Thursday, June 26, 2008

Phishing for God

Dear Parent,
you may be wondering how we received your child's name and (home) address.
It was sent to us by Children for Christ who ran a Craft Club at the XXX Primary School Hall recently. They thought our lessons would be a big help for you child and have asked us to send lessons....

No! No! and No! I did not provide anyone with my child's name and address, I did not give permission for anyone to pass that information on anywhere and I certainly don't want any lessons of any kind - especially not in these circumstances.

This is the 21st Century where the safety of my child is paramount. I let my son attend what was advertised as a Craft Club run by a local church where he could play games and make models. I didn't expect him to be evangelised or preached to or for sensitive information about him be passed on to other groups to target him. The School where this "craft club" was held was also unaware of the underlying purpose of the group and certainly would not have agreed to information about their students being passed around.

I regard this as an illegal and dangerous practice and am very, very angry.

In these days of cult groups and cunning pederasts in all occupations (especially religious institutions) one cannot claim an innocent desire to have fun and spread the good word at the same time. There is a clear obligation of all groups interacting with children to protect their safety and privacy.

My complaint to the the Office of the Privacy Commissioner was acknowledged but unable to be acted upon because the legislation is limited to Government organisations and private businesses with an annual turnover of more than $3 million.

This seemingly innocuous looking ship is a constant reminder of the need to be ever vigilant in a world that is not as simple and carefree as many would like it to be.


Janette said...

Oh No!!!

Thanks for the heads up on that one, especially with school holidays coming up.

I've just been looking over activites for the kids and now will not be filling in any forms, or giving out any details at all until I have all their relevant information.

So sorry this has happened to you and your family.

Honestly, there really is not any protection or justice.

chocolatetrudi said...

That's appalling. Hmm, maybe a letter to the local paper?

Some churches and religious groups seem to think that they're exempt from common ethical restraints. A few years back I did a bit of a net search after being hounded by cold call sellers ringing up several times a day. I found out that if you respond positively to sellers, surveys and charities you end up on a list as a good target. I was surprised to see charities included. You'd think they'd be more ethical than businesses. But it seems some - like this church group - are quite willing to exploit, pass on or sell your details. Yet they do have a lot more to lose if you protest loudly enough.

celia said...

That is awful :( It saddens me when some religious organizations do things like things, giving everyone else a bad name. If you know who the parent church is (the one that runs Children for Christ), perhaps you can drop them a letter of complaint or call them and complain and ask that your name be removed from their mailing list.

Simply appalling

amanda j said...

Oh my! What next! We have a 'helpful group' of people who work around my kids' school. I don't trust them at all. Your story reminds me why I should not consider myself paranoid but realistic.