I've read some about the Data Protection Act in Britain, just exactly how does it affect the congregation structure? If no records can be kept on publishers it would sure put an end to the secret little files the Bethel CIA AKA Service Department can keep. Any experience with this and how can we get it started in the US?
Data Protection Act
The act is that people have to be registered if they are going to keep personal details and hte records have to be accurate and not used to cause harm.
You can request your details (to make sure they are correct) and they have to comply. You can complain to the data protection registrar if they are incorrect or they refuse to divulge them.
Until recently, it only applied to computerised records although organisations could volunteer to help with paper-based ones. Suffice to say, the WTS clung on to not being held to this until they had to legally. Since last Oct the rules apply to paper records as well.
So, you can demand that the congregation shows what they have recorded about you ... do they have records of df reasons for instance? Are they accurate? Does the WTS HQ have them? Do they claim that they (they cong) are separate to the WTS but have shared YOUR personal information with them? You get the idea ...
They can charge a fee which is a max of £10 (I think, could be wrong)
BTW: I'm sure if the data protection registrar was getting a lot of complaints about the intrusive nature of the records kept that they would have look into it all and slap some wrists.
For some years in the UK publishers have been asked to sign the Publishers Record Card - on which the hours etc are recorded. I recall this is done once every few years and is deemed to give authority for some years.
This gives the cong the right to hold the cards for years in storage.
Re Judicial records - no notes or letters should be stored at the cong or indeed made during JC procedures. The cards sent to the society (in a Blue Envelope) by a cong to report a DF list only the cong name, persons name and scriptural reasons for the action. -
Congs get a card back stamped by the WT and this is kept in the cong confidential files and should be reviewed annually in September when elders are supposed to consider visiting DF ones to help them (as a WT article directed some years ago)
Congs also keep a Special Shepherding list which shows any issues re child abuse - listing the names date and little else. All correspondence in such cases is sent to the branch and no copies are allowed to be kept.
Branches will also have (and congs a copy) of the S2 form re appointing / deleting MS & Elders and this may have just general comments re the individual - nothing exciting really
Congs are independent of the Branch as far as the charity commission is concerned and should not pass on "personal details" - but this is unlikely to happen .
Details will also be kept re name address status ets by Regional Building Committees and other similar offshoots.
Oddly I still receive mail re KH Electricity / Old People homes for JWs etc - which must come from some mailing list somewhere but it is years out of date as I was PO years ago.
COs do report on individuals with "special potential" on something called a Personal Qualifications Report PQR - only likely to apply to zealous young pioneer/managers
DO NOT LISTEN TO THE ABOVE POSTS!!!!
The D8TA Protection Act is very simple:
Every week you pay me $200.00 American dollars, and I make sure that:
Your business doesn't burn down.
Or you get roughed up by Hooligans.
Or your family doesn't get bothered.
This way I give you "protection"....hence: The D8TA Protection Act
* cough *
D8TA, you're cute, you mafia wannabe...LOL!