A big shake-up in Data Protection law came into force from 25th May 2018.
This is based on the European "General Data Protection Regulation" (GDPR) which was agreed by the UK in 2016, pre-Referendum, and has only now come into force - unaffected by Brexit.
The Regulation applies directly into UK law from that date but there are some modifications in a new Data Protection Act 2018 which received Royal Assent on 23rd May.
There are massive consequences for all businesses and organisations which process people's personal data, especially those who depend on mass mail-outs for marketing . The aim is to give individuals more control over how their data is used, by compelling organisations to obtain positive consent for such use, and to tighten up considerably on the security and sharing of such data. .
Churches are among many charities who are having to review their practices, particularly when it comes to censuses, databases, and IT security
There is an excellent Church Times article here about the spiritual dangers of getting too preoccupied about the concept of privacy and data rights.
The Diocese has appointed Brin Dunsire to be its Data Protection Manager and he ran a series of eight roadshow sessions around the Diocese during May. In July and August 2018 he was engaged in doing follow-up visits to parishes (42 done up to 30th July.) These were intended to continue throughout the late autumn., but some of these, and their progress-chasing follow-ups, were suspended because of his stroke, and because of the need to co-ordinate with the scheme to roll out generic role-related e-mails across the Diocese., which has been held up. Brin is back in full production and visits may again be requested
The roadshow meetings were primarily intended for
- Parish Priests (assistant priests and Deacons also very welcome)
- Parish secretaries and administrators
- Gift Aid organisers
- Finance Committee Chairs, and other members if they wish
The parish meetings are intended for the same people, dealing with matters specific to each parish rather than generally, but can also include any lay people who organise rotas or parish groups. It has been found necessary to produce a Volunteers' Guide booklet, and this is available in print at parish meetings, and as another download from the list on the right.
Schools and Academy trusts are in a different category and should be receiving separate input from their Local Education Authorities.
Gift Aid documentation, revised in the light of the GDPR, is here.