Managing privacy settings

My ChurchSuite is a great way for members to stay connected with your church or organisation. Whether members need to swap with someone on your rota or communicate ahead of a small group meeting - My ChurchSuite makes it quick and easy for members to look up one another's contact details in a safe, secure and appropriate context.

At the same time we recognise that not everyone may wish for their personal information to be available to other My ChurchSuite members in this way, which is why My ChurchSuite gives each member the ability to personally control which pieces of their contact information are visible to others through their Privacy Settings section.

In this article

Privacy settings & My Groups
Privacy settings & My Rotas
Privacy settings & Search for Others
Adjusting privacy settings in My ChurchSuite
Adjusting privacy settings in Connect
Adjusting privacy settings in ChurchSuite
Managing default privacy options for new Address Book contacts

Privacy introduction

It's useful to remember that at no time is any personal information made visible to anyone outside of your church or organisation. It is however possible for members to choose to share some of their basic personal contact details - name, address, contact phone numbers, and email - with other My ChurchSuite members. Other personal details such as a person's date of birth, marital status, linked spouse/partner, children are never visible to other members; only to themselves.

There are three areas within My ChurchSuite in which fellow members may be able to see another person's contact details (name, address, contact phone numbers, and email only); these are: My Groups, My Rotas and Search for Others.

For those serving on rotas and fellowshipping together in small groups, being able to contact one another is really helpful. You may also optionally enable a My ChurchSuite contact directory feature called Search for Others. In doing so you have a range of 'search settings' to help manage who can access the search and who will be included in search results. Children, for example, are never included in search results. In this way you may choose to restrict access to Search for Others to certain groupings of people (rather than being available to all members), and also to restrict which groupings of people are able to searched for (subject to each person's privacy settings) - for example, those in a newcomers Tag could be excluded from using the search and also from showing in search results.

Whether these three My ChurchSuite sections are available will depend on the ChurchSuite modules you subscribe to, the areas of My ChurchSuite that you've enabled in the respective module's options, and the respective module settings. If one of these three areas is not enabled it will not appear in the navigation menu in My ChurchSuite.

Privacy and group emails: A rota group email or small group email sent with Send replies just to me will always disclose the sender's email address in the "reply-to" field of the message so that replies are routed back to just the sender, rather than to the group's email address. This will happen even the sender's privacy settings have their email set as not visible - it's not possible to send an anonymous email requesting replies to "just me" - the sender's email address has to be disclosed or the recipient email provider will bounce the message undeliverable. However, a rota group email or small group email sent with Send replies to me and all other group members will disclose the group's private email address only in the reply-to field of the email - replies are routed back to all rota/group members by ChurchSuite without disclosing the rota/group member email addresses.

Privacy settings in ChurchSuite and My ChurchSuite

While Privacy settings primarily apply to members in My ChurchSuite, they are also respected within ChurchSuite for your Users. For example, privacy settings are respected by default when producing a printable PDF contact directory or Envelopes/Labels through the Address Book > Communication section.

Privacy settings & My Groups

The My Groups section contains information of small groups that a member belongs to. Subject to each group member's privacy settings, their basic contact information - name, address, email, mobile and telephone numbers - will be visible to fellow active group members in the group's Member list - but not to any group members with a pending status. Only active group members, including group leaders, can view their group's Member list. The My Groups section is only visible to group members and cluster overseers (if this feature is enabled). The My Groups section is also visible if group My ChurchSuite sign-up has been enabled for any groups.

Privacy settings & My Rotas

The My Rotas section lists each person's serving rotas and enables rota members to view their upcoming serving commitments and access the rotas they are part of. This section is only visible for rota members. Subject to each rota member's privacy settings, their basic contact information - name, address, email, mobile and telephone numbers - will be visible on a rota Members list to fellow rota members and ministry overseers for each of the rotas they serve on.

If this feature is enabled, the Search for Others section enables members to look up other members - either by scrolling through the list of members or by typing a name into the Search box at the top of the search page. Subject to each person's privacy settings, their basic contact details - name, address, email, mobile and telephone numbers - are visible in the search results.

Adjusting privacy settings in My ChurchSuite

Each member can manage their own personal Privacy settings in My ChurchSuite, enabling them to choose which elements of their personal contact information - name, email, address, mobile, landline telephone - are visible to other members within My ChurchSuite. Child contact information is never shown - although parents can view and manage information about each of their own linked children.

In the My Details section in My ChurchSuite click the Edit my details pencil icon to the top right of the My Details section. Note that an opted out icon ("notification strikethrough" icon) is displayed against each field of contact information that has been opted out in the member's Communication options - in the example below, the member has opted out of receiving post. Note that Communication options and Privacy settings are two different features and serve two different purposes.

Privacy reminder

Your Home page can only be viewed by you, so even if you set your personal information as being not visible to others in My ChurchSuite, this will always remain visible to you.

Clicking the Edit my details button opens the Details page where the member can manage and update their personal information (i.e. name, phone numbers, address, etc).

The Privacy section (shown below) determines which elements of the person's contact details are visible to other members in My ChurchSuite in all of the three sections described above (My Groups, My Rotas and Search). While each member is able to view all their own personal details in My ChurchSuite, only their address, telephone, mobile and email may optionally be set visible to other members. A link to your Privacy Notice is provided (where you have uploaded one in ChurchSuite).

Members can use the Delete account option to request all their personal data be removed from your ChurchSuite account. This option will only trigger an account deletion request, sent to your organisation's designated Data Protection contact - no data is deleted at this point. Once invoked, the member is immediately logged out of My ChurchSuite and future logins are prevented. Additionally, all their Privacy settings are turned off so that they are no longer visible to others in My ChurchSuite, and all their Communication options are "opted out" so that they no longer receive communications sent through ChurchSuite. They will however continue to receive My ChurchSuite group email communications sent by rota group or small group members - the member remains in the active section of the Address Book (and on their rotas and in their small group) until such time as you action their deletion request. Your Data Protection contact should now follow whatever internal processes you have for removing the person's data from ChurchSuite (unless you have a lawful basis for continuing to process some or all of their data).

Adjusting privacy settings in Connect

For those members who don't yet have My ChurchSuite access or are unable to access My ChurchSuite, it's still possible for them to manage their personal information and Privacy settings through the My Details application in ChurchSuite Connect. Connect is ChurchSuite's Sunday service-facing functionality enabling churches and other organisations to run our Connect applications on a laptop or tablet, perhaps at a weekend service Information point.

Connect's My Details application is primarily designed for newcomers to be able to submit their personal details and areas of interest (in Add mode), but the form can also be used in an Edit mode to enable existing Address Book contacts to securely manage their personal information and privacy settings. See our related support article for further information about Managing newcomers with Connect - article covers Edit mode too..

For the purposes of this article relating to managing privacy settings we will simply demonstrate how the My Details form's Privacy settings section, which is just like a member's Privacy section in My ChurchSuite.

Adjusting privacy settings in ChurchSuite

Administrators and users with Manage permissions for the Address Book are able to make changes to a contact's Privacy settings on a person's behalf - for example when acting on the verbal instructions of a member who wishes to change their current settings. We encourage you to add a Note against the person's profile evidencing the changes were made in accordance with the person's verbal instruction - this will avoid any confusion later about why changes were made.

To change a contact's Privacy settings navigate to their profile page within the Address Book and click Edit at the top of their profile...

In the Edit view locate the section titled My ChurchSuite & Privacy and make the changes as appropriate. Click Save Changes before navigating away from the page.

Managing default privacy options for new Address Book contacts

You can set the default Privacy settings that are assigned when new contacts are added or imported to the Address Book. And of course you can override the default privacy options on a contact-by-contact basis, and even make bulk changes to groups of people or even the entire Address Book - see related support article Managing privacy settings and communication options bulk groups of people.

Head into the Address Book module's options - accessed via the cog-wheels icon in the top right corner of the module.

On the Module Options tab scroll down to the My ChurchSuite & Privacy section. Here you can set the default Privacy settings that will automatically be assigned to all new contacts added or imported into ChurchSuite moving forwards. Note that these settings will not affect the settings of existing contacts in your Address Book - see the related support article for bulk-updating privacy options of existing contacts. For those governed by the EU GDPR it's likely that you will leave all privacy settings unticked so that each data subject can freely 'opt in' for themselves when they have access to My ChurchSuite.

Remember to save any changes made before navigating away from the module settings page.

Still need help? Contact ChurchSuite Contact ChurchSuite