Ward website -- birthday list and photos

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leisure.lane
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:43 pm

Ward website -- birthday list and photos

#1

Post by leisure.lane »

Our ward is creating a website where each group will have information for the members. It will be an open site (no login).

I have a few questions:
1. Can those folks put people's birthdays on the website (month/day only)?
2. Can we put photos of youth and their activities on the youth pages?
3. Is there somewhere that defines what personal information is and how to avoid putting this on websites?

Thanks,
JA
russellhltn
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Re: Ward website -- birthday list and photos

#2

Post by russellhltn »

I'd start by reading General Handbook 38.8.21.2 - Members’ Use of the Internet in Church Callings

As well as internet.churchofjesuschrist.org

To answer your question, posting birthday information is a BAD idea, and depending on local laws, may be illegal.

Photos of individuals can be posed if you have signed permission. In the case of youth, you may need parent's permission.

As for personal information, my advice is to not post anything that you've gotten from ward directories or membership records. Maybe use just the name to make sure you've spelled it correctly. But even then, I'd be careful. Not everyone may appreciate having their name out in public like that.
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leisure.lane
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:43 pm

Re: Ward website -- birthday list and photos

#3

Post by leisure.lane »

Thank you @russellhltn

I've read the Handbook and it has good information for sure. I'm in Kaysville, UT, and so I'm not sure if it is illegal, but I could easily see folks getting concerned about birthdays and photos on the web, open to anyone. The ward wanted to stop doing a newsletter and do a website instead. The newsletter has birthdays and photos, but I don't believe that is considered "public information" in that it is a pdf sent via the church email system directly to members only.

Any advice on helping my ward council see these possible issues and navigate the internet waters of data privacy?
russellhltn
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Re: Ward website -- birthday list and photos

#4

Post by russellhltn »

I'd also refer to General Handbook 33.8 - Confidentiality of Records

Also 38.8.14 - Directories, which seems to discourage the disclosure of birthdays.

I realize that sharing of birthdays was a grand tradition. But the world has changed.

If they wish to proceed, I'd suggest finding a lawyer as they may be opening themselves up to legal issues. And I don't think the church will defend them. It only takes one member that's upset over something published to create a world of hurt.
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Mikerowaved
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Location: Layton, UT

Re: Ward website -- birthday list and photos

#5

Post by Mikerowaved »

I would strongly encourage them to keep the newsletter going rather than setup a website. Russell is correct about the legal and personal risks involved. Picture a bad actor seeing a scheduled Primary Days activity or even a youth dance and took advantage of that knowledge. Lives could be seriously impacted.
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