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Subject: Email Privacy
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Author Messages
LisaP
(Florida)

Posts:32


08/20/2006 4:09 PM  
The Association president, who has recent access to our domain control panel, has intentionally reset several of the Board members and management's email addresses so that she can read our emails. I live in Florida... anyone know what the email privacy laws are? Im not an employee... Im a volunteer Board member for the Association.
JosephW
(Michigan)

Posts:882


08/20/2006 5:24 PM  
Florida requires all parties (sender, receiver, copies) to consent to intercepting, opening or reading e-mail. Here's the link to the state law:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=Ch0934/ch0934.htm

See section 934.03

I think the Prez has some problems.

Joe

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JulieS
(Georgia)

Posts:412


08/21/2006 7:18 AM  
Personally, I would have a problem with your president doing this. What is the point? Are they nosey, a control freak, have nothing better to do?

Since you are a volunteer and not a paid employee, I would think they shouldn't be able to do this but check on it. When you are researching the issue, keep in mind that you are not a paid employee which should have some bearing on what you find.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


08/21/2006 7:36 AM  
Lias, obviously your President should not be doing this. It raises a more serious question about the security of data on a web site. In Colorado some MC are allowing outside parties access to information on the association's web site. I am absolutely against this policy. The Association must be very careful as to what is placed on a web site and who may access what data. There can be serious legal ramifications.

Perhaps Community123.com can expound on this.
hoatalk
(California)

Posts:573


08/22/2006 6:04 AM  
Posted By RogerB on 08/21/2006 7:36 AM

The Association must be very careful as to what is placed on a web site and who may access what data. There can be serious legal ramifications.

Perhaps Community123.com can expound on this.


As to what should be password protected, HindmanSanchez has a good article on it here: http://www.imakenews.com/ortenhindman/e_article000572279.cfm?x=b11,0,w

Here's a quote from the article on what should not be made public on web sites: "... financial records, names, addresses and phone numbers of residents, and probably even the minutes of board meetings should be restricted to residents only."

As to your specific problem: These type of problems can easily occur with self-built websites, not using a professional service like Community123.com. Why? The security controls are in the hands of anyone with webmaster (control panel) access and there is no oversight or procedures in place. With our Community123.com service, only we have access to setup/change email addresses and the change request must come from an authorized requestor. We would question a request that would direct emails so that two people were copied on a single email. We also publish all email forwards on the website where the site Editors can see it, so the appropriate people (e.g. website committee or selected Board members) knows where an email to any address will end up.

Most of the self-built sites we see actually make all information public, because the volunteer web designers don't have the knowledge to properly password protect the site. We have seen other problems from volunteer sites like: The volunteer moves and no one else knows how to change the site; The volunteer doesn't renew the domain name and the HOA loses their website name; Only the volunteer knows how to make updates so the site becomes out of date; The volunteer site suffers from poor design reflecting poorly on the community.

That said, we have also seen many very good self-built volunteer websites. If you have multiple people in the community with advanced website design skills, then it can work (as long as they never move) :-)

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DonN
(Michigan)

Posts:357


08/22/2006 9:58 AM  
This is a blatant example of abuse by an officer of the POA. It illustrates why members need a swift, certain and low-cost method to enforce boards to adhere to the law and the governing documents. Many of the readers have likely been victims of similar abuse. I have.

Don Nordeen
Governance of Property Owners Associations
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