[Osmf-talk] Membership and membership records (was Re: Running)

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Tue Oct 28 17:09:38 UTC 2014

I see some potential for big confusion here.

Michael is correct in that prior to the September 2013 Articles of
Association change, the OSMF had a self-inflicted legal conflict in that
while the foundation should have (as in that is what the law says)
collected full address details for all members and made the data
available for inspection on request to the public, on the other hand it
hadn't pointed this out to the members joining and wasn't actually
collecting the relevant information in any case.

I'm not going to repeat the dreary details, this is mainly for members
joining in the last 13 months. It suffices to say that the membership
issue had been treated as Schrödingers Cat (not opening the box because
both possible states of the cat had unpleasant legal consequences) for 5
years when I came on board.

The legal issue was resolved with the 2013 AOA change and all excuses to
not make full membership records available to the board were moot, that
however does not imply that they were valid before.


Am 27.10.2014 17:31, schrieb Michael Collinson:
> Hi,
> Just for the record, especially as regard to transparency:  As former
> membership secretary, I also receive email sent to membership at .  I
> believe, though I have not confirmed, that I still have access to the
> membership database spreadsheet online.  I hesitate to access it now as
> the board, quite rightly from a privacy point of view, has tightened up
> on who should access it and I have no "official" reason.  Also, when I
> was membership secretary I simply downloaded back up copies and kept
> them in a secure location. Either that is still being done or it is a
> simple matter to address.
> It has possibly been answered already, I am still catching up with
> osm-talk and osmf-talk:  There is no technical or political issue in
> opening access to all board members.  The concern is one of data
> protection of (your) private information, particularly with regard to
> European regulation since we are organisationally and physically
> server-based in Europe.  Access to the database needs to be limited to
> folks with a specific need to. Clearly the membership secretary does. 
> When you become a member, you are not currently explicity asked to allow
> your (very minimal) membership details to be accessed for any other
> purpose. Therefore the board maximises restriction. That of course can
> be changed but needs checking that regulations are met, proper
> discussion and consent ... and someone to take on improving our sign-up
> technology.  A small thing but yet another thing to do, which leads me
> to a final observation ...
> Could I do being doing more to help Henk and therefore you? Yes.  But I
> am also busy with other things and, I am rather embarrassed to admit,
> rather demotivated in picking such things up. That may be just my
> personal failing, but I think it is also reflecting a core and general
> underlying problem that we just have too few people doing too many
> things. I am putting together a, I hope, thoughtful mailing on the subject.
> Mike
> PS Thank you Julien for your nice final comment, not only for myself but
> the others who put in much more time than I do.
> On 27/10/2014 10:01, THEVENON Julien wrote:
>> *De :* Sarah Hoffmann <lonvia at denofr.de>
>> My impression was that you are the only person who has access to the
>> member
>> database itself and the only person who receives mails directed to the
>> membership@ address. Notwithstanding the transparancy issue, I am
>> concerned
>> that the database may be lost should you become suddenly unavailable. Is
>> there a technical or political reason to not keep the database at a place
>> where it is available to all board members?
>> According to Henk's mail saying that he is very busy at the moment I
>> can confirm Sarah's feeling.
>> I sent a first mail to membership adress on 9th September  to know the
>> status of my membership
>> As there were no answers I sent a mail on 17th september on osmf talk
>> @ to check if membership @ was still valid. Thanks to that I recceived
>> an answer from Henk and Skye Book on to inform me that I will have an
>> answer next week.
>> Since that mail I didn't receive news any more.
>> I know that people like Henk take on their free time to contribute to
>> OSMF and that this is not always easy but for important thinks like
>> membership that condition the capability to vote for the coming board
>> elections I`m afraid there is no backup...
>> Due to the 30 days rule to be able to vote I`m afraid that if I need
>> to renew mmy membership it will be too late for me to participate
>> despite my efforts to take it by advance
>> Again a big thanks to people involved in foundation and working groups
>> for the time they spent to support OSM
>> Cheers
>> Julien
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