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This page is intended as an overview of privacy on Geni. If you are unfamiliar with some of the terminology, please see the definitions provided at the bottom of this page. There are also links to more information at the end of this overview.

Geni takes the privacy of our users and their families very seriously. As a user, you control the privacy of your profile and the Private Profiles you manage. In general, only your relatives can see your full profile and your tree. Profiles you add for your relatives can only be viewed by those connected to them in the Tree.

In addition to providing a default level of privacy that we feel is appropriate to most users, we realize that many users prefer to have more or less privacy. We provide comprehensive controls you can use to customize the privacy of your data. Below are more details on the default privacy rules.

NOTE: If you do not have permissions to view a profile, you may select the 'Request to View' to send a Collaboration request for Public profiles and a Family Group request for Private profiles.

Your Profile

Following are the default privacy settings that apply to your profile. You can customize these in your Profile Privacy and Permissions settings.

Profile Privacy

  • Your Family can view your full profile. Anyone else can only see your limited profile, which only includes your profile photo, location (city, state, and country), and the name of the person who added you.

Search Privacy

  • Any Geni user can find you using search. However, what they will see if they find you is determined by the profile privacy rules above. This means that if someone outside of your Family searches for you, they will only see your limited profile.
  • You may update your Permissions settings to 'Let the public search for me (profile privacy settings apply)' to remove your profile from any Public searches on Google or other Search Engines.

Tree Privacy

  • Only your Max Family will see a View Tree button on your profile they can use to view your tree. Note that tree privacy rules determine what users will see when they view your tree.
  • Only your Family and Collaborators can click your node in the tree to view your profile. If anyone else is able to navigate to your part of the tree (for example, someone distantly connected to you), they will only see your first initial and last name and will not be able to click your node to view your profile.

Managed Profiles

Following are the default privacy rules that apply to the profiles you manage. You can customize these in your Managed Profiles settings.

Public Profiles

Profiles you add outside your private tree are public profiles. These profiles are shared with the entire Geni community. The public can view your public profiles. Your Collaborators can edit them.

Private Profiles

Profiles you add within your private tree are private profiles. Only your family can view your private profiles. Your family can edit them. All Geni users can search for them.

Privacy for Non-Users

Geni is designed as a tool for our users to document their family history through collaborative genealogy among family members. As a result, they are encouraged to create profiles for their family members who are not yet Geni users.

Each user controls the privacy of their profile and the profiles that they have added to their tree. If someone has created a profile for you and you are concerned about the privacy of your profile, the best way to control your profile privacy is to claim your account. You can do this by joining Geni using the email address associated with your profile from this page -

Alternately, you can contact the person who added you to discuss your privacy concerns. In most cases you will find the person is more than happy to accommodate your privacy needs. Who knows, you may just meet a new family member!


Unclaimed profile: A profile on Geni that is not associated with an active account. For example, if I add my sister to the tree, her profile is unclaimed until she accepts an invitation to join the tree. All deceased profiles are unclaimed.

Managed profile: You are the manager of any unclaimed profile you add. Once the person claims the profile, you are no longer their manager.

Family group: A privacy group that you define. By default, your Family consists of all your blood relatives out to your 4th cousins and closer and their current partners (plus your spouse’s if you are married) and your Inlaws out to 1st cousins. This group is always mutual, i.e. if someone is in your Family group, you are their Family group.

More Information

For more detailed information, please see the following resources:


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