If you only read Land Portal pages, no more information is collected than is typically collected in server logs by web sites in general. If you contribute to the Land Portal, you are publishing every word you post publicly. If you write something, assume that it will be retained forever. This includes resources, discussions, user pages and status messages. Some limited exceptions are described below.
Publishing on the wiki and public data
Simply visiting the web site does not expose your identity publicly. When you edit any page in the Land Portal, 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
When you publish a page on the Land Portal, you typically need to be logged in, in which case 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. 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 Land Portal servers and can be seen by server administrators and by users who have been granted specific access rights. Your IP address, and its connection to any usernames that share it may be released under certain circumstances (see below). An IP address is a series of four numbers which identifies the Internet address from which you are contacting the wiki. Depending on your connection, this number may be traceable only to a large Internet service provider, or specifically to your school, place of business, or home. It may be possible that the origin of this IP address could be used in conjunction with any interests you express implicitly or explicitly by editing articles to identify you even by private individuals. 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 Land Portal 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 Land Portal will set a temporary session cookie 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. Additionally, the Land Portal uses external services by Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Addthis that track user activities as per the features offered through them (for example Facebook “like” button, or google analytics to capture site statistics). These sites also place cookies on your web browser. 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 Land Portal projects’ 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.
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 Land Portal to use this information to keep track of legitimate users. These logs are used to produce the site statistics; the raw log data is not made public, and is normally discarded after about six months. 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 website, including the suspected use of malicious “sockpuppets” (duplicate accounts), vandalism, harassment of other users, or disruption of the website.
Policy on release of data derived from page logs
It is the policy of the Land Portal that personally identifiable data collected in the server logs, or through records in the database, may be released by the system administrators or users with access rights, in the following situations:
- In response to a valid subpoena or other compulsory request from law enforcement
- With permission of the affected user
- For investigation of abuse complaints, to the International Land Coalition (ILC), as facilitator of the Land Portal; the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which hosts the coordinator of the Land Portal, his/her legal counsel, or his/her designee, when necessary.
- Where the information pertains to page views generated by a spider or bot and its dissemination is necessary to illustrate or resolve technical issues.
- Where the user has been vandalizing 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
- Where it is reasonably necessary to protect the rights, property or safety of the International Land Coalition (ILC), any of the Land Portal Partner organizations, its users or the public.
Land Portal 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 Wikimedia projects is available for reuse under the terms of the “SPECIFY LICENSE”, except when explicitly stated otherwise. The Land Portal partnership or the International Land Coalition (ILC) 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 International Land Coalition (ILC) and the Land Portal partnership make no guarantee against unauthorized access to any information you provide. This information may be available to anyone with access to the servers. The International Land Coalition (ILC) can provide a list of those people on request.
E-mail, and mailing lists
You have to provide your e-mail address when creating an account on the Land Portal. This enables other logged-in users to send messages to you through the Land Portal. Your address will not be revealed to them in this process. The email address may be used by the Land Portal coordination team to communicate with users on a wider scale.
If you subscribe to one of the Newsletter, your address will be exposed to the managers of these newsletters. An external service called MailChimp is used to send Newsletters.
Information email addresses
Some email addresses (see below) may forward mail to a the coordination team to respond to feedback and questions from users. Mail sent to the system is not publicly visible, but is visible to this group of Land Portal coordinators. By sending a mail to one of these addresses, your address may become public within this group. The team may discuss the contents of your mail with other contributors in order to best answer your query.
Data on users, such as the content and comments they posted or their ratings of content are available to other authenticated users through the user profiles and as boxes on various pages throughout the Land Portal.
Removal of user accounts
Once created, user accounts will generally not be removed, but users have the option of deleting their accounts. Users can also change their usernames. The Land Portal Coordination team reserves the right to deny access to the site and remove user accounts at their sole discretion without notice, particularly for any users who are deemed to have violated any of the Land Portal policies and terms and conditions of use.
Deletion of content
Removing text from Land Portal content does not automatically delete it. Unless the whole node (a piece of content such as a discussion, a resource or an organisation) is deleted the part that was removed will be accessible by users with administrative rights to view and restore previous versions. 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.