From PCLinuxOShelp Knowledge Base
The public and collaborative nature of the projects
All Projects of the PCLinuxOShelp Knowledge Base are collaboratively developed by its users using the MediaWiki software. Anyone with Internet access (and not otherwise restricted from doing so) may edit the publicly editable pages of these sites with or without logging in as a registered user. By doing this, editors create a published document, and a public record of every word added, subtracted, or changed. This is a public act, and editors are identified publicly as the author of such changes. All contributions made to a Project, and all publicly available information about those contributions, are irrevocably licensed and may be freely copied, quoted, reused and adapted by third parties with few restrictions.
Details of data retention
IP and other technical information
When a visitor requests or reads a page, or sends email to a PCLinuxOShelp Knowledge Base server, no more information is collected than is typically collected by web sites. The PCLinuxOShelp Knowledge Base may keep raw logs of such transactions, but these will not be published or used to track legitimate users.
When a page is edited by a logged-in editor, the server confidentially stores related IP information for a limited period of time. This information is automatically deleted after a set period. For editors who do not log in, the IP address used is publicly and permanently credited as the author of the edit. It may be possible for a third party to identify the author from this IP address in conjunction with other information available. Logging in with a registered username allows for better preservation of privacy.
The sites set a temporary session cookie on a visitor's computer whenever a Project page is visited. Readers who do not intend to log in or edit may deny this cookie; it will be deleted at the end of the browser's session. More cookies may be set when one logs in to maintain logged-in status. If one saves a user name or password in one's browser, that information will be saved for up to 30 days, and this information will be resent to the server on every visit to the same Project. Contributors using a public machine who do not wish to show their username to future users of the machine should clear these cookies after use.
Edits or other contributions to a Project on its articles, user pages and talk pages are generally retained forever. Removing text from a project does not permanently delete it. Normally, in projects, anyone can look at a previous version of an article and see what was there. Even if an article is "deleted", a user entrusted with higher level of access may still see what was removed from public view. Information can be permanently deleted by individuals with access to PCLinuxOShelp Knowledge Base servers, but aside from the rare circumstance when the PCLinuxOShelp Knowledge Base is required to delete editing-history material in response to a court order or equivalent legal process, there is no guarantee any permanent deletion will happen.
User contributions are also aggregated and publicly available. User contributions are aggregated according to their registration and login status. Data on user contributions, such as the times at which users edited and the number of edits they have made, are publicly available via user contributions lists, and in aggregated forms published by other users.
No more information on users and other visitors reading pages is collected than is typically collected in server logs by web sites. Aside from the above raw log data collected for general purposes, page visits do not expose a visitor's identity publicly. Sampled raw log data may include the IP address of any user, but it is not reproduced publicly.
Edits to Project pages are identified with the username or network IP address of the editor, and editing history is aggregated by author in a contribution list. Such information will be available permanently on the projects.
Logged in registered users: Logged in users do not expose their IP address to the public except in cases of abuse, including vandalism of a wiki page by the user or by another user with the same IP address. A user's IP address is stored on the wiki servers for a period of time, during which it can be seen by server administrators and by users who have been granted CheckUser access.
IP address information, and its connection to any usernames that share it, may be released under certain circumstances (see below).
Editors using a company mail server from home or telecommuting over a DSL or cable Internet connection, are likely to be easy to identify by their IP address; in which case it may be easy to cross-identify all contributions to various Projects made by that IP. Using a username is a better way of preserving privacy in this situation.
Unlogged-in registered users and unregistered users: Editors who have not logged in may be identified by network IP address. Depending on one's connection, this IP address may be traceable to a large Internet service provider or more specifically to a school, place of business or home. It may be possible to use this information in combination with other information, including editing style and preferences, to identify an author completely.
Policy on Release of Data
It is the policy of PCLinuxoshelp Knowledge Base that personally identifiable data collected in the server logs, or through records in the database via the CheckUser feature, or through other non-publicly-available methods, may be released by PCLinuxoshelp Knowledge Base volunteers or staff, in any of 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. 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 vandalizing articles or persistently behaving in a disruptive way, data may be released to a service provider, carrier, or other third-party entity 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 PCLinuxoshelp Knowledge Base, its users or the public.
Except as described above, PCLinuxoshelp Knowledge Base policy does not permit distribution of personally identifiable information under any circumstances.