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Potential problem - Hiding Living Relatives

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


BA Report 1 Mar 2013 19:49

I have noticed today that I can see details of Living Relatives in other trees that I have been given view access to. I am sure that most will have set their account up to Hide Living Relatives, so I believe there could be a bug with the GenesR site at the moment. Therefore, I am going to remove view access to my tree until this bug is fixed, or until Tech Support tell me what is wrong. You may want to take similar precations.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 1 Mar 2013 19:55

Thank you for alerting us - presumably you have checked with the tree owners and have emailed Support?

For what it's worth, I've changed the names of Living Relatives (self, OH and in-laws who have given permission) to Living Living. That way the names don't show up on a search.

Edit - I've checked Mother-in-laws tree, who I know has the Hide Living relation function, and one other. Both have Hidden H Hidden for a number of relatives. Perhaps it was a blip?


jax Report 1 Mar 2013 20:03

Maybe they have not hidden them? They may not even know that even though they are hidden in their tree, they can still be found by searching the trees.

The only living people in my tree are myself and my parents and like DET no names are mentioned


Elizabeth2469049 Report 1 Mar 2013 20:16

Or they have picked up the information from elsewhere, not from your tree but from other sources or trees possibly even on other sites, where the Hidden for living has not been implemented, All BMD records are in the public domain if you look hard enough!


BA Report 1 Mar 2013 20:29

Thanks for the replies.... I've checked several trees that I have view access to, one or two show Hidden for Living People, but most show full details, including a couple of trees where I know for sure that they have set their account up to Hide Living Relatives.

I have emailed tech support who have replied to say they are looking into it.


Annx Report 1 Mar 2013 20:33

I thought you could display them as long as you had their permission..........maybe I'm wrong. :-S I don't display any on my own tree.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 1 Mar 2013 20:41

Yes Annx, you can. It's just that many of us don't want our close relative's details handed on a plate to complete strangers.

Some people even put full date of birth and marriage details on view to all on their tree.


Wend Report 1 Mar 2013 20:46

I can think of a couple of living relatives I'd like to hide :-D

Oops, sorry to be flippant :-0


SylviaInCanada Report 2 Mar 2013 04:36

Perhaps they do not know that you have to opt to hide living relations ........... unlike ancestry where any tree entry showing a birth date within the last 120 years but no death date is replaced by "Private"

On GR, you have to go into your Account, and then find the part where it asks if you want to hide living relatives ........... it isn't automatic!


InspectorGreenPen Report 2 Mar 2013 06:55

I have access to several hundred trees on this site and I estimate less than 5% are set to hide living relatives. In fact you can count them on the fingers of both hands so 2% is probably nearer the mark


LadyScozz Report 2 Mar 2013 07:24

I think at least 75% of the trees I have access to have "living" relatives hidden.

Mine are hidden, but I don't have my name, OH's name or our parents' names on the tree.

If you search for names, they will appear on the listings, but not able to view the details on another tree.

I've had a few arguments with members who have some of my living relatives on their trees. This is because various relatives have produced "family books" and passed them around. I keep telling them to put a note in the front of the book that living people's names should not be put on any public display, including websites (it's against the law in Australia). Most of these people have complied, some have been downright rude!!


BA Report 2 Mar 2013 07:51

I have found a temporary quick fix which hides living relations in your tree.

It seems that the Genes Reunited security process is faulty and it forgets that you have previously set your account to Hide Living Relatives.

So, if you go to your account on GenesR, set "Hide Living Relations" = No and Save, then after the screen has refreshed (a couple of seconds or so) change it back = Yes and Save.

Using a test account and tree that I have which was showing Living Relations to someone I shared the tree with, after carrying out the above steps, those Living relations are now correctly hidden.

@GenesR Tech Support - PLEASE NOTE the above for your information
Also, Tech Support should change the default for this setting to be = Yes when anyone creates a new account.


RolloTheRed Report 2 Mar 2013 09:48

(1) Whatever the tree is set to the LR will show up in the index eg Search Member Trees.
(2) The BMD data is public domain so that OP may show this information regardless of settings on another tree. Other FH sites may show the same people.
(3) People researching a tree may not be related - their objective may be one name study, locality study, historical etc. Yet most GRU posters assume only relatives research a tree or even have the right to.
(4) Ay allows access to LR on a person by person basis rather than all or nothing. It also allows multiple trees. Any tree can be 100% hidden if the owner so wishes. Ay also offers various levels of collaboration including LR.

Why people are so obsessed with hiding their tree when essentially it cannot be done beats me. If you want to keep yopur tree off line then there is plenty of free software for the job. GRAMPS is the most comprehensive though not especially user friendly.


BA Report 2 Mar 2013 10:12


You are totally missing the point.

We all know that lots of info is available via BMD records etc.

BUT we have been told by the GenesR site info that if you set your account preferences to Hide Living Relations, then any additional data you add to persons who are living would be hidden from view. Thus many members could have added data to their tree which is NOT available via public records, ... assuming it was private.

This BUG in the GenesR preferences is serious, if you cannot grasp this fact then I am sorry.


JoyDean Report 2 Mar 2013 10:50

I remember this being queried on GR's page on facebook and GR's response was that, even if hide living relations is saved, names of living people can be found, such as one's own name. In my opinion, it is better not to add names of any living people.


RolloTheRed Report 2 Mar 2013 11:41

In the case that a tree is shared with LR not disabled then any and all data entered by the tree owner will be accessible to anybody the tree is shared with. This is not a bug and has always been the case.

If the LR status is changed to NO from YES after the share is created then the OP will no longer be able to see the LR. This change may not take effect immediately. I don't think that this is a bug although apparently some people do.

My 2c is that it is pointless adding extra information on the GRU site as it remains locked up within the site tree. It will not be be saved in a GED export and is subject to the technical and commercial vagaries of GRU over time.

If you want to do that sort of thing and don't wish to share why keep yr tree on line at all? There is plenty of free/cheap software for offline trees. Many members of GRU do not use the tree function.

When GRU started it was a an offshoot of Friends ReUnited and the whole point of GRU was to share trees and create a family history community. That idea seems to have fallen by the wayside.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 2 Mar 2013 11:50

Some of us, me included, are verging on Paranoia when it comes to exact details of our own and other living relatives personal details – the actual date of birth & date of marriage, if someone enters them on their tree, are open to all to see unless the Hide Living Relative function works.

Personally I don’t go into that level of recording, but other people do. It may only be a tiny percentage of people in the UK whose identity is stolen, but let’s not help the criminals on their way.

Although I suspect that BryanAA was mistaken, it has resulted in an interesting discussion.


BA Report 2 Mar 2013 12:56

I can assure you that I am not mistaken, I have tested and confirmed that this bug exists. ;-)

If your account was set to hide living relatives prior to the new design of tree, then it is likely that people you have shared your tree with can now see details of living relatives, when previously with the old tree, those details would have been hidden.

If you change the setting from Yes to No and then back to Yes again, it fixes the issue, but for how long I do not know.

However, since GenesR are releasing another update on Tuesday which changes the way account security functions, I have little or no confidence that the new release will be secure.

Hence, I have removed all private data from the close family living relatives in my tree.

Plus, if I do not get a quick reply from tech support, to say they are fixing this bug as a matter of urgency, then I will be deleting my tree and account from the site.


RolloTheRed Report 2 Mar 2013 13:53

I have an unusual name. So ID theft one may suppose is a low level pf concern - ID theft scams prefer ordinary names.

No worries life does it for you.

There is another guy with exactly the same name, same age, same profession, masters degree same subject .... until the advent of the online age it was not a problem now we get mixed up on FB, I get his car servicing bills, he gets my mine etc.

It makes US customs entry really fun as they suspect I have a false ID ... So now I am " a person of interest". At least he doesn't do FH.

Hey ho.

fwiw people doing FH should not get so het up about ID theft. Anybody needing such have much easier ways to sort out what they need with far less trouble than futzing around with genealogy web sites. What is on offer ? Anything really from 192 style lists with dob etc through to the full Monty with passport ( inc matching rifid ), bank account and visa. No, don't ask.

The one and only chance to get a handle on this mess for the UK was binned by the Tories when they came in. Our local plods v Bulgarian crime syndicates won't stand a chance. They ( the Bulgarians ) can get on fine without recourse to GRU lol.


Annx Report 2 Mar 2013 15:59

I agree Rollo. It is easy peasy to trace living rellies from deceased rellies anyway. What about the poor souls who are hoping to be traced by estranged family members who would want their (own) details to show.

As for ID theft, the banks are always preaching to us about it yet my bank sends out correspondence with my full name (including middle name written in full) and if it is a bank statement it includes my national insurance number next to my pension payments!! That sort of thing bothers me more.