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Approved online tracking programs

Posted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:53 pm
by ccarter
I have wanted to use online web sites to help me keep track of church information such as DTG and Scout advancement information. The first time I tried one I was told by my Bishop that I should not be using websites to manage church member's information. At the time I was using YMYW.org It is an awesome website but I stopped using it because of my Bishop's council.

What is the policy from the church about using Non-church related sites to help manage information?

Posted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 4:10 pm
by WelchTC
clintcarter@gmail.com wrote:I have wanted to use online web sites to help me keep track of church information such as DTG and Scout advancement information. The first time I tried one I was told by my Bishop that I should not be using websites to manage church member's information. At the time I was using YMYW.org It is an awesome website but I stopped using it because of my Bishop's council.

What is the policy from the church about using Non-church related sites to help manage information?


The Church does not encourage the use of non-Church operated sites for tracking membership data. The reasons are obvious, and that is because the Church can not ensure that the data is protected or that it follows local and national privacy laws. To my knowledge the Church has not forbidden these sites unless they allow for the uploading of membership data from MLS.

Tom

not forbidden?

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:16 am
by ccarter
tomw wrote:To my knowledge the Church has not forbidden these sites unless they allow for the uploading of membership data from MLS.

Tom


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?

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?

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:35 am
by mkmurray
Disclaimer: These are my own personal thoughts I've gathered from the many discussions on this site about this topic. I am not an employee of the Church, nor do I represent them in any official way...
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?

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?

That's correct; the Church doesn't want anyone taking a mass export from MLS and shoving it on a third-party server. There are so many issues with that, taking information of other people outside of the realm that they have given permission for it to reside in (the Church's records and other systems). This concern is really over data that is private or sensitive, and not already "public domain"; it may be beneficial for you to find out exactly what this phrase means in your quest for an answer.

Now obviously you have the right to your own information and those that are your dependents. I wouldn't really say you have the right to enter other people's personal information, even if manually. But if a system is designed where each parent of the youth gave an approval or each parent entered their child's information individually into the system, then there is less concern I believe.

As far as an official policy from the Church, they are not ready to give a blanket statement encompassing all situations at this time. What they have done is let us, the Community, know what is not acceptable. Then they have asked us to use caution and discretion, and to be responsible with the data we have in front of us. It really is a decision for your Bishop to make as he gathers information and stays close to the Spirit.

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:29 pm
by mattfarley
clintcarter@gmail.com wrote:I have wanted to use online web sites to help me keep track of church information such as DTG and Scout advancement information. The first time I tried one I was told by my Bishop that I should not be using websites to manage church member's information. At the time I was using YMYW.org It is an awesome website but I stopped using it because of my Bishop's council.

What is the policy from the church about using Non-church related sites to help manage information?


Hi Clint,

If you're still looking for an application to handle DTG check out http://demo.youthmaster.org/

If privacy is a concern for you and your Bishop, you can use the system with a fairly limited set of user information. For example each user profile could be as limited as:

First Name: Mark
Last Name: J
DOB: March 1995

That's all you'd need to enter for "Mark" to be in the system and tracking his DTG, Scouting, etc.

Regards,
Matt

Posted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:16 am
by daddy-o-p40
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?

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?


Clint, check out this thread for more thoughts on subject.

Here's my two cents.....
ymyw.org is tool to manage information about minors. This is a pandora's box beyond just Church guidelines. So stay away from it as minors rights are different than adults.

As for your concerns about returnandreport.org it is safe. This site is limited to names of heads of households which is public record information. See the about us link on the site for additional info.

Extracting MLS data via the Export function, which requires administrator level access, and taking it anywhere outside the meetinghouse is not currently allowed. This is discussed in this thread.

Posted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 6:10 am
by RossEvans
daddy-o wrote:Extracting MLS data via the Export function, which requires administrator level access, and taking it anywhere outside the meetinghouse is not currently allowed. This is discussed in this thread.


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.

Posted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:19 am
by mkmurray
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.

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.

Posted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:54 am
by lajackson
daddy-o wrote:As for your concerns about ... it is safe. This site is limited to names of heads of households which is public record information.


It is? Since when?

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

Posted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:05 am
by TechnoBabel-p40
lajackson wrote:It is? Since when?

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


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