Help > Configure Privacy > Understanding and configuring privacy settings at Geneanet

Understanding and configuring privacy settings at Geneanet

At Geneanet, we respect the privacy of yourself and your family members. Learn about the privacy options for your tree and how to configure them.

Here are some key things to know about how privacy works at Geneanet:

  • All family trees at Geneanet are public by default, in the spirit of sharing genealogical information with the community. However, information about living people defined as having been alive within the past 100 years (contemporaries) are masked with the “Private” setting by default, with no information shown; you are asked to confirm this choice when you create your tree at Geneanet, or to choose one of the alternative privacy settings. Be sure to understand the implications of each setting; ask questions in our forum if you are unsure, or open a Ticket Contact if you are a Premium member.
  • There are two other options for showing information about contemporaries: Semi-Public and Public. The Semi-Public setting masks all information about contemporaries, except names. The Public setting shows all information and is not recommended for any tree with living persons. You may change the setting of your tree at any time: at the moment you create the tree, or afterwards.
  • Premium members have the option to set their tree to entirely private (completely invisible to visitors), however the tree will be unindexed, see below.
  • Note that our masking algorithm works best with a birth or death year (even approximate) entered for every contemporary and/or their parent in order to work correctly. Leaving birth years blank for living persons may increase the risk their data is shown, despite our best efforts to mask them.
  • You have fine-tuned privacy control for every contemporary individual in your tree, to override the global setting: the Private (masked) and Public (visible) tabs. These have no effect on persons who were not alive within the past 100 years.
  • There are advanced options available to mask family photos and documents, individuals without dates of birth or death, and other settings. For example, the 100-year limit for contemporaries can be changed to as few as 70 years or as many as 110 years.
  • It is very easy to check what site visitors can view on your tree: at the bottom of every page, next to Access Rights, select “Visitor” or “Guest” view instead of “Admin”.
  • Geneanet trees which were not initially imported from Ancestry are indexed on by default. Ancestry performs additional filtering to exclude all persons born within the past 100 years, irrespective of the tree owner’s settings. You may opt out of this indexing at any time, however a week or more may be necessary for your Geneanet tree to disappear from Ancestry search results. This article has more information.
  • As a tree owner, it is your responsibility to mask any living person (or their minor children/dependents) from your tree if they ask you to do so. If you do not honor such a request rapidly, we will mask the person on your tree. You are not required to mask deceased persons (cf. our Terms of Service), but we do ask you to respectfully consider such requests as a courtesy to other members, in particular if you have made public an individual alive within the past 100 years.
  • To be removed from a Geneanet tree, see our help page How to request your removal from a Geneanet tree. You do not need to be a member of Geneanet to follow this procedure. Most tree owners will do what is asked. We will assist you however if a tree owner is not cooperative, just be sure to check the “Send a copy to Geneanet” box. If you have found your name in an Ancestry hint from Geneanet, note that there is a delay between the processing on the Geneanet side which is generally within 1-2 business days, and the updating of the index on the Ancestry side. However, following your removal from a Geneanet tree, anyone clicking through an Ancestry hint will receive an error message from Geneanet.
  • Geneanet members, our Privacy Policy can be read at this link.

Configure the privacy settings of your tree

Go to the Family Tree menu and select Configure. This is the Privacy settings section with four tabs: Living Individuals, Private Individuals, Public Individuals, and Advanced Options.

Select privacy settings you are comfortable with.

All trees at Geneanet are public by default, with information about people born within the past 100 years masked, except their names. This is the “Semi-Public contemporaries” setting. The “Private contemporaries” setting masks names as well.

This is how your tree looks to visitors when the “Private contemporaries” setting is selected. All of these people were born within the past 100 years; many of them are deceased.

You may override these global tree settings with the “Private Individual” tab (to mask any contemporary person in your tree) or the “Public Individual” tab (for example, to show a contemporary person born within the past 100 years, but now deceased).

You have fine-tuned control over what visitors may view on your tree, and whether your tree is indexed on or not.

The “Advanced Options” tab enables you to customize filtering options of information in your tree concerning contemporaries. It’s here that you can also opt out of tree indexing if you wish. The setting “Individuals with no date of birth or death specified or calculated by the system” offers an additional filter to mask persons without birth or death dates, as our site’s privacy algorithm needs at least one of these dates to determine who should be masked.

Premium members: If you wish, you may make your tree completely private, invisible to visitors (as well as Geneanet searches and matches).

If you have questions about setting privacy options on your tree, don’t hesitate to visit our forums which are monitored by support. Premium members may open a support ticket directly.

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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