View Full Version : Privacy in genealogy programs

26 September 2006, 12:45 AM
My neighbor is new to genealogy and genealogy programs. Unfortunately she has a PC and will not be able to get Reunion but she posed a question to me about genealogy programs and privacy. I had never heard of this concern so I thought I'd ask the experts on this list. Her question is: "It [Legacy website] doesn't say if they have access to the info you input yourself, or for that matter, what you search. We are really concerned about privacy. Do you know if they put cookies in to track you?" Since I had never heard this concern before I told her I thought not, but....I think some programs help you link directly to the web [correct me if I'm wrong] to do searches. I have never thought about losing my private information in Reunion just by putting it in the database. Could someone enlighten me please.


27 September 2006, 03:51 PM
Reunion has no direct Internet integration. Some programs such as FTM and Legacy do. In such programs, it's worth repeating that of course your own copy of your genealogy database remains your own. The concern is what happens to data that you submit to their common databases, and I believe that policies vary on this. I will not try to summarize anyone's particular policy on here, for the simple reason that I'm not familiar with the particulars of any of them.

As for Legacy in particular, so far as I can tell from the website, Millennia (Legacy's publisher) does not maintain a centralized family database, so presumably Millennia would not need or want access to the information in your own files. Millennia does maintain a database of place names, but that's it as far as I can tell (someone please correct me if I'm wrong). And the place name DB does not appear to be derived from genealogy data, but from gazetteers.

Frankly, your neighbor's remark about cookies makes me think that she is simultaneously a little paranoid about Internet privacy and somewhat ignorant about how information gets around the Internet. I say this not to insult her, but to suggest that if she's that concerned about privacy on the Internet, her first course of action should be to do a little more research about how things actually work on a basic level. Then she can better understand answers such as I and others might give about individual programs, IMHO.

27 September 2006, 07:09 PM
Reunion has no direct Internet integration. Some programs such as FTM and Legacy do...Thank you Marnen. I can understand her concern, she does have a PC and her daughter works for Microsoft <g>.
Thank you again