RossEvans wrote:So in any case, with respect to membership data, you both are saying that one possible interpretation is that only Church-created software can access membership data. (russellhltn goes further, and argues that is the only possible interpretation.) I continue to reject that reading, because it leads to the nonsensical case that leaders can -- by design -- export membership data as CSV files from MLS and lds.org, but are then prohibited from reading those files in any software at all on the clerk's computer!
Considering that this updated document is less then a week old, what would you expect to happen? I think we'll find out in the months ahead if that was the intent or not.
I can't see how the update of the past week affected this particular issue at all. The effect of that update, so far as I can tell, was to add the phrase "whether obtained from within or outside of a meetinghouse" to Section 4.9.3. I think that includes, for example, data downloaded from lds.org, as well as data exported from MLS.
But while that modification affects the scope of where the data comes from
, it has nothing to do with where storing
the data is prohibited -- in "third-party software" on meetinghouse computers. The confusing language occurs in Section 3.11, defining that particular term of art -- language that has not changed one jot or tittle since the Meetinghouse Technology Policy was promulgated in January 2014, although the section has been renumbered from the original 3.10. So the issue you raise parsing the "or" conjunction in that definition section has persisted that long. (And you have been insisting since then that this policy constitutes a draconian crackdown on what software is allowed to be used locally for membership content.)
Probably the only reason this "third-party software" matter has not caused major issues for local unit leaders is that, due to the stealth rollout of the policy, few outside a tiny subset of this forum are even aware that the policy exists. Most who have read it, I suspect, adopt the same commonsense reading that I do, and continue to do whatever they have been doing with whatever non-Church software they have installed.
As for what I "expect to happen," I have no clue about what CHQ will do, or even if anyone there is aware of the issues you raise about the wording of Section 3.11. For my part, I expect to do nothing unless there is further clarification. We changed our processes in our unit to conform with the "cloud" restrictions in Section 4.9.4 some time ago, but I don't think we have made any changes to how data is handled on the clerk's computer due to the 2014 "third-party software" policy in Section 4.9.3. I still am not persuaded that we have to, because under the best commonsense reading of the language our software is compliant.
I called to our bishop's and stake's attention the existence of the new policy five months ago. We have been through a membership audit since then, and I know of no direction to stop putting membership information into external software installed on our unit computer, so long as confidential data is still protected per the handbook. We will just keep magnifying our callings.