Idealogs:Privacy Policy

is a document which explains how the company behind Idealogs and the Idealogs Annotator browser extension deals with your Personal Information.


The Idealogical Foundation is the nonprofit organization that operates Idealogs and its related services.

This Policy explains how we collect, use, and share your Personal Information.

  • We collect very little Personal Information about you.
  • We do not rent or sell your Personal Information to third parties.

By using Idealogs, you consent to this Policy.

The Idealogical movement is founded on a simple, but powerful principle: we can do more together than any of us can do alone. We cannot work collectively without gathering, sharing, and analyzing information about our users as we seek new ways to make the Idealogs more usable, safer, and more beneficial.

We believe that information-gathering and use should go hand-in-hand with transparency. This Privacy Policy explains how the Idealogical Foundation, the non-profit organization that hosts Idealogs, collects, uses, and shares information we receive from you through your use of Idealogs. It is essential to understand that, by using Idealogs, you consent to the collection, transfer, processing, storage, disclosure, and use of your information as described in this Privacy Policy. That means that reading this Policy carefully is important.

We believe that you shouldn't have to provide nonpublic Personal Information to participate in the free knowledge movement. You do not have to provide things like your real name, address, or date of birth to sign up for a standard account or contribute content to the Idealogs.

We do not sell or rent your Personal Information, nor do we give it to others to sell you anything. We use it to figure out how to make Idealogs more engaging and accessible, to see which ideas work, and to make learning and contributing more fun. Put simply: we use this information to make Idealogs better for you.

After all, it's people like you, the champions of free knowledge, who make it possible for the Idealogs to not only exist, but also grow and thrive.


Because everyone (not just lawyers) should be able to easily understand how and why their information is collected and used, we use common language instead of more formal terms throughout this Policy. To help ensure your understanding of some particular key terms, here is a table of translations:

When we say… …we mean:
“the Idealogical Foundation” / “the Foundation” / “we” / “us” / “our” The Idealogical Foundation, Inc., the non-profit organization that operates Idealogs.
“Idealogs” / “our services” Idealogs websites and services (regardless of language), including our main project, Idealogs, as well as mobile applications, browser extensions (e.g. Idealogs Annotator Chrome Extension), Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), emails, and notifications.
“you” / “your” / “me” You, regardless of whether you are an individual, group, or organization, and regardless of whether you are using Idealogs on behalf of yourself or someone else.
“this Policy” / “this Privacy Policy” This document, entitled “Idealogs: Privacy Policy”.
“contributions” Content you add or changes you make to Idealogs.
“Personal information” Information you provide us or information we collect that could be used to personally identify you. To be clear, while we do not necessarily collect all of the following types of information, we consider at least the following to be “personal information” if it is otherwise nonpublic and can be used to identify you:
  1. your real name, address, phone number, email address, password, identification number on government-issued ID, IP address, user-agent information, payment account number;
  2. when associated with one of the items in subsection (a), any sensitive data such as date of birth, gender, sexual orientation, racial or ethnic origins, marital or familial status, medical conditions or disabilities, political affiliation, and religion. | “third party” / “third parties” | Individuals, entities, websites, services, products, and applications that are not controlled, managed, or operated by the Idealogical Foundation. This includes other Idealogs users and independent organizations or groups who help promote the Idealogs movement such as chapters, thematic organizations, and user groups as well as volunteers, employees, directors, officers, grant recipients, and contractors of those organizations or groups.

Types of Information We Receive From You & How We Get It

Your Public Contributions

When you make a contribution to Idealogs, including on user or discussion pages, you are creating a permanent, public record of every piece of content added, removed, or altered by you. The page history will show when your contribution or deletion was made, as well as your username (if you are signed in) or your IP address (if you are not signed in). We may use your public contributions, either aggregated with the public contributions of others or individually, to create new features or data-related products for you or to learn more about how the Idealogs Sites are used, as further explained below.

Account Information & Registration

You do not need to create an account to use Idealogs.

If you do create an account, you do not need to give us your name.

If you do not create an account, your contributions will be publicly attributed to your IP address

You are not required to create an account to read or contribute to Idealogs, except under rare circumstances. However, if you contribute without signing in, your contribution will be publicly attributed to the IP address associated with your device.

If you want to create a standard account, in most cases we require only an email address and a password.

GPS & Other Location Technologies

Some features we offer work better if we know what area you are in.

If you consent, we can use GPS (and other technologies commonly used to determine location) to show you more relevant content. We keep information obtained by these technologies confidential, except as provided in this Policy.

IP Addresses

Finally, when you visit Idealogs, we automatically receive the IP address of the device (or your proxy server) you are using to access the Internet, which could be used to infer your geographical location.

Information We Receive Automatically

Because of how browsers work, we receive some information automatically when you visit Idealogs. This includes when you use an online tool on a third-party site that loads information coming from Idealogs. This information includes the type of device you are using (possibly including unique device identification numbers, for some beta versions of our mobile applications), the type and version of your browser, your browser's language preference, the type and version of your device's operating system, in some cases the name of your internet service provider or mobile carrier, the website that referred you to Idealogs, which pages you request and visit, and the date and time of each request you make to Idealogs.

Put simply, we use this information to enhance your experience on Idealogs. For example, we use this information to administer the sites, provide greater security, and fight vandalism; optimize mobile applications, customize content and set language preferences, test features to see what works, and improve performance; understand how users interact with tIdealogs, track and study use of various features, gain understanding about the demographics of Idealogs, and analyze trends.

Information We Collect

We use a variety of commonly-used technologies, like cookies, to understand how you use Idealogs, make our services safer and easier to use, and to help create a better and more customizable experience for you.

We actively collect some types of information with a variety of commonly-used technologies. These generally include tracking pixels, JavaScript, and a variety of "locally stored data" technologies, such as cookies, and local storage. These types of technologies may also be used in online tools on a third-party site that loads information from Idealogs. We realize that some of these technologies do not have the best reputation in town and can be used for less-than-noble purposes. So we want to be as clear as we can about why we use these methods and the type of information we collect with them.

Depending on which technology we use, locally stored data may include text, Personal Information (like your IP address), and information about your use of Idealogs (like your username or the time of your visit). See below for more information.

We use this information to make your experience with Idealogs safer and better, to gain a greater understanding of user preferences and their interaction with Idealogs, and to generally improve our services. We will never use third-party cookies, unless we get your permission to do so. If you ever come across a third-party data collection tool that has not been authorized by you (such as one that may have been mistakenly placed by another user or administrator), please report it to us.

We believe this data collection helps improve your user experience, but you may remove or disable some or all locally stored data through your browser settings, depending on your browser. While locally stored data may not be necessary to use our sites, some features will not function properly if you disable locally stored data.

While the examples above concerning information about you collected through the use of data collection tools are kept confidential in accordance with this Policy, please note that some information about the actions taken by your username is made publicly available through public logs alongside actions taken by other users. For example, a public log may include the date your account was created on Idealogs along with the dates that other accounts were created on Idealogs.

When May We Share Your Information?

We use and share your Personal Information when you give us specific permission to do so, for legal reasons, and in the other circumstances described below.

With Your Permission

We share your Personal Information for a particular purpose, if you agree.

If the Organization is Transferred (Really Unlikely!)

In the unlikely event that the ownership of the Foundation changes, we will provide you 30 days' notice before any Personal Information is transferred to the new owners or becomes subject to a different privacy policy.

In the extremely unlikely event that ownership of all or substantially all of the Foundation changes, or we go through a reorganization (such as a merger, consolidation, or acquisition), consistent with our legitimate interest, we will continue to keep your Personal Information confidential, except as provided in this Policy, and provide notice to you via Idealogs at least thirty (30) calendar days before any Personal Information is transferred or becomes subject to a different privacy policy.

To Protect You, Ourselves & Others

We, or particular users with certain administrative rights as described below, need to use and share your Personal Information if it is reasonably believed to be necessary to enforce or investigate potential violations of our Terms of Service, this Privacy Policy, or any Idealogical Foundation or user community-based policies. We may also need to access and share Personal Information to investigate and defend ourselves against legal threats or actions.

Idealogs is collaborative, with users writing most of the policies and selecting from amongst themselves people to hold certain administrative rights. These rights may include access to limited amounts of otherwise nonpublic information about recent contributions and activity by other users. They use this access to help protect against vandalism and abuse, fight harassment of other users, and generally try to minimize disruptive behavior on Idealogs. These various user-selected administrative groups have their own privacy and confidentiality guidelines, but all such groups are supposed to agree to follow our Access to Nonpublic Information Policy. These user-selected administrative groups are accountable to other users through checks and balances: users are selected through a community-driven process and overseen by their peers through a logged history of their actions. However, the legal names of these users are not known to the Idealogical Foundation.

We hope that this never comes up, but we may disclose your Personal Information if we believe that it's reasonably necessary to prevent imminent and serious bodily harm or death to a person, or to protect our organization, employees, contractors, users, or the public. We may also disclose your Personal Information if we reasonably believe it necessary to detect, prevent, or otherwise assess and address potential spam, malware, fraud, abuse, unlawful activity, and security or technical concerns.

To Our Service Providers

We use third-party service providers or contractors to help run or improve Idealogs for you and other users. We give access to your Personal Information to these providers or contractors as needed to perform their services for us or to use their tools and services. We put requirements, such as confidentiality agreements, in place to help ensure that these service providers treat your Personal Information consistently with, and no less protective of your privacy than, the principles of this Policy.

If you are visiting Idealogs with your mobile device, we use your IP address to provide anonymized or aggregated information to service providers regarding the volume of usage in certain areas.

To Understand & Experiment

The open-source software that powers Idealogs depends on the contributions of volunteer software developers, who spend time writing and testing code to help it improve and evolve with our users' needs. To facilitate their work, we give some developers limited access to systems that contain your Personal Information, but only as reasonably necessary for them to develop and contribute to Idealogs.

Similarly, we share non-Personal Information or aggregated information with researchers, scholars, academics, and other interested third parties who wish to study Idealogs. Sharing this Personal Information helps them understand usage, viewing, and demographics statistics and patterns. They then can share their findings with us and our users so that we can all better understand and improve Idealogs.

When we give access to Personal Information to third-party developers or researchers, we put requirements, such as reasonable technical and contractual protections, in place to help ensure that these service providers treat your Personal Information consistently with the principles of this Policy and in accordance with our instructions. If these developers or researchers later publish their work or findings, we ask that they not disclose your Personal Information. Please note that, despite the obligations we impose on developers and researchers, we cannot guarantee that they will abide by our agreement, nor do we guarantee that we will regularly screen or audit their projects.

Because You Made It Public

Any information you post publicly on Idealogs is just that – public. For example, if you put your mailing address on your talk page, that is public, and not specifically protected by this Policy. And if you edit without registering or logging into your account, your IP address will be seen publicly. Please think carefully about your desired level of privacy before you disclose Personal Information on your user page or elsewhere.


How Do We Protect Your Personal Information?

We strive to protect your Personal Information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. We use a variety of physical and technical measures, policies, and procedures (such as access control procedures, network firewalls, and physical security) designed to protect our systems and your Personal Information. Unfortunately, there's no such thing as completely secure data transmission or storage, so we can't guarantee that our security will not be breached (by technical measures or through violation of our policies and procedures).

We will never ask for your password by email (but may send you a temporary password via email if you have requested a password reset). If you ever receive an email that requests your password, please let us know so we can investigate the source of the email.

How Long Do We Keep Your Data?

Once we receive Personal Information from you, we keep it for the shortest possible time that is consistent with the maintenance, understanding, and improvement of Idealogs, and our obligations under applicable law. In most instances, Personal Information is deleted, aggregated or de-identified after 90 days. Non-Personal Information may be retained indefinitely as appropriate.

Please remember that when you make a contribution to Idealogs, the page history will show when your contribution was made, your username (if you are signed in), or your IP address (if you edit while not logged in). The transparency of the projects' contribution and revision histories is critical to their efficacy and trustworthiness.

Your Rights

If you would like to request to access, update or restrict/object to the processing of Personal Information, or receive a copy of your Personal Information for purposes of transmitting it to another organization, you may contact us. We will respond to your request consistent with applicable law.

Please note also that you may be able to exercise some of these rights without our intervention. For example, if you are a registered user, you can access and update some Personal Information in your Preferences, as well as download your user account data. You may also manage what kinds of notifications you receive and how often you receive them by going to your Notifications Preferences.

Important info

For the protection of the Idealogical Foundation and other users, if you do not agree with this Privacy Policy, you may not use Idealogs.

Where is the Foundation & What Does That Mean for Me?

The Idealogical Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Flagstaff, Arizona, with servers and data centers located in the U.S. If you decide to use Idealogs, whether from inside or outside of the U.S., you understand that your Personal Information will be collected, transferred, stored, processed, disclosed and otherwise used in the U.S. as described in this Privacy Policy. You also understand that your information may be transferred by us from the U.S. to other countries, which may have different or less stringent data protection laws than your country, in connection with providing services to you.

Our Response to Do Not Track (DNT) signals

We are strongly committed to protecting users' Personal Information. Under this Policy, we may share your information only under particular situations (see above). In particular, we do not share your Personal Information for marketing purposes.

Because we protect all users in accordance with this Privacy Policy, we do not change our behavior in response to a web browser's "do not track" signal.

Changes to This Privacy Policy

Because things naturally change over time and we want to ensure our Privacy Policy accurately reflects our practices and the law, it may be necessary to modify this Privacy Policy from time to time. We reserve the right to do so in the following manner:

  • In the event of substantial changes, we will provide the proposed changes to our users for an open comment period lasting at least thirty (30) calendar days. Prior to the start of any comment period, we will provide notice of such changes and the opportunity to comment via Idealogs.
  • For minor changes, such as grammatical fixes, administrative or legal changes, or corrections of inaccurate statements, we will post the changes and, when possible, provide at least three (3) calendar days' prior notice via Idealogs.

We ask that you please review the most up-to-date version of our Privacy Policy. Your continued use of Idealogs after any effective date of a subsequent version of this Privacy Policy constitutes acceptance of this Privacy Policy on your part.

Contact Us

If you have questions or suggestions about this Privacy Policy, or the information collected under this Privacy Policy, please contact us directly.

Thank You!

Thank you for reading our Privacy Policy. We hope you enjoy using Idealogs and appreciate your participation in creating, maintaining, and constantly working to improve the largest repository of free understanding in the world.

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