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What does supervisors write about VATSIM members?


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I do understand the fact that we may request that infomation. However, in my opinion it should be allowed to read own log-files straight away, not via somebody.

 

Ahh, I see. Why is that? Do you worry that if you get the information via someone, that that person will censor some of the information?

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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I do understand the fact that we may request that infomation. However, in my opinion it should be allowed to read own log-files straight away, not via somebody.

 

Ahh, I see. Why is that? Do you worry that if you get the information via someone, that that person will censor some of the information?

 

might be...

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I do understand the fact that we may request that infomation. However, in my opinion it should be allowed to read own log-files straight away, not via somebody.

 

Ahh, I see. Why is that? Do you worry that if you get the information via someone, that that person will censor some of the information?

 

might be...

 

You ought to be joking. LOL Why would VATSIM censor your record? This is just hilarious. It's a HOBBY, nobody's out to get you!

 

Unless you do something pretty colorful, I don't think you'll get any remarks on your record in the first place.

 

Other than paranoia, any other reason why you feel it's so essential that you have access to the records?

Daniel Pimentel

VATCAR Deputy Director

San Juan CERAP ATM

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  • 8 months later...

Without wishing to fuel the fire it is an interesting point of ethics of how the Data Protection Act here in the UK and the Freedom of Information Laws in the US (apologies if I am not correct in quoting the USA statute correctly) applies in this case.

 

Whilst VATSIM is a membership organisation and as such, records need to be retained and kept for reference or other activities appropriate to the running of the organisation, the conspiracy theorists have of course an interesting a valid point.

 

If information regarding an individual is held, why should each person not be permitted to see an unexpurgated copy of such information...?

 

The major change in the UK in this aspect was Access to Medical Records whereby each person was entitled under law to access their own medical records or those people for whom they had parental or guardian rights under law.

 

Indeed in the UK any person can formally request from any organisation copies of the information held by them which includes emails which may refer to or discuss the individual including governmental organisations...

 

An interesting topic...I don't subscribe to the consipracy theorists perspective of course however access to personal information has and no doubt will always be a sensitive issue, not just for VATSIM but for any person and any organisation....Big Brother is out there - I just think that he's busy doing other things...!

 

Gordon...

 

VATUKF4

Military Operations Director

VATSIM-UK

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Sure, but if you get suspended at VATSIM it does not mean that you will have trouble finding a job in the realworld because somebody has written something into your personal files.

 

This is a hobby. We have more important things to worry about. First learn how to correctly fly your vPlane or control your vTower, then, maybe, you can think about other stuff. Me thinks.

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Gordon,

 

I'm not familiar with UK law, but with regards to the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), what it says is that the government may NOT keep secret records and refuse to share them with people who request them properly. There are some records which are not subject to the FOIA (cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ified material, litigation information, material protected under the privacy act, etc.) but it is important to know that FOIA ONLY applies to the U.S. Government, not private entities.

 

In the case of the United States, we also have the Privacy Act of 1974 and I think this is what you were thinking of. It says that if the government or any organization collects personally protected information (social security numbers, medical information, etc.), said information must be:

  • protected
  • only made available to people who need it to carry out the reason the data was collected
  • made available for review by the person

As always, there are specific exceptions (for example a person subject to criminal investigation has no right to see the contents of said investigation until she/he has been charged). The big thing here is what constitutes personal protected information.

 

VATSIM does NOT collect personal protected information. VATSIM's files (including membership records and CERT files) are the property of VATSIM NOT the member and the member has NO legal right to see said information unless VATSIM chooses to share it.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Dave

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Indeed - I was personally curious about the freedom of information purely as I am also a membership secretary for another organisation (not aviation related) and in the UK it was, three years or so ago, that we had a very informative and interesting debate regarding membership organisations and a justifiable need to retain or record information...

 

Thanks for your informative response and the US perspective David....

 

Gordon...

 

VATUKF4

Military Operations Director

VATSIM-UK

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Just to add on to what David stated, VATSIM is a private organization (as opposed to a public or governmental entity) so the rules are a bit different. No personal protected information is collected. Moreover....you have to think about these requests from a practical standpoint. Let's say you wished to review your record and made a request to do so. How could we possibly verify that you were, in fact, YOU? We have no central or satellite offices or headquarters for you to present yourself with proper identification to allow us to ensure such information is provided only to the appropriate individual. We rely on electronic communications and there is no inexpensive way to verify one's identity. The only fullproof method to protect a member would be on insisting in face-to-face meetings with proper ID. That is just not a practical solution and carries its own problems.

 

As David said, no truly personal information is collected (addresses, phone numbers, pictures, identifying numbers, etc.) and what is collected is the property of VATSIM. We strictly adhere to our stated privacy policy and don't share that information beyond staff and for our own internal use.

George S. Marinakis

VATSIM6, co-Founder, VATSIM

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Just to add on to what David stated, VATSIM is a private organization (as opposed to a public or governmental entity) so the rules are a bit different. No personal protected information is collected. Moreover....you have to think about these requests from a practical standpoint. Let's say you wished to review your record and made a request to do so. How could we possibly verify that you were, in fact, YOU? We have no central or satellite offices or headquarters for you to present yourself with proper identification to allow us to ensure such information is provided only to the appropriate individual. We rely on electronic communications and there is no inexpensive way to verify one's identity. The only fullproof method to protect a member would be on insisting in face-to-face meetings with proper ID. That is just not a practical solution and carries its own problems.

 

As David said, no truly personal information is collected (addresses, phone numbers, pictures, identifying numbers, etc.) and what is collected is the property of VATSIM. We strictly adhere to our stated privacy policy and don't share that information beyond staff and for our own internal use.

 

If the information is, indeed, not personal, then what's the harm in letting us see it?

 

Just a thought.

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There is a difference in "personal" and "private." The VATSIM data is not "personal" in that it does not include things like US Social Security numbers (and whatever the Euro equivalent might be), you address, etc. It is, however, private in that it (evidently) includes information that might be used to perpetuate rule violations. I've been a part of another large gaming organization that had the exact same kind of thing. It is invaluable to those in charge of enforcing the rules to identify repeat offenders and those who try to 'work around' prior bans. Having been on the other side of things, I understand completely why 'management' wants to keep their methods confidential (read: private).

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I think a considerable difference between the US and UK legislation here. The UK Data Protection Act covers both private and public organisations (I had to register under the DPA when I was maintaining a clubs membership records). The subject of a record has the right to see anything written about them, including statements of opinion as well as of fact.

 

Ruth

VATGOV7

Ruth McTighe

Heathrow Director, Essex Radar, Thames Radar, London Information

[Mod - Happy Thoughts]t webmistress CIX VFR Club http://www.cixvfrclub.org.uk/

Webmistress Plan-G http://www.tasoftware.co.uk/

Now not a VATanything

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