Re: Data matching privacy issue on MyHeritage

I don’t have a problem sharing my research online, once I’ve removed all details of living people and people born less than 100 years ago that I don’t know to be dead. (I won’t rely on the privacy mechanisms provided by Ancestry, MH etc. – I’d rather be in control myself.)  I do show the ‘empty slots’ in the tree if only because I had a complaint from a living cousin that I was denying we were cousins! I wasn’t prepared to include their details but I agree to show their existence.


The one living person I will identify if I have to (to act as the root of the tree, e.g. on Ancestry for DNA purposes) is myself, identified by my initials and with no date.  I haven’t sought permission from any of my siblings and their descendants to identify them online, other than by (false) initials where their DNA kits are available for matching.   Anyone with a clue what they’re doing will be able to root out all my siblings’ birth data by looking for children born to my parents (who are dead and therefore identified) in the GRO indices, but that’s publicly available information by law, and there’s a difference between the Government identifying them (unavoidable) and me identifying them (unforgiveable). And I suspect most of the youngsters reveal more on Farcebook or their social media of choice than I would ever do, but that still doesn’t give me the right to identify them.


If anyone wants to use my research, they’re welcome to it – I don’t provide copies of sources, but I do provide transcriptions. If I want to use somebody else’s research (notably sources or photos) after I’ve checked it thoroughly, I will always ask for permission and if they want an acknowledgement. I’ve never been refused permission – one cousin in Ohio supplied hundreds of sources and photos for the branch of my family that moved out there in the mid-nineteenth century; and others have been equally generous.  Yet others have collaborated with me on breaking down a joint brick wall where we each had part of the jigsaw but couldn’t complete it alone. On balance, sharing my tree and consulting the trees of others has had more pluses than minuses. There is of course ‘SM66’ on Ancestry who copies everything I put in my tree but I can’t prevent that.  I did wonder for a long time why he was interested as there didn’t seem to be any link... until I looked ‘downstream’ as it were and found his family was related to my niece’s father, and he’s decided to do my niece’s tree and join it into his! I rather think he’s a name collector... but live and let live; he’s not doing any harm as long as he keeps copying me!



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