used by children and students everyday around the world as a trusted resource for knowledge and education. Users are welcomed to join and contribute as a contributor, editor, or author, but users should follow the policies that govern each of the independent project editions of the service. Parents and teachers should be aware that the terms provide no information about obtaining verifiable parental consent for the collection or disclosure of personal information from children or students under the age of 13.

Data Collection
SCORE: 35%

What data does it collect?

  • Personally identifiable information (PII) is collected.
  • The categories of collected personally identifiable information are indicated.
  • Collection or use of data is limited to product requirements.
  • Geolocation data are collected.
  • Unclear whether this product collects biometric or health data.
  • Unclear whether this product collects behavioral data.
  • Unclear whether this product collects sensitive data.
  • Non-personally identifiable information is collected.
  • Unclear whether this product treats combined information as personally identifiable information (PII).
  • Unclear whether this product collects personal information online from children under 13 years of age.
Data Sharing
SCORE: 85%

What data does it share?

  • Collected information is shared with third parties.
  • The categories of information shared with third parties are indicated.
  • The purpose for sharing a user's personal information with third parties is indicated.
  • Use of information is limited to the purpose for which it was collected.
  • Data are not shared for analytics.
  • Data are shared for research and/or product improvement.
  • Data are shared with third-party service providers.
  • The roles of third-party service providers are indicated.
  • Unclear whether this product supports social or federated login.
  • Contractual limits are placed on third-party data use.
Data Security
SCORE: 40%

How does it secure data?

  • A user's identity is not verified with additional personal information.
  • Account creation is not required.
  • Unclear whether parental controls or managed accounts are available.
  • Unclear whether two-factor account protection is available.
  • Unclear whether third-party contractual security protections are required.
  • Industry best practices are used to protect data.
  • Employee or physical access to user information is limited.
  • Unclear whether this product encrypts all data in transit.
  • Unclear whether this product encrypts all data at rest.
  • Unclear whether this product provides notice in the event of a data breach.
Data Rights
SCORE: 85%

What rights do I have to the data?

  • Opt-in consent is requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
  • Users can control their information through privacy settings.
  • Users can create or upload content.
  • Users retain ownership of their data.
  • Processes to access and review user data are available.
  • Processes to modify inaccurate data are available.
  • A data-retention policy is available.
  • Processes for the school, parents, or students to delete data are available.
  • Processes to delete user data are available.
  • Unclear whether this product provides users the ability to download their data.
Data Sold
SCORE: 90%

Is the data sold?

  • Data are not sold or rented to third parties.
  • Users can opt out from the disclosure or sale of their data to a third party.
  • User information can be transferred to a third party.
  • Users are notified if their information is transferred to a third party.
  • User information can be deleted prior to its transfer to a third party.
  • Third-party transfer is contractually required to use the same privacy practices.
  • User information is shared in an anonymous or deidentified format.
  • The vendor describes their deidentification process of user information.
  • Data are shared for research and/or product improvement.
  • Contractual limits prohibit third parties from reidentifying deidentified information.
Data Safety
SCORE: 75%

How safe is this product?

  • Users can interact with trusted users and/or students.
  • Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Profile information is shared for social interactions.
  • Personal information is displayed publicly.
  • Users can control how their data are displayed.
  • User-created content is not reviewed, screened, or monitored by the vendor.
  • User-created content is not filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
  • Social interactions between users are moderated.
  • Social interactions of users are logged.
  • Users can report abuse or cyberbullying.
Ads & Tracking
SCORE: 60%

Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Data are not shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are not displayed.
  • Behavioral or targeted advertising is not displayed.
  • Data are not collected by third-party advertising or tracking services.
  • Data are not used to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
  • Data profiles are not created and used for data enhancement, and/or targeted advertisements.
  • Unclear whether this vendor can send marketing messages.
  • Unclear whether this vendor provides promotional sweepstakes, contests, or surveys.
  • Unclear whether this product provides users the ability to opt-out of traditional, contextual, or behavioral advertising.
  • Unclear whether this product provides users the ability to opt out or unsubscribe from marketing communications.
Parental Consent
SCORE: 0%

Can I provide parental consent?

  • Unclear whether intended for children under 13.
  • Unclear whether intended for parents or guardians.
  • Unclear whether vendor has actual knowledge that personal information from users under 13 years of age is collected.
  • Unclear whether children's privacy is applicable.
  • Unclear whether this product indicates COPPA parental consent exceptions.
  • Unclear whether this product requires parental consent.
  • Unclear whether this product limits parental consent with respect to third parties.
  • Unclear whether this product allows parents to withdraw consent for the further collection of their child's information.
  • Unclear whether this product deletes children's personal information if collected without parental consent.
  • Unclear whether this product provides parental consent notice and method for submission.
School Purpose
SCORE: 0%

Is the product intended for school?

  • Unclear whether intended for students.
  • Unclear whether personal information or education records are collected from preK-12 students.
  • Unclear whether intended for teachers.
  • Unclear whether this product is primarily used by, designed for, and marketed toward students in grades preK–12.
  • Unclear whether the product creates education records.
  • Unclear whether this product provides notification of a contract or additional rights.
  • Unclear whether this product designates the vendor as a school official.
  • Unclear whether this product transfers parental consent obligations to the school or district.
  • Unclear whether the vendor indicates FERPA parental consent exceptions.
  • Unclear whether this product discloses directory information.

Common Sense Standard Privacy Report (SPR)

The standard privacy report (SPR) displays all the privacy practices from a product's policies in a single, easy-to-read outline. The report shows a green check mark for better privacy practices and an orange alert for risky or unclear practices. This alert indicates that more time should be focused on these particular details prior to use.

About Privacy Evaluations

The privacy evaluations have been designed with the help and support of a consortium of schools and districts across the United States. These evaluations are designed to help educators make informed decisions about the potential privacy implications of educational technology used to support teaching and learning.

Our core evaluation criteria will always be freely available. People are encouraged to read the questions we use and our information security primer. Vendors are encouraged to use our questions and the information security primer to self-evaluate. You can also learn more about our evaluation process. Please be in touch with any questions or feedback.