Re: Privacy and Genealogy - Steven Coker
Subject: Re: Privacy and Genealogy
From: Steven Coker
Date: March 26, 1999

Shown below is the Texas GenWeb Privacy Policy statement.  This is a good
example of the kind of policy that other genealogists and genealogical groups
should adopt.

 * * * * * * * * * * 

Texas GenWeb Privacy Policy

"It is the policy of The TXGenWeb Project to protect the rights and privacy of
our living relatives. We strongly encourage all involved to do their best not to
place information on the Internet about anyone who is still living, unless you
have their express permission to do so."

We should each do our part to protect our family members. The ease of
accessibility on the Internet is a strong reason to respect the privacy of our
living family members. Please respect everyone's privacy and use common sense
when placing information on the web. 

If you care enough about your family to search for ancestors, please care enough
to protect the descendants. Here are a few ways you can help:

 * When requesting information [via e-mail, chat, queries, etc...], don't
include personal information on living persons. 

 * When responding to requests for information, especially to someone you don't
really know, don't provide them with personal information on living persons.
They could post it on the web or do who knows what else with it. 

 * When sharing GEDCOM files with others, remove information on all living
persons before your share the file. Again, information you share could end up on
somebody's web site somewhere.

 * Programs like GEDClean, GEDLiving, and GEDPrivy can help automate this
otherwise tedious task. 

 * If you are thinking about starting your own genealogy web site, visit sites
like Cyndi's Genealogy Home Page Construction Kit. It is not only helpful in
creating a site, but also addresses the responsibilities that go along with it. 

 * If you already have a genealogy web site, check your site and remove
information on all living persons. Be living person aware as you add new
information to your site. If you are not sure about something, when in doubt,
take it out. 

 * Learn more about privacy on the Internet and visit the Computer Professionals
for Social Responsibility web site. 

 * Spread the Word, help educate the masses on this subject. Link to this page
From your genealogy web site or create a privacy page of your own. 

A Responsible Net begins with Responsible People.

 * * * * * * * * * * 

This message is brought to you by the good folks at TxGenWeb Send comments about
this subject to Tim Harris ([email protected]). TxGenWeb and USGenWeb are not
commercial enterprises.  Information found on this page is freely available to
the public.

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