Geneanet Homepage > Privacy policy

Privacy policy

Geneanet’s aim is to provide its users with tools for the purposes of genealogy, notably, for building family trees tracing lines of descent. To that end, Geneanet collects personal data when the various proposed services are used. 

Effective date: October 1st, 2021


Geneanet collects, processes and stores your personal data when the services we make available to you are used. Personal data is data that enables you to be identified, whether directly or indirectly. This may be your name, your email address, your postal address, or any other information likely to be linked back to your profile.
This document describes our practices for collecting, storing and processing your personal data, as well as the controls implemented by Geneanet to manage it. Furthermore, we have developed a specific policy relating to cookie management that describes our use of browser cookies. That cookie management policy is an integral part of this document.

Account creation and registration for Geneanet services

The personal data required to create a Geneanet ordinary account is your first name and surname, your title, an email address, a username and a password. The creation of your family tree requires additional personal data, such as your postal address.

The creation of your account also requires that you accept Geneanet’s Terms and Conditions and this document by clicking on the “Create My Account” button on the account creation page.

What personal data do you provide to Geneanet?

The table below lists the personal data collected by Geneanet so that you can use its services. 

All of this information is subject to our Privacy Policy.

Data categoryDescription of use
Account InformationYour first name and surname
Your title
An email address
A username
A password that you provide to us when you create a Geneanet account
A telephone number that you may provide if you wish so that you can be contacted by Geneanet’s customer services
A postal address, a date of birth that you may provide to us if you wish

This information is not communicated to other Geneanet users without your consent
Payment/Credit Card InformationPayment information (credit card number, billing and shipping address) when you take out a Premium subscription or when you place an order in our online store. Payment information is not kept by Geneanet. In the case of payments by bank card or by direct debit via SEPA with automatic renewal, payment information is processed by our payment provider HiPay.
Profile InformationAdditional personal information that you provide in your profile (for example, a profile image, your professional activity, your profession, etc.).
User-supplied contentInformation that you provide about yourself or other living people when you build or import your family tree or when interacting with other members or when using the Geneanet DNA service.
Data from social mediaIf you use Facebook to connect to Geneanet’s sites, we will collect the information you choose to provide to us (for example, on your Facebook profile).
Additional informationInformation that you provide to us when you respond to surveys relayed by email or on the sites.
Your communicationsThe messages that you exchange with other Geneanet users via our private messaging service. The contributions you post in the genealogy discussion forums. Emails or letters that you send to our customer services.

What data is collected by Geneanet when you browse the site?

Information categoryDescription of use
Computer and mobile device dataThis is technical information about how you access our Services: Internet protocol address (“IP address”) of your computer, of your mobile device or of the proxy that you use to access the Internet; the operating system of your computer; your web browser.
Information from cookiesCookies are listed in the document setting out our cookie management policy. We encourage you to read that document.
Information shared on social mediaIf you interact with the functionalities offered by social media via the Geneanet sites (notably by using the “Like”, “Tweet”, “Pin” or “Follow us” functionalities of sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube), please note that Geneanet collects the information concerning these interactions as well as any information about the account that these sites provide to Geneanet.
The configuration of these functionalities is governed by the privacy policy of the companies concerned. 
Data about your use of the ServicesData concerning your use of Geneanet, including when you log in, take out a subscription, carry out a search or access public genealogical archives or family trees, the pages you visit, the links you click on the Geneanet sites, or when you add new individuals to your family trees, etc.

Data collected from other sources

Data categoryDescription of use
Data from public recordsGeneanet collects data from various sources, generally from freely communicable and reusable public archives, but also historical documents (in particular information from official birth, death and marriage registers, censuses, official publications and journals) that may contain personal information about you.
Information from third partiesWe may also receive information about you from third parties.
In addition, when you offer a subscription, a printed family tree, or when you invite someone onto your tree, we collect personal data.

How does Geneanet use your personal data?

Information categoryDescription of use
Personal informationYour personal data is used to provide, personalize, improve, update and expand our services. This includes: authenticating your access and improving data security on Geneanet; processing payments for subscriptions, services, as well as the sale of physical products and specific services; developing new services and improving the performance and suitability of existing products and services to your needs; helping members create and expand family trees based on data contained in Geneanet’s databases; issuing surveys or questionnaires to gather additional information to facilitate the development of our services and to initiate research and development projects; conducting research for scientific, statistical and historical purposes; detecting and preventing any errors, fraud and other criminal or malicious activity, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.
CommunicationsWe use your personal information to communicate with you about our business, including notably in connection with the following actions: to respond to your requests for information from customer services; to inform you of potential avenues which could be investigated enabling you to progress in the search for your ancestors (e.g., through alerts identifying potentially relevant additional genealogical information in our databases); to inform you of changes made to products or of new products and services; to ask you to participate in collaborative projects.
Sales promotion of our products and servicesWe use your personal information to promote the sale of Geneanet products and services to you. Reminder: You can customize how we communicate this information to you using your account preferences or by using the unsubscribe link in the emails you receive.

When do we share your information and who are the recipients?

The situations described below specify under what circumstances your personal data could be shared:

Circumstances and recipients of sharingDescription
Geneanet users depending on your sharing optionsThe information that you add to your Geneanet public profile is visible to other Geneanet users, as well as the details of the public family trees. You can change the options for sharing your family trees at any time.
If you share information about your family tree outside Geneanet, Geneanet shall not be held liable for how your data may be used by such third parties.
Service ProvidersGeneanet uses external service providers to ensure access to its services. These partner companies may, for the purposes of the task they perform on behalf of Geneanet, have some of your information in their systems. These companies are subject to contractual obligations governing privacy, data security and confidentiality consistent with applicable laws:
payment service providers
service infrastructure and hosting providers
delivery service providers for the shipment of physical products from our shop
service providers who help us in the field of marketing, statistics and fraud prevention
customer service providers.
Legal and regulatory frameworkWe may share your personal information if necessary in order to:
comply with a request from a judicial or administrative authority;
enforce Geneanet’s terms and conditions;
protect the security and integrity of Geneanet’s services;
protect the rights, property or safety of Geneanet, our employees or our users
In the event of acquisition of GeneanetIn the event that Geneanet or one of its activities were to be acquired or transferred (including in the event of bankruptcy or similar proceedings), your personal data will be shared with the acquiring entity. The commitments set out in this document will of course continue to apply to personal data that will be transferred to this new entity.
Aggregated statistical dataGeneanet may process user information for the purposes of aggregating statistical data. This aggregated statistical data may, for marketing reasons or for historical or scientific research purposes, be disclosed through Geneanet’s services or in the media. Such statistics, prepared in accordance with the legal framework in force, will never contain personal data. For example, we can give statistics on the number of people with a specific family name for a given region or period.

Access and configuration of your personal information

Subject to certain exceptions, you have the right to access your personal information and to receive a copy in portable form of certain information that you have provided, as well as to request, using the tools described below or by contacting Geneanet, that this information be updated, deleted or amended. The data and options for access to the information are mentioned below.

GeneanetYou can access the personal data that you have provided to Geneanet (including your email address, your username, your profile information, etc.) and update it at any time in the following sections of the privacy settings:
Personal Profile
Genealogical Profile
Premium Subscription
To manage the privacy settings of your family trees hosted on Geneanet, you need to go to the page My Family Tree / Settings / Privacy.
Downloading family tree informationGeneanet allows you to download the information from your family tree in GEDCOM or Geneweb formats via your family tree Save/Export menu
Geneanet and its sitesGeneanet endeavors to simplify the management of your privacy for all of its services. These conditions apply to all platforms managed by Geneanet

What are Geneanet’s Data Retention Practices?

Unless otherwise instructed by the user to delete his/her data or close his/her account, Geneanet leaves accounts and family trees accessible in order to enrich the genealogical search data.

Information categoryRetention period
AccountGeneanet stores the personal data that you provide when you create your account until you request the closure of the account.
Family treeGeneanet stores the data from your family tree to provide you with continuous access, updated functionalities and the ability to improve your family tree.
Genealogical legacyGeneanet offers its members, via the family tree settings, the option to state what they would like to happen to the family tree they hosted with Geneanet after they die. In accordance with article 85 of the French Data Protection Act (Loi Informatique et Libertés) dated January 6, 1978, following the death of a member, his/her heir(s) may, subject to proof of their identity and inheritance rights, demand that the death be recorded and that the personal data of that deceased member be updated accordingly (within the meaning of article 2 of the French Data Protection Act dated January 6, 1978). 
Usage informationIn some cases, we keep usage information (for example, site visits) in an anonymized or aggregated form. Once aggregated or anonymized, this information ceases to be personal and will no longer be subject to deletion requests from Geneanet users.

How do I delete my personal information?

Geneanet users may delete their personal information in several ways.

Information categoryHow to delete it
Personal dataThe links for managing, modifying and deleting one’s personal information are listed in the “Access and configuration of your personal information” section of this document. If, however, you need specific help to delete personal information, please send an email requesting deletion to [email protected]. To be processed, this request must specify the exact wording of the information as it appears on the websites as well as the Internet addresses (URLs) of the pages where the information is found.
To the extent that you have shared information by sharing your public family tree, Geneanet will not be able to delete information that may have been copied and retained by other Geneanet members having carried out the same searches as you.
Certain personal data may be included in the family trees of other Geneanet members. They can only be deleted by the family tree owner. We will notify the user of your request and will check that this information has been masked.
Information in archivesGeneanet may hold official documents originating in particular from public archives and containing personal data. In order to protect the integrity of these archives, Geneanet is under an obligation not to modify the documents and to keep them as they are.
Your request to delete information from archival records must be sent to the entity responsible for the archival records and mentioned as the source of the documents.
We will review requests for the deletion of personal data from the searchable indexes we hold on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the law.
General ProvisionsPlease note that there may be some latency in deleting your personal data from our backup systems after we have removed it from our production, development, analytics and research systems.
Geneanet may also retain certain information necessary to comply with our legal obligations (including requests from public authorities), to resolve disputes, maintain security, prevent fraud and abuse, and to comply with tax-related compliance requirements in particular.
Lastly, Geneanet cannot remove information it has deleted but that may still be indexed in third-party search engines (for example Google or Bing). The publishers of these services will have to be contacted and asked to remove this information from their indexes.

Data Transfers

Genealogy has no geographical borders and your personal data may be processed outside of the European Union. In such a case, Geneanet always contractually ensures that if your personal data is transferred outside of the European Union, it is protected to the same standards of data protection as those of the European Union, particularly through application of the Standard Contractual Clauses approved by the European Commission (EUR-Lex – 32021D0914 – FR – EUR-Lex (

Changes to our Privacy Policy

Geneanet reserves the right to modify this document at any time. Any material changes will be notified to you in advance by email or by posting a notice on our websites, so that you can review the changes made and determine whether you wish to continue using our services.

If you object to any changes, you may delete your account directly online.

Legal Bases for Processing

We are under an obligation to specify the reasons why we process your personal data and the legal bases for processing such personal data. Geneanet relies on a certain number of legal bases to collect and process your personal data.

  • The Performance of a Contract – We may process your personal data because is it necessary for the performance of a contract that we have with you. For example, we process your credit card information when you provide it to purchase a Premium subscription.
  • Legitimate Interests – We may also process your personal data on the grounds of our legitimate interests, including to process records and similar archival content obtained from third parties, as well as family tree data, to provide and improve the services. For example, Geneanet has a legitimate interest in understanding your login history so that we can assess your interaction with our Services. We also have a legitimate interest in providing and developing interesting features for our Users. We use your personal data to ensure the security of our services and we do that to the extent necessary for your legitimate interests and our legitimate interests by guaranteeing the security of our services and by protecting us against fraud, spam and abusive activity. 
  • Consent – When you have agreed to the processing of the data, your consent constitutes the legal basis for processing your personal data. You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. Please note that withdrawing your consent to the collection and processing of your personal data will not affect the lawfulness of the processing of your personal data based on your consent before you withdrew it. 
  • Legal Obligation – We may process your personal data if necessary in order for us to comply with a legal obligation. For example, if we are required by law to do so. 

Contact details of the Data Controller

Geneanet SA manages the use of your data, as well as any request relating to your personal data. Geneanet’s contact details are indicated at the end of this document.

The French Data Protection Agency (the CNIL – Commission Nationale Informatique et Libertés) is responsible for ensuring the protection of personal data contained in computer files and processing. Users may refer any established breaches regarding the protection of their personal information to the CNIL. The CNIL’s address is 3 place de Fontenoy, TSA 80715, 75334 Paris cedex 07, telephone: +33 (0)1 53 73 22 22.

Geneanet has appointed a data protection officer, who is responsible for ensuring the protection of personal data and compliance with the law within the company.
You may contact the data protection officer:

  • By email: [email protected]
  • By phone: +33 (0)1 42 74 40 30
  • By post: Geneanet, 165 bis rue de Vaugirard, 75015 Paris, France.

In order to ensure that your request is processed quickly, please indicate any information that would facilitate your identification, notably your email address.

Last updated: september, 2021