Coronavirus Data Protection Update
Below is an update from Tom Milton, our circuit Communications and Training Officer, on Data Protection during this challenging period.
Note from Tom Milton, Communications and Training Officer
In the last few months life has changed quite dramatically and it has led to us communicating and sharing information with one another in previously unused or even unheard of forms, after all, how many of us had even heard of Zoom a few months ago?! We have been thrown in the deep end in many different ways and we're still working out what successfully being church looks like in this new temporary paradigm.
One thing we must not lose sight of, however, is the importance of staying on top of those key policies which we were used to applying to our normal forms of church, and which now we need to continue to apply in this setting. This applies of course to safeguarding, which I've already seen a lot shared about (read more here), as well as many other things, but it also applies to Data Protection. Below I've compiled an updated set of resources which you might find useful.
The key thing is that we all remember to apply the six Data Protection Principles at all times when sharing information. For all of us that means constantly being aware of what we're doing with the personal information of others, for example; who are we passing their email address or phone number to and have they given permission? Have we asked if they mind us sharing a prayer request on their behalf? Who are we telling when we find out that someone we know has contracted Coronavirus? The same rules that we had started to get used to applying on our church notice boards and in meetings previously, now apply just as much in online conversations and settings.
Thank you for all that you do if you are a champion of good data protection practice in your churches. If you have any questions or concerns then please don't hesitate to get in touch, and please remember that if you find that someone has shared information that they shouldn't, you'll need to record it in your Church Data Breach Log. If this happens the do get in touch and I'll help with the process.
All Methodist Churches and Circuits work under the Data Protection Policy for the Methodist Church. To get an understanding of what the means you can read the Managing Trustees' Privacy Notice here.
There are lots of useful resources on the Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes (TMCP) website about Data Protection in the Methodist Church. Things you might find specifically useful if you are managing Data Protection in your church are:
- Processor Record for Managing Trustees
- Data Mapping Form for Managing Trustees – Template form that Managing Trustees can use to help them to record what personal data they hold.
- Non-Exhaustive List of Examples – Examples based on the results of the Working Party’s data mapping exercise to help Methodist Managing Trustees complete the Data Mapping Form .
- Breach Record for Managing Trustees – Table to record all instances of breach however large or small i.e. whether or not the individual concerned needs to be notified
You can also find an introduction to GDPR webinar by clicking here.