Members have mentioned to me that they feel unsafe about the fact that all that is required to create an LDS account is the membership number and birth date. With the strictness of privacy laws in some countries and the concern some members obviously have about some of their data being available to others, this ought to be tightened up. One member in my stake has been a victim of identity theft and believes the information used came from church records of some kind.
Some ideas and suggestions for additional data that could be requested that have just popped into my head are:
- Surname (I can see the problem with asking for complete name as their name may have been incorrectly entered in MLS once upon a time, but surely their surname or maybe first name ought to be correct. If it isn't, the data ought to be corrected in MLS anyway)
- Special field in MLS where the member tells the ward clerk what the content should be so when an LDS account is created only he/she can create it because of knowledge about what is in that field
- Automatically mailed letter with special code which is created when an LDS account is requested. That code has to be entered to finish the process
- Or maybe just better information at the time the LDS account is created about what information is and isn't available once the account has been created so members feel more comfortable with the whole thing.
If you opt-in to make your profile public, it says that you "Allow authenticated members of my stake [district] to see my household information in the online directory as configured on this page". For "HOUSEHOLD INFORMATION" and "HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS" you then have the option to "Show in branch directory" or "Show in ward directory" (depending on your unit). But the data you have chosen to show is in fact visible to everyone in the stake, not just to everyone in the ward/branch.
If you have a leadership position you have no way of seeing what changes to your profile means to the visibility of your information to other members. There ought to be an option where I can choose to view the directory as if I was another non-leadership member. I have myself resorted to use my wifes LDS account to be able to see the directory as a non-leadership member. And evewn then I can't see what exactly other members can or can't see about my own household. And if I had been single and in a leadership position that option wouldn't even be available to me. I have for several years used an online photo album that has exactly this option, the option to view the album as "guest".
In "Conditions of opting-in" in the directory it states that:
"By opting in you are agreeing to allow your name and personal contact information to be used from your Church membership record and displayed in your local unit's online directory listing, in spatial mapping features that identify your personal residence within the unit"
"You may opt out of participation in the on-line directory, mapping, ... at any time by simply unchecking the appropriate box in your profile"
Another example of incorrect information. Household locations are visible to ANY member in the stake irrespective of whether they have opted in or out.