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data protection

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


leese Report 14 Jun 2013 13:47

I have a tree that i have given to numerous people in my family on paper, because some of the people on it are still living is this a cause for the data protection act my tree is not on the internet but i do have it on disc


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 14 Jun 2013 14:46

To be honest, you'd probably need a solicitor to give a correct answer. If the living people listed have given their permission to be included on the paper copy, you probably haven't broken any laws. What might be of concern to you, is what the recipient has done with it.

This section of the law 'might' cover FH info -

Sub catagory, Exemptions
Domestic purposes.

Personal data processed by an individual only for the purposes of that individual’s personal, family or household affairs (including recreational purposes) are exempt from the data protection principles and the provisions of Parts II and III.


Porkie_Pie Report 14 Jun 2013 15:47

This may be of interest


Domestic or Recreational Use



leese Report 14 Jun 2013 15:51

Thankyou detective for your help,
this is so difficult,
I guess its ok for each person to give you their permission but what about the others on it that dont know about the tree,
example.. your aunt had children peter & paul but you lost touched but you cant get their permission but there on the tree. Are you suppose to blank there names out.
If that was the case, it would be difficult to read a tree full of blanks.

I totally understand your comment "What has the recipient done with it"

With this act it doesnt help the millions that are out there giving there family members copies of tree's, as a sense of acheivement.
If the law say's basically that you can only look at it yourself and store it for personal & recreational purposes.

But the exemption category you show does say, family or household affairs.
Does this mean then that as long as they are family they can have one.


leese Report 14 Jun 2013 16:03

Thanks roy
checked that out still a bit baffled
it say's on there

"Therefore, a genealogist holding personal data simply in connection with his own studies and research would not be required to register such data. However, the Registrar considers that the genealogist would no longer hold such personal data solely for his personal recreational purposes if he disclosed the data to another genealogist, or any other person, and the exemption would no longer apply."

Does this mean then that as soon as you give it to ANY OTHER PERSON (family) your not exempt
what is classed as DOMESTIC & RECREATIONAL USE.

Chris in Sussex

Chris in Sussex Report 14 Jun 2013 16:43

I read it as...

As a Genealogist

If you hold information about living people and do not share the information then you do not need to register.

If you hold information about living people and you intend to share that information then you do need to register.

Someone please correct me if I am reading it incorrectly :-)



leese Report 14 Jun 2013 17:32

Hi chris ,

So if i want to share my information on living people to my family
i have to register and pay £35.00 to be able to do this.
Its not an excessive amount.
Yet I'm not sure what that will acheive by registering.


SylviaInCanada Report 14 Jun 2013 19:11


As I see it, the major problem is not you .................. but what others do with the information

If ANY of them set up a tree on a genealogical site, for example, GR, FMP, ancestry .................... then that information is immediately in the public domain.

It will be picked up by Google, and found by anyone who searches for that name.

Plus, the information can be taken by persons unknown unless everyone has made their tree(s) private.

You have no control over that, but you were responsible for passing on the information.

Any one of your named living relatives could quite rightly get upset at you for passing on their information, even if you have registered and paid £35

It is fantastic to pass on information to other family members, but it can be a minefield!

Chris in Sussex

Chris in Sussex Report 14 Jun 2013 20:26

Personally I always work on the basis that living relatives are a 'no go' area with regards to sharing.

Any sharing is done by not opening a tree but providing a Genealogy report, starting with the person with whom we connect, only ever working back and never forward.

By ensuring that no living people, or anyone who was born and could have died within the last 100 years, is included in any research that I may publish anywhere, including providing info to individuals, then I feel I have covered myself as far as Data Protection is concerned.

The bottom line that I work to....Never provide or post any information about anyone who could possibly still be alive.



leese Report 14 Jun 2013 21:46

for all your answers,
Its so frustrating when I can go on ancestry, get my name quarter and year of birth look it up and see my mothers maiden name. In 10 mins and every other member of my family.
But I can't write it down and give it to someone in case there offended. When the information is out there for every one to see anyway.
How does ancestry do it.

Does anyone now what the data protection fee covers you for.

As i'm trying to come up with a solution to my problem , as its only my family that is going to receive it, but I do understand how easy it would be to forward into the public domain.
if i have the living peoples permission can i have them on the tree and deceased people and blank those i dont know personally.



Renes Report 15 Jun 2013 08:37

I was of the understanding that if, for example, a member of my family decided to publish the family tree on say ANC, FMP, FS etc their software automatically blocks as "Living" any birth <110 years


Kay???? Report 15 Jun 2013 09:07

You can add names of living people to your tree,,,note---------- ""a name only""",,,,,,,,,what you must not do is gather and store or publish any personal information about that person that would make them """indentifiable""".

You can not add or store or make public personal life details without prior consent.



leese Report 15 Jun 2013 09:16

I find it hard to see how you can research your family history with just a name without writing it down or storing dates.
If storing dates is ( classed as identifiable), then you wouldnt be able to store it on ancestry either, even if the do not show living people. You probably have more chance of your stuff being breached on there than you have if its hanging in your families livingroom.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 15 Jun 2013 09:57

Isn't it all about taking reasonable care to keep identifying details private?

Even if permission had been given, it might not be that good an idea to enter the full date and place of birth on an internet based tree. Year and general area should suffice.

On Find Living Relatives, there has been discussion mentioning the Australian law forbidding naming living people on a public forum. On the other hand, GR is a British company and as long as none of 'our' laws are broken, the Australian Law doesn't apply.

Ancestry is a US owned company - if you were to look at some of the Public Record data bases, the full dob is some cases for people who are expected to be living.

Common sense should be applied rather than worrying too much about the data protection act. From our point of view, we should aim to withhold information that could lead to identity theft. That's my opinion anyway! ;-)


Kay???? Report 15 Jun 2013 10:19


Living people arent part of anyones history, history is the past,living people are part of the genetic link.

You cant add and make information public ,,,,,Aunt Jane had a child at 14,if Aunt Jane is still alive and not given permission for that information to be released to joe public,,,,,that is a personal life event and her rights to keep that private. even more so if she has no knowledge that you know.

a doctor cannot give out your medical information to joe public ,even if you said he could,because that information is covered by Data Protection,but that information can be shared by other intrested parties such as a hosptial.but they cant release to joe public,

Do not add any personal details to a name of a person thats still alive. a year of birth is not a personal detail........

What is excluded is that if any information has been released into the public domain of a living person John Smith bn 2000 was sent for can even add a newspaper clipping,


leese Report 15 Jun 2013 10:27

thankyou detective,

This is a question quite a few people I know are pondering on, I have a group of friends that are all doing there tree's as well. So its a hot topic between us all.
Shall we shant we.
If we remove the dates and leave the names of the living people that would protect there details, Then at least the tree makes sense


leese Report 15 Jun 2013 10:36

Hi Kay so after reading your message what I got was,

you can

put a name and a year
a fact that has been put in the public (prison or news paper article)

But You cannot put down a child that no one may know about.


Kay???? Report 15 Jun 2013 10:56

Not if that information can lead to and idenfify Aunt Jane who is still alive,,,,,,,no.,,,,,,,,, if Aunt Jane is alive and says you can add that information out of respect it would be best left out........

How much personal identifying information would you be happy to have released about yourself that isnt in the public a good guide,


leese Report 15 Jun 2013 11:11


my name and year and quarter and mothers maiden name, is there for all to see on public sights ie anc in the birth index for anyone to get hold of.
That I did not choose to do It is just there. Along with yours and everyone else's that has commented. So I think a name and a year is ok
I except your point that aunt janes child shouldnt be on there,
Except maybe if aunt jane died 50 years ago and the child who's still alive contacts you then you can put it on the tree.
As for public information like prison & newspaper articles that information wouldnt go on a printed tree anyway.