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Thursday, 24 May 2018

Doing a load of admin tasks for Wargame Developments

Besides everything else I have been doing over the past few days, I seem to have spent quite some time doing admin tasks on behalf of Wargame Developments.

As is normal at this time of year, I am chasing up members who have booked places at COW (the Conference of Wargamers) but have yet to pay in full. I need to do this about four weeks before the date of the conference so that I can pay the cost of booking Knuston Hall for the weekend. On top of this I am having to try to cope with the new General Date Protection Regulations (GDPR) that comes into force tomorrow.


As the Treasurer and Membership Secretary (and now Data Manager and possibly the Data Protection Officer as well!), I hold the group's database in a computer file, and the situation would be very simple if we just published THE NUGGET and did nothing else. The data would fall under the category of data that does not require specific consent for me to hold as it is merely a subscription list. However, because we run COW and must share that data with a third party for Health and Safety reasons – in this case Knuston Hall – and because any member of Wargame Developments can book and attend, it was easier to ask for positive consent from every member of Wargame Developments to hold and share that data in accordance with a written policy ... which I also had to write! (This involved reading the new Regulations which are – in my opinion – very badly drafted and seem to contradict themselves in places.)

The statements of positive consent have been coming in, and each one has to be recorded and stored so I can show that consent has been given by each individual member. The Data Protection Policy has been written and is about to be published online and in the next copy of THE NUGGET ... and as far as I can see, everything is compliant with the new Regulations. This probably puts us ahead of many organisations, some of whom have had teams of people working on this for some time.

As far as I am concerned it has all been very time-consuming, and I can hardly wait to get back to something approaching normality ... such as finishing the final stages of publishing my next couple of books.

10 comments:

  1. Seems to me the government was searching for a problem to fix, putting the onus on private individuals to do so. I imagine there are fines and penalties involved if this was not done or done incorrectly.

    Well, hopefully it is over now and none of it will come back to bite you in the hindquarters.

    I'd rather the government, on my side of the pond, allow me to opt out of all the junk mail I get. Which the Post Office must deliver, even though I do not want it.

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    1. Justin Penwith,

      The GDPR is a European Union-wide set of rules, and the fines for non-compliance can be up to 20,000,000 Euros!

      It is costing organisations both large and small huge amounts of time, effort, and finance to comply ... and it already looks as if some of them have not used the correct 'opting in' processes to obtain consent. The regulations are very clear; you have to give your affirmative consent, and organisations cannot assume consent because you haven't said you don't give it.

      It seems a bit like shutting the stable door well after the horse has bolted, and is not about the EU looking good rather than doing anything effective about data abuse.

      Junk mail ... what would we do without it. Mine usually ends up being recycled ... which means it gets pulped, turned into new paper, and used fo make more junk mail.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like something that someone should make a wargame about. :)

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    2. Kev Robertson,

      As a teacher, a large part of my time was taken up with apparently meaningless admin tasks. Over the years I learned how to cope with the tedium without getting unduly stressed.

      I just hoped that I'd got away from all that when I retired ... but I hadn't. Never mind; that's life!

      All the best,

      Bob

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    3. Justin Penwith,

      Knowing some of the people who will be attending COW2018, I suspect that someone might do just that!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. Some good examples of the confusion this has all caused here - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/05/25/gdpr-chaos-churches-stop-prayer-requests-sick-charities-prepare/

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    Replies
    1. Nigel Drury,

      I suspect that the confusion will continue for some time to come.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. It could help you get to sleep though - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/05/24/app-will-read-gdpr-regulations-send-sleep/

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    3. Nigel Drury,

      Having read the GDPR, I can assure everyone that it is not a 'can't put it down' document; it is more a 'why did I pick this up to read?' sort of thing!

      All the best,

      Bob

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