Wikimedia Foundation Transparency Report/December 2015/Requests for User Data

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Freedom of speech is essential to the Wikimedia movement—our projects cannot flourish in an ecosystem where individuals cannot speak freely. Our users trust us to protect their identities against unlawful disclosure and we take this responsibility seriously.

However, every year, governments, individuals, and corporations ask us to disclose user data. Often, we have no nonpublic information to disclose because we collect little nonpublic information about users and retain that information for a short period of time. But when we do have data, we carefully evaluate every request before considering disclosure. If the requests do not meet our standards — if they are overly broad, unclear, or irrelevant — we will push back on behalf of our users.

If we must produce information due to a legally valid request, we will notify the affected user before we disclose, if we are legally permitted and have the means to do so. In certain cases, we may help find assistance for users to fight an invalid request.

Below, you will find more information about the requests for user data we receive.

Privacy is something that we maintain for the good of ourselves and others.

— Mary Alice Monroe, Author, (2012)
JUL – DEC 2015
Total Number of Requests
JUL – DEC 2015
Percentage of Times Information Produced


JUL – DEC 2015
Total number of requests 25
Informal Non-Government Requests 14
Informal Government Requests 7
Civil Subpoenas 1
Criminal Subpoenas 1
Administrative Subpoenas 0
Search Warrants 0
Court Orders 2
National Security Requests 0
Information Produced 1
User Accounts Potentially Affected 54
User Accounts Actually Affected 1
JAN – JUN 2015
Compared to other companies, we received relatively few requests*
Company Requests received Requests granted
Facebook 41,214 26,372
Google 35,365 22,279
Twitter 4,363 2,530
LinkedIn 112 82
Wikimedia 23 0
* Due to the inconsistent release dates across different organizations, comparison data for the period covered by this report (July 2015 - December 2015) was not available, so we are presenting the comparison data above for January 2015 - June 2015. Please also note that figures for Wikimedia include additional types of requests for user data that are not included in the other organizations' figures. See the FAQ for more details.
JUL – DEC 2015
Requests for user data, and how we responded
By request type:
Received Granted
Informal non-government requests 14 0
Informal government requests 7 0
Civil subpoenas 1 0
Court orders 2 1
Criminal subpoenas 1 0
Administrative subpoenas 0 0
Search warrants 0 0
By country:
  United States 9 0
  France 6 1
  Brazil 2 0
  Italy 2 0
  United Kingdom 2 0
  Germany 1 0
  India 1 0
  Philippines 1 0
  Sweden 1 0
JUL – DEC 2015
Government requests breakdown
Informal Government Requests Total 7
France City Judicial Police 1
Italy State Police 1
Prosecutorial Agency 1
United Kingdom Local Police 1
United States Department of Justice 1
Local Police 2
Criminal Subpoenas Total 1
India Local Police 1