Errant Birthday Notification, Child Privacy Issue

Started by John Finlayson-Fife on Thursday, February 17, 2011

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2/17/2011 at 4:45 AM

Last weekend, my mother received a birthday notification from geni.com on behalf of the profile of someone who is not on our tree. Apparently a remote cousin, but so distant that Geni wouldn't say how they were related without upgrading to Geni Pro.

Why might that have happened? A bug? An ill-thought-out scheme to induce upgrades to Geni Pro?

Also, in the process of trying to figure out who this person is, I stumbled across the names and photos of several living children as young as 8 years. I thought that children were supposed to be hidden from public view.

2/19/2011 at 9:34 AM

Hi, I work for Geni and would like to investigate both issues. We're certainly not intentionally sending out birthday reminds for far-distant profiles (for upgrade reasons or any other). If I send you a private message with my email address, would you please forward that birthday reminder email back to me?

2/19/2011 at 6:36 PM

Thanks for offering to investigate, Mike. Yes, I wll forward the Geni birthday reminder email to you if you PM me your email address.

2/20/2011 at 9:23 AM

The birthday reminder was for your fourth cousin once removed -- I've made that path non-Pro, just so you can see it. Looks like what we call a "boundary condition" -- you should be getting birthday reminders for fourth cousins but not beyond. I'll take a closer look at the code once I'm in the office on Tuesday.

For others following along, the child privacy issue is a combination of two things: 1. the fact that there are no birth dates on the kids, and 2. Geni's policy of showing immediate family names on profiles when you're logged in. So if you can see Mom's profile, then you can see her kids' names.

2/24/2011 at 6:53 AM

It sounds like the 4th-cousin boundary is working properly, then. I didn't receive the birthday notice. My mother did.

Since you made the path non-Pro, I can see that the person in question is my father's 4-cousin (3rd cousins, actually, since I believe Edwin Hickman and E Hickman weren't brothers, but rather the same person, but that's just a merge issue).

2/24/2011 at 7:24 AM

Thanks for clarifying!

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