Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Re: Website Set-up Help Needed
Re: Website Set-up Help Needed
Anthony J. Mako
Sun, 11 Oct 1998 21:37:38 -0400
<Jim said>[snip] We have noticed that most unit sites do not display
youth names beyond first name and last initial, with no address or phone
info. Adult's info is listed only with their permission.</Jim>
It is best that no information beyond first name and last initial be
used on a web site for any Scout, and then only with the permission of
the Scout's parents. Having provided training for this subject before,
most parents and Scouters are surprised to learn how easy it is to get
information over the web.
I recently had the opportunity to help out a troop in our council that
had put up a web site, advertised it several places, and had asked for
feedback. When I visited the site, I found a list of full names broken
down by patrol. Any Scout who had email access also had a link to their
email address. Furthermore, I learned the time and channel many of the
Scouts spent chatting on the Internet. It took five minutes (with my SA
watching in amazement) for me to randomly select one Scout's name and
look up his home address, phone number, and retrieve a map and driving
instructions to his house. All of this was done through Yahoo, not some
obscure Inet database. With a little more effort I could have found out
what school the Scout likely went to, and gotten driving instructions
there as well. Needless to say, the webmaster of the troop site
immediately removed all of the Scouts' full names and email addresses,
and removed the references to the IRC channel they frequented.
The important thing to remember is that maintaining privacy on the Web
is mostly common sense. Parents should be told what information will be
available of the site. If the parents do not wish to have any
information about their son on the web site, it shouldn't be there.
Mostly, showing parents that you have given some thought to privacy
issues and how to safeguard their child, should alleviate any fears.
Anthony J. Mako, email@example.com ,Scoutmaster, Troop 381
http://members.aol.com/Scouts381/ "Home of the Unofficial Boy Scout
Great Trail Council - Akron, Ohio
"I used to be an Eagle (C-7-97), but I'll always be an Eagle (1981)"