Privacy Issues with Online Family Trees

E. Randol Schoenberg
Oct 31, 2018
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1m 32s
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Speaker's Introduction
1m 23s
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4m 42s
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Four Areas of Protection
6m 58s
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Basic Rules
7m 35s
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European Developments
7m 14s
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Questions / answers
13m 16s
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Announcements / prizes
4m 07s
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Questions / answers
19m 37s

About this webinar

Privacy remains a huge issue for many genealogists and their family members. Personal genealogy websites, as well as Online Collaborative Trees available at Geni, MyHeritage, Ancestry, WikiTree, WeRelate, FamilySearch and OneGreatFamily, each offer different levels of privacy protections. The lecture will discuss the varied approaches to the question of privacy, focusing especially on legal and  ethical considerations. For example, how should a genealogist respond if someone says she does not want to be on your online tree? Should minors be allowed to use online genealogy platforms? Can the right to privacy ever be reconciled with online collaborative genealogy? As genealogists increasingly utilize public, or semi-public online collaborative genealogy platforms, these questions are becoming more common. The lecture will use real-world examples to analyze the problems and proposed solutions.

About the speaker

About the speaker

Attorney E. Randol Schoenberg has handled numerous cases involving looted art and the recovery of property stolen by the Nazis, including the successful return of five paintings by Gustav Klimt, as featured in the 2015 film Woman in Gold. Schoenbe
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  1. Legacy Family Tree
    6 years ago

    A lot of interesting information. It was a perspective I hadn’t considered before and it was good to learn.

    A lot of stuff in a small amount of time. I will definitely go back and re-listen!

    A much needed webinar! Thanks!

    An excellent perspective on a timely and important topic. More webinars on privacy issues, including DNA, would be apreciated.

    Awesome! Thanks.

    excellent and needed program

    Excellent education in a timely subject

    Excellent info well presented. I have wondered about all these things but too complicated to spend time trying to research. This gives me a summarized view to use in future research. Thanks as usual for all these absolutely great webinars.

    Excellent information. Thanks!

    Excellent presentation by Mr Schoenberg! I now have the ability to help others who have “the fear” of identity theft to understand where their concerns should lie and where they should not! I also appreciated the question answered about photos (copyright, etc), as well as my own question about Geni corrections. Thank you for all of your hard work in lining up a plethora of amazing presenters.

    Excellent presentation!

    Excellent! I learned about privacy issue things I didn’t know before, and appreciated the clarification.

    Excellent! Really enjoyed it and it helped clear up questions about privacy issues.

    Excellent; law and genealogy — great information and delivery

    Fascinating info.

    good !

    Good information.

    Good information. Valuable just to go through the intellectual processes Randy took us through. Thanks.

    Good pace very informative

    Great clarity on a sketchy subject!!

    Great having a lawyer explain what is legal

    Great info on the state of privacy rules re genealogy & DNA for both the US & European sites.

    Great information from a very knowledgeable presenter.

    Great information session. Thank you!

    Great information

    Great issues discussed regarding privacy concerns with publishing online genealogy information. I will go back and listen to the full webinar again as I had a couple interruptions. Thank you for the helpful information provided.

    Great to hear a lawyer’s opinion on the law of privacy.


    He knows his stuff!

    I am not a professional at making a family tree. So, I felt a little intimated at the dialogue. Having said that, it was interesting and feel I did learn some things.

    I applaud Randy for essentially saying, “”Don’t let people intimidate you with threats of suing you for invasion of privacy.”” BUT I think people should retain a defensive posture about their privacy and think before they broadcast information about themselves that might be turned against them or their family somehow. Sometimes it isn’t an outsider but an in-law who might use it.

    I had no idea what to expect from this topic. I am very glad that I chose to attend!

    I must admit—–originally I thought this webinar would be boring. Much to my surprise, it was very interesting and most informative. Thank you! 🙂

    I was hoping he would touch on DNA aspects in the talk; but he answered questions regarding DNA which covered what I wanted to know.

    It furthered my understanding of rights. I have been very hesitant to put wills online and I continue to feel the same.

    It removed old assumptions and clarified the privacy issue(s) for me. Thanks!

    It was informative by clarifying what is considered legally private. The genealogy information can be shared without worry of legal issues.

    It was very informative on privacy laws; however, the content was not what I was expecting based on the title. Interesting, tho!

    It was very interesting to hear his comments regarding the areas of privacy. In Canada and in Ontario also we have some stringent privacy laws even about deceased people if we are professional genealogists but that do not apply to the “family historian”.

    Lots of good insight on privacy issues

    Lots of good-to-know information. I haven’t entered a family tree yet because of concerns about putting information out there but will seriously think about it now.

    Lots of new perspectives on privacy!

    Mr. Schoenberg answered many of my privacy-related questions, and I am eager to re-play the webinar to get more details.

    Much more interesting than I expected it to be.

    Needed talk. Calmed concerns, gave insight into truth about getting sued, as well as addressing 21st century issues.

    One of the best webinars I have heard

    One of the BEST webinars! Thank you.

    Randy is extremely well-versed on this very legal topic and had some interesting concepts regarding current identity theft and misconceptions about what really happens wit that.

    Randy provided vital information that all genealogists – whether hobbyist or professional – can use.

    Really enjoyed the Privacy Issues with Online Family Trees webinar today with Randol Schoenberg – definitely, good information to know! Thanks!

  2. Legacy Family Tree
    6 years ago

    really outstanding. thx for the reference a written version too. Grateful for the talk! Thank you.

    So many issues and I liked how he answered questions.

    So much more too this than I had expected. Great information to have.

    Some good info. Thanks.

    Thank you for so much contemporaneous and comprehensive information! I’m going to have to watch this over and over again.

    Thank you for the clarification of privacy laws associated with genealogy.

    Presenter very knowledgeable.

    The privacy issue is very broad, so it would have been impossible to discuss the whole . He stressed the legal ramifications which I was grateful to receive.

    This was so very informative! Very good!

    This was very intereting. It was the first time I have heard or thought about this topic and Randy pointed out that I am not alone.

    This webinar gave me a lot of things to think about. I am sure I am more paranoid about sharing information in online family trees and elsewhere than most people are. It is nice to know I don’t have to be so worried.

    Thought-provoking and informative.

    Today’s webinar answered all my questions about privacy and genealogy. Very informative talk. Thanks.

    Very clear and concise in presentation and comforting in content. One less thing to worry about when publishing facts.

    Very eye-opening information–very useful

    Very good and reassuring information! Thanks!

    Very helpful

    Very helpful.

    Very information webinar with lots of material to absorb and think about! Thank you very much.

    Very informative

    Very informative and answered many questions. Glad to hear him say that the fears of other people about genealogy trees being used for faudulant uses is not true.

    Very informative and enjoyable even with the technical difficulties. Thanks, Randy!

    Very informative and interesting webinar from legal view. Good info.

    Very informative!

    Very informative!

    Very informative! And reassuring!

    Very informative! Excellent presentation.

    very informative!!!

    Very informative, and easily understood.

    Very informative.

    Very informative. Answered questions I didn’t know I had. Explained many of the ins and outs of privacy laws.

    Very informative. Touched on some areas – like photographs – that cleared up some questions.

    Very interesting to hear about Privacy from the legal point of view!

    Very interesting topic that is not often addressed.

    Very interesting webinar. Randy explained the topic with ease. Will view it again for any details I missed . Thank you Randy.

    Very interesting. It may help answer questions of family members regarding privacy. Thx

    very interesting. Thank you!

    Very reasonable approach to the topic of privacy. Enjoyed hearing the speaker’s point of view.

    Very thought-provoking!

    Very useful . Thanks

    Very useful information. Thank you!

    Very well organized and articulate. Lots of goo information about the pros and cons of privacy laws. Thank you

    Very well organized and interesting.

    Very, very interesting. Loved Q&A.

    Well defined with thorough explanations. Well worth the time invested. Thank you!

    When I saw the topic, I was concerned that I was indulging in practices that went against the law. Very pleased to be reassured and will keep the rules in mind. Good section on photographs.

    Will need to watch again to view the parts I missed in the webinar, but sounds very interesting.

    WOW! Excellent webinar! Very important privacy information. A lot to digest. I will watch webinar again. I appreciate the specific privacy rules for family trees in the different genealogy software products. Interesting information about GEDMatch and privacy! Interesting info about photographs and privacy/copyrights, etc. Thank you!

    Wow! Terrific information!!

    Wow, certainly going to listen to this again. Fabulously helpful.

    Wow. The presenter was great. He was able to present legal matter that may have been difficult to understand, in a very comprehendible manner. Thank you, Mr. Schoenberg.

    Your and the audience’s questions to Mr. Schoenberg were exactly those of which I wanted answers. Excellent webinar!


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