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Developers: | To Do List | Database Tables | Extending BSAdv | Database Consistency
Protecting our youth is our first priority. The internet is an extremely useful tool to distribute information to the members of our units, but this information can be misused by those who do not have the best interest of our youth in mind. Without clear standards, we are left with the responsibility to interpret rules as best we can. BSAdv supports two methods to keep information about our youth private. Each unit can configure BSAdv in the folowing ways:
Joomla 1.6 offers increased levels of access controls. BSAdv releases 0.10 and higher require Joomla 1.6 to better control access to personal information about our Scouts. Access controls are implemented partially within BSAdv and partially by the unit web site administrator. The correct interaction of these two are necessary to implement strong protection.
This diagram is a simplified example of the interaction of web site and BSAdv access controls. The green columns show how BSAdv defines categories of tasks. The tasks in each category share common access restrictions. The blue rows show how the site administrator defines groups of users, who share common responsibilities on the unit web site. The red crosses show how the site administrator assigns each user group the ability to access one or more categories of BSAdv tasks. This diagram is just an example and shows user group C as BSAdv administrators, whose users can access all BSAdv functions. It also shows user_1 assigned responsibilities to two different groups. Joomla allows the site administrator great flexibility in assigning users to more than one group. The site administrator controls user groups and access assignments through the Joomla web site back-end.
BSAdv defines six categories of tasks:
These examples show how BSAdv interacts with the Joomla access control system. Most unit web sites are composed of multiple Joomla components. Each of these components can have their own task categories. The site administrator will assign users to groups to access these other components. Users will likely be assigned to both BSAdv user groups and to the user groups for other components. The security of the web site data depends on the site administrator properly managing these group memberships and their access to the categorized tasks.
If your unit is not satisfied with password protection for the personal data on your youth, then the alternative is to not have that data on your server at all. BSAdv makes this easy to implement. Each unit can configure BSAdv database access to eliminate any or all youth personal data from the database. When restricted, those data fields cannot be written to or read from. They effectively disappear.
There are two fields in the youth database that cannot be removed in this manner: id and name_public. These two fields are essential to the operation of BSAdv. The field id is an integer unique to each Scout and is used by the software to precisely identify the Scout in the database. The field name_public is used by the people entering and viewing data to identify the Scout. The name used in this field should not allow a person who is unfamiliar with the unit to identify the Scout, but should allow those familiar with the unit to do so. This can be a nickname, a first name and last initial, or can be a combination of numbers and/or letters that is used in place of a name. The only restrictions on the field name_public is that it be unique within the unit.
The list of Scouts' fields removed from the database is stored in Joomla component parameters. The unit web administrator can configure these fields through the Joomla back end. As the BSAdv program is updated, these parameters remain unchaged, so youth protection choices made by the unit will not be modified by BSAdv program updates.
However you protect information on your youth, make sure that you have the approval of your unit committee, District and Council. Take this matter seriously and err on the side of over-protection.
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