Saturday, January 9, 2016

Tree Error in Ancestry - An Update

Here’s an update on my blog, Faulty Family Trees - Erasing a Deadly Mistake, from 7 January regarding one of my co-worker’s mother being reported dead on Ancestry when she’s very much alive.

Of the 2 family tree’s that gave her a death date, therefore making her birth date and place visible, along with her marriage date and place, I received an email message from one tree owner who did delete the death date.  Unfortunately, although I had asked him to, the tree owner didn’t make the individual private so some of her info is still showing:


I cut off the rest of info, above, as I don’t want to publicize the year and place which are still visible.   I emailed him again to ask that he make the individual private but he didn’t respond.
The other tree owner never responded so all information is still displayed.
The other problem is if you do a search of the individual’s name under Family Trees this shows up as public:



Even though one of the tree owners removed the wrong death date it is still visible in the search. 
Since 3 days have passed, no telling when the other tree owner is going to respond AND Ancestry.com needs to update their search results, so I called Ancestry.

They were experiencing heavy call volume so I waited about 5 minutes.  Spoke with Carnel who said "due to privacy, we can't do anything."  He acknowledged that "this happens all the time."  Ancestry will update an error in an index but won't touch a family tree.

I read Carnel Ancestry's privacy policy: " We recognize that the information about living family members can be sensitive so we have safeguards to hide living individuals within family trees, the AncestryDNA experience, and other areas of the site."

Carnel couldn't explain to me what safeguards Ancestry has put into place to protect the living when they are marked as dead.  I understand why he couldn't because they have none.

I then asked what happens if the individuals we're trying to contact never respond to the email we sent or don't renew membership.  Carnel said they still maintain registered guest status so they can always add and edit their trees.  That means, if they ever read their email and follow the directions, they can correct the wrong information.

Carnel told me that I could contact customersolutions@ancestry.com - email only, can't talk to a real person! and they will email the individuals.  What a brilliant idea (note sarcasm).  We've already done that twice.  Although Ancestry has phone numbers for these people, they don't call them.  Heaven knows, Ancestry will protect the PRIVACY of the living who make errors but not of the living who are trying to preserve their own PRIVACY.

Also was told that Ancestry does update all of their records but there is no time frame for that (could explain why I have so many ghost leaves).  Eventually, Ancestry will get around to doing that so when someone is searching this individual's name in a family tree the corrected tree won't display the death date that is still showing.

Will let you know how this plays out...

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