As a parent we learn that children should not be told things until they are ready. But they become ready generally sooner than we expect. As a child we soon learn that our parents do not know everything.
With these opening words, I am going to mention a new website that perhaps no one should know about. Yet if we don’t find out about it, we can’t protect ourselves. Yet perhaps as genealogists we might want to use it!
There is a new site called www.familytreenow.com that will let you build a family tree and share it with others. This is a “genealogical” site.
Yet, it allows anyone, for free, without an account, to search for living people and discover information that you might not want available so publicly.
From their website:
Our mission is to create the best free genealogy site in the world. We want it to be super easy to use for new users yet powerful for experienced genealogists.
The web site in question, FamilyTreeNow.com, allows users to look up a person by first and last name. The site then pulls up information about the named person obtained from public records, such as age, month and year of birth, immediate family members and “associates,” and past and current addresses. The searches are provided free of charge.
Persons whose information appears on the web site can use the “opt out” to block their information from being displayed to users, and our tests so far indicate that that option does work. However, as we have noted about similar search services in the past, your personal information will still be available through the underlying public record sources used by FamilyTreeNow (and others). Those third-party records will still exist and will remain publicly accessible, so the same information provided by FamilyTreeNow will remain available to others, either working on their own or using information aggregators similar to FamilyTreeNow.
In short, removing your personal information from display by Internet aggregators isn’t a one-time deal, but rather more like a never-ending game of Whack-a-Mole: You might swat down an aggregator site or two, but more of them will inevitably pop up.
FamilyTreeNow.com was launched in 2014, so I am slow to notice. But no one I know has heard of it either. So I decided to let you know about it. You can quickly go find details about your cousins! Or you can quickly go block your own personal data from view.
You can be the parent and the child….