Privacy policy/FAQ

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What's a "standard account" versus a "non-standard account"?[edit]

A standard account is one that you can sign up for to browse or edit Recyclopaedia. Typically you do not need to provide more than a username and password to create a standard account; however, if you create a standard account using a system run by a third party, then you may be required to provide additional information, such as an email address. A non-standard account is one that you may sign up for to participate in Recyclopaedia in a more in-depth way, outside of reading or contributing.

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Can you give me some examples of types of cookies and how you use local storage?[edit]

Sure! The cookies (and related local storage technologies) used by Recyclopaedia generally fall into the following categories:

  • Functionality: These cookies help Recyclopaedia work, including essential features like logging in.
  • Preferences: These cookies store your preferences, so that they can be remembered the next time you use the site.
  • Performance and Analysis: These cookies collect information about how you use our website, so that we can better understand how the website works and improve it for you and other users.
  • Third-Party: These cookies allow us to render services provided by third parties, such as "like" and "share" buttons. When a third party provides these kinds of services, they may require the use of a cookie in order to provide their services. (These would only be used with your affirmative consent.)

For more information, please visit our Cookie Statement.

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What are some options I have to limit use of locally stored data on my device?[edit]

While this is not a comprehensive list, here are some of the things that you can do to limit use of locally stored data on your device. You can:

  • remove or disable specific locally stored data on your browser's settings;
  • use a browser that can block third-party cookies; or
  • install a plug-in to block locally stored data, if one is available.

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Can you give me an example of how you use GPS and other location technologies to show me more relevant content?[edit]

Sure! If you are using the Recyclopaedia mobile application, you can find out if there are articles about places and things near you by using the "Nearby" button. Your device will ask your permission to identify and use your current location before actually using your location information. If you access this feature on your laptop, desktop, or device without a GPS, this feature will use your information from your browser to figure out your location and find articles about places and things (like public sculptures or famous buildings) near you.

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What do you mean you "infer my geographical location"? And why do you need to do that?[edit]

We use some downloaded products, like MaxMind's GeoIP City DB, which allows us to internally determine the approximate location of our users. And when we say "approximate," we mean it: the GeoIP City DB resolves your location at the center of the most precise area data associated with your IP. The only possibilities for associated area data are postal code, city, region, or country. Unless you are habitually positioned in the geographical middle of the most specific area associated with your IP address, the data we retrieve is unlikely to be good enough to have a sandwich delivered.

We do this so that you can be served with appropriate regional content such as local notices, event announcements, and local fundraising campaigns. To see what information we have on record for your IP address, you can load our GeoIP lookup tool at any time and check the result.

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What are some ways that you may use or share user information, such as to investigate, enforce, or defend Recyclopaedia and its policies?[edit]

It is important for us to be able to make sure everyone plays by the same rules, and sometimes that means we need to investigate and share specific users' information to ensure that they are.

For example, user information may be used or shared when a CheckUser is investigating abuse on a Project, such as suspected use of malicious "sockpuppets" (duplicate accounts), vandalism, harassment of other users, or disruptive behavior. If a user is found to be violating our Terms of Use or other relevant policy, the user's Personal Information may be released to a service provider, carrier, or other third-party entity, for example, to assist in the targeting of IP blocks or to launch a complaint to the relevant Internet Service Provider.

As another example, if we are notified that a user has made a bomb threat, we may have to report some information related to that threat to local authorities to save lives.

We also may use Personal Information for other legitimate charitable purposes described in our Privacy Policy.

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Can you give me some examples of when you would share my information with third-party providers?[edit]

Of course! For example, Recyclopaedia rely on hosting providers, fiber-optic network providers, data centers, and other service providers and contractors. We have a contract with these service providers, and they only have access to your data to perform services for us consistent with this policy. Other times, we may use third-party providers to help us manage the information we store or use. For example, we may use third-party grants management systems to hold grant applicant information and make our application process simpler and more efficient or we may use third-party providers for email services for staff.

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What information is revealed when I click a link on a Recyclopaedia page that takes me to an external third party site?[edit]

When you click a link on a Recyclopaedia page that sends you to an external website, the referrer information transmits only your domain origin, not the specific Recyclopaedia page visited, to that third-party destination. For example, if you're reading an article on Recyclopaedia and click on a citation that directs you to a news article on an external site, the referrer information contains only the Recyclopaedia domain, not the specific article URL. This type of referrer policy is known as "origin-when-cross-origin".

We limit referrer information in this way to protect user privacy, and avoid revealing sensitive information about the pages viewed by users, while allowing movement affiliates and partners to collect aggregate information on traffic received from Recyclopaedia. For those who would like to know more, and may be interested in having greater control over referrer information, the Wikimedia Foundation Security team has prepared a page on Meta with some further detail and recommended tools.

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What is the risk of re-identification?[edit]

In a few instances (not involving Recyclopaedia as far as we know!), independent researchers have been able to link non-personal and aggregate information from different sources to particular users. While we try to avoid this by seeking to anonymise information before sharing it for research purposes, we want to make you are aware of this risk.

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Does Recyclopaedia use HTTPS on its sites?[edit]

Yes! We've been implementing HTTPS-only communications on all of Recyclopaedia since the site was founded in 2019.

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There is outdated or inaccurate information about me on a Wikipedia article! How do I update my information?[edit]

Recyclopaedia pages are collaboratively written and driven by consensus. This means that information on Recyclopaedia is written, updated, and policed by a global community of users like you. If you are the subject of a Recyclopaedia article or are mentioned in a discussion page and believe that it contains inaccurate or outdated information about you, the best way to get the article updated is to follow the user community's content policies and procedures. You may comment on the article Talk page (by clicking "talk" at the top left and then editing the page) to raise any questions or concerns for review by other editors working on the article. If you prefer not to comment on the page, you can get help from experienced Recyclopaedia by emailing Recyclopaedia believes that the community should determine what content belongs on the projects, and we encourage use of established community procedures to resolve potential concerns or disputes.

What are Do Not Track ("DNT") signals and how does Recyclopaedia respond to them?[edit]

"Do Not Track" or "DNT" is a way for your web browser to tell the website you are visiting that you do not want to be be tracked by third parties whose websites you did not visit, like analytics services, advertising networks, and social platforms. When using this mechanism, a signal is sent by your browser, expressing your desire that your Personal Information, particularly about your online activities and network interactions, should not be passed on to third parties. When receiving a DNT signal sent by your browser, the person or entity that owns the website has the option to either honor or ignore the above-mentioned request.

Recyclopaedia is strongly committed to not sharing the information we collect from you (including your online activities and network interactions with Wikimedia Sites) with any third parties, except under the specific situations detailed in our Privacy Policy.

Because of this commitment, we protect everyone, and do not change our behavior in response to a web browser's DNT signal.

You can find more information about "Do Not Track" technology and policy proposal at Do Not Track Us, and the World Wide Web Consortium's Do Not Track Specification.

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I thought I never needed an account to read or contribute! Under what circumstances would I need to register to read or contribute?[edit]

You never need an account to read a public Recyclopaedia page. And in most cases, you don't need an account to contribute to Recyclopaedia. However, there are a few rare instances where you will need to register an account if you want to contribute. A local community of editors or contributors or the organisers of Recyclopaedia itself may decide to place temporary or permanent restrictions on what you can change. For example, a specific page may be temporarily restricted from editing to allow only experienced or administrative users because of vandalism or copyright concerns. You may also not upload content such as images or videos without being logged in because we need to verify that proper permissions have been obtained from the copyright holder (if the media is not already in the public domain) in order to post the content.

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Can you give me some examples what kind of information is available through public logs?[edit]

Sure! Public logs may include when your account was created, when you deleted a page, or when you thanked another user. If you would like an example you can also browse through some of the public logs for this wiki at Special:Log.

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Can I delete and/or anonymise any content I post on Recyclopaedia, if I don't want to be personally identified? If so, how?[edit]

Recyclopaedia uses publicly-available revision histories to build consensus, promote transparency amongst contributors and editors, and affirm the authenticity of the content of our sites. Therefore, once you post information to Recyclopaedia, it is public and you will likely not be able to remove it. Even if you remove certain content yourself, it will still remain publicly available in the "view history" section of the article. Under certain circumstances, you may be able to request removal of a page or file or a part of the history of a page or file from public visibility (for example, if you accidentally post high-risk Personal Information like your credit card number). Please note that removal decisions (i.e. the deletion of a whole article) are not always made centrally, and sometimes they come after a public discussion amongst the Recyclopaedia community. This procedure does not ensure complete or comprehensive removal of the content or information posted on Recyclopaedia.

You can also request suppression (oversight), in order to hide revisions, user names in edit histories and logs, or portions of individual log entries. Suppression is an on-wiki process that applies to specific uses. Please refer to the Meta-Wiki page on suppression for further information and instructions.

If you are a registered user, we encourage you not to use your real name as your username if you do not want others to have a connection between what you post on Recyclopaedia and your real name.

If you have already included personally identifying information (such as your real name) in your username and do not want to be personally identified with your contributions, we encourage you to request the anonymisation of the information (instead of proceeding with the removal and suppression processes described above) by requesting a change of your username.

The anonymisation process cannot ensure complete or comprehensive anonymisation of all of the content or information posted on Recyclopaedia related to your prior username. If your request is granted, the name change will only occur in automatically generated logs (such as page histories) in association with content that you posted. The name change will not delete mentions of your prior username by third parties. For example, if you changed your username from MichaelPaul to Owlwatcher345, the content you contributed will be attributed to Owlwatcher345, but if another user has mentioned you by the name MichaelPaul in a discussion page, MichaelPaul will continue to appear rather than Owlwatcher345.

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