Thursday, October 3, 2013

Please don’t do this

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A word of advice.  If you post your genealogical information online, do not include information about living persons unless you have their explicit consent .   This might seem like a no brainer to you but there are a lot of people out there that are putting the names and dates of living family members in their online trees without the knowledge or consent of those persons.

I have helped two different people this past week who found information about their immediate family in online family trees.  Neither of these people were genealogists.  They stumbled across the information via a simple Google search.  If I found my children’s names and dates of birth in an online tree I would not be happy either.

All genealogy programs have the capability of marking people as Living with no details.  All of the normal genealogical websites that handle trees also have this capability.  In these two cases the trees were on private websites.

Now before you accuse me of not being understanding of newbies that might not know better, the persons that posted the information refused to remove the information when asked nicely.  E-mails were then sent to the web hosting services. 

No, it isn’t illegal but it is most certainly unethical.  There may even be civil ramifications.  Don’t set yourself up for that. Here are two good articles by Judy Russell, CG. 

Private Facts in Public Genealogies
Getting Permission

Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis

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