Request a clarification on usage of non-church owned websites

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daddy-o-p40
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#21

Post by daddy-o-p40 »

mkmurray wrote:This isn't really stated in any policy, but I think I will submit it to everyone for consideration and debate...

Perhaps one good point of policy could be that you should never upload somebody else's MLS data that is not your own onto a non-Church hosted server. So if you are taking your own MLS data and uploading it to a non-Church server, do you have that right to your own data about yourself? But you should never have that right over someone else's data. Basically what it boils down to is that you can submit your own personal information to another non-Church website/server, but you cannot take any bulk export out of MLS (other people's data) and put it on a non-Church server.

Tom W. has basically been saying this the whole time that you cannot export MLS data to a non-Church server. This seems like something that would help solve the question of what "Church content" is; what does everyone think (especially Enrique)?

I just want to make sure everyone understands that I am a big proponent of innovation. However, the participants on this forum will be faced with these obstacles until the church publishes some clear definitions as to what is not permitted. So while I concur and value the opinions shared thus far this thread is really about obtaining some "official" definitions which are understandable by all (not just the techies.)

While I concur that data exported from any church system (aka MLS, or the membership directory on the ward websites) is "Church data" it is not "content" as understood by the technology community. Content is defined as a publication or document and in most cases is copywritted.

We also need to know what constitutes an "export" and "upload" in the eyes of the church. Does this mean outputing a report to a disk file, or cutting and pasting from the clipboard, or is it just limited to the export function of the application. The dictionary states that it is to output documents, data, etc. into a format usable by another software program. Does "upload" mean any transfer (via file or keyboard) of information or is it limited to the dictionary's definition to convey software, data, character sets, etc. from one computer to another.

So we need "official" clarifications on what is deemed "content", on whether "web apps" (like ymyw.org, scouting.org, etc.) are permitted for use, and how "export" and "upload" are defined.

In summary, until these "official" clarifications are intelligible to ALL our technology efforts will get tripped up by Priesthood leaders who read letters from the church and interpret them to say we are limited to using official church websites. ;)
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daddy-o-p40
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#22

Post by daddy-o-p40 »

mkmurray wrote:Yes, this is exactly what I meant as well. Thank you for clarifying. I don't think it matters whether it is imported automatically or manually hand-typed, it is the same. You as an individual have no right to insert other people's sensitive MLS data onto a non-Church hosted server.

The key point I am trying to make is that just because my name and address are stored in MLS, doesn't mean I can't put it on some other non-Church site. But, I also don't have the right to put other names and addresses that are not mine onto a non-Church server.
mkmurray / RussellHltn / thedqs-

So according to this "no distinction" approach each of you has concurred with the church should request that all "web apps" (ymyw.org, scouting.org) not be used, right?

This is the problem and it is why we need "official" clarification. :confused:
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mkmurray
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#23

Post by mkmurray »

enriquer wrote:So according to this "no distinction" approach each of you has concurred with the church should request that all "web apps" (ymyw.org, scouting.org) not be used, right?
No, I never said "all web apps". In fact, I would say "most web apps" probably meet acceptable requirements to make them okay.

Well, we've all given our input and opinions. I do agree with you that it is time for a more precise policy. It appears there are many conflicting intrepretations of the same policy.

Tom W. has already mentioned they are considering a more defined policy. In the meantime, I would suggest trying to understand and apply the intent of the policy, even if it isn't totally clear what it is trying to say. I think there is a consensus that nobody has a right to upload (automated or typed) other people's sensitive MLS or Unit Web Site data onto a third party, non-Church server. This is why I am saying it doesn't rule out all "web apps," only the non-Church ones that make you upload bulk "Church content" that is not your right to redistribute.

Again, this isn't official policy, but I think it's close to the intent of the policy. Be prayerful and close to the Spirit and you won't stray from the spirit of the law.
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What is sensitive MLS data?

#24

Post by jerbarb-p40 »

It does not seem to me that all data in MLS is considered sensitive. Things such as DOB and ordinace dates are obviously sensitive, but not the person's name. The only information from MLS used in a HT/VT reporting website are the assigned family or individual names. It does not seem to me that grouping those names into routes and districts makes the information sensitive.

Uploading the organization from MLS saves having to enter the information manually, but again, just becuase it came from MLS, that does not make the information sensitive. Finally, information on a HT/VT reporting website is accesible only to those leaders given specific access to the information for their stewardship. The general public or even other church members are not able to access it.

Jerry S
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#25

Post by russellhltn »

jerbarb wrote:The only information from MLS used in a HT/VT reporting website are the assigned family or individual names. It does not seem to me that grouping those names into routes and districts makes the information sensitive.
Which website are we talking about? The one I've seen has name, address, phone number, and by association the fact they are a member. Collectively that information can be considered sensitive.

jerbarb wrote:Finally, information on a HT/VT reporting website is accessible only to those leaders given specific access to the information for their stewardship. The general public or even other church members are not able to access it.
In a perfect world, yes. But you also have to consider that by placing it on the web it also becomes possible for hackers to get to it. By placing it on a third-party website, it's no longer where the church can protect it.
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#26

Post by mkmurray »

Despite all of these discussions about what is sensitive and what is not, the established policy that has been put forth on this site by Church leadership is that no bulk data from MLS is to be put on a third-party, non-Church hosted server, no matter what method it is.
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#27

Post by WelchTC »

enriquer wrote:Tomw / Mkmurray-

Hmmm....this is still not as clear as you would think. You see we really need a definition of what is deemed "content" by the Church. If you use the definition known to all of us in cyberspace it is the copyrighted material mentioned in that letter.

While we are at it we probably need the church's definition of "uploaded" too. Is uploaded a file upload or does it also mean keyed in?

So if ward members/leaders are to use the ymyw.org or scouting.org we have a problem. Because all of the informaiton they have does originate from the MLS system in one fashion or another.
Currently there are no further guidelines that I can provide you. You must use your own best discretion. My own personal view is that sites like YMYW.org, etc. are fine as long as you type in the information. We use this in my ward but to better protect the privacy, we never use first names of the youth, but instead only use initials.

Tom
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#28

Post by WelchTC »

enriquer wrote: In summary, until these "official" clarifications are intelligible to ALL our technology efforts will get tripped up by Priesthood leaders who read letters from the church and interpret them to say we are limited to using official church websites. ;)
It goes without saying that if your Priesthood leaders do not want to use some web site that you think may be OK, you should not.

Tom
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daddy-o-p40
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#29

Post by daddy-o-p40 »

mkmurray wrote:Despite all of these discussions about what is sensitive and what is not, the established policy that has been put forth on this site by Church leadership is that no bulk data from MLS is to be put on a third-party, non-Church hosted server, no matter what method it is.
Bulk data no matter what method means that the scouting.org, ymyw.org, etc. sites are all in violation of current church policy then.

Whereas the site that Jerbarb is speaking about is limited to the names of the heads of household which are okay given they are a public record?
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daddy-o-p40
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#30

Post by daddy-o-p40 »

tomw wrote:It goes without saying that if your Priesthood leaders do not want to use some web site that you think may be OK, you should not.

Tom
Of course not. The real issue is how is a non-technical local leader to make this determination given the lack of current "actionable or intelligible guidelines" from the church?
"What have I done for someone today?" Thomas Monson
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