New.lds.org and confidentiality

Discussions about the Directory Tool on lds.org. Questions about the Directory on the classic site should be posted in the LUWS forum.
gbrooksby
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New.lds.org and confidentiality

Postby gbrooksby » Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:22 pm

I noticed when I logged in to new.lds.org and looked up my information in the Ward Directory, it shows my "individual" number. In my case, and perhaps most, this is my cell phone number. I never intended for this to be publicly published. I'm fine with people having my home (land line) number. With the old web site this is not an issue because only the primary phone number is listed. When was the decision made to publish all number in MLS? Was this communicated to the general membership? I don't think it was because I pay attention to these kinds of announcements in church.

Furthermore, when I went into the directory and unchecked the box to have my individual number unlisted, it had no effect. It said to wait 24 hours. Five days later the box is still unchecked and the information is still being displayed. Furthermore, it is still being downloaded by the LDSTools app. for iPhone.

Is this problem known and is there a solution coming quickly? I think this is a terrible way to treat information that some consider confidential.

jbh001
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Postby jbh001 » Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:37 pm

When you change this information for your household on new.lds.org, the pop-up note that appears states:


[INDENT]"Please allow up to 24 hours for your phone and email changes to become effective. This change will take precedence over any other pending changes. Any changes to your privacy settings will become effective immediately. Please note that all privacy changes are reflected in your calendar and map also." (Emphasis added by me.)[/INDENT]


One thing to figure out is if anyone besides you can see/download your individual telephone number. It makes sense that even if you mark your information as private, you would still be able to see it and download, but others would not. This is especially true since you can now also change your number in new.lds.org and it will be pushed down to MLS. It wouldn't make much sense for you to be able to select a privacy option that locks you out of your own information.

BTW, I wouldn't ask the bishop, his counselors, or the ward clerk if they and see your number on the new directory because they would be able to see it regardless because of their callings.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:43 pm

brooksby wrote:In my case, and perhaps most, this is my cell phone number. I never intended for this to be publicly published. [...] When was the decision made to publish all number in MLS?


Unfortunately, I think there was some assumption that just because LUWS didn't show the personal number that it was intended to be private. That was never the case. It was simply a development lag between the feature being added to MLS and when it appeared in MLS reports and the website.
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gbrooksby
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Postby gbrooksby » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:34 am

What I was able to verify at the time is that after I changed my privacy settings, and after fully deleting my personal number via new.lds.org. I was able to log back in at a later time and the phone number was back and the privacy settings were reset to allow the number to be published. Whether others can see it or not, the information should not change for me - and it did. The only thing that had any effect was asking the clerk to remove the number in MLS.

With respect to others seeing my data, I can verify that both my wife and daughter were able to log in and see the data after I changed the privacy settings. If privacy settings do not apply within a household, there should be words to that affect. I was not able to test further.

jbh001
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Postby jbh001 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:39 pm

gbrooksby wrote:With respect to others seeing my data, I can verify that both my wife and daughter were able to log in and see the data after I changed the privacy settings. If privacy settings do not apply within a household, there should be words to that affect. I was not able to test further.
Thanks for the feedback. The best way to test if the privacy settings are working as designed is to ask someone in your ward/stake that is not in a leadership calling and not assigned to your household to see if they can see the info you marked as private. If they can, then use the Submit Feedback link at the bottom of the directory's webpage to report and describe the problem (e.g. directory privacy settings not retained; directory information marked as private still visible to those not in household and to those without proper leadership credentials).

Just as a point of clarification, not everyone can see what is published in the directory at lds.org. Only members of your stake can see it after they sign in to the site. While that still might be present a privacy concern for some in certain scenarios, I thought I would point it out just it case anyone was unaware of this.

On a different note, I'm trying to imagine a scenario in which one would not want someone in one's household to know one's cell phone number, but one is okay with the bishop, EQ pres, or others in ward leadership positions having it. Thus my expectation is that those assigned to my household would still be able to see information I had marked as private, and I would expect LDS Tools to also download that information for them because they are assigned to my household. You have described an alternative expectation.


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