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Are the living spaces for youth and adults identical?

What I mean is, when one creates an account (whether a youth or an adult) are those living spaces exactly the same in that the only information they contain is what the youth or adult adds into them?

I ask because one of our youth logged into his personal account this week and discovered personal information about his parents that he did not know and it was upsetting to him. He did not add the information (he didn't even know about that information), and yet it was there. His personal living space seems to have been pre-populated with information that he did not add.
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  • Yes, in that the youth sees only what is in their private space.

    When they created the account, the information about their parents was transferred into their private space. It doesn't happen in every case, but it is not uncommon for this to happen.
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    • No, I don't think you are missing anything. Yes, in this case the privacy of the parents' data was absolutely "blown apart".

      He couldn't be the only youth with biological parents s/he does not know about. This truly flies in the face of IT privacy.
    • Carolyn & Adrian

      I am sorry to join in on this post a little late - I have been otherwise occupied.

      I do know; but, in 2014 when "Private Spaces" came into being, the ONLY thing that was "Populated" in the "Duplicate" ME's in my Children's "FamilySearch" Accounts was my "Name"; and, nothing else, NO other details.

      So, as the ONLY "Personal' detail about ME, that was "Populated" in the "Duplicate" ME's in my Children's "FamilySearch" Accounts was my "Name", admittedly my "Full" name, WHAT is the "Privacy" problem/issue!?

      Nothing about "Privacy" of "Parents" being "Blown Apart" as far as I can see!

      Unless, of course, something has "Changed" in the intervening time since 2014!

      Whereas, the remainder of this post, with regard to that Youth, is, of concern; and, distressing.

      Brett
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  • Agree it doesn’t happen all the time but for some it does, when I created my account my parents information was shown but when my son created his it wasn’t. There doesn’t seem to be any steadfast rules that I have seen.
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  • When we recently (this year) created my 8 year old son's FamilySearch account, it contained info on my husband and myself from our connected LDS Membership records and it was dated 2014. It also contained a living record of both of my parents and both of my husband's parents. My father passed in 2015 and my husband's mother passed in 2016. So we had to make those "living" records deceased and merged into with the other deceased records.
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  • 2
    Wow, I find that to be very upsetting. It seems like that should either be disallowed or there should be a clear statement up front of this possibility when creating a youth account. In this case the boy had only very recently been told about his status as being adopted, but he did not know his own birth name or the name of his biological father. What if his parents had not recently told him that he had been adopted? What kind of emotional anguish could that have caused?

    Sharing that information with him should be the prerogative of his parents. It should NOT come via FamilySearch. This needs a policy change.
    • My understanding is that the records come from Church membership. I don’t know if FamilySearch has much to do with the action.
    • But FamilySearch is culpable in this case. The information obviously came from church membership records, but FamilySearch is the one who provided the information to the youth. This either needs a policy change or, at the very least, there needs to be a very clear statement up front to the parent who creates the youth account.

      When he logged into his account I could tell that he was upset, but I didn't know why until his mother contacted me.

      I can only imagine the havoc this might cause in other cases. It would be a true shock to find out via FamilySearch that you were adopted.
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  • 2
    This all sounds quite strange. Any pre-populated information in Family Tree would only come from his membership record. It should be the same information he would see if ever given a copy of that record.

    Through years my wife and I have been repeatedly given copies of the membership records for us and all our children and asked to make sure everything was correct. When we adopted our two youngest, their membership records were changed to show us with no trace of their biological parents (their birth mother was a member so they did have membership records).

    It sounds to me that this family needs to ask their ward clerk for a copy of their son's membership record and see what is on it. I suspect it will show the same as Family Tree. They should have gotten that record corrected years ago.
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  • You didn't say how old this youth was but the information for LDS FS accounts comes from membership and is provided by the parents of that youth. The youth is the only one that can see that information as it's in private spaces. Public youth the only thing they see is what they enter. I guess my question would be who is the one that provided the information to begin with (the parents). Then who should have been the one that told that youth the situation ? This isn't FS or memberships role to restrict the information the parents gave. If the parents didn't want it exposed they could have not given it or changed the membership at anytime to not have it. I am not sure how old the youth is but they can have the parents change the membership if he/she finds it offensive. Since it's a youth under 18 I am assume, then the parents have to request the change.
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  • The youth is 12 years old. I can only assume that the parents were not aware of what was on his membership record. How many parents' know that they should check the membership records of their children?

    Maybe this is a good reason for having ward clerks to print out the membership records of ward youth and have their parents review the information. In this case it seems like that never happened.

    Phil, thank you very much for the clarification.
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    • Adrian, before the current system was in place, parents were asked to review the records of their children as well as themselves when moving into a new ward. At that time, it was not unusual for the ward clerk to require the parents to review their family's records prior to their end-of-year interview with the Bishop.
    • Thanks Tom. If those sorts of things were to happen today, then I suspect that they would be an important step towards compliance with the GDPR regulations/ laws in the EU. The dodgy bit appears to relate to the parents reviewing their children's records. Anecdotal evidence suggests organisations refusing parents access to their children's records for GDPR reasons. That doesn't mean that those organisations were correct of course. My impression is that many bodies have been over zealous in their interpretation of the GDPR regulations.

      Accuracy is just one aspect of GDPR, however. The usage, and understanding the usage of the data are others. It may be that those are crucial to this particular case.
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    Oh boy. Familysearch had better hope that didn't happen in the EU.

    That is a prima facie GDPR violation if I ever saw one and a particularly bad one at that. It involves sensitive personal information and adoption information.
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  • What a sad and unsettling situation for the 12 year old boy, his adoptive parents, his birth parents. It should also be unsettling for the record holders.
    The quick summary: Seems to me that the legal folks at FamilySearch and the legal department are going to want to take a look at this one, to check and see if the adoption came through lds social services or otherwise. If the boy and his birth parents were not Church members, this would not have happened.
    Each state jurisdiction (domestic and international) has its own laws pertaining to adoption, and the responsibilities/limitations and confidentiality for providing information to adopted children concerning their birth parents, and the rights and responsibilities of birth parents and adoptive parents. Some jurisdictions’ laws are somewhat uniform, many are not.
    Also setting aside the legal issues, one has to be sensitive and concerned about the impact on a 12 year old. This is a very short version of the comment I was going to make.
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  • LDS Adoption wouldn't add those details. I have 2 grandchildren that came from LDS adoption and both were an open adoption and neither has the biological parents listed. Again this would be information a parent would add. The whole GDPR thing is under review by the legal group and has been for awhile so that tells you how complex it's going to be for the church as well as FS. 
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  • 1
    So here is the update. This morning the mother and the bishop, together on the bishop's computer, went into the membership records. The membership records for the mother, the father, and the son are all correct. That is, the adoptive father is listed as the father and there is no mention of the biological father in any of the membership records for either of the parents or the son. Hence, there is no problem with the membership records.

    The membership records were changed from the biological father to the adoptive father in 2009.

    What they did notice, when they went into FamilySearch Family Tree and looked at the son's person page, is that in 2014 FamilySearch added a mother and added a father to the child. The mother that FS added is correct because the child only has one mother. The father that was added was the biological father.

    Where did the biological father come from? - and why did FS add him? When they did add the biological father what database were they pulling from? It sounds like they were accessing old data. The son created his FS account this past week so it should have accessed current data.

    This is something that needs to be addressed offline. Phil, could you (or someone else) please send me a personal email (which you can find in my FS account)?

    I need to know who to put the mother in contact with so this can be resolved. Thank you!!!
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  • Carolyn, Thank you for your empathy for this family.
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    • Yes, I got it and sent you back a reply.
    • Carolyn

      'Yes', I know, I had/have already responded.

      Brett
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  • Ron Tanner (FamilySearch.org Product Manager) July 06, 2019 23:41
    Carolyn, please send me an email at Ron@familysearch.org with the username of the youth. We will continue this conversation privately.
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