Allotment association software

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andyswarbs

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2013, 13:14 »
I would be surprised if any technician would regard MyColony behind a council's firewall as significantly superior to googledocs, excepting that certain committee members might not be able to access certain details eg working vs retired.  Like all databases what matters more than the database security is the security profile of the people using it.

Do I trust anyone in my committee to know who is retired and who isn't?  Do my plotholders care? And there comes the rub.  Providing one understands the risks of any computer system and explains those risks clearly to the community you serve, and especially take care of personal details then what is the problem one is trying to solve.

I can understand a council taking a very strict & uncompromising attitude.  A council has a right to be totally paranoid about such matters.  But they do so at considerable cost - and a cost that gets passed down to plotholders.  And also, sadly my guess is that their attitude may work well as far as a computer system goes, but will break down when it comes to an allotment committee.

(Let me just add that some of our plotholders do like to keep their life very private.  These members are very paranoid about privacy.  Such people do not have their data stored.  Such data would not even be added to myColony.)

After all, ALL allotment committee members worldwide will - even if they use mycolony - share personal data by email.  That's a fact.  So any security embedded in mycolony, no matter how it is deployed breaks down to the level of GoogleDocis when one considers the human aspects.

I consider myself computer fluent. With no disrespect intended, some of my committee members struggle to use the Internet & Email.  That, my guess struggling with the Internet is true of most allotment committees.  These are not professionals paid 000s by councils with secure contracts.  They are volunteers.

So you pay lots of money for a secure system and then put it in the hands of ...  Is the result secure?  My guess any sense of security worthy of GCHQ would be a whole charade.

My allotment committee works hard to justify spending 50.  The idea of spending several 100s annually for myColony - well it will never happen.

I am not saying that myColony is not good.  But GoogleDocs is brilliant.  For instance on my Android phone I can walk around my allotment site and annotate details via my phone on the live spreadsheet such as plot condition, trees that may need maintenance, fence maintenance etc.  Also if someone makes a complaint I can log that on the complaints spreadsheet.  All done over a secure connection.

The safest system is pen & paper.  Add a computer and you increase risks.  Add the Internet and you increase risks again.  But most people accept these as a trade off for functionality.

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Yorkie

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2013, 17:25 »
Each to their own.

You do a disrespect to committees elsewhere by saying they all share tenant data though.  Some of us abide by the DPA.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 17:45 by Yorkie »
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

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andyswarbs

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2013, 02:06 »
I hope I do not disparage anyone.  Certainly that was not my intention.  If that is the way my post has been interpreted then I can only apologise.

My goal was to make clear that it is within the scope of the DPA for committees to legally use email.

Sharing tenant data as such is not against the DPA: it all depends who you share it with.  If you share it with the world at large that would be wrong.  If you share tenant data with non-committee members that would be wrong.

However if you share it with fellow committee members so they can fulfil their duties that would be right  It does not matter whether you send emails, using GoogleDocs or myColony. Within the committee, these are all examples of tools to help allotment associations function effectively.  And they are all entirely within the law.

There are even specific exemptions for non-profit organisations (such as allotment associations) to ensure they can function with less bureaucracy than a normal company.   For instance they do not need to "register" with the Information Commissioner.

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Yorkie

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2013, 13:43 »
Thank you for your clarification.

I think a committee needs to be very clear who needs to have access to which data.

Nobody on my committee needs to have access to the records of tenants so it doesn't get shared.  With regard to this data I am covered by the council's DPA situation.  There is no need for me to have access to sensitive information on a routine basis and therefore I don't.

I do not need to have access to association membership records and so I don't.

Just because someone is on the committee doesn't mean the data can be shared with them, particularly if it is sensitive data.

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LilacSandy

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2013, 13:14 »
It is the same with our committee, only the allocations officer and the site secretary have access to the records of tenants.  As I am treasurer I do not need, or indeed have, access to these records.  We also get new tenants agreement to shared emails.  All important information is put on the notice boards for those who no not want/do not have, email.

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andyswarbs

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2013, 14:30 »
I guess it depends on who does what task.  Our treasurer is in full charge of all letting matters relating to money.  The core input for the treasurer is the plot list, which includes who is retired, names & addresses & telephone numbers.  With those details our treasurer chases people who have not paid or have paid the wrong amount.

Eventually if people have still not paid their rent then she relays that information back to the committee for escalation and thence back to the plot management team who will, if all else fails, re-let the plot to someone new.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 18:54 by andyswarbs »

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Yorkie

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2013, 18:33 »
Absolutely, andy - the task dictates who needs the access  :D



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