Sharing documents

Some discussions just don't fit into a well defined box. Use this forum to discuss general topics and issues revolving around the Church and the technology offerings we use and share.
dannykos
Member
Posts: 295
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:26 am
Location: UK, East Grinstead

Postby dannykos » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:13 pm

This is all becoming unneccesarily taut. In situations where there is a perceived lack of clarity of instruction, you just take it to a higher authority. So - ask your bishop, he can ask his stake president, he can ask an area authority seventy etc… etc…

There really is no need for us to strain at the fine print and have a heated debate about what is and isn't appropriate - when we have inspired leaders who can guide us accordingly.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 30400
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:33 pm

dannykos wrote:This is all becoming unneccesarily taut. In situations where there is a perceived lack of clarity of instruction, you just take it to a higher authority. So - ask your bishop, he can ask his stake president, he can ask an area authority seventy etc… etc…


Assuming the relevant sections of policy have been presented to them, I'll agree with that.
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.

nutterb
Member
Posts: 276
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:06 am
Location: Berea, KY, USA

Postby nutterb » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:45 am

The only thing I'll add to the discussion is a comment on how seriously the United States takes privacy issues in the healthcare industry.

I work regularly with protected health information (PHI). If I were to post any PHI to Google Docs (be it a single patient or several million), the following would happen

  • I would be fired. No questions asked.
  • The institution for which I work would pay several thousand dollars in fines
  • I personally would have to pay as much as $15,000 in fines...after having lost my job

Only a few weeks ago, a physician in California was sentenced to jail time for releasing PHI to newspapers. It was the first case where a person was sentenced to jail for releasing PHI.

And what are the most common pieces of information we refer to as PHI? Names, addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, medical record numbers, social security numbers, income, or anything else that could be used to uniquely identify a person.

Granted, in the realm of Church service, you can't really avoid passing names around, and I don't think most people would object to names being passed in that realm. But certainly the other pieces of information could potentially prove problematic.

I don't want to make the implication that we should take all the precautions at Church that are required in healthcare, but we should be sensitive to the fact that a lot of this information is expected to be very well protected. If there were to be an instance where this data were obtained because members serving in the Church were uploading it to third-party servers, it would be a huge headache for the Church, bad for it's public image, and a hindrance to the work of salvation.

Use whatever tools you need to use, but by all means, please protect the privacy of members' personal information.

dbdarrough
New Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:27 pm

Postby dbdarrough » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:34 am

Hello everyone,

This will be my last post on the subject as I agree that because of my posts and those of others, this discussion has become taut and unproductive. Everyone is stating opinions but what I was looking for was facts from official church policy. I have decided to continue using Google Docs for the following reasons:

1) The official church policy guide, the Church Handbook of Instructions 2: Administering the Church Section 21.1.22 regarding the Internet does not address or prohibit the use of tools like Google Docs for sharing information among church leaders. http://lds.org/pages/lds-site-development-guide?lang=eng&query=lds+site+development+guide

2) The handbook section also references "Additional helps and guidelines are provided by searching for “Internet Usage Helps for Members” on LDS.org." It states under the section Personal Internet Use in Church Callings that we may "Use personal information found in stake and ward directories or other Church records only for Church purposes. This information should be shared carefully and only with those who need to access it to fulfill Church callings and assignments." While it also states "Safeguard personal information. It should not be included in electronic messages, such as e-mail, text messages, or instant messages.", Google Docs is not an electronic messaging system like email, text messaging or instant messaging and does not apply. Without getting into further opinions, I think most of this forum would agree that that obviously there will be times a Bishop needs to communicate personal information to a RS or Elder's Quorum President etc. and may use email to do so but again, Google Docs doesn't fit into that category. https://lds.org/pages/internet-usage-helps?lang=eng&query=Internet+Usage+Helps+Members

3) The LDS Site Development Guide under its section Use of Personal Information reiterates the same policy "Personal information found in stake and ward directories or other Church records should be used only for Church purposes. This information should be shared carefully and only with those who need to access it to fulfill Church callings and assignments." http://lds.org/pages/lds-site-development-guide?lang=eng&query=lds+site+development+guide

4) I personally contacted the Church Headquarters department responsible for giving official guidance to clerks (Clerk Assistance and Instruction (Membership), telephone 801-240-3500), explained that I wished to use Google Docs to share MLS information among our ward leadership and was told there are no official policies prohibiting the use of Google Docs in this manner so long as we were not creating a public website where that information would be available to anyone.

5) Finally, the use of Google Docs to share this information among our ward leadership was not only approved but encouraged by our Bishop. It has been a great blessing and has cut down the amount of time involved in our callings significantly.

So at this point I have looked at 3 official church policy references, spoken with the official church headquarters group assigned to give clerks guidance and have the blessing and encouragement of my Bishop. As I stated in an earlier post, I feel very good about using Google Docs in this manner to further the work. If at any point, the Church wishes to institute an official policy prohibiting the use of tools like Google Docs or truly lock down all email communications of a private nature then of course, I will follow that policy. But as it stands now, I will continue to use tools like Google Docs until I receive further light and knowledge. Thanks for everybody's input.


Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests