The worldwide religious organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses (“religious organization”) respects individuals’ rights of privacy and of protection of personal data. The religious organization recognizes the necessity of open and frank communication and of the collection of personal and sensitive personal data in order to administer to the needs of individual Jehovah’s Witnesses and to accomplish its religious and charitable activity, as well as the corresponding necessity to maintain confidentiality and ensure that information is adequately protected. (Proverbs 15:22; 25:9) We highly value confidentiality.—Proverbs 20:19.
Various countries have enacted data protection laws to ensure individuals’ rights of privacy. The religious organization, including its local branch offices, has a long-standing history of respecting privacy rights and maintaining confidentiality, even before the enactment of such data protection laws. The religious organization will continue to protect information disclosed to it in harmony with its long-standing practice.
Data Protection Principles. The religious organization handles all personal data in accordance with the following principles:
Personal data will be processed in a fair and lawful manner.
Personal data will be collected, processed, and used only to the extent necessary to fulfill the religious and charitable purposes of the religious organization.
Personal data will be accurate and kept up-to-date. Any error will be corrected as soon as possible after the religious organization becomes aware of it.
Personal data will be kept only for as long as is necessary for the legitimate purpose(s) of the religious organization.
Due consideration will be given to respecting the rights of data subjects.
Appropriate technical and organizational measures will be taken to prevent unauthorized or unlawful disclosure of personal data. All computer-held personal data is maintained on password-protected computers to which only authorized users hold passwords. Offices are locked after office hours, and only authorized staff may gain entry.
Personal data will not be transferred between branches unless this is necessary to accomplish the religious or charitable purposes of the religious organization. All Jehovah’s Witnesses have consented to this by virtue of their free and willing decision to become and identify themselves as Jehovah’s Witnesses.
These data protection principles govern the use of personal data outlined in the book Organized to Do Jehovah’s Will, which is given to all of Jehovah’s Witnesses when they become publishers. For more information, see Organized to Do Jehovah’s Will.
An individual’s right to the protection of personal data and of sensitive personal data and to the correction or deletion of personal data and of sensitive personal data is granted according to the practice of Jehovah’s Witnesses set forth in the Global Policy on Use of Personal Data under the heading Your Rights.
The above Global Data Protection Policy of Jehovah’s Witnesses outlines the basis for how Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide handle personal data.