Author Topic: privacy and volunteering  (Read 9494 times)

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jedikaiti

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Re: privacy and volunteering
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2013, 01:00:38 AM »
I don't think the OP has to justify to US why she does not want her private and unlisted phone number given out to anyone.  It doesn't matter if she lives in the middle of a war zone or in Mayberry where no doors are locked.

Exactly. And, if this breach gives rise to a need to have that number changed, this coordinator should be the one to foot the bill, IMHO.

Also, a complaint to coordinator's boss/supervisor would not be out of line.
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Gogi

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Re: privacy and volunteering
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2013, 01:35:05 AM »
I don't think the OP has to justify to US why she does not want her private and unlisted phone number given out to anyone.  It doesn't matter if she lives in the middle of a war zone or in Mayberry where no doors are locked.

Exactly. And, if this breach gives rise to a need to have that number changed, this coordinator should be the one to foot the bill, IMHO.

Also, a complaint to coordinator's boss/supervisor would not be out of line.

Re the 3 thoughts above:

Speaking for myself,I'm definitely not asking the OP to justify anything -- I'm merely offering a possible scenario.

Expecting the coordinator to pay for a new phone number, especially if her actions were an innocent error, is IMHO
a huge overreaction.

So is a complaint to the boss; a head's up however (as in "you should be aware this happened") might be nice.



PastryGoddess

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Re: privacy and volunteering
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2013, 03:25:22 AM »
I don't think the OP has to justify to US why she does not want her private and unlisted phone number given out to anyone.  It doesn't matter if she lives in the middle of a war zone or in Mayberry where no doors are locked.

Exactly. And, if this breach gives rise to a need to have that number changed, this coordinator should be the one to foot the bill, IMHO.

Also, a complaint to coordinator's boss/supervisor would not be out of line.

Re the 3 thoughts above:

Speaking for myself,I'm definitely not asking the OP to justify anything -- I'm merely offering a possible scenario.

Expecting the coordinator to pay for a new phone number, especially if her actions were an innocent error, is IMHO
a huge overreaction.

So is a complaint to the boss; a head's up however (as in "you should be aware this happened") might be nice.




I don't agree that the organization needs to pay for a phone number change, but a complaint to her boss is not out of line. 

Whether you (general) like it or not, there is a trend towards more privacy than not. Especially with phone numbers due to telemarketing and data mining.  The OP took advantage of all of the tools given to her to keep her contact information private.  If there was never an expectation of privacy, then why did the organization offer those options.  The organizer might have been clueless, or she could have thought that the rules didn't apply to her.  However, the OP won't know if she doesn't say anything. 

As for not ever volunteering again.  If the OP doesn't feel comfortable with the organization she is well within her rights to not volunteer. As a very busy volunteer, I would much rather give my time to an organization I like and am comfortable with.  I personally have stopped volunteering for reasons such as: not liking the activities, poor organization, rude volunteers, and meh...I don't feel like it any more.  I'm sure to someone I overreacted, but life it too short to do things you don't like....for free
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ShadowLady

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Re: privacy and volunteering
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2013, 03:43:01 PM »
A complaint to her boss, and other members of the board, giving this as reason why you will not be volunteering anymore is totally warrented by her actions.

If you don't complain, she will continue to violate people's privacy in the future.

daen

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Re: privacy and volunteering
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2013, 04:18:15 PM »
I can think of several reasons why people are more protective of their telephone numbers:
  • In the beginning of cell phones, more often than not you paid for incoming calls as well as outgoing calls. You would want to control who had the number to avoid talkative Uncle Bert calling repeatedly and running up your bill.
  • If you carry your cell phone with you, theoretically you can be reached 24/7. The more people have your number, the more likely it is that people will call you while you're out having dinner or otherwise trying to relax. (I know, you can turn it off - but not everyone thinks of that every time.)
  • There are a lot more phone spammers these days.
  • People seem to value others' privacy less, and are more likely to make business calls in the evening on a home number, to expect people to be available 24/7 and be snarky when they are not, to generally trample boundaries that used to be more respected.

auntmeegs

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Re: privacy and volunteering
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2013, 04:24:55 PM »
I confess, I really struggle with this a being a big deal.  I think we have forgotten that not too long ago ALL phone numbers were publically published - in the phone book!  You could look up anyone's number - anywhere in the whole country.  And if you didn't have a phone book,  you called 411 and asked for the number - and they would tell you!  This information was completely public UNLESS a person specifically asked to opt out - ie: ask for their number to be unlisted.  The burden was on the person to make the request.  The default was that the number was publically published.

I'm not sure where the idea that phone number are super secret until said otherwise began.  I don't really get it.  However, just as a person could have one's number unpublished before, I think they have the right to ask for that now.  But, as then, the onus is on the individual to request it.

Personally, I think all phone numbers should be considered public unless requested otherwise.  So, OP, if you don't won't your number shared then it's your responsibly to pass along that information when you give your number.  When you give it to a friend you should also say, "btw, I don't like my number to be given out so please ask before you pass it along."

And when we receive a request like this it should be respected and adhered to.  I would have no problem protecting that information (or an email) of asked to do so.

You're not alone.  I don't get it either. 

ladyknight1

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Re: privacy and volunteering
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2013, 04:30:52 PM »
I understand the OPs stance on this.

However, I am extremely surprised that your school agrees not to give any information. Is it a public or private college? I have pretty tight security on my personal information but any employee, even students that are work study, can access all information on every student, prior or current.

snowdragon

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Re: privacy and volunteering
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2013, 05:51:54 PM »
I understand the OPs stance on this.

However, I am extremely surprised that your school agrees not to give any information. Is it a public or private college? I have pretty tight security on my personal information but any employee, even students that are work study, can access all information on every student, prior or current.

It it s public college, the form I filled out falls under the FERPA act and is the mandated opt out form for disclosure ~ when I filled it out I was warned that if I did I was baring them from even giving info to employers. 

ladyknight1

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Re: privacy and volunteering
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2013, 06:09:55 PM »
Only information covered by FERPA are grades and SSN information. All biographical information can be released unless you go farther.

Danika

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Re: privacy and volunteering
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2013, 06:36:55 PM »
  • If you carry your cell phone with you, theoretically you can be reached 24/7. The more people have your number, the more likely it is that people will call you while you're out having dinner or otherwise trying to relax. (I know, you can turn it off - but not everyone thinks of that every time.)

This is the reason I don't like people to have my cell number. I can't speak for others, so I don't know how often other people are sitting around doing absolutely nothing with silence in the background waiting for a phone call. But I'm always busy, physically active, and there's generally some sound in the background. I'm always either swimming, vacuuming, cooking, playing the piano, relaxing and watching a movie, replying to email, reading EHell, disciplining my kids, talking to my kids, etc. I even have to plan my relaxation and hair-washing on my calendar. I don't like anyone calling me or texting me for any non-emergency. My friends and I make appointments to Skype.

Cebollita

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Re: privacy and volunteering
« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2013, 07:29:04 PM »
THis is a genuine question and not written out of malice or sarcasm. I know about privacy concerns where harm could occur - shredding those pre-approved credit card offers, for example, so no one can steal one and apply in your name and ruin your credit. But I truly do not understand how a phone number released to fellow volunteers could be harmful. So this is a genuine question - please explain! And I don't mean, "If she doesn't want her number shared, then she has that right!" I know that. But why? What could happen? Are you afraid of sales calls from the other volunteers? A name and a phone number, as far as I can understand, are all that are shared. What is the *worst* that could happen, in your wildest imagination? I don't understand, truly and honestly.

baglady

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Re: privacy and volunteering
« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2013, 08:01:05 PM »
Maybe I'm dense, but I don't understand what the problem is. OP volunteered for a project. It's realistic to expect that the volunteers will be able to reach one another to discuss the project, plan meetings, etc. The phone number went to the other volunteers, not to the public at large. Did the project coordinator get the number from the school's database? If so, was it flagged, "Emergencies only -- do not give out" or something similar? If not, then I don't think it's realistic to expect it not to be shared with other volunteers on the project. Before cellphones and email and texting and Skype, phone numbers were freely given without a second thought, unless there were extenuating circumstances.

The number is out there now, so this can't be undone. If you don't want people calling you on that number, perhaps you could call or email the project coordinator and ask that you prefer to be contacted by email, or your work number, or some other method.
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TootsNYC

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Re: privacy and volunteering
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2013, 08:07:30 PM »
If your  number is *unlisted,* then yes, they were very wrong.

I'd be complaining quite measuredly but firmly. And also enquiring about how to prevent this in the future.

If your number weren't specifically unlisted, I'd be agreeing with johelenc1.

And I do see baglady's point--this may have been distributed to other people, but it IS people who are working on a project with the OP, not to the public at large. How *would* they get ahold of one another?


(This might be a good time to look into a Google Voice number--it can be jettisoned very easily if it gets abused.)

johelenc1

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Re: privacy and volunteering
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2013, 08:25:44 PM »
I have a few questions that weren't clear. Was this schedule given to the public or just to the other volunteers? Because if I'm on a project with people the first thing we do is exchange numbers. If this was a list of five volunteers and numbers is find that totally normal. If it was a 100 I'd find it odd and not be happy.

This was give to between 200 and 300 volunteers and staff.
I confess, I really struggle with this a being a big deal.  I think we have forgotten that not too long ago ALL phone numbers were publically published - in the phone book!  You could look up anyone's number - anywhere in the whole country.  And if you didn't have a phone book,  you called 411 and asked for the number - and they would tell you!  This information was completely public UNLESS a person specifically asked to opt out - ie: ask for their number to be unlisted.  The burden was on the person to make the request.  The default was that the number was publically published.

I'm not sure where the idea that phone number are super secret until said otherwise began.  I don't really get it.  However, just as a person could have one's number unpublished before, I think they have the right to ask for that now.  But, as then, the onus is on the individual to request it.

Personally, I think all phone numbers should be considered public unless requested otherwise.  So, OP, if you don't won't your number shared then it's your responsibly to pass along that information when you give your number.  When you give it to a friend you should also say, "btw, I don't like my number to be given out so please ask before you pass it along."




If you read my post - I did say the number is unlisted.  I have also filled out all the forms at school that should have barred anyone affiliated with the school passing out my info to  anyone that information follows our registrations for classes and anything affiliated with the school ( according to the two offices on campus I spoke to. ), including volunteering for campus  events. We signed up through the same system that we would have used for classes. So I did opt out. She took it upon herself to disregard that.

Well, I did read your post and was fully aware your number was unlisted.  What you did not say, however, was that you had previously requested your number not to be shared and that request was ignored.  Your question was, "is this normal now that your private phone number is fair game to be given out?"  And you indicated you were so annoyed that you never wanted to volunteer again.  "Private" to me does not mean unlisted.  In fact, based on a variety of posts on this site, it seems many people consider their phone numbers "private" and not to be shared.  It is not often that they also say it is "unlisted".

I answered the question "is this normal".  My answer is yes.  And, frankly, I think it should be per my argument that all phone numbers were public unless requested otherwise.

Your question is "should my request be disregarded just because I'm on a committee and volunteer".  And, to me, that answer is, "of course not!"  You have made the request and of course it should be respected.  Whoever gave out your number was wrong and you should send a request to the appropriate person asking you number to be removed from the list and asking that an email be sent to everyone who received the list noting the mistake and asking everyone to not share your number with anyone.

However, I would hate to think that never volunteering again is your only option because of the actions, quite likely accidental, of one person.  If it were me, the next time I volunteered, I would add a statement or note in some way that my phone number is unlisted and I did NOT want it shared.  I would say I would personally share it as needed with the immediate members of the committee group to which I belonged.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2013, 08:42:38 PM by johelenc1 »

violetminnow

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Re: privacy and volunteering
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2013, 08:32:24 PM »
I've volunteered before and being able to contact other volunteers by phone is essential. Did you tell the volunteer coordinator before you signed up that your contact information was off limits?

Otherwise I'd say this is just a lesson learned, in volunteer organizations it's important to be able to contact other volunteers quickly and efficiently. In some cases I'm sure some organizations would accept an email instead of a phone #, as long as you checked it often and responded quickly.

I think writing off all volunteering in the future is not in keeping with the spirit you had when you signed up in the first place. I would advise that you speak to the coordinator about how things could have been done differently and be more cautious in the future.