Avoiding Liability When Divulging Membership List

Avoiding Liability When Divulging Membership List

With the proliferation of social media, YouTube, and photo-sharing websites, it may seem like personal information is everywhere—and easy to get. But in an era of what some people call “oversharing,” association managers need to remember that members still are entitled to some measure of personal privacy. You could be faced at some point with a member’s request for a membership list. Prepare yourself for this request by having a plan for protecting the association when it divulges that information.

That plan should include requiring as a condition of releasing the list that the member who requests the list sign a confidentiality and indemnification agreement. Your agreement should state that the member will: (1) use the list only for lawful association business; (2) not use it for any commercial or unlawful purpose; (3) not disseminate it to any other person; and (4) indemnify the association against claims and be subject to damages caused by any violation of the agreement.

Although, hopefully, the member requesting the list plans to use it for a lawful purpose, the association could land in hot water if it’s not. An airtight confidentiality and indemnification agreement will help you avoid liability for any misuse of the information.

To learn how to use a confidentiality and indemnification agreement if you must divulge a membership list, and for a model agreement you can adapt for your needs, see “Use Confidentiality and Indemnification Agreement When Divulging Membership List," available to subscribers here.