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Warning about photos that identify living persons

Replies: 43

Warning about photos that identify living persons

Posted: 1353379877000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Anon
I've been a member here over 3 years and have learned a lesson the hard way.

When I first started, my tree was public, and I posted a photograph that I hadn't double, triple checked to make sure it didn't reveal identities of living people.

Unfortunately I missed one.

I noticed my error within weeks and removed the photograph immediately, renamed my tree, and I made it private. But not before a name collector grabbed my photo and added it to their extensive (ridiculously so) tree.

Since then two of my family members have had serious incidents of identity theft.

This member isn't related to me by blood or marriage - and has refused to remove the photo even though I've explained the seriousness of identity theft and ancestry's policy of protecting living persons in regards to photos and profiles.

Finally after 3 years, I've reported this person to ancestry, hoping they can force this person to remove the photograph.

If not, please let my mistake be a caveat to beginners. Make sure you caption your photos in such a way living people are not identified. Better yet, don't post photos that could possibly identify someone who is living.

Although there are many ways identity theft may be achieved, one of the easiest ways to access information is through ancestry.com. Unfortunately one has to acknowledge there are unethical people in this world - including this member who refuses to remove my photograph in spite of the pain and suffering my family members have experiences.

I only hope my family's issues with identity theft was not because of this person's flagrant disregard of a reasonable request. Why do they need that photograph if it is not a family member?

I do have proof the photo is mine as my scanner dates all photos scanned into my computer, and I spent days Photoshopping it, and Photoshop records the date the photo was originally entered into the program and the date it was saved -- all before this person posted it to their Mega Tree in the interest of name/photo collecting.

So beware - don't trust everyone - and sadly, this is why many people must choose to make their tree private, though I wish we lived in a world without identity theft and where people respected the property of others.

I take responsibility for overlooking the original caption, but that doesn't excuse this person's refusal to remove the photo after I've explained the seriousness of the situations my family has experienced w/identity theft.

I post this as a warning to newcomers not to make the same mistake I did.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
23April23 1353379877000 
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BurgessDonnel... 1353552118000 
23April23 1353558013000 
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BurgessDonnel... 1353579982000 
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