Started by Heather Russell-Davies on Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Profiles Mentioned:

Related Projects:

Showing 1-30 of 88 posts
10/12/2010 at 6:40 PM

My family have recently discoverd that our PERSONAL details have been publicly published on your website WITHOUT OUR PERMISSION OR KNOWLEDGE! This is an invasion of privacy and i will go to any/all authorities to have JUSTIN PAUL NEWMAN persecuted for this invasion!
Under Australian law (being Australian citizens) we have the right to have our personal details removed from any databases, especially when consent to have them entered was neither asked nor given!
I hereby request, on behalf of ALL MY EXTENDED FAMILY to have our details removed AT ONCE! If this is not complied with, i shall be seeking legal advice/representation towards this company as well as towards the person responsible for entering our details without permission!

10/12/2010 at 7:25 PM

Sorry, got the name slightly wrong, it's JUSTIN PAUL NEWLAND

Private User
10/13/2010 at 1:32 AM


This is a Public Discussion for all of Geni (and searchable by Google). You need to contact the different managers directly, and perhaps also

Note that the details of Private profiles are not visible to the communicty, only to people within the Family Group.

Anne M. Berge
Curator on Geni

Wow, he's your 7th cousin, through your 6th great grandfather, Thomas Rose, Snr [Free Settler "Bellona" 1793]. That is a pretty impressive tree he must have built out. Do you have ANY idea where he got all this information from? Because, Australian law aside, if the information is in the public domain, then it IS... public.

Private User
10/13/2010 at 3:15 AM

I'm with Shmuel on this. He may have gotten this information from another family tree that is set on a public website. Otherwise, I don't see how or why he would have that information, as most of us do NOT know who our 6th and 7th generation relatives are.

What he input in the United States, Mexico, France, etc is not in Australian jurisdiction and Australia can't really do anything about it. Also, if he's not inputting your phone number, copyrighted photos, etc there isn't really anything that authorities can do (I know, I've been there). Even if or he deletes it off, he can anonymously upload it on his very own website on his very own server, or submit details to sites that collect information. There are satellites operated by that scan down to your very home, right into your backyard. I don't want to freak you out, but this is what a police officer told me when I called to inquire about when others input what I deemed personal information online.

<private> Baldwin
10/13/2010 at 3:15 AM

Just went on the Web and there are more than 7 pages from different sources on Justin Newland....

Don't know about Australian law but if somebody is born it is public knowledge,death also public knowledge, marraige also,schools etc.

The records I found were on Facebook,Twitter,Linkpedia,my space etc etc..

I do think your anger is misdirected at Geni....

I believe that if someone is that close to home base they must be related and you should take it up with ancestry tree is exactly is not a spying organization ,that is NOT it's purpose nor, I'm sure, would anyone POST any information about a person that was not verifiable at a public domain.

Private User
10/13/2010 at 3:18 AM

I think he Justin Paul NEWLAND should know there's a thread about him, so I tagged him.

Private User
10/13/2010 at 3:41 AM

Ok, now I got curious. I went and looked up the tree in question with the "private" information. There's A LOT of information on the internet regarding your maternal family, beginning with your Grandfather (first, middle and last name on an Australian government website), and that is probably how Justin got that information. Your grandfather's name is now public domain...everything from there is cake. Access to census records, military records, obituaries, etc, give people enough information to build a tree.

10/14/2010 at 3:57 AM

This website supposedly garrentees the privacy of information regarding living people. Never before has my name come up on a google search untill he did this, and as far as i know this is the only public family tree online.
Regardless, everyone has the right to request their information be removed from databases, which is what I and my family are asking.
Who are these managers I should be contacting? I've been trying to find them, thus the public post with a scream for their attention.
And we tried e-mailing help@geni and got nothing in return, great lot of help that is!
I also sent a msg to justin privately, and surprise surprise, no response! I don't see whats so bad about not wanting mine and my family's info so easily found on the internet? alright, my grandfather might be on here, but that is his choice. I didn't choose to have this information put up here, i wasn't asked if it was ok to make it so very public and i belive that the managers of this site should have a bit more discresion about letting random people post things like that so publically.
I find it offensive, so does all of my family that has been made aware of this.

<private> Baldwin
10/14/2010 at 4:17 AM


Talk to Justin Paul Newland...HE started a family tree on 5/18/2010 at 9:44 PM.

Without having HIS permission to do so it is MY understanding that no-one can view beyond a certain point. So if what you are upset about (which I CAN'T see is in the CLOSE range...I see nothing that can be done about it since, I AGAIN STATE, info beyond a certain range is open to the general public. You can go to your own City/County/State Department of Vital Records and get the info that an entity...can freely access.

Talk to JUSTIN..........

10/14/2010 at 4:23 AM

Fay, as i have said, I HAVE been and am still trying to get a response from him!
Also, it seems that we are not the first (and i certainly doubt we will be the last) to take exception with him for putting their personal information up!

And, yes, you can, but you cant find it from them simply by googling it!

<private> Baldwin
10/14/2010 at 6:22 AM

I still do NOT understand what you are so upset about...

YOU ARE in the phone book??? That is public information...personally, and from a Geni standpoint...I DONT CARE about any skeleton's in your closet...not that I or anyone IS privy to that kind of personal info...

What is available is MUCH more extensive that you are evidently aware of...and you CAN google or whatever obtain birth,marraige and death records without personally going to a physical location or having transfers and deeds are also available...

Again...I do NOT understand WHAT you are upset about.....

If its got anything to do with the known history of Australia and its first settlers you are talking with someone whose 8th great grandmother was hung as a witch in Salem....SO WHAT!

Private User
10/14/2010 at 6:39 AM

Search the Internet and we can even read about your nipple piercings.

<private> Baldwin
10/14/2010 at 6:40 AM


Do yourself a favor and go to the Web under YOUR name.

<private> Baldwin
10/14/2010 at 7:12 AM

Go to Heather Davies,Australia....


I tell you it was Heather Davies, in Australia, who went to RMIT University and is a lecturer there.

Now tell us who YOU are...cause it took no time to find THAT info..

And Bjorn...WHY are you searching the web about nipple piercings????
(I'm being silly).

Heather....time to call it quits.


Private User
10/14/2010 at 7:17 AM

LOL Bjorn!

10/14/2010 at 12:55 PM

Geni help will respond.. our customer service team is (still) a bit backed up. We normally try to respond within two business days, but unfortunately it's been taking longer lately.

Here's one important piece of information that needs to be added to this discussion: you can make private any (non-user) profile in your Family Group, simply by editing the profile and disabling the checkbox labeled "This is a public profile." A good starting point would be a list of the public profiles in your Family Group:;shared_status=public

10/14/2010 at 1:14 PM

@Bjørn :
pictures ?

how great it is to have all of these :
facebook, twitter, msn, skype, gouverment arcives, medical arcives ++++ online.
so we can hide,when ever we want :-)

oooh darn,we can`t.

10/14/2010 at 10:46 PM

wow, you have your information wrong. no nipple peircings here, nor rmit university lecturing. I am not in the phone book.
and YOU don't have to understand why I'm offended.
Michael, I don't seem to have access to the family tree that i'm part of, care to help me so that we can actually settle the issue?
everyone else, why do you all take it on yourselves to get up in arms against me? i didn't do anything to you, i just want my information remove from this website, i don't see why that is bad thing to ask. You may not care about your privacy, but you shouldn't be horrible to others who do care!
so either help, or bugger off!
Yes it's a public post, but if you didn't notice, it was aimed at the managers and the guy who put our info up. go get your jollys off picking on someone else!

<private> Baldwin
10/15/2010 at 3:53 AM

MANAGER or other power that be: evidently profile data or such is what Heather is concerned about...if I have this right...and NOT the fact that her name APPEARS on a tree.....

Can we (YOU) put a lock on profile data on a persons profile if they request it...of course, her life history is not our business from a GENI standpoint and,if Justin or anyone else clicked her info as 'public' cant we intercede and LOCK that info????

Heather...have I gotten the gist or it??

10/15/2010 at 5:08 AM

yes, thankyou Fay. My family (more then just me, I have been asked to act on their behalf) which includes my parents, sister, aunties, uncles and cousins all would like their information to, if it can't be removed, at least be made private.

Mimi, thanks for the heads up, looks like i have another issue to take up with someone else privately.

Private User
10/15/2010 at 5:59 AM

I see that you created a profile separate from the one that you're referring to. It might be best to merge the two so that you have power over your own profile.

The other profile is public. Try to either take it over or ask Geni to change it to private. Now that you're here, you may find that you like Geni - once your account is private. Provide a list of profiles to of which profiles should be made private.

Private User
10/15/2010 at 6:40 AM

Anita, I think you don't understand what Heather is asking.

Heather joined Geni in order to communicate with Geni about someone who created a family tree that features her immediate family (and herself). She is not part of that family tree project, but did a search on her name and found her name on Geni.

10/15/2010 at 6:50 AM

This is a very useful discussion because I can imagine that it isn't the first and won't be the last time that this issue occurs. I started a tree and have put information in it about family members who I discovered but have never met. All the information I put in was discovered from public sources. Since Geni hides information about living generations, the only issue I see is with the encouraging of widespread collaboration.

I do think that privacy is a legitimate concern. An elderly member of my family was just scammed because someone got their phone number and the name of a young relation of theirs and called with a sob story about the young relation. People ARE stealing information from smart phones and the Internet and scamming others.

Private User
10/15/2010 at 8:43 AM

When I built out my tree, and when I find out about other distant cousins, I generally just put their name and email address so that they will get an invite. I don't generally put spouses or their children in. The hope is that they will join and put all of the other information in themselves.

10/15/2010 at 10:35 AM

It looks like the manager who created the profiles in question, has made them private -- that's great. Keep in mind that it may take Google a few days to remove them from their index; you can accelerate the process at;an... (under the section, "I want to completely remove a page from search results")

I do recommend that you merge the profile you've created, into the one created by your distant cousin -- it will make it easier for you to ensure the privacy on these profiles. If you wish to do so, here are two ways to go about it:

1. Ask Mr. Newman to invite you to that profile using the same email address that you've already used to sign up. This is the simplest way but would require divulging your email address to him.

2. Go to Mr. Newman's profile and click "Add to Family Group" to the right of his name -- this will send a request that, once accepted, will enable you to put your own email address onto his profile of you. Once that's done you can then remove him from your Family Group.

I'm sorry that your introduction to Geni was such a negative experience -- if you stay awhile you might find some interesting things here.


Private User
10/15/2010 at 2:46 PM

No worries, Anita. :)

Private User
1/16/2011 at 6:08 PM

Hello all.
I'm with you Heather. Any amateur genealogist knows not to post living persons dates of birth and other personal details - the norm is "Living Person". The posting of living persons details is a gross breach of privacy in Australia. As for Justin Paul NEWLAND, well, he's gone silent. I received a half-baked response (the only one) to say he had "fubarred" which I took to mean he had made a huge mistake and did not know how to fix it.

7/17/2012 at 5:11 PM

Hello. i deleted my geni account thinking that it would delete my whole family tree also. Now when i try to log back on to remove the information, i wont let me. ive tried emailing but i get no reply. PLEASE HELP

7/17/2012 at 5:12 PM

This is just a second account so that i could comment and hopefully get feedback

Showing 1-30 of 88 posts

Create a free account or login to participate in this discussion