Details of data retention
IP and other technical information
- When a visitor requests or reads a page, or sends email to the Pacsoa server, no more information is collected than is typically collected by web sites. Pacsoa may keep raw logs of such transactions, but these will not be published or used to track legitimate users.
- When a page is edited by a logged-in editor, the server confidentially stores related IP information for a limited period of time. This information is automatically deleted after a set period. For editors who do not log in, the IP address used is publicly and permanently credited as the author of the edit. It may be possible for a third party to identify the author from this IP address in conjunction with other information available. Logging in with a registered username allows for better preservation of privacy.
- The sites set a temporary session cookie on a visitor's computer whenever a Project page is visited. Readers who do not intend to log in or edit may deny this cookie; it will be deleted at the end of the browser's session. More cookies may be set when one logs in to maintain logged-in status. If one saves a user name or password in one's browser, that information will be saved for up to 30 days, and this information will be resent to the server on every visit to the same Project. Contributors using a public machine who do not wish to show their username to future users of the machine should clear these cookies after use.
- Edits or other contributions to a Project on its articles, user pages and talk pages are generally retained forever. Removing text from a project does not permanently delete it. Normally, in projects, anyone can look at a previous version of an article and see what was there. Even if an article is "deleted", a user entrusted with higher level of access may still see what was removed from public view.
- User contributions are also aggregated and publicly available. User contributions are aggregated according to their registration and login status. Data on user contributions, such as the times at which users edited and the number of edits they have made, are publicly available via user contributions lists, and in aggregated forms published by other users.
- No more information on users and other visitors reading pages is collected than is typically collected in server logs by web sites. Aside from the above raw log data collected for general purposes, page visits do not expose a visitor's identity publicly. Sampled raw log data may include the IP address of any user, but it is not reproduced publicly.
- Edits to Project pages are identified with the username or network IP address of the editor, and editing history is aggregated by author in a contribution list. Such information will be available permanently on the projects.
- Logged in registered users:
- Logged in users do not expose their IP address to the public except in cases of abuse, including vandalism of a wiki page by the user or by another user with the same IP address. A user's IP address is stored on the wiki servers for a period of time, during which it can be seen by server administrators and by users who have been granted CheckUser access.
- Editors using a company mail server from home or telecommuting over a DSL or cable Internet connection, are likely to be easy to identify by their IP address; in which case it may be easy to cross-identify all contributions to various Projects made by that IP. Using a username is a better way of preserving privacy in this situation.
- Unlogged-in registered users and unregistered users:
- Editors who have not logged in may be identified by network IP address. Depending on one's connection, this IP address may be traceable to a large Internet service provider or more specifically to a school, place of business or home. It may be possible to use this information in combination with other information, including editing style and preferences, to identify an author completely.
- On wiki discussion pages:
- Any editable page can theoretically be the location of a discussion. In general, discussions on Foundation projects occur on user talk pages (associated with particular users), on article talk pages (associated with particular articles) or in pages specially designated to function as forums (e.g., the Village Pump). Privacy expectations apply to discussion pages in the same way as they do elsewhere.
- Via email:
- Users are not required to list an email address when registering. Users who provide a valid email address can enable other logged-in users to send email to them through the wiki. When receiving an email from other users through this system, one's email address is not revealed to them. When choosing to send an email to other users, one's email is displayed as the sender.
- The email address put into one's user preferences may be used by Pacsoa for communication. Users whose accounts do not have a valid email address will not be able to reset their password if it is lost. In such a situation, however, users may be able to contact the Pacsoa administrators to enter a new e-mail address. A user can remove the account's email address from his preferences at any time to prevent it from being used.
- On mailing lists:
- The email addresses used to subscribe and post to Project mailing lists are exposed to other subscribers. The list archives of most such mailing lists are public, and searches of public archives may be performed on the Web. Subscribers' addresses may also be quoted in other users' messages. These email addresses and any messages sent to a mailing list may be archived and may remain available to the public permanently.