CarlWiki:Privacy policy

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Because CarlWiki is a completely public website focused on a college community, privacy is very important. Some of the implications of this should be obvious: Posting other peoples' contact information, or a photo of them, is a blatant violation of their privacy. However, some of the rules are less obvious.

Carleton makes very little information about students available. The public directory [1] is an example of this. While the private directory, known to Carleton students as StalkerNet, provides an abundance of information about any student, the public directory only acknowledges that they are a student. It does not provide even basic information such as class year or major, much less place of residence or a photo. Some students even opt for their attendance of Carleton to be kept private, under a federal law called FERPA. For this reason, CarlWiki requires a few measures in order to prevent privacy violations.

Rules for contributors

For students and alums:

  • Never create pages for a student or alum, unless they are of historical significance and their attendance of Carleton is widely known. For example, an article on Thorstein Veblen is fine; an article on a current student or recent alum is not.
  • A student or alum may be relevant to a page. For example, in 2004-2005, the SCIC article stated that the SCIC was run by Charles Ansell '04. However, before listing a student or alum in this way, make sure that the information you're posting about that student or alum is already publically available, and if possible, include a citation. Saying that Charles Ansell is in charge of the SCIC is okay because he was listed as the "Student Computing Educational Associate" on the ITS staff page. And it's okay to note that he's in the class of '04 because a Google search of Carleton's website finds that information, too.
  • Names of students and alums who do not fall under the historical figure exception mentioned above should be linked to their User page, not a normal page. For an example of such a link, see the CarlWiki cheat sheet.

For faculty and staff, the rules are somewhat more lax because FERPA is not applicable. However, other privacy laws are applicable, as are CarlWiki conventions:

  • Faculty and staff may have regular pages (and should, if they are currently active, or if they are historically significant like Paul Wellstone). However, only unbiased, publically available information should be posted. Anything in the course catalog or on the Carleton website (or, if the professor has one, their personal website) is fair game. So are public matters like books they've authored. And, of course, anything you get permission from the person to post, or anything the person posts themselves.
  • Matters of reputation are not allowed (unless, once again, they are historical figures). If you want to provide a review of a professor, you'll have to do it at the Review Conf, not here.

If you're not sure whether something is permissible or not, ask about it at the privacy discussion page, or e-mail the webmaster.

Reporting a violation

If you see any possible privacy violation, use this page's talk page. If you see a blatant violation and you wish to see it addressed quickly, e-mail the webmaster.