Birth dates showing for living people

Started by L Kennedy on Sunday, January 16, 2011


Showing all 12 posts
1/16/2011 at 12:48 AM

I have just found this web site and I am disgusted to find my birth detail and that of my husband. How can I have these details removed and how can I find you posted them in the first place.


You can find who posted them by looking at the actual profile. You should see names in both the "Added By" and "Managed By" fields on the profile page.

It's not like these dates are private or secret. They are a matter of public record... BUT if you would rather they not appear here, the prudent thing to do, is contact the profile manager(s), and request to take over management of these profiles. That way, you will have complete control of what information is shown.

Private User
1/16/2011 at 6:16 AM

Often it's unintentional, users not realizing that they should probably keep living profiles private (not public) for privacy. Though some see it as a way for distant relatives to find their profiles and claim it, otherwise, you may not know your family was here. In either case, it hardly every malicious. So don't be too hard on the person that added it. As Shmuel-Aharon stated, it' be best if you could take management of that profile and claim your profile (merge if needed). Then you can control your own privacy.

1/16/2011 at 2:32 PM

The thing is that in Australia birth dates are not a matter of public record and I find it amazing that such a web site allows people to include those details for people who are still living. I have never given permission for anyone to add my private details to any web page.

Private User
1/16/2011 at 7:09 PM

Geni did not produce or post the material, your family member did. Don't blame the tool. Contact the person that made it public. Thousands of sites allow the publication of user generated material. People are still learning the social norms of the web 2.0 world.

From Geni's Terms of Service:

VII. Content Posted.
2. You are solely responsible for the Content that you post on or through any of the Geni Services, and any material or information that you transmit to other Members and for your interactions with other users. Geni does not endorse and has no control over the Content. Content is not necessarily reviewed by Geni prior to posting and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Geni. Geni makes no warranties, express or implied, as to the Content or to the accuracy and reliability of the Content or any material or information that you transmit to other Members.

Private User
1/16/2011 at 7:12 PM

By default, such profiles are private on Geni - your family member had to specifically make it public.

6/6/2012 at 5:37 AM

Sorry to contradict, but THIS IS a tool issue. If a person is living, i.e. not specified as deceased or as born at least than 100 years ago, then Geni must not allow the specification (and even less the publication) of the entire birth date (maybe only the year), nor the birthplace. I have just been confronted with so-called "Pro" members carelessly merging profiles: profiles that were initially private and respectful of privacy issues had suddenly become public with indication of the full date of birth.

Publication of the date and place of birth is IS AN ISSUE in several countries. Many financial institutions will use that information to personally identify a customer on the phone. Please have a look e.g. at

And there ALSO IS AN ISSUE with Pro membership allowing anyone to modify any profile without first agreeing on the changes with the profile manager. Apparently you don't even have to pay or to identify yourself: you just have to create a dummy account and accept the free 14-days offer to upgrade.

Private User
6/6/2012 at 5:58 AM

Your suggestion means that all celebrity and royal profiles on Geni would be private profiles unless you drop the dates and tweaking with dates would be a loophole for people to force historical profiles to be private?

Sorry, I prefer the manual method.
Geni does automatically make profiles within your familygroup as private profiles when you create them.

6/6/2012 at 6:17 AM

If you want to be serious about it, new celebrity profiles should be treated as an exception, e.g. by submission to a jury or to an automated tool which confirms the information by searching sites like Wikipedia. To this end, add a button by which the creator declares "this is the profile of a celebrity".

I think it's better to give priority to the basic protection of the millions of normal people who are registered on your site (sometimes against their will). Geni has loopholes where profile managers obviously do fall inadvertently.

Private User
6/6/2012 at 6:59 AM

The basic protection is that all profiles within your family group is by default private when they are created and the users can manually change privacy by for example making them public (I have done that with all deceased profiles regardless of when they died or was born).
Don't blame Geni if user prefer to do that.

Private User
6/6/2012 at 6:06 PM

Part of the problem is that all Profiles outside your Max Extended Family default to Public -- so, for example, when I recently added a 3rd cousin's grandchild, that Profile was defaulted to Public (even tho Geni correctly defaulted it to Living). Lots of folks add folks horizontally way outside their Max Extended Family - these all default to Public. And many, many profiles are still on from when GEDCOM importing was allowed - with many of those having been outside the users' Max Extended Family and set by Geni to Public.

Private User
6/6/2012 at 6:16 PM

Geni’s Terms of Service, as updated Jan. 17, 2012, include

VIII. Content/Activity Prohibited. which includes:
# "13. invades or violates any third party's right to privacy;"
And includes # "19: attempting to impersonate another Member or person or posting any third party's (including without limitation any family member's) information on the Geni Services without permission;"

Please note the second half of #19 – after the “or” - if you have posted someone's birthdate or any other info about them without their permission, you are in violation of Geni’s Terms of Service.

These Terms of Service also state: "If you become aware of misuse of the Geni Services by any person, please contact Geni at "

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