Privacy Policy and the Use of Technology

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chrisgrant
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Privacy Policy and the Use of Technology

#1

Post by chrisgrant »

The new version of Section 38.8.31 (Privacy of Members) in the Handbook includes the following statements: "Ward and stake leaders should not store or share confidential Church information outside of Church-provided applications, systems, or internet services. Examples of confidential Church information include a person’s: Membership status. Temporal needs. Other personal information that is not publicly available."

The wording here might not be much different than in previous versions, but it has got me thinking again about how letter-of-the-law to be on these matters. I'd be interested in hearing opinions about how these rules ought to pertain to the following hypothetical scenarios:

1. After overseeing a Melchizedek Priesthood ordination, a high councilor texts the stake clerk the date of the ordination and the name and membership number of the person performing the ordination, so the stake clerk can record the ordination on LCR.

2. A stake calls stake baptism coordinators. The coordinators ask the stake clerk for a list of children approaching baptismal age. The stake clerk supplements the Action and Interview List with names and personal phone numbers of the children's parents who live in the stake, puts the data into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to facilitate sorting by various criteria, and emails the spreadsheet to the coordinators as an attachment, using the LCR Send-A-Message app.

3. The full-time missionaries assigned to a stake ask the stake clerk for a list of Part-Member families. The stake clerk creates a custom report by searching for married members whose spouse is not a member. The stake clerk sends the missionaries the report as an attachment using Gmail, since he can't see how to use the LCR Send-A-Message app to send something to the missionaries.

4. A stake clerk uses Microsoft Word to take minutes and record assignments in stake presidency meeting. In the meeting there are discussions that include personal information that is not publicly available. The clerk uses his personally-owned laptop computer to do this, and he stores each meeting's minutes on the hard drive.
garystroble
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Re: Privacy Policy and the Use of Technology

#2

Post by garystroble »

Interestingly, the index shows 38.8.32 but it is indeed 38.8.31.

Reading this literally, all of your examples could be interpreted as violations. However, it is obvious to me that using church internet systems could be violations as well, since the Church does not own, maintain or regulate point-to-point internet packet or phone traffic, including possible storage en route by ISP's or other providers, regardless of what encryption system is currently used or will be in the future on church internet communications or web pages, to say nothing of the end users generally not having church provided email addresses or cell phones and private non-member vendors who assist the Church with their IT systems and platforms.

Having said all that, I think the intent and spirit of the guidance is to not use other web storage such as non-church cloud databases for confidential information, and to be very cautious using personal storage devices. The verbiage is so open ended however, that a bishop emailing or texting a member of the ward council about a situation could find themselves in a gotcha moment if the discussion veers into temporal needs or other specifics. Don't see how we can properly operate in the electronic world these days other than to do what we are doing and keep these guidelines in mind.

By the way, I have noticed that when church web pages start to load they are sometimes feeding here through a Facebook server. Not sure how or why that is happening, and I am not on Facebook at all.
klricks
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Re: Privacy Policy and the Use of Technology

#3

Post by klricks »

chrisgrant wrote:....
2. A stake calls stake baptism coordinators. The coordinators ask the stake clerk for a list of children approaching baptismal age. The stake clerk supplements the Action and Interview List with names and personal phone numbers of the children's parents who live in the stake, puts the data into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to facilitate sorting by various criteria, and emails the spreadsheet to the coordinators as an attachment, using the LCR Send-A-Message app.
....
This would not be very practical as LCR does not print reports in any form which can be readily used by a spreadsheet. They would have to either manually type all data into the spreadsheet or maybe use an OCR scanner.
Assistant Ward Clerk
chrisgrant
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Re: Privacy Policy and the Use of Technology

#4

Post by chrisgrant »

klricks wrote:
chrisgrant wrote:....
2. A stake calls stake baptism coordinators. The coordinators ask the stake clerk for a list of children approaching baptismal age. The stake clerk supplements the Action and Interview List with names and personal phone numbers of the children's parents who live in the stake, puts the data into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to facilitate sorting by various criteria, and emails the spreadsheet to the coordinators as an attachment, using the LCR Send-A-Message app.
....
This would not be very practical as LCR does not print reports in any form which can be readily used by a spreadsheet. They would have to either manually type all data into the spreadsheet or maybe use an OCR scanner.
I've had quite good luck copying and pasting miscellaneous tables into Microsoft Excel. I tried it just down with our stake's "Children Approaching Baptismal Age" list from LCR, and Microsoft Excel put things into rows and columns correctly.
BrianEdwards
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Location: Michigan

Re: Privacy Policy and the Use of Technology

#5

Post by BrianEdwards »

Membership status
I had understood this to be whether a member was under formal probation, etc., not whether a person was a member or not (i.e. part-member families, etc). Is my understanding incorrect?
russellhltn
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Re: Privacy Policy and the Use of Technology

#6

Post by russellhltn »

BrianEdwards wrote:
Membership status
I had understood this to be whether a member was under formal probation, etc., not whether a person was a member or not (i.e. part-member families, etc). Is my understanding incorrect?
Good queston. I can't find any definition of the term. I can't find it at all in the Help Center. I do find in 33.8:
Stake and ward directories that are distributed to members must follow the guidelines in 38.8.14. Membership lists that have more information, such as age and membership status, may be given only to authorized stake and ward leaders.
So it would appear that "Membership status" is more than simply being on the rolls. I have a dim recollection of such a field that was some combination of gender/priesthood and perhaps baptismal status. It probably dated back to an era of computers in which data was squeezed to an absolute minimum of storage.

Personally, I'd interpret the meaning to be any kind of status: baptismal, priesthood, endowment, etc. In short, anything that could cause embarrassment if it was at all unusual and disclosed beyond those with a real "need to know".
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.
jdlessley
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Re: Privacy Policy and the Use of Technology

#7

Post by jdlessley »

Membership status could be what we find in the Create a Report function. There membership status centers around whether there is a record and whether there is a baptism and confirmation for that person's record. A child of record that has not been baptized would not be a member. Also those over 18 years of age that have a record and have not been baptized would not be a member.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the ChurchofJesusChrist.org Help Center?
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