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View Full Version : Dates of birth for ratings - privacy issues



Ninja
19-05-2009, 05:02 PM
It would be a good idea if organisers informed their State Ratings Officers of the date of birth of all players who are new to the rating list, as well as providing DOB's for those active players already on the rating list without DOB's.

In fact if they just add the DOB to the players entry in the SP files for their tournament for those without DOB's the rating system will pick it up.
Has the ACF considered putting in place a privacy policy (binding on both the ACF and other entities who are supplied the information by the ACF) that requires DOB information to be kept private or perhaps restricting the information published with the master list to year of birth only instead of the full details? As the full DOB info is included with the ratings list a number of state organisations and also individual clubs have a bad habit of sometimes including this in player lists and also publishing it on the internet. Even with a junior tournament, year of birth is all that is needed to indicate which level a player is at.

It is normally possible to find this information if you really want to but with the increase in identity theft crimes (ie recent arrests re super rip off etc) it makes sense not to be making it too easy. I no longer provide these details to any organisation unless they can explain why they need them and obviously the ACF collects them to help in identifying players with similiar names etc however you will find a number of players may be reluctant to supply their date of birth when their privacy is not respected.
In addition to above, the current behaviour may also be in breach of Australian privacy legislation as well as not being in step with current practice in other sporting and social groups.

Bill Gletsos
19-05-2009, 05:31 PM
Has the ACF considered putting in place a privacy policy (binding on both the ACF and other entities who are supplied the information by the ACF) that requires DOB information to be kept private or perhaps restricting the information published with the master list to year of birth only instead of the full details?No it hasnt.

As the full DOB info is included with the ratings list...The ACF issues no printed list with players DOB's included.
The DOB is only included on the SP files so that players can be correctly identified.

...a number of state organisations and also individual clubs have a bad habit of sometimes including this in player lists and also publishing it on the internet.There is no reason for organisers to do this.

Even with a junior tournament, year of birth is all that is needed to indicate which level a player is at.It is not always sufficient to have just year of birth as there are juniors on the master file with the same name and year of birth.

It is normally possible to find this information if you really want to but with the increase in identity theft crimes (ie recent arrests re super rip off etc) it makes sense not to be making it too easy. I no longer provide these details to any organisation unless they can explain why they need them and obviously the ACF collects them to help in identifying players with similiar names etc however you will find a number of players may be reluctant to supply their date of birth when their privacy is not respected.
In addition to above, the current behaviour may also be in breach of Australian privacy legislation as well as not being in step with current practice in other sporting and social groups.Except in one or two cases I have not encountered any problems getting DOB's off any players in NSW.

Ninja
19-05-2009, 05:42 PM
There is no reason for organisers to do this.
In case you missed it, that was my point..

On the other hand I believe as the ACF is supplying the information the responsibility to ensure it is used responsibily falls back on the ACF.

Kevin Bonham
19-05-2009, 06:37 PM
The currently-closed unofficial Burnie Chess Club website run by Phil Donnelly had a page of leading Tasmanian junior dates of birth. I am unsure whether these were extracted from the downloadable ACF master files for SP or whether they were obtained via some combination of entry forms and data from when Phil was TCA ratings officer. Actually I hadn't considered it might be the former, since on my copy of Swiss Perfect, the dates of birth do not show.

On the assumption that there was not parental consent for the display of all of these DOBs in this manner I did investigate whether the display of this information on the BCC website was illegal. It appeared that it was not as it was on a privately owned site and the national privacy laws do not bind individuals. I am pleased to see, following the site's closure, that the list does not appear on Google even in cached form.

I'm disappointed to hear that the practice is more widespread than just one idiosyncratic website and I agree that actions should be taken to discourage inappropriate publication of DOBs.

Bill Gletsos
19-05-2009, 07:01 PM
The currently-closed unofficial Burnie Chess Club website run by Phil Donnelly had a page of leading Tasmanian junior dates of birth. I am unsure whether these were extracted from the downloadable ACF master files for SP or whether they were obtained via some combination of entry forms and data from when Phil was TCA ratings officer. Actually I hadn't considered it might be the former, since on my copy of Swiss Perfect, the dates of birth do not show.Most of the DOB entries on that page were not listed in or differed from dates in the ACF SP files.

Bill Gletsos
19-05-2009, 07:03 PM
In case you missed it, that was my point.I didnt miss it.
You stated it was unfortunate.
I was simply agreeing with you and stating there was no reason for them to do so.

Perhaps parents/individuals of the club(s) concerned should take it up directly with the club's officials.

ER
19-05-2009, 07:07 PM
I'm disappointed to hear that the practice is more widespread than just one idiosyncratic website and I agree that actions should be taken to discourage inappropriate publication of DOBs.
Ninja is right Kevin and Bill and I agree with you it is disappointing.
I am aware of three different cases of personal data being made publicly available through:
Lists of players for specific tournaments (in particular those players having a FIDE rating)
Membership cards of club players with names, DOBs, addresses, Phone Nos etc placed in open view on the main Announcements Board
Chain e-mail addresses of members receiving club notifications.
In the first two cases I believe organisers were notified and the problem was fixed. In the third case I am not sure, but I can make a search and let you know!

Kevin Bonham
19-05-2009, 08:03 PM
Most of the DOB entries on that page were not listed in or differed from dates in the ACF SP files.

In that case it sounds like they were obtained from tournament entry forms.

Basil
19-05-2009, 08:09 PM
Just scanning this topic and not in a position to give an informed opinion, however as even my passing comments are generally well worthy of consideration :uhoh: :lol: I do offer that the DOBs of chess players are gathered under the auspices of the relevant privacy act, and the collection thereof would no doubt specify the limitations and reasons for collection.

Perhaps while the mere publication on a private site may not be illegal, the use of them for purposes other than stated upon collection may be - so the breach (of privacy) occurs when DOBs are garnered legitimately and the subsequent publication was not declared as a legitimate use at the time of garnering).

pappubahry
19-05-2009, 08:25 PM
The CAQ junior ratings list gives the DOB for almost every player.

Basil
19-05-2009, 08:32 PM
The CAQ junior ratings list gives the DOB for almost every player.
Seems more than legit in the garnering. The publication? :hmm: At first blush I think not - a pratice that occurred throughout my time.

Ian Rout
19-05-2009, 09:27 PM
The privacy aspect of DoBs that many people worry about is the year rather than day and month, as it gives away their age.

It's true that in practice finding out a player's DOB from the ACF Master file could assist in identity theft but in practice to make it useful you then have to piece together other information which is a manually intensive process. A more efficient way would be to bribe a personnel clerk for access to a company staff list which would have stuff like DoB, home address, next of kin etc in bulk.

Most of us don't go to any great lengths to avoid being seen celebrating birthdays, which poses the same risk, because we deem it to be unnecessarily cautious, or because the information leaked into the public domain long ago. Many people, including the Prime Minister for instance, list it on their web page. Someone could collect the DOBs of workmates by simply noting morning teas, "Happy 50th Birthday, Loser" posters etc.

If it really worries anyone they could give the ratings officer a slightly incorrect DoB. Provided they are consistent it will be just as good and nobody will ever know.

Garvinator
19-05-2009, 09:32 PM
The CAQ junior ratings list gives the DOB for almost every player.
Does it? Can you show me where please?

Garvin Gray
CAQ President

Bill Gletsos
19-05-2009, 10:21 PM
Does it? Can you show me where please?

Garvin Gray
CAQ PresidentJust go to the CAQ ratings page.
From there it is obvious.

Kevin Bonham
19-05-2009, 10:26 PM
Perhaps while the mere publication on a private site may not be illegal, the use of them for purposes other than stated upon collection may be - so the breach (of privacy) occurs when DOBs are garnered legitimately and the subsequent publication was not declared as a legitimate use at the time of garnering).

Strictly speaking the purpose of collection when DOBs appear on entry forms is to verify a player's eligibility for age-group prizes. Probably organisers who are passing on DOBs to the ACF for ratings should state that this may be done on entry forms, or else ask the player if this is OK. However the real privacy breach concern arises when third parties publish DOBs for other reasons, such as general interest.

Garvinator
19-05-2009, 10:29 PM
Just go to the CAQ ratings page.
From there it is obvious.
It is only obvious if you read the dates in the correct order ;) :whistle: :doh:

Bill Gletsos
19-05-2009, 10:34 PM
It is only obvious if you read the dates in the correct order ;) :whistle: :doh:Why would anyone read a date in the wrong order. ;)

Spiny Norman
20-05-2009, 05:48 AM
For any club who may be interested in this topic, Croydon Chess Club has a privacy policy in place (which we do our best to observe). You can read it here: http://www.croydonchess.com/About/PoliciesandProcedures//Default.aspx

If anyone would like a Word document version of the policy (or any other document at the club's website), just drop me an email: stephen.frost@croydonchess.com

Basil
20-05-2009, 06:12 AM
For any club who may be interested in this topic, Croydon Chess Club has a privacy policy in place (which we do our best to observe). You can read it here: http://www.croydonchess.com/About/PoliciesandProcedures//Default.aspx
Linky no worky

Denis_Jessop
20-05-2009, 04:50 PM
Strictly speaking the purpose of collection when DOBs appear on entry forms is to verify a player's eligibility for age-group prizes. Probably organisers who are passing on DOBs to the ACF for ratings should state that this may be done on entry forms, or else ask the player if this is OK. However the real privacy breach concern arises when third parties publish DOBs for other reasons, such as general interest.

And these days also eligibility for Seniors events.

DJ

Ninja
20-05-2009, 10:53 PM
It's true that in practice finding out a player's DOB from the ACF Master file could assist in identity theft but in practice to make it useful you then have to piece together other information which is a manually intensive process. A more efficient way would be to bribe a personnel clerk for access to a company staff list which would have stuff like DoB, home address, next of kin etc in bulk.
Your comment re "manually intensive process" further supports the argument to make this information as hard to get hold of as possible. By making this key piece of identification data easily available you are making chess players more of a target for identity theft. One less piece of information that is needed. Bit like stealing cars. Take the ones that are not locked or have the keys under the sunshade first. Not as much work...
Use yourself as an example. In less than 5 minutes it is quite easy to find your DOB, employer, hobbies, home address, phone number etc etc. Now knowing quite a bit about your daily habits it will be much easier to drive past at the right time to grab a few letters out of your mail box, next thing you know I have enough to open a bank account in your name, then I might use that to transfer the balance from one of your other accounts etc etc. Should have a fun time before anyone is the wiser.

Ian Rout
21-05-2009, 09:21 AM
Use yourself as an example. In less than 5 minutes it is quite easy to find your DOB, employer, hobbies, home address, phone number etc etc. Now knowing quite a bit about your daily habits it will be much easier to drive past at the right time to grab a few letters out of your mail box, next thing you know I have enough to open a bank account in your name, then I might use that to transfer the balance from one of your other accounts etc etc. Should have a fun time before anyone is the wiser.
You've missed the bit where somebody finds out the password or PIN for my account, a piece of information not on the ACF master file. The items listed also don't go close to 100 points of identification. Yes it's true, DOB is one extra piece of information in the chain but it's not normally a great secret from a half-serious researcher. One of the first things that happens to us in our lives is that our parents put a notice in the paper and subsequently our DOB is put on records all over the place. Are we going to shut down geneology websites?

I don't think it would hurt to restrict the Master file to year of birth, in nearly all cases that would be adequate for the purpose. I don't believe however it would in practice improve anyone's privacy, just give the appearance of doing so.

Basil
21-05-2009, 09:39 AM
Ian, the issue I was raising is one of law; how and where is the use of DOBs permitted.

You are focussing on what people can do with this information and whether one is, in actual fact, exposed beyond what is available elsewhere in the community.

I believe you are moving from a position of upholding the law to one of excusing its breach (because as judge and juror, you find it's a silly law).

Ian Rout
21-05-2009, 10:20 AM
Ian, the issue I was raising is one of law; how and where is the use of DOBs permitted.

You are focussing on what people can do with this information and whether one is, in actual fact, exposed beyond what is available elsewhere in the community.

I believe you are moving from a position of upholding the law to one of excusing its breach (because as judge and juror, you find it's a silly law).
Certainly if there is a particular law involved then I think we should follow it.

What I was discussing is whether in practice it matters that DoB is on the matter file. As indicated I don't see any particular need to have the d/m but I don't see it as anything to get alarmed about.

ER
21-05-2009, 10:30 AM
I believe you are moving from a position of upholding the law to one of excusing its breach (because as judge and juror, you find it's a silly law).
Howie at his best!!! :lol: :clap:

Certainly if there is a particular law involved then I think we should follow it.
Lol no use to search for one Ian! He will find some weak spot, he will attack it, he will ridicule it, he will invent loo smilies for it! He is bordering to (Malatesta style) Anarchism, a conservative Nihilist, almost a ... Lefty? :hmm: :doh:
Thread split please! :lol:

Basil
21-05-2009, 10:31 AM
What I was discussing is whether in practice it matters that DoB is on the matter file. As indicated I don't see any particular need to have the d/m but I don't see it as anything to get alarmed about.
I agree that you have made a case to not necessarily be alarmist, however people that know more than me in matters privacy invasion may suggest
-- opportunism
-- easy target/ hard target
-- some loophole that publication of DOBs, tied into chess that we have not considered

Bill Gletsos
21-05-2009, 10:40 AM
As indicated I don't see any particular need to have the d/m but I don't see it as anything to get alarmed about.There are some people on file with the same name and year of birth.

Ninja
21-05-2009, 11:04 AM
I don't think it would hurt to restrict the Master file to year of birth, in nearly all cases that would be adequate for the purpose. I don't believe however it would in practice improve anyone's privacy, just give the appearance of doing so.
My suggestion of restricting the master file to year only was a secondary concern. The main point would be that the ACF, who are both collecting the information and then passing it on to other parties, should be controlling how that info is used. To fully meet legal requirements they should probably be making people aware how the info will be used, who it will be passed onto and for what purpose it will be used.

My original post was really suggesting that the ACF (as the organisation that collected the data) has an obligation to ensure that it is not misused by other parties. ie it should not be up to individual clubs or state chess organisations to decide if they would like to publish the complete info on paper or online.
It is not enough to merely say that they should not do it and then wipe their hands of it. It should be a condition of being supplied the information from the ACF that they treat players privacy and their use of the data appropriately and if that is not done then the data should not be supplied.

Spiny Norman
21-05-2009, 06:01 PM
For any club who may be interested in this topic, Croydon Chess Club has a privacy policy in place (which we do our best to observe). You can read it here: http://www.croydonchess.com/About/PoliciesandProcedures/tabid/65/language/en-AU/Default.aspx

If anyone would like a Word document version of the policy (or any other document at the club's website), just drop me an email: stephen.frost@croydonchess.com
Lets try that again.
http://www.croydonchess.com/About/PoliciesandProcedures/tabid/65/language/en-AU/Default.aspx