PRIVACY CONCERNS

 

Occasionally persons whose name are displayed in one or more of these files may have an objection on the basis that their details are private to themselves alone.

This is a valid concern, and we have been sensitive to it, but unfortunately we cannot communicate with the thousands of individuals listed who MAY be alive, so the policy has had to be, 'publish until an individual communicates his/her concern'.

There has been a small but vocal minority of NZ readers who objected to this on principle, so in the interests of avoiding conflict the policy had been changed to that of masking ALL dates of birth of persons born in 1920 or later. After running with that for a year and STILL suffering complaints the policy has been changed yet again to accommodate most situations we can imagine.

Eventually we shut the site down, more due to the pressures of everyday living with the immediate family being stretched over two countries. Now the site is being reopened and the privacy factors are being addressed quite differently.

For a start not all files will be publically available. Most will not even be active but will be available as GEDcom transfer files that will allow interested persons to download and use the data directly, with the same caveats that the files, while hopefully accurate, will certainly contain errors.We ask that if you use such a file and find errors or can provide updates, that you do so by emailing Myra the details.

It is probable that we will run a handful of files 'live', meaning the genealogy will be visible on the site, but almost all except our own WAGENER file will be sandboxed, which means users will have to log in to access the files. This will limit exposure to those who care and with luck and better management we can keep the resource open for the families concerned.
Here is the old plan, which still applies insofar as some files will still have the links as described.
PRESUMED LIVING (PRL) is the standard display for those persons with a birth date of 1920 or later, including children of 18 years or less. If you find your name has this link you can email us with authority to unmask for YOURSELF and SPOUSE. Of course, now the dates are masked you can no longer recognise any possible errors...
PRIVATE: LIVING (PRIVATE) is the display for those persons who have specifically requested masking. This may or may not include other details of marriage, or place of birth. If a child of this person who is over 18 years authorises unmasking, the parents get no say. Similarly, parents of persons who wish to be masked as PRIVATE must make their own request.

Husband: Joe Bloggs
  Born:PRIVATE:LIVING at: Anywhere, New Zealand Married: at: Died:PRIVATE:LIVING at: Somewhere Else, New Zealand Father:William Henry (John) Bloggs Mother:Wilhelmina Marianne Nonbloggs Other Spouses:
  Wife: Alice Gertrude Smith
  Born: 1885 at: Died: 16 JUN 1950 at: Father: Mother: Other Spouses:
CHILDREN
  Name:William Gerald Bloggs Born: 2 OCT 1915 at: Married: at: Died: 5 JUL 1986 at: Auckland, New Zealand Spouses: Marie Green
As you can see, in this case only the one individual is blanked. If the spouse required the same facility he/she must separately request the same privacy screen, and neither can request it for children over 18 years old. We think this is fair and accommodates the reasonable concerns of individuals yet leaves the record intact for general purposes. Any request from outsiders for the dates would be referred back to the objectee.
MAORI CULTURE is another area of difficulty. It will have been noted that we refrain from listing complete Maori cemeteries, to avoid cultural conflict. Any family information may show the burial place, but in general no full listing will be made. Occasionally a problem arises due to the Maori tradition of sharing children around. If we become aware of such a situation on a private level, we do NOT publish anything beyond the apparent public record, but we do retain notes for serious researchers. Our biggest problem here is simply that we may not know (or care!) that a family is of Maori background, so if anyone has a problem in this area, please get in touch with us.
PRIVATE The person associated with this notation has specifically requested that the details remain private. Such a request usually follows a demand for removal from the listing, a situation rarely agreed to without reason (reasons remaining off the record) as actual removal of a name breaks the thread of time. In many cases where a parent has requested removal the children are providing more details, which makes this job a little difficult.

Nevertheless some things are possible, and all it requires is a communication in good faith. We are not intending to offend any person out there; we would rather have a mechanism whereupon people can discuss matters instead of communications between solicitors...

Having said that, legal advice to hand firmly states that publishing a person's name and public relationship does NOT constitute a breach of personal privacy.


The new privacy plan is much simpler. ALL birthdates for 1920 and later (without corresponding deaths) will be masked to year only. This eliminates identity fraud.

On request the mask LIVING can be put over the date of the person concerned, as per the earlier policy. This allows for sensitive people who do not want their actual year shown.

Some requests/threats have been received regarding having the names up there at all. This was checked with legal advice, which said that publication of a name is NOT legal invasion of privacy, and in most cases the persons objecting are already listed in the public telephone book or other publications.Accordingly such requests for removal of names will be declined, unless some compelling reason can be provided. Those who object to this policy should ask their solicitor to email us with a legal basis for compliance...

ACCURACY of DATA

There are now a very great number of people doing genealogy and providing details on line. Sometimes those details are automatically linked to others, as in the LEGACY genealogy program, providing 'hints' wherein you can view 'matching details' to update your own records. This is a high risk exercise because you have no way of idependently checking that external data, and it takes a good 'nose' to recognise a replicated error showing because other people have copied data and now their own files are equally wrong.

Nevertheless having the option to view those additional files is more useful than not knowing about them, as long as you apply a filter process. If you are using LEGACY yourself, remember to turn OFF file sharing.As stated elsewhere, the data in these pages does NOT comply with the three-sources genealogy rule.

Apart from our own files we have quite a large number of genealogy records that have been derived from different processes, such as researching ship and passenger arrivals, or cemetery headstones. In each case quite a bit of additional information can be obtained to flesh out a family situation. These details can be found in newspapers, or perhaps in the growing number of council on-line cemetery records, and since these details interact to provide useful information we generate a genealogy file that brackets the event.Note that those same core ship/passenger/cemetery etc records are now available on this site in the MOP file section (see home page) that allow you to search for the details as we have them.

Thus we may have a passenger arriving for which we know or can find the cemetery details, and this allows us to construct the file. However it will often lack additional details and for this reason is an INCOMPLETE file and will be quoted as such. What is gained are the details about where deaths occurred and when, plus dates of interment. Be aware that there are often conflicts between headstone dates and official council dates; generally we apply logic and make an intelligent guess as to which is right.

Generally those fragmented genealogy files are keyed to regions such as Auckland or Christchurch or Nelson of Dunedin and will all appear in the downloads section.

While every care has been made to check and cross-check, it is inevitable that errors exist, both minor and gross. For this we rely on YOU, the reader, to let us know about anything that is incorrect, and about any links that fail to work.
If an error or ommission embarrasses you, send us a steaming email or letter; we will correct it immediately, and publish an apology if desired. Indeed, we can only apologise beforehand if you are upset by an error, unwarrented inclusion, or by any other posted matter. As with the birthdates situation, we cannot fix something we are unaware of.


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