Exporting - Privacy

When exporting - e.g. as a website/HTML - the export privacy mechanism can be used to avoid the details of recent individuals from being included.

The Export Options window contains various tabs, the first of which is always the Individuals tab. This is where the you control the export privacy settings.

During the export process GedScape inspects each individual and decides whether to:

  • Include it as is.
  • OR, to include it but in a 'privatized' form in which almost all information is discarded apart from the name, which is included but in a cutdown form e.g. surname and initials only.
  • OR, to exclude it in which case there will be no trace left of this individual in the exported data.

The decision is made by comparing the date of birth (or, date of baptism/christening) of each individual against dates you specify for exclusion and privatization. You can give two separate dates e.g. to have all individuals born after 1980 completely excluded from the export, people born after 1910 privatized, and everyone else included as is.

There are also options that prevent exclusion/privatization when there is a known date of death or burial, irrespective of the date of birth. You would use these along with other options if your only concern is to avoid living people being included in the export. E.g to enable the export of individuals who have died young and comparatively recently.

You can also control what happens when an individual has no date of birth or baptism/christening. You have 3 choices:

  • They can be included without further consideration.
  • OR, they can be excluded/privatized without further consideration.
  • OR, they can be excluded/privatized according to a deduced date of birth, using 'smart' birth date detection. This involves inspecting the records of closely related individuals to see if a reasonable estimate of the birth date can be deduced. E.g. if a woman has no date of birth given, but it is known that she had a son in 1970, one can be fairly certain that she was born between (say) 1920 and 1956. 'Smart' birth date detection can look at several generations of descendants/ancestors and siblings in deducing its estimate of the birth date. If you use this option, we recommend you review carefully the exported data to ensure it does not contain information about individuals you did not expect to see.

Once the decision has been made to privatize an individual based on the above criteria, GedScape can also optionally:

  • Exclude or privatize all the descendants of that individual (i.e, the children, grandchildren, etc.)
  • Exclude or privatize all the spouses of that individual

Note that exclusion takes precedence over privatization: if an individual would be excluded according to one rule, and privatized according to another, then exclusion is what will happen.

It is recommended that you experiment with the various options to select those that best suit your needs.

Example 1: You might choose to remove all individuals born on or after 1st Jan 1990, and privatize all individuals born on or after 1st Jan 1890. That way you can be sure that the export will not contain full details of anyone who might still be alive, and individuals who are young and unlikely to have any descendants are totally removed.

Example 2: You want to do an export that removes the details of those people who could possibly be alive. To do this, set the program to (a) exclude anyone born after, say, 1/1/1890; (b) but set the option so that it does not exclude anyone who has a known date of death. The second option is needed so that anyone born after 1890 but whom you know has died, will not be excluded.

Note there is no point in setting a privatization date that is later than an exclusion date - it will have no effect as all individuals that meet the privatization condition will have been excluded first.

IMPORTANT NOTES: Whilst the export privacy mechanism is provided with the intent of being helpful when removing sensitive data, don't rely on it. The only true way to check whether an export includes no sensitive or private data is for you to manually check the exported files in their entirety, prior to your distributing or publishing the exported file(s). We accept no responsibility for any erroneous inclusion of sensitive data from your GEDCOM file in an export, irrespective of the cause. Also, be aware that a record that is not exported because it has been privatized or excluded may have had other associated records such as citations, notes and multimedia records, and, with a web/HTML or GEDCOM export, the data in those records may still be exported.