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Some discussions just don't fit into a well defined box. Use this forum to discuss general topics and issues revolving around the Church and the technology offerings we use and share.
lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:12 am

TechnoBabel wrote:ReturnAndReport.org is not a Church site. In fact, it specifically indicates that it is not. Neither is ymyw.org.


My point exactly, which is why I am concerned about the comment that my Head of Household information (or any information from the Church) is considered by someone to be public record information. It is not.

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Postby TechnoBabel-p40 » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:43 am

lajackson wrote:My point exactly, which is why I am concerned about the comment that my Head of Household information (or any information from the Church) is considered by someone to be public record information. It is not.


He's referring to the fact that there are countless websites out there where you can pay $9.95 to search and retrieve YOUR public information which consists of your name, phone number, and much more.

This only becomes an issue when your information is not removed when you ask to have it removed.

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Postby RossEvans » Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:26 pm

clintcarter@gmail.com wrote:I'm not sure I understand this last sentence. The Church has not forbidden these sites from being used if I enter the data myself? They do forbid you from uploading membership data from MLS?


That is the way I read that guidance. The distinction does not make intuitive sense to everyone, but this is guidance that we have read here before.

clintcarter@gmail.com wrote:I would like to use YMYW.org and the website ReturnAndReport.org. I am guessing that I will still need the approval from my Bishop to use these sites. Is there any "manual" that my Bishop can reference to council him on how to decide on using these Non-Church websites?


Yes, it is your priesthood leaders' call. There is no such definitive policy "manual," but you can point to the guidance above for the Bishop's consideration.

FWIW as far as Return and Report is concerned, you might mention that the Church IT department, which sponsors this forum, recently honored Brad O., the developer of that site, as the recipient of the 2008 LDS Tech Awardfor his efforts. At the same time, the Church announced a new collaborative development project that might eventually meet the same need. Meanwhile, I believe that Brad continues to support his site privately, and it does not involve uploading from MLS.

I think the discussion over "public record" above is not relevant to your issue, and is really a distraction. That is not a distinction I have seen made by Church authorities in this regard. My understanding is that even name-and-address membership data should not be uploaded from MLS or LUWS to third-party servers.

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Postby kennethjorgensen » Sat Sep 13, 2008 6:42 pm

clintcarter@gmail.com wrote:I'm not sure I understand this last sentence. The Church has not forbidden these sites from being used if I enter the data myself? They do forbid you from uploading membership data from MLS?


Like others have said, that is correct. I guess it might protect the church from a legal perspective and if you enter it yourself then "it's on you" but crucially its entry of data on a third-party server where you have no personal control of the security.

I too have some ideas about creating some applications for members. The best would be to create them as web application but the more I have read this forum and think about it I will probably end up creating them as .NET desktop applications as it would then avoid the third-party storage issue.

clintcarter@gmail.com wrote:I would like to use YMYW.org and the website ReturnAndReport.org. I am guessing that I will still need the approval from my Bishop to use these sites. Is there any "manual" that my Bishop can reference to council him on how to decide on using these Non-Church websites?


The worry for the bishop here would be how much of the members information is submitted. I like the suggestion given here about only putting in the first names and first letter of the surname as well as birth date rather than full names and addresses and that might just make your Bishop feel much more comfortable about the cautious steps you have taken. Getting the parents to opt-in as well is also a good idea as I assume the system will require you to specify their email addresses.

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Postby daddy-o-p40 » Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:13 am

lajackson wrote:It is? Since when?

I have not given the Church permission to make my name, either first or last, public record information.


In the thread I referenced I mentioned Public Records law. If you are not familiar with Public Record law it means that incorporating the names of adults, which is public record, is similar to fair use. It is important to remember that this only pertains to adults. Minors have additional protections at Federal level. Some States augment this further.

As for the Church, as a member they have the implied permission to have your information on the Stake and Ward Websites. As for non-church owned sites this determination falls to the leaders which is why I brought up the Public Record distinction.

I hope this helps connect the dots...
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Postby daddy-o-p40 » Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:32 am

boomerbubba wrote:Just for the record, that severe interpretation of policy is your own opinion, not policy -- and is not the consensus of commenters on that thread or in this forum. It certainly is not the interpretation of my Bishop or of many other priesthood leaders..

With the Bishop's approval, I routinely extract the export files and load them on my password-protected laptop for various purposes. Just yesterday, for example, I did some custom queries from that data in my home and emailed the resulting output to an EQ counselor, who will be working on it at his home. Not all the work of the Church occurs within the four walls of the clerk's office.


Boomerbubba, I know all too well not all the work can be done in the clerks office.

I think we are suffering from different levels of familiarity with the subject matter. I have had direct conversations with CHQ Bishop and Clerk support on this. I even referenced the person I spoke with in the post.

I get that techie's don't like barriers to technology. This is evidenced by the consensus you mention. However, we cannot take our eyes off the ball. We have to follow the guidelines and rules the Church gives us AND the laws. We don't want to be over zealous and create a liability for the Church.

Unfortunately, just because technology allows us to do something doesn't always mean we should :(
"What have I done for someone today?" Thomas Monson

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daddy-o-p40
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Postby daddy-o-p40 » Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:37 am

mkmurray wrote:In addition to that, I have seen more than one employee of the Church confirm that some of the MLS export files are designed to be used on personal handheld devices that are secured by password entry.


Correct. That is what was outlined to my Ward by CHQ in the second thread I referenced here.:)
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daddy-o-p40
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Postby daddy-o-p40 » Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:53 am

TechnoBabel wrote:He's referring to the fact that there are countless websites out there where you can pay $9.95 to search and retrieve YOUR public information which consists of your name, phone number, and much more.

This only becomes an issue when your information is not removed when you ask to have it removed.


We're definitely getting warmer here. Public Record law will always have Adult names. The data sites and merchants are required to furnish that for free. The fees come into play when people want more info.

In reading how this has evolved it seems that many are not as familiar with the laws relating to data.:rolleyes:
"What have I done for someone today?" Thomas Monson

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daddy-o-p40
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Postby daddy-o-p40 » Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:12 am

dkjorgi wrote:Like others have said, that is correct. I guess it might protect the church from a legal perspective and if you enter it yourself then "it's on you" but crucially its entry of data on a third-party server where you have no personal control of the security.

I too have some ideas about creating some applications for members. The best would be to create them as web application but the more I have read this forum and think about it I will probably end up creating them as .NET desktop applications as it would then avoid the third-party storage issue.



The worry for the bishop here would be how much of the members information is submitted. I like the suggestion given here about only putting in the first names and first letter of the surname as well as birth date rather than full names and addresses and that might just make your Bishop feel much more comfortable about the cautious steps you have taken. Getting the parents to opt-in as well is also a good idea as I assume the system will require you to specify their email addresses.


clintcarter@gmail.com, the simplest way to avoid legal exposure is for your Bishop to obtain parental consent to use ymyw.org. The link included below talks about recommendations for website operators. This info in the link might help your Bishop make a more informed decision. Rules for website operators
"What have I done for someone today?" Thomas Monson

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daddy-o-p40
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Postby daddy-o-p40 » Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:32 am

boomerbubba wrote:That is the way I read that guidance. The distinction does not make intuitive sense to everyone, but this is guidance that we have read here before.



Yes, it is your priesthood leaders' call. There is no such definitive policy "manual," but you can point to the guidance above for the Bishop's consideration.

FWIW as far as Return and Report is concerned, you might mention that the Church IT department, which sponsors this forum, recently honored Brad O., the developer of that site, as the recipient of the 2008 LDS Tech Awardfor his efforts. At the same time, the Church announced a new collaborative development project that might eventually meet the same need. Meanwhile, I believe that Brad continues to support his site privately, and it does not involve uploading from MLS.

I think the discussion over "public record" above is not relevant to your issue, and is really a distraction. That is not a distinction I have seen made by Church authorities in this regard. My understanding is that even name-and-address membership data should not be uploaded from MLS or LUWS to third-party servers.


Carl, Boomerbubba is right about our efforts with returnandreport.org.

The relevance of public record data will be important if questions are raised about privacy. We have dealt with this issue quite a bit in getting returnandreport.org to where it is today. Be sure to point out that returnandreport.org only uses adult names which are public record. This will help people less familiar with the internet understand that names of heads of households are already out there on the web.

Ymyw.org involves minors, which is not public record, the only way for your Ward to use that site and avoid legal exposure for the Church is to obtain parental consent to use it before hand.

I have first hand experience resarching and using these tools. Feel free to contact me if you need help addressing concerns from your ward leaders.
"What have I done for someone today?" Thomas Monson


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