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Seeking Clarification Regarding Dropbox/Google Drive

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:06 pm
by jtakagi
Sorry if this is not in the correct forum.

I am looking for some help understanding the use of cloud storage sites such as Dropbox and Google Drive.

4.8.3 The use of MLS data and membership information in third party software is prohibited.

4.8.4 The use of cloud-based services for storing and/or backing up MLS or any membership related data is prohibited.

4.13.2 Only Church-approved, licensed software is permitted for installation on Church computers.

How should I interpret the Meetinghouse Technology Policy guidelines above? What constitutes "membership related data" or "membership information"?

We currently use Dropbox to share documents in our Ward Council. Some of these documents (i.e. "New and Returning Member Report") contain members' names, dates of ordinances, addresses, home and visiting teachers, etc. Is this allowable?

Per 4.13.2, is Dropbox "Church-approved, licensed software"? If not, and assuming we can use Dropbox, is it then okay to just access and edit these files using the Dropbox webpage and not an application installed on the clerk's computer?

Thanks in advance for any direction.

Re: Seeking Clarification Regarding Dropbox/Google Drive

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:20 pm
by russellhltn
Interpretation is left up to the leaders with the priesthood keys to interpret the instructions once they have all the information.

Speaking for myself, the New and Returning Member Report is something that comes out of the MLS system (or on-line equivilent) and certainly sounds like "membership related data" to me.

Less controversial would be things like agenda and assignments.

Re: Seeking Clarification Regarding Dropbox/Google Drive

Posted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:25 am
by kevindurr
Of course it is up to your local leaders. Then there is always "letter vs spirit of the law". We can assume these policies were set to protect from data theft and from third party app monetization using church data.

Consider how the LDS Tools app allows you to copy to your phones internal contact manager. At that point "any membership related data" is now being stored in a cloud based system. Thus, counseling with your local leaders and thoughtful personal consideration should be used

In your particular scenario, digitizing new member reports should be primarily stored on the local unit machine. If allowing access to them via DropBox or Google Drive is being used for distribution, perhaps develop a procedure in which every so often (two months) older items from your cloud service are archived off the cloud and onto the local machine.

Always remember, that with membership data, MLS should always be primary source of information for all purposes.