General, Policies & Safety

Automattic and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (aka GDPR) is a new and far-reaching privacy regulation that takes effect in May 2018.

This doc provides information about the law and our plans for implementing the GDPR’s important principles for Automattic’s products and services, including WordPress.com.

We are currently working to add features to enhance user choice and bring more transparency to our practices around the collection, storage, and use of your data. We expect that Automattic products and services will be in compliance with GDPR requirements by May 2018.

We’ll also provide additional tools and information so that users of our services can take the steps needed to comply with the law, if necessary.

What is it?

The GDPR, among other things, requires companies and site owners to be transparent about how they collect, use and share personal data. It also gives individuals more access and more choice when it comes to how their own personal data is collected, used, and shared.

It’s important to understand that while the GDPR is an EU law, its requirements apply to all sites and online businesses who collect, store, and process personal data about residents of the EU.

You can read the full text of the law here. We also found these resources helpful in understanding the principles and specific requirements of the law:

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Automattic and the GDPR

User privacy is critically important to us at Automattic. Our privacy principles align with many of the GDPR principles, and we built our products and services with those principles in mind.

For example:

  • Data minimalism. When you sign up for WordPress.com, we ask only for limited information needed to set up your WordPress.com account. We require an email address and a username, nothing more. If you purchase a paid plan, we’ll need additional information to process your payment. You are welcome to add other information to your public profile and account settings, but we don’t require you to give us any other personal information to get your account up and running.
  • Control of Your Content. We aim to give you as much control as possible over who can see your content. The Privacy Settings give you choices to make your site public, private, or hidden from search engines. And Page Visibility gives you options about who can see specific pages on your site.
  • Strict Guidelines on Providing User Information to Governments. We understand that safeguarding our users’ private information is a vital aspect of the trust our users place in our services to keep them safe, and in some cases, anonymous. Our Legal Guidelines describe when we will disclose user information in response to requests from law enforcement or from complainants in civil litigation.  (And we have a reputation for challenging overbroad requestsーfor example, we successfully argued to lift non-disclosure orders on National Security Letters from the U.S. government that prohibited us from revealing information about those requests to our users).
  • Your Security is Our Priority. While no online service can ever be 100% secure, we work very hard to protect your information from unauthorized access. We support and promote encryption of user data and we encrypt all traffic (serve over SSL) for all WordPress.com sites, by default. You can read more about our WordPress.com security features and Jetpack Security Features. We also offer and *highly encourage* you to use our advanced security settings, like Two Step Authentication for your WordPress.com account, to help protect your account and your data.
  • WordPress Sites are Portable. Your site is yours and your content belongs to you. We want you to have a long and happy stay on WordPress.com, but if you find a new home for your WordPress site, you can always export your site to a new host, quickly, easily, and without any extra charges from us.

And there’s much more to come! We’ll continue to update this page with more information as we launch new features to enhance user privacy and data choice ahead of May 2018, and beyond.

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