Last Updated: February 1, 2019
Cookies are small pieces of text used to store information on web browsers. Cookies are used to store and receive identifiers and other information on computers, phones, and other devices. Other technologies, including data we store on your web browser or device, identifiers associated with your device, and other software, are used for similar purposes. In this policy, we refer to all of these technologies as “cookies.”
You can think of the profiles in your tree as being divided into two groups: private profiles and public profiles. Each time you add a profile to your tree, it is automatically assigned to one of the groups. Private profiles are intended for living relatives and minors. Public profiles are intended for deceased relatives and public figures. You may also choose to make recently-deceased profiles private, and IFT will sometimes make newly-added, deceased profiles private in order to help protect the privacy of nearby profiles and users.
Who is in each group?
Presumed Deceased Relatives
Who can view profiles?
Your Family Group
Who can edit profiles?
Your Family Group
All IFT users (limited)1
Your Family Group
Users Near the Managed Profile3
- IFT users that do not meet the criteria for any other group listed may edit the "Basics" and "Relationships" tabs, as well as the "About" biography, on profiles that are either connected to IFT's World Family Tree or in the same tree as the user.
- Collaborators in a project are given full edit permissions on all public profiles tagged to that project.
- Within the maximum Family Group range of 4th cousins (5 or fewer generations up or down the tree) including their spouses, and 1st cousins (1 or 2 generations up or down the tree) of any spouses of the profile
- You can block specific relatives from viewing your full profile or messaging you.
- You can further restrict what information appears on your profile in your account settings.
- Private profiles you manage will be privatized to show only the last name and immediate family (with first names similarly obscured).
Your tree is privatized just like individual profiles. Anyone can view your tree but they will only be able to see information on public profiles, and other IFT users per their selections on the Profile Privacy settings page.
- By default, the names of users are publicly searchable, but you can opt out in your account settings. using the checkbox labeled "Let the public search for me". (Your search result includes only your name and, optionally, your profile photo.)
- Living relatives who are not IFT users are hidden from public search.
- Minors under 16 are never searchable by anyone outside your tree.
- We will not provide any user's personal information to advertisers or third parties. This includes your email address and the email addresses of those you invite.
- We will not spam you or your relatives. Detailed notification settings allow you to control which emails you receive from us.
- DNA results uploaded to IFT or transferred from partner sites are never displayed in full on IFT -- only derived matches, haplogroups and a non-specific description of conflicting data is shown.
- We will not share your DNA results with third parties without your informed consent. When uploading raw autosomal DNA to IFT, you are given the option to allow your autosomal DNA to be used anonymously to further scientific research. This selection will not affect how your DNA results are displayed on IFT
- You may choose at any time to have your DNA results removed completely from IFT, as detailed in the DNA FAQ.
IFT Curators are volunteer IFT users granted special privileges by IFT to help maintain and improve the quality and accuracy of the IFT World Family Tree. IFT Curators are specially selected based on their integrity and the quality of their work on IFT. Candidate Curators undergo a nomination and voting process. Accepted IFT Curators are formally appointed and, like IFT Employees, they sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with the company to ensure they protect data confidentiality. IFT Curators have the ability, at a user’s request, to assist the user in merging and correcting errors in their tree, including the user’s own profile and those of close relatives.
IFT Employees have full access to all data on IFT. They use this access if requested by users in order to provide customer support, check abuse complaints, resolve problems and generally assist users in their usage of IFT.
How do I remove myself?
Safety tips for parents.
This privacy notice explains:
2. What Personal Information we collect, when and how we use it
We only collect information that is necessary for providing you with the service, where we have a legal obligation to collect such information and for our legitimate interests. Here is a list of the categories of information we request, collect or you provide:
Personal Information: We collect individually identifiable information, namely information that identifies an individual or may with reasonable efforts cause the identification of an individual, or may be sensitive in nature ("Personal Information"). Such information is collected in the following instances:
2. You may also provide Personal Information to include in your profile or your family member's profiles to tell others about yourself or those in your family tree, or when taking advantage of promotions, responding to surveys, or subscribing to newsletters or other lists.
3. We will use this information as explained below:
1. If you submit registration or profile information to us through the Website, then we use this information to provide you with our service, operate, maintain, and provide the features and functionality of the Website.
2. IFT will use your email address to complete the signup process, and will use your relatives' email addresses to invite them to join your tree.
3. IFT will send you service-related notices, including among other things notices required by law, in lieu of postal mail. You may not opt out of service-related e-mails.
4. In addition we will need to know your postal address, phone number and payment details to facilitate payment and fulfillment for any subscription or purchases you may choose to make through the Website.
Members in your family tree will have access to the profile information you post (including any Personal Information). Note that those Members could forward this information to other Users or non-Users. You can set the privacy settings on your account to control access to the information in your profile by other Users or Members.
4. IFT allows Users to upload DNA test results for themselves or relatives for whom they have legal permission to do so, both with the Family Tree DNA Connector application as well as uploading raw autosomal DNA files.
5. IFT will use these DNA test results to match against other DNA Users, confirm or refute connections in your tree, and display genealogically-relevant information about the origins of your DNA. The DNA markers and mutations will NOT be displayed to IFT Users, even yourself. Some DNA markers can and will be propagated through your family tree, including to public profiles that may be viewable by other IFT Users as well as visitors not logged onto the Website. You may choose to hide your name and profile link from persons outside your Family Group on propagated DNA information on the privacy settings page (listed as "Name on Propagated DNA"). Additionally, when uploading raw autosomal DNA data you are given the option to participate anonymously in DNA research to further scientific studies. If and only if you agree to participate, your autosomal DNA may be shared with third parties without any personally-identifiable information included.
6. IFT also collects Users' IP addresses and basic log file information (such as address, browser type and language, number of clicks, domain names of websites visited, pages viewed, the amount of time spent on particular pages, and the date and time) to help locate potential problems with our server, and to aggregate general User statistics including demographic and geographical information. We use this information to analyze general usage patterns, and to provide advertisements and other services appropriate to the User's location.
You may, of course, decline to submit Personal Information to the Website, in which case you may not be able to register or our Website may not be able to provide certain services to you.
1. Anonymous Information i.e. un-identified or non-identifiable information pertaining to a User or which may be made available to us, or collected automatically by your use of IFT services.
2. For more information about cookies including how to set your internet browser to reject cookies please go to www.allaboutcookies.org
3. IFT may aggregate User information in a non-personally identifiable manner to share with advertisers and to enhance the Website with new features. We use non-personally identifiable information, such as anonymous Website use data and IP addresses, to improve the quality and design of the Website and to create new features and services by storing, tracking, and analyzing your preferences and trends. We may use such information to: (a remember information so that you will not have to re-enter it during your current or subsequent visits to the Website; (b) provide customized content and information; (c) monitor the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns and aggregate metrics such as total number of visitors and traffic; (d) diagnose or fix technology problems; (e) access your information after you sign in; (f) market our Website to advertisers and other third parties; (g) aggregate general User and Member statistics including demographic and geographic information; and (h) other purposes for which your personal identity is not revealed.
2. Information Collected by Third Parties
2. IFT does not provide any Personal Information to these third-party ad servers or ad networks without your
consent. However, please note that if an advertiser asks IFT to show an advertisement to a certain
audience or audience segment and you respond to that advertisement, the
advertiser or ad-server may conclude that you fit the description of the
audience they are trying to reach.
3. You should consult the respective privacy policies of these third-party
control the activities of, such advertisers. Some of the third-party
advertising companies may be advertising networks that are members of the
Network Advertising Initiative, which offers a single location to opt out of ad
targeting from member companies (www.networkadvertising.org).
3. Posted Information
Any information or content that you
voluntarily disclose for posting to public areas of the Website (for instance,
in the blog, the forum or wiki) becomes available to the public.
3. Direct marketing
and managing your preferences
0. We may use Personal Information such as your email address to let you
know about IFT products and services,
including changes to IFT features and
special offers, that we believe will be of interest to you. In all cases, we
will respect your preferences for how you would like us to manage marketing activity
1. To protect privacy rights and to ensure you have control over how we
manage marketing with you:
1. we will take steps to limit direct marketing to a reasonable and
proportionate level and only send you communications which we believe may be of
interest or relevance to you;
2. you can ask us to stop direct marketing at any time - you can change your
account settings, or ask us to stop sending email marketing, by following the
'unsubscribe' link you will find on all the email marketing messages we send
you. Alternatively you can contact us at:
P.O. Box 441082
Houston, Texas 77244-1082, USA
3. you can change the way your browser manages cookies, which may be used to
deliver online advertising, by using your web browser's "help" file.
2. You may update or correct your personal profile information, including
Personal Information, by using your account settings to edit, delete or change
your information. You may also adjust your account settings to determine who
has direct access to your profile information through the Website. You may
request that IFT.com remove other
information from the Website by contacting us at email@example.com with the
understanding that IFT.com may
maintain an archive of the information you submit not on the Website.
3. To protect your privacy and security, we take reasonable steps (such as
requesting a password) to verify your identity before granting you profile
access or making corrections. You are responsible for maintaining the secrecy
of your password and account information at all times.
4. Legal grounds for
the processing of Personal Information
0. Under EU data protection laws, all processing of Personal Information is
justified by a "condition" for processing. In the majority of cases,
any processing will be justified on the basis that:
1. you have consented to the processing (e.g. where you provide us with
marketing consents or opt-in to optional additional services or functionality);
2. the processing is necessary to perform a contract with you (e.g.
providing you with service-related emails, creating your User account)
3. the processing is necessary for us to comply with a relevant legal
obligation (e.g. the disclosure of information to law enforcement or tax
4. the processing is in our legitimate commercial interests, subject to your
interests and fundamental rights (e.g. analytics which we carry out of your use
of the Website). In these cases we will look after your information at all
times in a way that is proportionate and respects your privacy rights and where
relevant under applicable privacy laws, you have a right to object to
processing as explained in section 11 found below.
1. In addition, the processing of sensitive Personal Information is only
permitted where a relevant exemption exists. Sensitive Personal Information
includes genetic information, which we process when you provide DNA test
results to IFT, and any information about
your race or ethnic origin, which may be processed in the context of
establishing your family tree or matching against other DNA Users. In such
cases, the sensitive Personal Information is processed on the basis of your
2. Where the basis of processing is your consent, you have the right to
withdraw your consent, and therefore prevent that processing, at any time.
5. When We Share
0. IFT will not share your Personal
Information with advertisers or unaffiliated third parties unless one of the
conditions in section 4 applies.
1. In the following circumstances we may:
1. provide information, including Personal Information, to our subsidiaries,
affiliated companies, or subcontractors, so such parties can, among other
things (a) perform services and/or process such information on our behalf,
(b) use the information to offer greater functionality and enhanced
services through the Website, and provide you with additional product and
service opportunities, and (c) communicate these opportunities to you.
These recipients of your information have agreed to confidentiality
restrictions and use any Personal Information we share with them solely for the
purpose of providing the contracted service to us;
2. share non-personally identifiable information (such as anonymous Website
use data) with third-parties to assist them in understanding our Website,
including Users' use of our Website and the services we provide and the success
of advertisements and promotions;
3. share your information with our regulators and with law enforcement if
required to do so by law, or in the good-faith belief that such action is
necessary to comply with state or federal laws or respond to a court order, subpoena,
law enforcement or regulatory request, or search warrant. We may collect and
share any information: in order to investigate, prevent, or take action
regarding suspected or actual illegal activities; as appropriate or necessary
protect the security or integrity of our Website; to exercise or protect the
rights, property, or the rights and personal safety of IFT.com affiliates, Users or others; or for other
4. assign or transfer the information we collect to a third party in the
event that IFT is acquired by or
merged with a third party entity or of our bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization,
receivership, or similar situation.
Personal Information globally
0. IFT operates on a global basis.
Accordingly, your Personal Information may be transferred and stored in
countries outside the EU, including the United States, that are subject to
different standards of data protection. IFT will
take appropriate steps ensure that transfers of Personal Information are in
accordance with applicable law and carefully managed to protect your privacy
rights and interests and transfers are limited to countries which are
recognized as providing an adequate level of legal protection or where we can
be satisfied that alternative arrangement are in place to protect your privacy
rights. To this end:
1. we ensure transfers within IFT will
be covered by an agreement entered into by members of IFT (an intra-group agreement) which
contractually obliges each member to ensure that Personal Information receives
an adequate and consistent level of protection wherever it is transferred
2. where we transfer your Personal Information outside IFT or to third parties who help provide our
products and services, we obtain contractual commitments from them to protect
your Personal Information. Some of these assurances are well recognized
certification schemes like the EU - US Privacy Shield for the protection of
Personal Information transferred from within the EU to the United States; or
3. where we receive requests for information from law enforcement or
regulators, we carefully validate these requests before any Personal
Information are disclosed.
Subject to applicable laws, you may
have a right to contact us for more information about the safeguards we have
put in place (including a copy of relevant contractual commitments) to ensure
the adequate protection of your Personal Information when this is transferred
as mentioned above. See paragraph 11 below for more details.
7. Our Commitment To
IFT takes its data protection and privacy
responsibilities seriously. We have implemented commercially reasonable
technical and organizational measures designed to secure your Personal
Information from accidental loss and from unauthorized access, use, alteration
or disclosure. However, we cannot guarantee that unauthorized third parties
will never be able to defeat those measures or use your Personal Information
for improper purposes. Although guaranteed security does not exist either on or
off the Internet, we make commercially reasonable efforts to make the
and all applicable laws and regulations. Where IFT has
given you (or where you have chosen) a Username, login or password which
enables you to access certain parts of the Website you are responsible for
keeping this information confidential. IFT asks
you not to share a Username, login or password with anyone.
8. Our Commitment To
Protecting the privacy of young
children is especially important and is mandated by U.S. and other data privacy
laws. For these reasons, IFT.com does
not knowingly collect Personal Information on the Website from persons under 13
years of age, and no part of our Website is directed to persons under 13. If
you are under 13 years of age, you must not use or access the Website at any
time or in any manner or provide any information to the Website.
9. Data Retention
0. We will retain your Personal Information only for as long as necessary to
fulfill the purpose(s) for which it was collected and to comply with applicable
1. In general, this means that we store your Personal Information for as
long as is required to deliver our services, except where we have a lawful
basis for saving it for an extended period of time (for instance, after fully
executing a contract, we may still have a legitimate interest in using your
contact details for marketing purposes, or where we are required to do so in
accordance with legal, regulatory, tax, accounting requirements). We also
retain the Personal Information we need for the execution of pending tasks and
the Personal Information we need to realize our legal rights and our claims, as
well as certain Personal Information that we must store for a legally mandatory
period of time. When certain Personal Information is only saved due to a
legally mandatory preservation term, the processing of it by us is limited,
even where you do not specifically request this.
10. Compromise of
In the event that Personal Information
is compromised as a result of a breach of security, IFT will promptly notify those persons whose
Personal Information has been compromised, in accordance with the notification
procedures set forth in this Privacy
Policy, or as otherwise required by applicable law.
11. Your Rights
You may revise your Personal
Information by editing your profile settings as described in section 3. You
also have the right to ask IFT to
amend any Personal Information it holds about you if it is inaccurate or
misleading by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by sending mail to the following postal
P.O. Box 441082
Houston, Texas 77244-1082, USA
0. The following rights, which may be subject to certain exemptions, apply
in addition to the above to EU Users:
1. You have a right to access information held about you. Your right of
access can normally be exercised free of charge, however we reserve the right
to charge an appropriate administrative fee where permitted by applicable law.
2. You have a right to restrict the processing of your Personal Information,
for example in case we no longer need your Personal Information in view of the
initial purposes for which they were collected but they are required by you for
the establishment, exercise or defense of legal claims.
3. You have a right to object to processing which has our legitimate
interests as its lawful basis. We will no longer process your Personal
Information upon your request, unless we have compelling legitimate grounds for
the continuation of the processing which override your interests, rights and
freedoms, or for the establishment, exercise or defense of legal claims. You
may also object to our use of your data for direct marketing purposes. See
section 3 for how to unsubscribe or manage your marketing preferences.
4. You have a right to obtain a portable copy of Personal Information which
is processed on the basis of your consent, or which is necessary for the performance
of a contract between us. You have a right to have such portable copy of
Personal Information transferred to another data controller in a structured,
commonly used and machine-readable format;
5. You also have a right to request details of the basis on which your
Personal Information is transferred outside the European Economic Area but you
acknowledge that data transfer agreements may need to be partially redacted for
reasons of commercial confidentiality.
6. You have a right to lodge a complaint with your local supervisory
authority if you have concerns about how we are processing your Personal
Information. We ask that you please attempt to resolve any issues with us
first, although you have a right to contact your supervisory authority at any
We may ask you for additional
information to confirm your identity and for security purposes, before
disclosing the Personal Information requested to you. We reserve the right to
charge a fee where permitted by law, for instance if your request is manifestly
unfounded or excessive.
You can exercise your rights by contacting
us. Subject to legal and other
permissible considerations, we will make every reasonable effort to honor your
request promptly or inform you if we require further information in order to fulfill
We may not always be able to fully
address your request, for example if it would impact the duty of
confidentiality we owe to others, or if we are legally entitled to deal with
the request in a different way.
12. Changes to This
It is IFT's
notifications or changes are required by law or are for marketing or other
business related purposes. At our sole discretion, we will notify Users via
email notice, written or hard copy notice, or through conspicuous posting of
such notice on our Website page. We will determine and use an appropriate form and
means to provide notifications to our Users, provided that you may opt out of
periodically so please regularly check these pages for the latest version. If
there will be any significant changes made to the use of your Personal
Information in a manner different from that stated at the time of collection,
we will notify you by positing a notice on our Website.
If you have any questions, concerns or
complaints regarding our compliance with this notice and the data protection
laws, or if you wish to exercise your rights, we encourage you to first contact
P.O. Box 441082
Houston, Texas 77244-1082, USA
We will investigate and attempt to
resolve complaints and disputes and will make every reasonable effort to honor
your wish to exercise your rights as quickly as possible and in any event,
within the timescales provided by data protection laws.
You have a right to lodge a complaint
with your local data protection supervisory authority (i.e. your place of
habitual residence, place or work or place of alleged infringement) at any
time. We ask that you please attempt to resolve any issues with us before your
local supervisory authority.