Trillium,

Let's be clear about a few things. The only data that checkusers get is a
subset of the data that the WMF webservers (and all other webservers
throughout the Internet) collect on all visitors. This is data that is
voluntarily disclosed by readers (although they may not all be aware of
it). The checkusers get substantially less information than is actually
available, and only on those users who *edit* and not those who simply
view. That means that while you are correct, the Wikimedia community at
large certainly includes all readers, only editors are stakeholders in the
exposure of certain data to checkusers.

There is no legal requirement in the U.S. to make this information
invisible (AFAIK). The only limitations are those imposed by the Terms of
Service. The previous privacy policy referred to the identification of
volunteers to whom certain limited information is exposed, but when
Michelle and others said that the policy itself wasn't being effectively
enforced more was at issue than how (or if) the IDs were stored. The WMF
has never had a method of verifying received identification. Because of the
international nature of the movement, IDs were submitted in languages no
one at the WMF speaks, from countries and authorities around the world. As
a result, anyone could easily submit a false, altered or misleading
identification. The identities provided by users with advanced permissions
could never be relied upon.

So if you want to argue that such users should be positively identified,
then please make some practical suggestions (which you have conspicuously
avoided doing so far). How should identities be confirmed? In what
circumstances should the ID information be disclosed, and to whom? What,
fundamentally, is the usefulness in collecting this information to begin
with? What are the use cases in which it is necessary?

Thanks in advance for providing us with such useful advice!
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