WeRelate:Privacy policy



If you only read the WeRelate pages, no more information is collected than is typically collected in server logs by web sites in general.

If you contribute to the WeRelate, you are publishing to the public every word and every image you post. That means that even if you delete it at some future time, it may have been copied by a third party prior to your deletion; and has been or will be republished by a stranger. Assume that it will remain published somewhere forever. This includes articles, user pages and talk pages. Some limited exceptions are described below.

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.

Identification of an Author

You cannot edit any WeRelate wiki pages unless you are logged in.

If you are logged in, you will be identified by your user name. This may be your real name if you so choose, or you may choose to publish under a pseudonym, whatever user name you selected when you created your account.

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 except in cases of abuse, including vandalism of a wiki page by you or by another user with the same IP address. In all cases, your IP address will be stored on the wiki servers and can be seen by WeRelate's server administrators and by users who have been granted "CheckUser" access. Your IP address, and its connection to any usernames that share it 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 WeRelate 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 username to future users of the machine. (If so, clear the browser cache as well.)


Many aspects of the WeRelate 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.

Private logging

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 the WeRelate to use this information to keep track of legitimate users.

These logs are used to produce the site statistics pages; the raw log data is not made public, and is normally discarded after a short period of time.

Log data may be examined by developers in the course of solving technical problems and in tracking down badly-behaved web spiders that overwhelm the site. IP addresses of users, derived either from those logs or from records in the database are frequently used to correlate usernames and network addresses of edits in investigating abuse of the wiki, including the suspected use of malicious "sockpuppets" (duplicate accounts), vandalism, harassment of other users, or disruption of the wiki.

Third Party Advertising

WeRelate uses third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.

WeRelate only allows third party advertisers to serve ads that are certified by the Network Advertising Initiative(NAI). This means that these advertisers have agreed allow you to opt out of targeted advertising and provide a simple way for you to disable their "cookies." We realize that some users may want to know more about how use information is used. The Network Advertising Initiative has made consumer education its top priority, please see Network Advertising webpage.

You can find additional information in Appendix A of the NAI Self-Regulatory principles for publishers (PDF).

Please note that the links in this section link to other websites not owned or operated by WeRelate. These websites may alter their pages at anytime without notice to WeRelate. WeRelate takes no responsibility for the content of these pages or their representations. Please notify Solveig regarding dead links or questions about these pages.

Policy on release of data derived from page logs

It is the policy of WeRelate that personally identifiable data collected in the server logs, or through records in the database via the CheckUser feature, may be released by the system administrators or users with CheckUser access, in the following situations:

  1. In response to a valid subpoena or other compulsory request from law enforcement.
  2. With permission of the affected user
  3. To an executive, director, or trustee of the Foundation for On-Line Genealogy, Inc., his legal counsel, or his designee, when necessary for investigation of abuse complaints.
  4. Where the information pertains to page views generated by a spider or bot and its dissemination is necessary to illustrate or resolve technical issues.
  5. 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
  6. Where it is reasonably necessary to protect the rights, property or safety of the Foundation for On-Line Genealogy, Inc., or WeRelate, its users or the public.

WeRelate policy does not permit public distribution of such information under any circumstances, except as described above.

Sharing information with third parties

Except where otherwise specified, all text added to WeRelate projects is available for reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike license.

The Foundation for On-Line Genealogy, Inc. will not sell or share private information, such as email addresses, with third parties, unless you agree to release this information, or it is required by law to release the information.

Security of information

The Foundation for On-Line Genealogy, Inc. makes no guarantee against unauthorized access to any information you provide. This information may be available to anyone with access to the servers.


You must provide your e-mail address in your Preferences. Your email address is used for the following purposes:

  • To enable WeRelate to send you notifications when a page you are watching has been edited.
  • To enable WeRelate to send you a new password in case you forget it.
  • To enable you to send email through WeRelate to others; for example, to share links to pages or trees. Your email address will appear as the sender of the email.
  • To enable other logged-in users to send email to you through WeRelate. Your address will not be revealed to them unless you reply, or possibly if the email bounces.
  • The email address may be used by the Foundation for On-Line Genealogy, Inc. to communicate with users on a wider scale. Specifically, you will receive a periodic newsletter about WeRelate, which will include instructions for unsubscribing if you so desire. The newsletter is sent no more often than once a month.

As stated earlier, the Foundation for On-Line Genealogy, Inc. will not sell or share your email address with third parties unless you agree or it is required by law to release the information.

User Data

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 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 username to be changed. The Foundation for On-Line Genealogy, Inc. does not guarantee that a name will be changed on request.

Deletion of Content

Removing text from WeRelate pages 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 user with "administrator" access on the wiki, meaning almost anyone trusted not to abuse the deletion capability, can see what was deleted. Information can be permanently deleted by those people with access to the servers, but there is no guarantee this will happen except in response to legal action.

This page is a derivative work of the Wikipedia Privacy policy page located at Wikipedia Privacy Policy