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Genealogy "ethics"

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Author Genealogy "ethics"
Posted Sunday, May 01, 2005 - Post #7667
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Departing from a message by slate43 in How to ...

I have a cousin that wishes her name and the name of her child be deleted from the family tree.

I do not know why. I've asked but she has not been forthcoming.

At any rate, she wants this to be done. I feel being a member of a family is a binary event. Either you is, or you ain't a member of the family. If you is, you get placed on the tree.


This issue (the wish of an individual to be excluded) was brought up in another forum I watch (no, I'm not a forumaniac, I subscribe only to three forums, one for business card collecting, one for Nikon camera users, and GenoPro) for collectors of business cards, and the question was what do you do if somebody asks you to withdraw and destroy their business card from your collection.

In my (strong) opinion, the principle is the same: not everything relating to a person or even emanating from a person necessarily remains forever their own property. An individual may have their reasons why they want their name removed from a genealogical tree, but the official information about them, such as name and date of birth or parents' names, is not theirs. Except for extreme cases where such an inclusion might seriously hurt somebody or something, it's ethically very ok, in my opinion, to add to my tree or anyone else's tree any available information, whether the individuals on the tree like it or not. After all, it's only my business what I do in my own hard disk.

Now, regarding reports made public, this is perhaps a bit different. If the individual has indeed very good reasons to want their name excluded from a report that will be published on the www, then the genealogist should perhaps take into consideration the other person's sensitivities, needs or fears. But in such cases, it's better I think to reveal limited info, rather than mislead the viewer. For example, one could use the initials instead of a full name, but not ignore the birth as such.

I personally don't see how one can demand their exclusion from a tree, except, like I said, in extreme cases. OK, I'm not proud of all my relatives either Smile , but their existence is a fact, and one of the roles of genealogy is to record facts.

stefanos


Edited: Tuesday, October 04, 2005 by GenoProSupport
Posted Thursday, August 18, 2005 - Post #7668
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I also have come across this problem a couple of times in one particular branch of my greater tree.
Some people don't want to send any info for geneology and so will only be included hopefully once no longer "living".
This cannot be helped and is quite rare as it is appathy which often dictates their actions as they couldnt be bothered.
All the info I receive from cousins etc. is included in the tree on my computer but no living info is published on my site.
The full local branch family trees with living details are available and accessible only with passwords.
If one branch of a family has a problem with another, I can separate these branches and change passwords so that they can't see each other.
I find that most people are either enthusiastic or appathetic but rarely hostile.
Geneology is meant to give pleasure and educate and not to ruffle the feathers of those with unusual sensibilities.


Edited: Monday, April 16, 2007 by IainTait
Posted Thursday, August 18, 2005 - Post #7669
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I've got the same problem.
But i do understand and take notice of it when generating my report.
That's why i asked Dan to make a checkbox in genopro.
Than i don't have to think about it everytime i want to generate a report.
I told everyone that i have this site and if they have a problem with it, they can tell me.
But mostly i got good reviews and additional info through the site.
Sometimes promissing to link their own site.
From one person i get info as long as i exclude his daughter.
I really don't have a problem with that, it only does mean i get info from another place in the netherlands.
Which is too far away to visit on a regular basis

Kisss Rioxiann
Posted Thursday, August 18, 2005 - Post #7670
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A "Privacy Filter" will eventually be available for this purpose. I want something more flexible than a simple "Yes/No" checkbox for privacy. I want to be able to assign a different privacy profile for each individual the same way as assigning a color to an individual.

Also, there will be a "global privacy" which will be applied to all individuals, or a specific GenoMap. All privacy filters are "additive", so if you restrict some information for an individual, yet allow the global privacy filter to allow everything, then that information will be blocked on that individual. If you have a strict global privacy filter, than all information will be blocked for all individuals.

For extra details, please read Family members wants to be deleted


Edited: Monday, August 29, 2005 by GenoProSupport
Posted Saturday, June 03, 2006 - Post #11329
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My sister is the same way.  She threatened to sue me for just having her picture on my computer (personal use only).  She also said she wouldn't hesitate to sue anyone who has her information.  With her and several others it's the "Right to Privacy Act" they are invoking.  I agree with everyone else who says if you are part of the family then you are in my personal file. 

Why people ask to be taken off our records is beyond me.  I've also noticed the same people who ask us to remove their information will allow others to have it.  Some people would be really upset to find out their information is available to everyone... So where does the "Right to Privacy Act" come into play? 

Charity Unsure

Willing to help anyone in anyway I can - in regards to genealogy research.

Edited: Sunday, June 04, 2006 by GenoProSupport

Posted Sunday, June 04, 2006 - Post #11336
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They might be slightly paranoid, and they are maybe right! But, they don't have any right to stop you in your activities, as long as you just record your memories and interpret them in digital form... That's your prerogative!

And... your acts are protected from their changes, copying, distribution, interpretation etc.. by copyright act! It states, that anything that you publish in any form is your belonging automaticaly, and your right are your own and of your successors for 75 years after your death(may vary in different countries)! You have to give your acceptance some form for any kind of handling of this information...

But, that's just AFAIK


"εν οιδα οτι ουδεν οιδα" (Σωκρατησ)  - "The only thing that I know is that I don't know anything" (Socrates)
Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 - Post #32979
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I have a question about the ethics of an "amateur" genealogist who came across a decesased member of my husband's family when researching an entirely different family.  Our family member was a well-known author in the 20th century.  She has been sending my husband updates on her research and comments (such as suppositions as to the family's medical conditions).  My husband politely requested that she stop sending this to him.  It must be costing her a bit of money, but she doesn't ask for any reimbursement.  My husband now just trashes the stuff, but it's a little like being stalked.  Is there any legal way to stop her or other remedy?
Thank you.   
Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 - Post #32980
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Why does this bother your husband? The person sending you genealogical information probably thinks that she is being nice to pass onto him what she finds. I have had much unsolicited information sent to me by kind people who have come across my family name and were trying to be helpful. These people were aware of my interest in my family history and thought it would be useful to me. I would be more than grateful if more people did it!

Does your husband feel that there may be something in his family's past that he doesn't want made public? For the person sending you the information, it is probably inconceivable, being an amateur genealogist, that he wouldn't be happy to receive it!

How often do you get this stuff? Personally, I think you are overreacting. If you don't want it, just throw it in the bin.
Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 - Post #32981
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As she is not acting illegally, I suspect, there is probably no easy way to stop her enthusiasm. If she does not respond to a request to stop, you could use a Spam filter to block all correspondence from her.


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