[Wikimedia-l] Access by Wikimedia volunteers to WMF records about them

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[Wikimedia-l] Access by Wikimedia volunteers to WMF records about them

Fæ
I wrote the email below to Lila and the WMF Legal department asking
for access to records (and reports) they hold on me, but I'm sad to
say that after 3 weeks waiting, I have yet to receive an
acknowledgement. As a Wikimania London volunteer I had a moment to
speak with Jan-Bart, and some of my Wikimedia Commons uploads were
even featured as part of a presentation by WMF Legal on their
successes in the past year, so there was plenty of opportunity for us
to have the friendly chat I suggested.

Can someone recommend if there is a WMF policy on transparency that
volunteers can rely on for questions like mine, or does the law in the
USA give me any specific rights of access to records or reports the
WMF may keep on me that would mean that WMF Legal would do more than
stay silent in response to reasonable requests from its established
volunteers?

Thanks,
Fae

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Fæ <[hidden email]>
Date: Sun, 3 Aug 2014 13:49:45 +0100
Subject: Request for disclosure of all WMF records relating to Fae
To: Lila Tretikov <[hidden email]>
Cc: legal <[hidden email]>, Jan-Bart de Vreede <[hidden email]>

Dear Lila,

The Wikimedia Foundation keeps information such as management
summaries about me, which have never been shared with me.
[Redacted example material]

Could you please ensure that all records that the WMF has retained
about me are copied to me? It would seem fair that I have the
opportunity to both understand what the WMF management and board have
available to refer to when discussing my activities for Wikimedia, and
that I have a chance to both correct any mistakes in this personal
data, or to ask that inappropriate material gets permanently removed
from WMF databases.

I will be active in both the Wikimania hackerthon and conference in
the coming week, should you or an employee wish to informally review
this request with me in person, along with my reasons for making the
request at this time.
...
--
[hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Access by Wikimedia volunteers to WMF records about them

Lodewijk
Hi Fae,

in the Netherlands it is quite common for this kind of reqeusts to take
several weeks (the government usually allows itself up to six weeks to even
acknowledge receipt). Given the fact that the legal department was over
their heads busy in the past weeks, I am not very surprised it is taking a
bit longer.

I would first suggest a bit of patience, and maybe send a kind private
reminder - before jumping to conclusions. I know 3 weeks sounds like a
really long time, but in these times of the year, it really doesn't sound
like a long time at all for something that sounds like an unusual request.
Maybe it woudl be more constructive continue this conversation if there is
a flatout refusal or acceptance? I am confident that you will also update
us if you receive a positive response.

Best,
Lodewijk


2014-08-22 17:06 GMT+02:00 Fæ <[hidden email]>:

> I wrote the email below to Lila and the WMF Legal department asking
> for access to records (and reports) they hold on me, but I'm sad to
> say that after 3 weeks waiting, I have yet to receive an
> acknowledgement. As a Wikimania London volunteer I had a moment to
> speak with Jan-Bart, and some of my Wikimedia Commons uploads were
> even featured as part of a presentation by WMF Legal on their
> successes in the past year, so there was plenty of opportunity for us
> to have the friendly chat I suggested.
>
> Can someone recommend if there is a WMF policy on transparency that
> volunteers can rely on for questions like mine, or does the law in the
> USA give me any specific rights of access to records or reports the
> WMF may keep on me that would mean that WMF Legal would do more than
> stay silent in response to reasonable requests from its established
> volunteers?
>
> Thanks,
> Fae
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Fæ <[hidden email]>
> Date: Sun, 3 Aug 2014 13:49:45 +0100
> Subject: Request for disclosure of all WMF records relating to Fae
> To: Lila Tretikov <[hidden email]>
> Cc: legal <[hidden email]>, Jan-Bart de Vreede <
> [hidden email]>
>
> Dear Lila,
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation keeps information such as management
> summaries about me, which have never been shared with me.
> [Redacted example material]
>
> Could you please ensure that all records that the WMF has retained
> about me are copied to me? It would seem fair that I have the
> opportunity to both understand what the WMF management and board have
> available to refer to when discussing my activities for Wikimedia, and
> that I have a chance to both correct any mistakes in this personal
> data, or to ask that inappropriate material gets permanently removed
> from WMF databases.
>
> I will be active in both the Wikimania hackerthon and conference in
> the coming week, should you or an employee wish to informally review
> this request with me in person, along with my reasons for making the
> request at this time.
> ...
> --
> [hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Access by Wikimedia volunteers to WMF records about them

Jan-Bart de Vreede-3
In reply to this post by Fæ
Hi Fae/Everyone

Just to be clear, although the text below is factually correct it implies that the two of us talked about your request at Wikimania, which we did not. We talked for a total of around 60 seconds, most of which was spent on me explaining that I was looking for someon in a hurry, that fact is not relevant with regards to your request so I am not sure why you mention it.

The topic below is not within the scope of my governance responsibility and I should not be involved in this all. So please don’t involve me :)

Thanks,

Jan-Bart

PS: As this is me ‘setting the record straight” the odds are small to zero that I will respond to a follow up…. see above



> On 22 Aug 2014, at 17:06, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I wrote the email below to Lila and the WMF Legal department asking
> for access to records (and reports) they hold on me, but I'm sad to
> say that after 3 weeks waiting, I have yet to receive an
> acknowledgement. As a Wikimania London volunteer I had a moment to
> speak with Jan-Bart, and some of my Wikimedia Commons uploads were
> even featured as part of a presentation by WMF Legal on their
> successes in the past year, so there was plenty of opportunity for us
> to have the friendly chat I suggested.
>
> Can someone recommend if there is a WMF policy on transparency that
> volunteers can rely on for questions like mine, or does the law in the
> USA give me any specific rights of access to records or reports the
> WMF may keep on me that would mean that WMF Legal would do more than
> stay silent in response to reasonable requests from its established
> volunteers?
>
> Thanks,
> Fae
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Fæ <[hidden email]>
> Date: Sun, 3 Aug 2014 13:49:45 +0100
> Subject: Request for disclosure of all WMF records relating to Fae
> To: Lila Tretikov <[hidden email]>
> Cc: legal <[hidden email]>, Jan-Bart de Vreede <[hidden email]>
>
> Dear Lila,
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation keeps information such as management
> summaries about me, which have never been shared with me.
> [Redacted example material]
>
> Could you please ensure that all records that the WMF has retained
> about me are copied to me? It would seem fair that I have the
> opportunity to both understand what the WMF management and board have
> available to refer to when discussing my activities for Wikimedia, and
> that I have a chance to both correct any mistakes in this personal
> data, or to ask that inappropriate material gets permanently removed
> from WMF databases.
>
> I will be active in both the Wikimania hackerthon and conference in
> the coming week, should you or an employee wish to informally review
> this request with me in person, along with my reasons for making the
> request at this time.
> ...
> --
> [hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Access by Wikimedia volunteers to WMF records about them

Fæ
To avoid tangents, here is my email trimmed to the 2 key points with no
background:

Can someone recommend if there is a WMF policy on transparency that applies?

Does the law in the USA give rights of access to records or reports the WMF
may keep on volunteers?

Fae
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Access by Wikimedia volunteers to WMF records about them

Ting Chen-2
In reply to this post by Fæ
Hello Fae,

as far as I know there is no systematic data collection about volunteers
by the WMF, anyway, there is non that is known by the board at my time,
or ever mentioned on the board. In the first year when I joined the
board I mentioned in a mail that it would be desirable for the
Foundation to have a collection simply because we are often asked about
various topics we don't know about, or I travelled a lot when I was on
the board and often felt the need to contact people to get more first
hand information or view so that I can prepare myself. But that
suggestion was never picked up by the Foundation. So again, there is no
such collection in the end.

There were unsystematic information exchanges at least on the board
level from time to time about individual person, mostly in relation to a
certain situation or an event. For example when you invited me to the UK
board meeting in Derby I wrote a report to the board about that meeting,
and also about the people I met there. Or, when Sue visited your board
she wrote afterward a mail to the board about the meeting, in which she
also mentioned the people who attended the meeting. (And those where the
only two cases where I can remember today that you were mentioned in
mails.) But again, non of these reports are collected and filed in a
systematic way. And I doubt that anyone would still remember what I
wrote in my report for example.

Actually on the board level we scarcely ever talked about individual
person, in most cases it was about cases, situations, events.

Hope this helps a bit on your uneasiness.

Best wishes
Ting



Am 22.08.2014 17:06, schrieb Fæ:

> I wrote the email below to Lila and the WMF Legal department asking
> for access to records (and reports) they hold on me, but I'm sad to
> say that after 3 weeks waiting, I have yet to receive an
> acknowledgement. As a Wikimania London volunteer I had a moment to
> speak with Jan-Bart, and some of my Wikimedia Commons uploads were
> even featured as part of a presentation by WMF Legal on their
> successes in the past year, so there was plenty of opportunity for us
> to have the friendly chat I suggested.
>
> Can someone recommend if there is a WMF policy on transparency that
> volunteers can rely on for questions like mine, or does the law in the
> USA give me any specific rights of access to records or reports the
> WMF may keep on me that would mean that WMF Legal would do more than
> stay silent in response to reasonable requests from its established
> volunteers?
>
> Thanks,
> Fae
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Fæ <[hidden email]>
> Date: Sun, 3 Aug 2014 13:49:45 +0100
> Subject: Request for disclosure of all WMF records relating to Fae
> To: Lila Tretikov <[hidden email]>
> Cc: legal <[hidden email]>, Jan-Bart de Vreede <[hidden email]>
>
> Dear Lila,
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation keeps information such as management
> summaries about me, which have never been shared with me.
> [Redacted example material]
>
> Could you please ensure that all records that the WMF has retained
> about me are copied to me? It would seem fair that I have the
> opportunity to both understand what the WMF management and board have
> available to refer to when discussing my activities for Wikimedia, and
> that I have a chance to both correct any mistakes in this personal
> data, or to ask that inappropriate material gets permanently removed
> from WMF databases.
>
> I will be active in both the Wikimania hackerthon and conference in
> the coming week, should you or an employee wish to informally review
> this request with me in person, along with my reasons for making the
> request at this time.
> ...


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Access by Wikimedia volunteers to WMF records about them

Federico Leva (Nemo)
In reply to this post by Fæ
If you don't know of a policy which gives you the right to ask
something, why ask that something?
Instead, ask something you know you have the right to ask; for instance,
EU citizens have the right, by privacy law, to ask what PII an entity
has about them.

Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Access by Wikimedia volunteers to WMF records about them

Rich Farmbrough
But if the entity refuses to answer, one has limited recourse, especially
if that entity is American, or trans-Atlantic.


On 24 August 2014 16:50, Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]> wrote:

> If you don't know of a policy which gives you the right to ask
> something, why ask that something?
> Instead, ask something you know you have the right to ask; for instance,
> EU citizens have the right, by privacy law, to ask what PII an entity
> has about them.
>
> Nemo
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Access by Wikimedia volunteers to WMF records about them

Federico Leva (Nemo)
I'd worry about that only after a rejection. :-) However, while I don't
know about UK, in Italy I see several degrees of administrative recourse
at the data protection authority. Here's a list:
http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/bodies/authorities/eu/index_en.htm

Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Access by Wikimedia volunteers to WMF records about them

Fæ
In reply to this post by Fæ
I had a reply yesterday from WMF legal. The answer is no.

This is based on the WMF believing that they have no policies which
obligate them to explain what records they keep on a volunteer or
provide copies of records, and that there are no data protection laws
that ensure that this information is provided to their volunteers.

There appears to have been no attempt to review what records and
reports the WMF holds on me, the answer was generic.

Should WMF Legal say they are happy for me to do so, I will be happy
to publish their reply in full.

Thanks,
Fae

On 22/08/2014, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I wrote the email below to Lila and the WMF Legal department asking
> for access to records (and reports) they hold on me, but I'm sad to
> say that after 3 weeks waiting, I have yet to receive an
> acknowledgement. As a Wikimania London volunteer I had a moment to
> speak with Jan-Bart, and some of my Wikimedia Commons uploads were
> even featured as part of a presentation by WMF Legal on their
> successes in the past year, so there was plenty of opportunity for us
> to have the friendly chat I suggested.
>
> Can someone recommend if there is a WMF policy on transparency that
> volunteers can rely on for questions like mine, or does the law in the
> USA give me any specific rights of access to records or reports the
> WMF may keep on me that would mean that WMF Legal would do more than
> stay silent in response to reasonable requests from its established
> volunteers?
>
> Thanks,
> Fae
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Fæ <[hidden email]>
> Date: Sun, 3 Aug 2014 13:49:45 +0100
> Subject: Request for disclosure of all WMF records relating to Fae
> To: Lila Tretikov <[hidden email]>
> Cc: legal <[hidden email]>, Jan-Bart de Vreede
> <[hidden email]>
>
> Dear Lila,
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation keeps information such as management
> summaries about me, which have never been shared with me.
> [Redacted example material]
>
> Could you please ensure that all records that the WMF has retained
> about me are copied to me? It would seem fair that I have the
> opportunity to both understand what the WMF management and board have
> available to refer to when discussing my activities for Wikimedia, and
> that I have a chance to both correct any mistakes in this personal
> data, or to ask that inappropriate material gets permanently removed
> from WMF databases.
>
> I will be active in both the Wikimania hackerthon and conference in
> the coming week, should you or an employee wish to informally review
> this request with me in person, along with my reasons for making the
> request at this time.
> ...
> --
> [hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

--
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Access by Wikimedia volunteers to WMF records about them

Luis Villa
On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 12:27 AM, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Should WMF Legal say they are happy for me to do so, I will be happy
> to publish their reply in full.
>

Our reply, as I sent it at 7:58 pm Pacific time, Sep. 9:

===============
Hi, Ashley-

As you know, the Wikimedia Foundation keeps very little data about users.
Most information that we have is public and accessible on-wiki, like user
pages and contribution pages.  For the small amount of personally
identifiable data that we do collect, we also seek to comply with our data
retention guidelines
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Data_retention_guidelines>, deleting
information after prescribed periods.

Given our small administrative staff, the lack of any mandate under the
relevant applicable law, and the need to focus our limited resources on our
mission, we do not think it is an appropriate use of staff time or donor
money to do significant research in locating and preparing information, if
any, that falls under your broadly scoped request. We appreciate your
understanding.

Sincerely-
Luis
===============


--
Luis Villa
Deputy General Counsel
Wikimedia Foundation
415.839.6885 ext. 6810

*This message may be confidential or legally privileged. If you have
received it by accident, please delete it and let us know about the
mistake. As an attorney for the Wikimedia Foundation, for legal/ethical
reasons I cannot give legal advice to, or serve as a lawyer for, community
members, volunteers, or staff members in their personal capacity. For more
on what this means, please see our legal disclaimer
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Legal_Disclaimer>.*
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