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Close, living relatives

Here's some backstory to my suggestion:

I found that when I signed up for Family Tree, I had to add my parents and all my siblings.

However, when my mom and one of my siblings signed up, they had to add us all, too (as well as grandparents), even though I already did that. And, there was some trouble with it not letting us add the parent and grandparent by ID or search without creating a new one. We had to create a new one and then merge it.

My suggestion:

Wouldn't it be good just to allow people to see their own siblings, parents, children, and grandparents' information, even if they're living? I don't think it's a terrible breach in privacy to allow that information to such close relatives.

And then, if we can see living people who are our relatives, we don't have to create them anew. If one sibling adds them all, then they can be there for all of them.
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  • The privacy laws prohibit Family Tree from having information available on living individuals. The Family Tree web site was not designed to have information on the living. Your personal family information of living individuals is meant to be kept on a personal file on your own computer.
    You only need to enter yourself and any other ancestor that gets you back to the deceased ancestor.
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  • We are working on a solution that will allow you to share living people with other relatives. This will be something we work on during 2013.
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  • I’m excited
    It funny, I had this same idea just this morning. After reading all that has already been disussed, I'm happy to hear things are in the works. Thanks Ron! Keep up the great work =)
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  • I can understand the positive reaction to this idea from the point of avoiding unnecessary duplication of data inputting, but safeguards to protect the privacy of living people will surely have to be robust. Believe it or not, not everybody has a close relationship with even their close relatives! The idea of allowing, in future, anybody access to details on living members of my family confirms to me that I was right in not recording any of this detail in Family Tree. Please keep this as a site primarily for deceased persons, to avoid the slight chance that, even with safeguards, privacy for living persons might be compromised.
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  • Another issue related to this is the number of duplicate records caused by the Living status. When I log into the site, I see my children, my wife, and all their extended family that I have inputted up to this point. However, if I am helping my father, I do not see my wife nor my father's siblings. When he goes to input them, he is creating duplicate records. The same thing happens when his older brother logs in. The number of living records is duplicated every time someone new logs in and adds information for living family members. My father is 2nd of 4 children. That means that if all four of my aunts and uncles log in and input their information, there would be around 32 duplicate records just for those four siblings and their spouses. Add in their children and the duplications expand exponentially.

    I understand the issue of privacy. Perhaps the personal data may be hidden but the name and record number can be viewed at least. This would eliminate the duplication. Quite frankly, I do not want to use multiple programs to do my family history. One is enough, thank you very much. Once a living person is added to the family tree, say the new husband of my sister-in-law (my wife's sister), I could send a request to him or her asking for permission to view their personal data. Just like Facebook, there could be levels of privacy. I don't share my contact info with the public but I do share it with my friends.
    • As noted by Jackie, the place to keep track of living family members' milestones is on your home device(s) and in personal files.

      While FS engineering's intention is to maintain privacy concerning those living persons who may have been entered as part of your initial pedigree, it is not a good idea to enter private details concerning living persons on any web site to which other persons have access.

      Other tree sites have had security failures, and certainly social-networking sites have had them as well. Some have also deliberately compromised participants' privacy by sale to marketers, and any website can be hacked into by determined geeks. Such persons can get into US military, financial and other such supposedly secure sites, so your defense is simply not to input data for them to find.
    • The ultimate defense is not to enter them into any computer period. Personal computers can be hacked. Government computers can be hacked. Fine, if you wish for me to continue to use a personal program then give us the ability to download families and trees in the new FamilyTree.
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