Help > Family Tree: Edit > Configure the privacy of my Geneanet tree

Configure the privacy of my Geneanet tree

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At Geneanet, we are convinced that we make progress in our genealogies by sharing information about our ancestors. However, protecting the privacy of contemporaries is our priority. That’s why we provide you with tools to properly configure the privacy of your tree, and to choose who can access its most recent information.

Table of contents

  1. Choose and configure the privacy settings of my tree
  2. Hide a contemporary
  3. Show a contemporary
  4. How can I tell what is visible to visitors to my tree?
  5. Indexing of your tree at Ancestry: how to activate or deactivate

1/ Choose and configure the privacy settings of my tree

In Geneanet trees, non-contemporary persons (by default, born more than 100 years ago) are public and displayed to everyone, including visitors who are not logged in. The 100-year period can be extended to 120 years in the advanced settings.
Contemporaries (by default, born less than 100 years ago), living or deceased, benefit from 2 levels of confidentiality from the moment the tree is created :

  • Semi-Public: Only first names, last names and relationships will be visible to visitors to your tree. Confidential information (dates, photos, places and notes) will be hidden. You can use “Private individuals” in the privacy settings to completely hide someone.
  • Private: individuals will be completely hidden from visitors to your tree. Note: for a person without a date, a calculation is made.

Important: updating your tree (by importing a GEDCOM file) does not affect the privacy settings.

The tree owner sees all information, even when set to hidden. To open access to hidden data for a visitor, you must send them “guest” access via the “Community > Contacts” menu. “Editor” access will even allow someone to modify all the information in your tree, including uploading photos and documents and linking them to events (so use this option with caution).

To modify the display option for contemporaries in your tree, choose “Family Tree” > “Family Tree Settings”. Choose “Privacy

Choose an option (Private or Semi-Public) and validate. Note that “Advanced settings” just below allows you to more precisely define the contemporary period which is by default 100 years: you can choose to extend it to 120 years.
You can change the privacy settings of your tree at any time.

About photos and documents, public and private

The photos published on your tree are not visible on the profile pages of contemporaries, whether they are Semi-Public or Private. If a photo is added to a contemporary’s profile, or a contemporary is identified in a photo, it will become private, even if it is linked to non-contemporaries. It is possible to modify the status of any photo on a case-by-case basis. To do this, click on the desired photo and in the 4 tabs that appear on the left, select “Information”, click on “Edit”, then check or uncheck the “Private picture” box. If the photo is public, it will not appear to visitors on a contemporary person’s file, but you can still share the image’s URL.

2/ Hide a contemporary

In accordance with the GDPR, you are required to delete contemporaries who request it for themselves or persons under their legal responsibility. However, you are not required to hide deceased people and more distant ancestors, unless their display could be harmful to the person asking you to do so. As a simple courtesy, Geneanet encourages you to hide the person, their spouse and their children if you are asked to do so.

To hide a contemporary, scroll down the privacy settings page to “Private Individuals.” Click the “Add a person” button, enter their name, select the appropriate person from the list that appears (you can choose multiple people), then click “Add”.

3/ Show a contemporary

If you want to display a living person on your tree, make sure they have agreed first, because everything that appears on their profile will be available via Google. The most common case is to display yourself as the root of the tree and/or owner, possibly with both of your parents.

As contemporaries are hidden by default, a “Public Individuals” option has been provided to force the display of a Semi-Public person.

The maximum number of public individuals permitted on your tree is 25.

To force the display of a contemporary, scroll down on the privacy options page to “Public Individuals.” Click the “Add a person” button, enter their name, select the appropriate person from the list that appears (you can choose multiple people), then click “Add”.

4/ How can I tell what is visible to visitors to my tree?

This option demonstrates our preoccupation with helping you set the privacy on your trees: a small eye is displayed at the top, next to the name of the individual, to indicate what visitors to your tree see. Note that only the tree owner, “guests” and “editors” see this information:

This option demonstrates our preoccupation with helping you set the privacy on your trees: a small eye is displayed at the top, next to the name of the individual, to indicate what visitors to your tree see. Note that only the tree owner, “guests” and “editors” see this information:

In the case of a Private contemporary, the eye is double-barred.

Non-contemporaries: nothing is displayed, since they are always visible

You can then check your settings as if you are a visitor; to do this, use the small drop-down menu located at the bottom of the page, and the page will refresh:

5/ Indexing of your tree at Ancestry: how to activate or deactivate

In order to maximize your chances of finding cousins around the world, the individuals present in Geneanet trees are automatically indexed on the Ancestry site, with the exception of contemporaries and Private and Semi-Public individuals. Only basic information is indexed and Ancestry users are invited to visit your Geneanet tree to learn more.

If you do not wish to benefit from this indexing, select “No” in the Advanced settings of the Privacy page in Family Tree Settings. Please note that a week or more may be necessary for your Geneanet tree to disappear from Ancestry search results.

Need help? Don’t forget to visit our forums, our tech support will help you configure the hiding / displaying you prefer.

Need help?

Go to our forum to ask for help on any topic related to the Geneanet website or if you need help with your family history research.

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