Forest privacy

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For sake of example, let's say your name is John Smith and are married to Jane Smith. Although we use the term 'Tree' to refer to the visual family tree feature, John Smith's Tree has a very specific meaning.

John Smith's Tree is all of your blood relatives and all of their partners (this includes ex-spouses). Each person on Geni has their own Tree. For example, your children's Tree is different than yours because it includes Jane Smith's parents and other blood relatives.


Your Forest is:


The Forest also gives you an additional layer of privacy for your profile and the profiles you have added. These new privacy options are opt-in. We encourage you to use the 'Who can view my profile from the tree?' setting to control the node privacy for your node and the nodes you manage.

Here are the new privacy rules for the Forest:

  • You can still navigate outside your Forest without restriction
  • Nodes are either private or viewable
    • Private nodes:
      • Display First Initial and Last Name only
      • Include 'View Tree', 'Invite to Family', 'Invite to Friends' and 'Send Message' actions (as applicable)
      • Do not link to the associated profile
      • Include a visual indication for easy identification (grey node instead of pink of blue)
    • Viewable nodes follow the same rules as all current tree nodes
  • By default, the following nodes will be viewable, regardless of where they appear:
    • Nodes within your Forest
    • Nodes of the deceased
    • Nodes of your Family group and Friends
    • Unclaimed nodes you have added
  • By default, when viewed by users outside your Forest:
    • Your node is private
    • Living nodes you add are private
    • Deceased nodes you add are viewable
  • New setting will enable you to choose the following for your node, living nodes you have added, and deceased nodes you have added:
    • Who can add relatives to them in the tree?
    • Who can view their profiles from the tree? (private or viewable)

We believe that these new privacy enhancements will preserve the ability to navigate your extended forest without limitation, while preserving each user's control over their own privacy.

View Tree

Now you can enable Family (even disconnected family as noted above), Friends, and even ‘Anyone’ to view your tree. Note that when they view your tree, they follow the Forest privacy rules, so many of the nodes will be private to them.


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