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Applicant Privacy Policy

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The Wikimedia Foundation ("Wikimedia") values your trust and is committed to the responsible management, use and protection of personal information. This Applicant Privacy Policy ("Policy") describes our practices regarding the information that we collect in connection to your application for a job or internship with Wikimedia.

Personal Information We Collect

Information You Provide

We collect information from you in connection with your application:

Information we collect includes:

  • Name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and other contact information;
  • Work authorization status;
  • CV, résumé, cover letter, previous work experience and education information;
  • Skills;
  • Professional and other work-related licenses, permits and certifications held;
  • Information relating to references;
  • Information from your LinkedIn profile that you elect to provide; and
  • Any other information you elect to provide to us (e.g., employment preferences, willingness to relocate, current salary, desired salary, awards or professional memberships).

As discussed in the "Diversity" section below, in certain cases we will ask questions about race/ethnic origin, gender, and disability of our applicants, for monitoring equal opportunity. We can also inquire about criminal records. We will do so only where permitted by applicable law.  Otherwise, we ask that you avoid submitting information which may qualify as sensitive information under applicable law, except where such information is legally required.  Sensitive information includes race, religion, ethnicity, nationality or national origin, age, gender identity, sex life or practices or sexual orientation, marital status, medical or health information (including disability status), genetic or biometric information, biometric templates, political or philosophical beliefs, political party or trade union membership, veteran status, background check information, judicial data such as criminal records or information on other judicial or administrative proceedings.

Any information you submit through the Careers Site must be true, complete and not misleading. Submitting inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading information may lead to a rejection of your application during the application process or disciplinary action including immediate termination of employment.  In addition, it is your responsibility to ensure that information you submit does not violate any third party's rights.

If you provide us with personal information of a reference or any other individual as part of your application, it is your responsibility to obtain consent from that individual prior to providing the information to us.

Information from Other Sources

For the purpose of background check reports in connection with your application, and as permitted by applicable law, Wikimedia obtains personal information about you from other sources.

Other sources may include:

  • Your references;
  • Prior employers;
  • Educational institutions you attended;
  • County criminal and public records;
  • Federal and county civil records;
  • Consumer reports;
  • Employment verification.

Use of Information

We collect and process personal information about you for one or more of these reasons:

  1. Because you voluntarily provide this information and consent for us to process it;
  2. Because this information is necessary to take steps at your request prior to entering into an employment or internship;
  3. Because this information is of particular importance to us and we have a specific legitimate interest under law to process it;
  4. To comply with a legal obligation; or
  5. Where necessary to protect the vital interests of any person or public interest.

Where the collection or processing is based on your consent, you may withdraw your consent at any time consistent with applicable law.

The personal information that you submit to Wikimedia will be used for Wikimedia's global personnel recruitment, management and planning purposes, as permitted by applicable law:  

  • To process your application.  We will engage in these activities to manage our prospective contractual relationship with you, or based on our legitimate interests;
  • To assess your capabilities and qualifications for a job.  We will engage in these activities to manage our prospective contractual relationship with you, or based on our legitimate interests;
  • To conduct reference checks. We will engage in these activities to comply with a legal obligation or based on our legitimate interests;
  • To respond to your inquiries and communicate with you about your application, and to send you information regarding changes to our terms and policies. We will engage in these activities to manage our prospective contractual relationship with you;
  • To comply with or monitor compliance with any applicable law or regulation. We will engage in these activities to comply with a legal obligation or based on our legitimate interests;  
  • To conduct background checks if we offer you a position. We will engage in these activities to comply with a legal obligation or based on our legitimate interests; and
  • To preserve our other legitimate interests, for example, for Wikimedia's administrative purposes, aggregate management reporting, internal training, and as generally required to conduct our business within Wikimedia.

The personal information about you will be added to Wikimedia's candidate database and can be retained and used to consider you for opportunities at Wikimedia other than the one(s) for which you apply. If you do not wish us to do this, please contact us at the address in the "Contact Us" section below.

If we hire you, personal information we collect in connection with your application can be incorporated into our human resources system and used to manage the new-hire process; any such information can become part of your employee file and used for other employment-related purposes.

Providing personal information to us is voluntary.  However, if you do not provide sufficient information, Wikimedia may be unable to consider your employment application or, if you are hired, your subsequent promotion, transfer or relocation.

Disclosure and Transfer of Information

We will limit access to personal information to personnel with a business need to know the information for the purposes described in this Policy, including personnel in the recruiting, human resources and information technology departments, and in the department responsible for the position for which you are applying.

Wikimedia also shares personal information with our third-party service providers to facilitate services they provide to us. These services include hosting and operating the Careers Site, recruiting assistance (such as setting up and conducting interviews and tests for applicants, and evaluating and assessing the results), and background check processing.

Other Uses and Disclosures of Information

We also use and disclose your personal information to public authorities or other persons as necessary or appropriate, especially when we have a legal obligation or legitimate interest to do so:

  • To comply with applicable law.
  • This can include laws outside your country of residence.
  • To respond to requests from public and government authorities.
  • These can include authorities outside your country of residence.
  • To cooperate with law enforcement.
  • For example, when we receive law enforcement requests and orders.
  • For other legal reasons.
  • To enforce our terms and conditions; and
  • To protect our rights, privacy, safety or property, and/or that of you or others.
  • In connection with a corporate reorganization or divestiture.
  • We have a legitimate interest in disclosing or transferring your personal information to a third party in the event of any reorganization, merger, sale, joint venture, assignment, transfer or other disposition of all or any portion of our organization, assets or stock (including in connection with any bankruptcy or similar proceedings).

Data Retention

We will retain personal information for the period necessary to fulfill the purposes outlined in this Policy unless a longer retention period is required or permitted by law. The criteria used to determine our retention periods are: (i) the duration of the application process; (ii) our ongoing relationship with you; (iii) legal obligations to which we are subject (such as reporting or regulatory); and (iv) the requirements of applicable law.

We may remove personal information for inactive applicants from our database, subject to any applicable legal or regulatory obligations.  Furthermore, Wikimedia can delete personal information about you (including your CV/résumé) from our database at any time and without providing any reason.  Therefore, please retain your own copy of the personal information provided to us.

Passive Information Collection: Cookies and Similar Technology

We use "cookies" and similar technologies on the Careers Site.  Please see our Cookie Statement (located at foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/Policy:Cookie_statement) ("Cookie Statement") for more information.

Choices and Access

If you would like to request to review, correct, update, suppress, restrict or delete personal information, object to the processing of personal information, or if you would like to request to receive an electronic copy of your personal information for purposes of transmitting it to another organization (to the extent this right to data portability is provided to you by applicable law), you may contact us as described in the "Contact Us" section below. We will respond to your request consistent with applicable law.

In your request, please make clear what personal information you would like to access or have changed, or whether you would like to have personal information that you have provided to us suppressed from our database.  

For your protection, we only implement requests with respect to the personal information associated with the particular email address that you use to send us your request, and we may need to verify your identity before implementing your request. Please note that certain personal information may be exempt from such requests pursuant to applicable data protection laws or other laws and regulations, such as personal information that we are legally required to retain.


We seek to use reasonable organizational, technical and administrative measures to protect personal information within our organization.  Unfortunately, no data transmission or storage system can be guaranteed to be 100% secure.  If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, please immediately notify us in accordance with the "Contact Us" section below.

Wikimedia hereby disclaims, as far as permitted by local laws, any liability for itself and its contractors for any personal information we collect in connection with your application that is lost, misused, illegally accessed, disclosed, altered or destroyed or not timely delivered.

Links to Third-party Websites

This Policy does not address, and we are not responsible for, the privacy, information or other practices of any third parties, including any third party operating any website or service to which the Careers Site links.  The inclusion of a link on the Careers Site does not imply endorsement of the linked site or service by Wikimedia.  


The Wikimedia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply. Wikimedia does not discriminate, either directly or indirectly, on protected grounds: race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, national origin, ethnic origin, religion, beliefs or creed, age, disability, marital status, veteran status or genetic information in any area of recruitment. The Wikimedia Foundation will process sensitive information consistent with applicable law.

Law Applicable to Job Application

The Wikimedia Foundation is based in the United States. Accordingly, any personal information you submit to Wikimedia will be collected in the United States and will be subject to U.S. laws. Your personal information may also transit to other locations that have different or less stringent data protection laws than your country.

The Careers Site is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

About Children

The Careers Site is not intended for minors under the age of 18.

Current Personnel of Wikimedia

If you currently work for Wikimedia, you must be eligible to apply for a different position within Wikimedia. If you accept such a position, your benefits programs and Human Resources policies may change. Please consult with the HR manager for the new position concerning application eligibility, benefit programs, and HR policies applicable to that position.

Changes to the Policy

We reserve the right to amend this Policy at any time in order to address future developments of Wikimedia, the Careers Site or changes in industry or legal trends.  The "Last Updated" legend at the bottom of this Policy indicates when this Policy was last revised.  Any changes will become effective when we post the revised Policy on the Careers Site.

Contact us

If you have questions or suggestions about this Privacy Policy, or the information collected under this Privacy Policy, please email us at privacy@wikimedia.org or contact us directly. If you are located in the European Economic Area and have questions about your personal data or would like to request to access, update, or delete it, you may contact our representative via email at EUrepresentative.Wikimedia@twobirds.com, or via mail at:

Bird & Bird GDPR Representative Ireland
29 Earlsfort Terrace
Dublin 2
D02 AY28
Main point of contact: Vincent Rezzouk-Hammachi

If you are an individual located in the United Kingdom, and have questions about your personal data or would like to request to access, update, or delete it, you may contact our representative via email at UKrepresentative.Wikimedia@twobirds.com, or via mail at:

Bird & Bird GDPR Representative Services UK
12 New Fetter Lane
United Kingdom
Main point of contact: Vincent Rezzouk-Hammachi

Our European Economic Area and United Kingdom Representative can only be contacted for queries in relation to data protection.

Depending on your jurisdiction, you also may have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority competent for your country or region.

Because email communications are not always secure, please do not include sensitive information in your emails to us.

Last Updated: June 25, 2021