Would a Class Action Lawsuit against Watchtower work - Breach of Privacy?

by Tazemanian-devil 3 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Tazemanian-devil

    the Branch Manual reveals the following:

    Chapter 3., Par 62 Data Protection Policy, section c: If a data subject request access to, correction of, or deletion of personal data or sensitive personal data about himself, the organization will fairly consider granting the request by balancing the interests of the individual in gaining access or correcting or deleting data against the legitimate religious interests of the organization, including whether granting the request would endanger the organization's right to religious freedom and practice."
    d. "The organization has an interest in permanently maintaining data regarding an individual's status as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Deleting such information would unduly infringe on the organization's religious beliefs and practices."

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but they do not disclose the fact that intimate details about judicial matters are view-able by other elders who were not on your committee, by the C.O., and are sent to the branch to be read by other complete strangers. In addition, their IT staff has access to this data as well. None of these people are authorized by the individual to view their personal private details, and no contracts are ever signed implying that WT has the right to disclose this information to these people.

    Could this be grounds for a class action lawsuit? Any joker with a tie or holding a broom can probably walk into one of those offices and come across details of your personal private matters lying on someones desk.

    They also do not let you view these materials, nor will they delete them citing religious freedom.

    What do you think?

  • Petraglyph

    Well, they should not be permanently maintaining data - at least in the UK, and I'm sure in many other countries.

    Data Protection Principles

    Principle 5 states:

    Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.

    If they are keeping data permanently regarding UK citizens then they are in breach of UK Data Protection Law.

    I would expect the same will also apply in most developed countries.

  • ToesUp
    We knew of situation. When their father died they had to go thru all his paperwork. He was an Elder for many years. His son found a file at his home of J.C. Notes and the copies of the signed DF forms the Elders sent off to HQ with reasons for their actions. He now knew all the details of 2 brothers and 1 sister in his hall. 3 different judicial committee private notes were unsecured. He was not a servant. His wife read them too. So much for Jehovah's holy spirit protecting confidential information!
  • Mephis

    I've been looking at this issue for the past couple of months, and the branch manual's data protection policies certainly seem at odds with British law on such things, especially so far as an implied consent for them to reveal highly private information to whoever they choose for all eternity is concerned. In Australia, it's probably worth noting that there is also evidence in the documentation handed over to the commission that the WBTS deliberately attempted to massage its accounts to avoid Australian data protection legislation applying to them.

    Currently writing up a letter to the Information Commissioner's Office here in Britain. What may get more traction is a subject access request to WBTS here in London (not registered with the ICO) and seeing whether they provide the files requested. Intriguingly, IBSA is what is registered in Britain to handle data. My ability to subject access request them is severely limited by not having been through a JW judicial procedure nor done anything to generate a file at HQ.

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