Genealogy.com Privacy Statement
Last updated on September 30, 2014
This Privacy Statement outlines what personal information is collected and why as well as how we use your information to provide you with the Genealogy.com website (the “Website”). This Privacy Statement applies to users accessing the Website on or after September 30, 2014. For the previous version of the Genealogy.com Privacy Statement, please click here.
Our Privacy Commitment
Our mission is to help everyone discover and preserve their family history. This involves the collecting, processing, storing and sharing of personal and non-personal information. We are committed to ensuring that this is done in a responsible, transparent and secure environment that fosters your trust and confidence. As part of our commitment to you, we have developed this Privacy Statement to describe how we gather and use the information we receive from you on the Website. Please review the information below to familiarize yourself with our policies.
By using the Website you consent to the collection, processing, use, storage, transfer and disclosure of your personal information by Ancestry.com Operations Inc. (the company that owns and operates the Website), its group companies (“Group Companies"), contracted third parties and agents (collectively “Ancestry,” “we”, “us” or “our”) in accordance with this Privacy Statement. Ancestry and its Group Companies own and/or operate a number of family history-related websites, including such sites as ancestry.com, ancestry.co.uk, ancestry.com.au, archives.com, ancestry.ca, findagrave.com (collectively the “Ancestry Community”). Please be aware that some sites may have some additional specific policies or different functionality and you should read and / or understand these before using the relevant services.
This Privacy Statement should be read in conjunction with the Genealogy.com Terms of Service.
Please note that starting September 30, 2014, pursuant to an update to the Website (see our FAQs for more information), we have restricted the number of opportunities for you to provide personal information through the Website. Information collected prior to September 30, 2014, will continue to be used under the terms of this Privacy Statement:
i) Name, contact information and payment details: To gain access certain parts of the Website, Users were required to create a registered user account by providing their name, email address, and a password. In addition, Users were also required to enter their postal address and payment details (such as a credit or debit card number) to facilitate payment for any purchases or subscriptions they chose to make through the Website.
ii) Optional information: In addition, many Website Users voluntarily entered personal information through the Website in order to take advantages of the many features of the Website, including: (i) background and interests, which Users included in their Website profiles; (ii) family trees; (iii) personal stories, questions and family information posted to GenForum message boards, Family Tree Maker homepages, and the virtual cemetery, as well as other community forums, chats, and message boards; and (iv) specially-requested information for various promotional opportunities, such as sweepstakes, offered through the Website. Some of this information, such as family trees and message board posts will still be identified by the username of the User who originally posted the information. You should be aware that any information you provided in these areas may be read, collected, and used by others who could access them.
Please note: Ancestry publishes records on its Website that it has obtained from many sources, with appropriate consents and permissions where relevant. Some of these records may contain personal information that relates to living individuals, which may include you or your family members, usually from public record sources. Ancestry and its affiliates and agents take reasonable steps to assure that the documents do not include sensitive, personal information about living individuals.
Any personal information that you provided us or that we otherwise collected from you may be transferred to and stored and processed in other countries which may provide a different level of protection for personal data than in your country of residence. By allowing us to collect personal information, you specifically consented to the transfer, storage, and processing of that personal information. Please be aware that any personal information you elected to post on our Website may be made available elsewhere within the Ancestry Community and may be visible to other users of the Website.
Subject to the restrictions described in this Privacy Statement and applicable law, we may use personal information for any reasonable purpose related to the business, including to communicate with you; showcase your contributions to the Website; provide you information about Ancestry’s products and services; respond to your requests; update our product offerings; improve the content and User experience on the Website; let you know about offers of interest from Ancestry; and to prepare and perform demographic, benchmarking, advertising, marketing, and promotional studies.
In particular we may use your personal information as follows:
i) To provide the Service: We primarily use your personal information to provide you with relevant information such as appropriate search results, information about content releases and product updates, informational updates that you have requested through the Website, or to address customer service needs and requests. Ancestry may also use personal information to let you know about new features or offers of interest from Ancestry. We also use your data to fulfill the purposes for which you have provided the personal information, such as processing your subscription, if applicable.
ii) Verification: We will use your personal information to verify your identity so that you can carry out transactions through the Website.
iii) For internal business purposes: In order to improve the Website (or to develop new products and services), we may use personal information for internal data analysis, studying how the Website is used, identifying usage trends and determining the effectiveness of promotional campaigns.
iv) To communicate with you: We may communicate with you for the purpose of informing you of changes to the Website or any Ancestry-related products and services. Our communications with you will generally be via email, but may be made via telephone, direct mail or another method of communication in select circumstances. You may also receive promotional offers from Ancestry or other third parties trusted by Ancestry. If you do not want to continue to receive promotional emails, you may opt out at any time by using the unsubscribe link listed in the email.
v) To distribute advertisements: Ancestry strives to show you relevant advertisements. To that end, we use the information you provide to us, aggregated demographic information (such as women between the ages of 45-60), anonymized data compared to data from third parties, or the placement of cookies (as discussed in more detail below). In these ways, Ancestry can display relevant ads to users on our Website. Ancestry does not sell, rent or otherwise distribute the personal information you provide us to advertisers unless you have given us your consent to do so.
Ancestry will not disclose any personal information to third parties except in very limited circumstances which are set out below. Before Ancestry begins to transfer personal information to any third party acting as our agent, we will confirm that they have adopted, are subject to, or are contractually obligated to comply with the principles and objectives of this Privacy Statement.
i) In these scenarios: Examples of the limited scenarios where Ancestry may disclose personal information to third parties are: (a) with your knowledge and consent; (b) as described in this Privacy Statement; (c) as may be required or permitted by law, regulatory authorities, legal process or to protect the rights, property, safety, confidentiality, or reputation of Ancestry, its Group Companies, or other Users (including outside your country of residence); (d) to enforce our terms and conditions; (e) to prevent fraud or cybercrime; or (f) to permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain.
ii) To Group Companies: We may share personal information with our Group Companies so that they may use personal information for the purposes described in this Privacy Statement, to provide the additional services of those Ancestry Group Companies, and for the purposes of connecting you to Users of the other websites operated by the Ancestry Group Companies. Ancestry is responsible for the management of the jointly-used personal information. The Group Companies are subject to similar privacy statements. Additionally, as our business continues to grow and change, we might restructure, buy, or sell subsidiaries or business units. In these transactions, customer information is often one of the transferred assets, remaining subject to promises made in then prevailing privacy statements. Also, in the event that Ancestry, or substantially all of its assets or stock are acquired, transferred, disposed of (in whole or part and including in connection with any bankruptcy or similar proceedings), personal information will as a matter of course be one of the transferred assets.
iii) Third-party service providers: Under the protection of appropriate agreements, we may disclose personal information to third party service providers we use to perform various tasks for us including for the purposes of data storage, consolidation, retrieval, analysis, or other processing, as well as effective management of customer information and to help us communicate with you. For example, we use third parties to help manage our Website and relationships with you. These third-parties are only given access to that information needed to perform their support functions, and are prohibited from using it for other purposes. These third parties include affiliated and unaffiliated service providers in in the United States, Europe and in other jurisdictions.
Please note: If you click away from our Website to visit the site of any third party advertiser or sponsor, you may be asked for your payment card or other personal information in order to purchase or use the products and services that those third parties offer. These companies have their own privacy and data collection practices. We have no responsibility or liability for these independent policies. You should therefore review their privacy notices carefully if you have concerns about how your information may be used.
Ancestry will maintain procedures consistent with applicable law for individuals to gain access to their collected personal information and, when appropriate, correct or delete their personal information.
i) Removal of personal information from public records. You should be aware that personal information may be publicly available through public record sources such as census records or birth, marriage and death records. Unfortunately we are not able to change the information in public records published on our Website and you need to contact the entity responsible for such records. We will however consider requests for removal of personal information from the searchable indexes of the records we hold on a case-by-case basis.
ii) Deleting information you’ve contributed to the Website. In order to remove any personal information you may have contributed to the Website prior to September 30, 2014, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will consider it for removal. However, please note that where you or we delete your content, copies of that information may remain viewable elsewhere to the extent any such copy has been shared with others, was otherwise distributed pursuant to your privacy settings, or was copied or stored by other users, but you will no longer be identified with that content. Additionally, we may retain certain information to prevent identity theft and other misconduct even if deletion has been requested. If you have given third party applications or websites access to your information, they may retain your information to the extent permitted under their terms of service or privacy policies but they will no longer be able to access the information through our platform after you disconnect from them.
iii) Third party content. Although we prohibit Users from posting content that violates the privacy rights of others, Ancestry does not edit or approve User Provided Content. It is possible that another User has posted your private information on the Website.
iv) Backup copies. Removed and deleted information may persist in backup copies for a reasonable time for our internal business purposes but will not be available to you or others.
v) Concerns? If you have concerns or issues about your personal information that is contained on the Website, including if you believe that a document published on the Website violates your privacy rights or that a User has posted personal information about you that violates your rights, please contact us at email@example.com and we will attempt to resolve the matter quickly. For your protection, we will only implement such requests with respect to the personal information associated with the particular email address that you use to send us your request, and we may need to verify your identity before considering your request.
Ancestry places great importance on the security of all personally identifiable information associated with our Users. We have security measures in place to attempt to protect against the loss, misuse, unauthorized access, modification, or disclosure of User data under our control. For example our security and privacy practices are periodically reviewed and enhanced as necessary and only authorized personnel have access to personal information. While we cannot guarantee that loss, misuse or alteration of data will not occur, we use commercially reasonable efforts to prevent this. It is also important for you to guard against unauthorized access to your passwords and the unauthorized use of your computer.
6. What about non-personal information, mobile data, "cookies," and social media features?
i) Non-Personal Information. When you visit the Website, we may automatically collect information or computer-generated data that does not personally identify you (“Non-Personal Information”), such as the website from which you have come to our Website, your Media Access Control address, your computer type, screen resolution, operating system version and Internet browser, as well as information based on your interaction with the Website, such as web log information, page views, and IP addresses on an anonymized basis. We have to use your IP address and other Non-Personal Information to deliver the Website to you and to help diagnose problems with our server. We may also collect Non-Personal Information such as demographic data, age groups, and your geographic areas, etc. Non-Personal Information also includes personal information that has been aggregated in a manner such that the end-product does not personally identify you or any other user of the Website, for example, by using personal information to calculate the percentage of our users who have a particular telephone area code or who are female. This technology helps us compile aggregated statistics about our Users and their use of the Website. We use these statistics to improve the design and content of the Website and to prepare and deliver our marketing programs. Because Non-Personal Information does not personally identify you, we may use Non-Personal Information for any purpose, including sharing that information with our Group Companies and with other third parties. In some instances, we may combine Non-Personal Information with personal information (such as combining your name with your geographical location). If we do combine any Non-Personal Information with personal information, the combined information will be treated by us as personal information, as long as it is combined, and its use by us will be subject to this Privacy Statement.
ii) Mobile data. If you access the Website using a mobile device (e.g. your phone or tablet), we may collect mobile device identifiers such as the device type, IP address and the operating system. We use mobile analytics software to allow us to deliver you the Website and better understand the functionality of our Website. Our Website may also collect other non-personal information from your mobile device, such as your geographic location, with your permission.
You can erase or block cookies from your computer if you want to (your help screen or manual should tell you how to do this), but certain portions of the Website may not work correctly or at all if you set your browser not to accept cookies. To learn more about cookies, please visit http://www.allaboutcookies.org/.
We may occasionally run contests, surveys, or other special promotions on our Website in which we ask Users for personal information (like an email address or name) or demographic information (like a zip code, age, or income level). We use this data to run the contests or promotions and send users promotional material about our company or third parties we deal with. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and you therefore have a choice whether or not to disclose this information. The participant’s contact information is also used to contact him or her when necessary and may be shared with other companies for promotional purposes, but only with your prior permission and under the terms and conditions specified when you take part in the promotion. At any time, you may opt-out of receiving future mailings of this kind by following the unsubscribe instructions in each promotional communication, or simply decline to take part in the promotions.
8. Changes, updates, and consent
We are committed to complying with all applicable laws and regulations governing the collection and use of personal information. From time to time, Ancestry will review its personal information collection, use, and disclosure practices in order to assure that we are complying with our Privacy Statement and all applicable laws and regulations. If we decide to change our Privacy Statement, we will issue an updated version of this Statement with an updated date legend and/or notify you via the Website or mobile applications, or by other appropriate means prior to the change becoming effective if it is a significant change. You should review this Privacy Statement regularly to ensure you are familiar with any changes to it. If you do not consent to any changes to our Privacy Statement and as a result you would like us not to use or hold your information in accordance with the revised terms, you may notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can discontinue your account.
If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, Ancestry’s privacy practices, or your dealings with the Website, or wish to request access to and receive information about the personal information we maintain about you (note please that the right to access personal information may be limited in some circumstances), update and correct inaccuracies in your personal information, have the information blocked or deleted, as appropriate, or oppose (in case of legitimate reasons) the processing carried out with respect to your personal information, you can contact us via the information below. We will respond to all access requests within 30 days.
Phone: (800) 262-3787
Official correspondence must be sent via postal mail to:
Attn: Customer Solutions
360 W 4800 N
Provo, UT 84604
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