TMG-L ArchivesArchiver > TMG > 2005-12 > 1135779453
Subject: Re: [TMG] Printing and Privacy
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2005 09:17:33 EST
I too have joined this thread late.
I have suffered from the unauthorised publication by third parties of my
private genealogical research and my sources on commercial genealogy websites.
Material published included private correspondence to me, my comments on
evidence, my e-mail address and surnames of living people in Britain and in
Germany who had asked me for professional and political reasons not to make
public their Jewish ancestry.
The source of this material was a GEDCOM which I gave in good faith to a
person attempting to trace and reunite families split in the Holocaust. Without
my permission this person passed my GEDCOM to other people who have chosen to
add it to their own trees and to upload it onto public genealogy websites.
A few years ago I took steps to have this material removed. And my efforts
Now another person or persons has again published this private GEDCOM file
on the internet on several sites and has not been persuaded to remove it. He
protested that it was too much trouble.
I now face a further long correspondence with the web site owners to get
them to remove my private material. I am told (but do not know) that it is
possible that my information including my private letters (of which copyright
remains with the writers) may have been included on CD ROMs sold to the public
for family history research.
The implications for me are considerable. I no longer give any information
away in GEDCOM electronic form. And would warn others not to do so.
This is not a matter of whether or not fraud will be perpetrated — but
whether there is an invasion of personal privacy through the unauthorised
publication of letters (copyright material) and of the religious or ethnic background
of living individuals, some of them in public life, and for some of whom
that might constitute an additional risk to their safety.
For the reasons given above I had excluded this tree from my own genealogy
site. In any case, all the trees on my website were limited to birth, marriage,
death and residence fields and exclude living people. It provides a page
traceable through Google, and through which any family member wanting further
details of sources can contact me with an enquiry. I do not pass on the
addresses or e-mails of other family members without their prior permission.
If anyone on this list has experience of trying to prevent the unauthorised
publication of their material, I would like to hear from them.
Evelyn Wilcock, London
genealogy web site at http://members.aol.com/ECWilcock/