If you only read the wiki, no more information is collected than is typically collected in server logs by web sites in general.
If you contribute to the wiki, you are publishing every word you post publicly. If you write something, assume that it will be retained forever. This includes articles, user pages and talk pages.
Publishing on the wiki and public data
Simply visiting the web site does not expose your identity publicly (but see private logging below).
When you edit any page in the wiki, you are publishing a document. This is a public act, and you are identified publicly with that edit as its author.
When you publish a page in the wiki, you may be logged in or not.
If you are logged in, you will be identified by your user name. This may be your real name if you so choose, and what we encourage, or you may choose to publish under a pseudonym, whatever user name you selected when you created your account.
If you have not logged in, you will be identified by your network IP address. This is a series of four numbers which identifies the Internet address from which you are contacting the wiki. Depending on your connection, this number may be traceable only to a large Internet service provider, or specifically to your school, place of business, or home. It may be possible that the origin of this IP address could be used in conjunction with any interests you express implicitly or explicitly by editing articles to identify you even by private individuals.
It may be either difficult or easy for a motivated individual to connect your network IP address with your real-life identity. Therefore if you are very concerned about privacy, you may wish to log in and publish under a pseudonym. When using a pseudonym, your IP address will not be available to the public, but it will be stored on the wiki servers for a relatively short amount of time. Thus it will be available to developers and may be released under certain circumstances (see below).
If you use a company mail server from home or telecommute and use a DSL or cable Internet connection, it is likely to be very easy for your employer to identify your IP address and find all of your IP based contributions. Using a user name is a better way of preserving your privacy in this situation. However, remember to log out or disconnect yourself after each session using a pseudonym on a shared computer, to avoid allowing others to use your identity.
The wiki will set a temporary session cookie (PHPSESSID) whenever you visit the site. If you do not intend to ever log in, you may deny this cookie, but you cannot log in without it. It will be deleted when you close your browser session.
More cookies may be set when you log in, to avoid typing in your user name (or optionally password) on your next visit. These last up to 30 days. You may clear these cookies after use if you are using a public machine and don't wish to expose your user name to future users of the machine. (If so, clear the browser cache as well.)
Many aspects of a wiki community interactions depend on the reputation and respect that is built up through a history of valued contributions. User passwords are the only guarantee of the integrity of a user's edit history. All users are encouraged to select strong passwords and to never share them. No one shall knowingly expose the password of another user to public release either directly or indirectly.
Every time you visit a web page, you send a lot of information to the web server. Most web servers routinely maintain access logs with a portion of this information, which can be used to get an overall picture of what pages are popular, what other sites link to this one, and what web browsers people are using. It is not the intention of OpenResearch to use this information to keep track of legitimate users.
These logs may be used to produce a site statistics pages; the raw log data is not made public.
Log data may be examined by developers in the course of solving technical problems, in tracking down badly-behaved web spiders that overwhelm the site, or very rarely to correlate usernames and network addresses of edits in investigating abuse of the wiki.
Policy on release of data derived from page logs
It is the policy of OpenResearch that personally identified data collected in the server logs will not be released by the developers who have access to it, except as follows:
- In response to a valid subpoena or other compulsory request from law enforcement
- With permission of the affected user
- Where the information pertains to page views generated by a spider or bot and its dissemination is necessary to illustrate or resolve technical issues.
- Where the user has been vandalising articles or persistently behaving in a disruptive way, data may be released to assist in the targeting of IP blocks, or to assist in the formulation of a complaint to relevant Internet Service Providers
- Where it is reasonably necessary to protect the rights, property or safety of people involved with OpenResearch, its users or the public.
Our policy does not permit public distribution of such information under any circumstances, except as described above.
Security of information
OpenResearch makes no guarantee against unauthorized access to any information you provide. This information will be available to all developers with access to the servers.
Data on users, such as the times at which they edited and the number of edits they have made are publicly available via "user contributions" lists, and occasionally in aggregated forms published by other users.
Removal of user accounts
Once created, user accounts will not be removed. It may be possible for a developer to change the username on an account, but you will need to request this yourself. We do not guarantee that a name will be changed on request.
Deletion of content
Removing text from OpenResearch does not permanently delete it. In normal articles, anyone can look at a previous version and see what was there. If an article is "deleted", any sysop/administrator, meaning almost anyone trusted not to abuse the deletion capability, can see what was deleted. Only a developer can permanently delete information from the OpenResearch and there is no guarantee this will happen except in response to legal action.