Using membership information for emergency preparedness

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pjespersen
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Using membership information for emergency preparedness

#1

Post by pjespersen »

We are gathering information from our ward members by passing around forms during regular meetings. These forms ask for name, address, phone, email, family members. Also included are places to indicate any skills, equipment, supplies, certifications, or special needs they may have. This info would be useful during an emergency. We'd like to put all this information in an online database to make it easier to update and reference. However, it seems that this may not be allowed by church policy. Can anyone clarify?

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/too ... s?lang=eng
4.8 MLS Data and Membership Information 
4.8.3  The use of MLS data and membership information in third-party software is prohibited, whether obtained from inside or outside a meetinghouse.  
4.8.4  The use of cloud-based services for storing and/or backing up MLS or any membership-related data is prohibited.  
rmrichesjr
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Re: Using membership information for emergency preparedness

#2

Post by rmrichesjr »

Are you asking about information taken from membership records (from the directory or from LCR)? Or, are you asking about information that the members voluntarily wrote on your forms? If I understand correctly the rules differ considerably based on the source of the information.
pjespersen
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Re: Using membership information for emergency preparedness

#3

Post by pjespersen »

Manually collected membership information.
garystroble
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Re: Using membership information for emergency preparedness

#4

Post by garystroble »

Putting any information such as addresses, phone numbers, email addresses etc. in a non-church on-line database is not allowed in my opinion. That goes double for family members who are minors, their names should not even be allowed outside church systems.
russellhltn
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Re: Using membership information for emergency preparedness

#5

Post by russellhltn »

Personally, I consider entering/uploading information about other members into an online system, outside of any church sanctioned system, that the member hasn't agreed to, to be a "bad idea".
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rmrichesjr
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Re: Using membership information for emergency preparedness

#6

Post by rmrichesjr »

pjespersen wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 6:37 pm Manually collected membership information.
As long as the members who write their names and other information on the sign-up sheets are informed that the information will be stored and used to plan/prepare for emergencies, and as long as reasonable measures are taken to protect the online database from unauthorized access, doesn't that constitute the members having consented to allowing the information to be used in that way?
russellhltn
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Re: Using membership information for emergency preparedness

#7

Post by russellhltn »

rmrichesjr wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 10:16 pm doesn't that constitute the members having consented to allowing the information to be used in that way?
Maybe. It's just that information placed into a computer system (even if protected) plays by different laws than paper. It might be worth reading the consent forms for a blessing or baptism to see what it has to say about the record created.
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BrianEdwards
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Re: Using membership information for emergency preparedness

#8

Post by BrianEdwards »

GHB 22.7 refers to the "Stake and Ward Preparedness" webpage, and Step 2 of that resource says that the following info should be complied and maintained:
  • Contact data for all members and missionaries living within stake or ward boundaries.
  • A map of the area, including the locations of member and missionary residences and resource locations in the community. (Consider using maps.lds.org or LDS Tools to assist with this task.)
So the question then becomes whether digital storage is acceptable, or manual storage is required. Given the comments in this thread (and many others), I'm surprised the Church isn't crystal clear in this document (and all their help/faq sheets), about whether this kind of data can be maintained in a computer storage location. The lack of that specificity surely leads to many local units doing exactly that.

Back to the O.P., I'd suggest following what GHB 22.9.1.3 states, and have the stake president weigh in, as this is his assigned responsibility. He can then determine if he needs to follow up about this with his priesthood leaders.
russellhltn
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Re: Using membership information for emergency preparedness

#9

Post by russellhltn »

OP pointed out this:
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/too ... s?lang=eng
4.8.3  The use of MLS data and membership information in third-party software is prohibited, whether obtained from inside or outside a meetinghouse.  
4.8.4  The use of cloud-based services for storing and/or backing up MLS or any membership-related data is prohibited.  
Unless you're claiming the information on the forms submitted by the members is "information about members" and not "membership information" since it didn't come from the church database, it seems clear to me.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

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BrianEdwards
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Re: Using membership information for emergency preparedness

#10

Post by BrianEdwards »

That's exactly what I'm claiming (perhaps wrongly!). An address or phone number is personal information, but not membership information (in my mind, MLS or LCR contain both personal and church membership information).

So the emergency contact data that's requested to be compiled and maintained, to me is personal information and not membership information. Again, perhaps that's wrong.

I'm no legal expert, so I defer to those who understand legalities much better than myself. And I also understand each country may vary widely on what data is considered 'public' or 'private', regardless of whether it's personal or membership info.
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