Community Council/Meetings/Third/Advice and recommendations on WikiEducator's privacy policy

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The background for the motion is posted in this section with relevant links to any background papers, wiki pages or notifications on the main WikiEducator lists.
  1. Peter Rawsthorne pioneered the development of WikiEducator's current Privacy Policy when WikiEducator was operating under the auspices of the Commonwealth of Learning.
  2. This was developed in response to innovative school projects where minors created accounts in WikiEducator for collaborative learning projects.
  3. In the US for example, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act specifies provisions and responsibilities for websites with reference to the requirement for a privacy policy and the responsibilities for our community to seek verifiable consent from the parent or legal guardian. In many jurisdictions teachers function in loco parentis (in place of the parent or guardian) especially during school hours. For instance, in the US, children under 13, may legally give out information with parental consent, but there are requirements to protect the privacy of minors.
  4. WikiEducator does not require learners (users) to specify their age when registering an account and as an open website does not have a reliable means to validate the age of our users.
  5. The submission of private information is voluntary, for example, WikiEducator does not require users to submit any personal information (for example, names, or email contacts). Personal information published on the wiki pages is voluntary and individual users are responsible for what they publish in WikiEducator.
  6. WikiEducator is a community of association and individual users are personally responsible for their activities and actions in the wiki. As a community project we take the rights of individuals (especially children) seriously and WE implemented the procedures and guidelines that would be required of a professional community of practice.
  7. WikiEducator does keep information provided voluntarily by users when registering an account, for example Name and email contact particulars. However, the information stored in the database has not been used other than the automated features provided by the Mediawiki software, for example sending email notifications to pages on the user's watchlist. However the user must "opt-in" for this feature by checking the relevant option in their user preferences -- so all automated notifications using personal information have been approved by the user.
  8. The OER Foundation, an independent not-for-profit, is responsible for raising and administering funds to maintain and support the technical and operational infrastructure of the WikiEducator community in accordance with the policies approved by the WikiEducator Community Council. Our upcoming public gifting campaign and recruitment of institutional contributing members will require the collection of personal information from donors and contributing members. Registered in New Zealand, the OER Foundation operates under the jurisdiction of the New Zealand Privacy Act 1993 and the inaugural Board of Directors recently approved the Donor and contributing member privacy policy of the OER Foundation. This policy was reviewed by legal counsel for the OER Foundation, and is more rigorous than the requirements of the Privacy Act in that we extend the same privacy provisions for individuals to organisations (which is not required by the Act.)
  9. The OER Foundation's Donor and contributing member privacy policy stipulates what information we will collect and how this information will be used.
  10. The OER Foundation's Donor and contributing member privacy policy is openly licensed and therefore can be reused and remixed for any policy refinements WCC consider appropriate for WikiEducator.
  11. The growth of WikiEducator combined with emerging needs of our project suggests that WCC should consider revising and improving its current privacy policy, with particular reference to the information we hold and providing clear specifications of how the information is protected and used.

Pre meeting discussion on background issues prior to drafting motions

Pre-meeting discussions are posted in this area. Once the page for preparing a motion is uploaded to the wiki, this signifies that pre meeting discussions can commence. The page will be added to the "Under development" section of the homepage for the meeting. All discussions points should be duly signed. Once the meeting commences, the chair will call for a draft concept of the motion to be be presented below.

There are a few questions Council need to consider. This is in preparation for whether or not to consider a motion to action the revision and improvement of WikiEducator's privacy policy.

What needs to be improved? Are their any gaps in the current WE Privacy Policy?

  • List your thoughts here

Under what situations, in your professional opinion, would it be fair and reasonable for WikiEducator to send an email to a registered user?

  • Notifying a user of possible breach of copyright (for instance uploading an image without metadata or attribution)
  • Notifying a user that an image may be deleted within a specified time frame where intellectual property rights can not be established
  • Providing permission to receive notifications and publications about the WikiEducator project
  • Notifications to changes in the privacy policy
  • Add other reasons ...


  • consider asking once only next time they log in.
  • in 'my preferences' add an option under 'E-mail' or add a section for notifications and mailing lists (though the latter may be found via the 'community' panel on the left).
  • A Wikipedia-style notification which appears at the top of the screen next time they login offering 'opt in' or 'dismiss' (opt out).

Lazy consensus question

When WikiEducator was setup, we did not provide the facility for users to "opt in" to receiving information via email on WikiEducator.

Question: Is it fair and reasonable to send one email to registered users informing them of the facility to opt into receiving future emails ex post facto? Yes (Vote = +1), No (Vote = -1), No, unsure (Vote = 0).

  • +1 Kim Tucker 09:45, 4 May 2010 (UTC) - one e-mail is acceptable (but consider alternatives above). Henceforth, for new registrations, include the option in the same e-mail that will confirm e-mail address on registration.
  • Yes Rob Kruhlak 15:18, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
  • +1 (Yes) Peter Rawsthorne 15:55, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes, definitely Valerie Taylor 00:24, 5 May 2010 (UTC) IMHO people expect to get information from WikiEducator on a regular basis. WE talk about community and collaboration but WE don't reach out to existing users to keep them updated and included pro-actively.
  • Yes Sanjaya Mishra 04:31, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes Savithri Singh 05:55, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
  • +1 (Yes) --GünOss 14:52, 6 May 2010 (UTC) We shouldn't be too shy to contact people.
  • Yes, without a doubt. Randy Fisher 23:09, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
  • +1 (Yes) --Christine Geith 13:23, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes Nellie Deutsch 20:41, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes Ahrash Bissell 04:59, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Add lazy consensus vote here

Other questions?

Draft concept for motion

The draft concept for a motion is entered here drawing on the pre-meeting discussions. Due to the asynchronous nature of our meeting, it is standard practice to allow a reasonable period of time (usually 24 to 36 hours) from the time when the draft concept is posted in the wiki to when the motion is formerly tabled. This drafting phase is needed for the wiki format of the meeting. In this way, we avoid unnecessary motions to amend the tabled motions resulting from ambiguity or lack of clarity in the wording of the original tabled motion.
  • I would like to entertain a motion for Council to appoint a Community Workgroup to review WikiEducator's privacy policy in accordance with our Policy for Community Workgroups. The Workgroup shall consider the advice and guidelines provided by Council during this meeting and prepare a proposal for improving WikiEducator's privacy policy (which may include a revised draft) for consideration by Council at the next general meeting. --Wayne Mackintosh 02:49, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Discussion on draft motion

The discussion of the draft motion is intended to refine the text for a tabled motion to avoid ambiguity and to improve clarity of the motion before requesting the assembly to consider tabling the motion.

I share the same thought on having a WorkGroup to deliberate on the WE's Private Policy. Having the Workgroup now, we shall be in position to chalk-out a proposal framework based on the guidelines and advices of the present Council Meeting.--Pankaj 05:10, 7 May 2010 (UTC)


A motion is formally tabled by a member of the meeting once rough consensus is achieved through discussion of the draft concept for the motion above. The mover should table the text for the motion below, for example "I move that ....." Remember to sign the motion.

I move that the Council form a Community Workgroup to deliberate on WikiEducator's privacy policy in accordance with our Policy for Community Workgroups. The Workgroup shall consider the advice and guidelines provided by Council during this meeting and prepare a proposal for improving WikiEducator's privacy policy (which may include a revised draft) for consideration by Council at the next general meeting. Christine Geith 13:28, 7 May 2010 (UTC)


A second is required to indicate that the motion should come before the meeting. The second should sign below. Seconding a motion does not necessarily indicate support of the motion, it is an agreement that the motion should come before the assemble. Voting can commences once a motion is before the meeting. At this point the chair will place the motion under the "Active: Please discuss and vote" section of the home page for the meeting.

Discussion on tabled motion

This is the area where points, clarifications and discussions on the motion take place once the motion is formerly tabled and seconded above. This discussion is not restricted to Council members --any WikiEducator may add their views.


WikiEducator Council uses an open ballot where members of Council are required to cast their votes or abstentions publicly in the wiki. Voting can commence once a formal tabled motion has been seconded. The votes of Council members in attendance are counted to determine the outcome in accordance with the majority provisions for the particular motion.



  • List votes for disapproval here and sign


  • Any abstentions must be listed here


The outcome of the vote is posted by the Chair in accordance with the majority requirements of the motion being tabled. Once a motion is approved, not approved or put on hold, this is updated on the home page of the meeting.

A majority of the Council has voted to approve this motion. This motion has been approved. (For the record --- additional votes are always welcome) --Wayne Mackintosh 19:52, 8 May 2010 (UTC)