Using GEDmatch IDs for people not on Wikitree

+7 votes
This question is about what to write in the DNA Confirmation message when I match someone's GEDmatch kid ID but that person is not on WIkiTree.

I am not clear about the instructions on this page:

In the last section of the page it says to include the person's GEDmatch ID in the link data. However earlier on in the page, it says that if the person is not on WikiTree then avoid posting anything that would identify them -- and GEDmatch IDs do allow identification (anyone can look up their handle and GEDcom if any, via the kit ID).

So far I have followed the instructions in the last section, e.g.  , I would just like to check this is OK or whether I should remove some information from the message.
in WikiTree Help by Matt McNabb G2G6 Mach 2 (22.9k points)
retagged by Matt McNabb
I think WikiTree higher-ups pay close attention to privacy, so maybe it would be good to add "privacy" and "gdpr" as tags to maybe get more attention to your post.

3 Answers

+3 votes

Going that far back you would need more than one test result matching to confirm, regardless of privacy concerns. See here:

Also from that page:

For privacy reasons:

  1. do not include start and stop points for chromosome matches, and
  2. if one or both of your matches are not on WikiTree, use their initials or another anonymous identifier instead of their names.
by Dina Grozev G2G6 Pilot (144k points)
Regarding the privacy reasons, your points 1,2 do not say whether or not I should use their GEDmatch ID  . Can you clarify yes or no to that?

Regarding the triangulation, seems to clearly say that a third-cousin relationship or closer can be marked as confirmed without triangulation. (and 2C1R is closer than third cousin).
+7 votes

That's a good question. Although if the person has anonymized the kit at GEDmatch by giving, say, initials for a handle, and marking themself as private in the GEDCOM, I would think "child of Peggy" on Peggy's own page could no less revealing than the information on GEDmatch.

But if they have not anonymized themselves, then there are two competing points:

  • by uploading their kit and not anonymizing their associated information, they have made their identifying info public already
  • even though they have made their info public already, they didn't asked for attention to be called to it by naming their kit number on a WikiTree page.

While I personally lean towards point 1, I would assume that fear of the GDPR law would govern every decision these days. And since there will be cases where the person did not anonymize themselves at all on GEDmatch, the simplest policy would just be to not allow the inclusion of GEDmatch IDs in citations except when your match has created a WikiTree account and entered their own test information.

This has been brought up on GEDmatch before, by Chris Whitten himself.

(See the post itself and then also Rob Jacobson's response and then Sherrie Mitchell's.)

But the GDPR FAQ gives no clarity, so I suspect this particular point was never explicitly considered and codified into policy:

BTW: regarding the third cousin or closer rule, the last condition is that your prediction should match the relationship. The Shared cM project gives only a 3% chance of 2C1R sharing as little DNA as you do. Is this possibly a half-relationship? I have a 2C2R myself who shares only 10cM with me -- a 7% chance. I'm confident in the relationship, but it's good to stop and do a double-take when you see a total cM value so far off from the expected value.

by Barry Smith G2G6 Pilot (240k points)
Thanks for the detailed answer, I have added the extra question tags as you suggest for clarification.

I guess we should discuss whether 37cM is too small to qualify without triangulation on another thread to avoid distracting from the main point of this question.

It's certainly possible that it is a half -- I refrained from adding the DNA Confirmation tag to the supposedly shared couple as (even though the guidelines say that such tags should be added) I don't feel that it is confirmed that they are both ancestors.
+1 vote

I received confirmation on a few private GEDmatch ID that wished to remain private and was allowed to use their Initials when triangulating, the ones not on WiKi I added where the match was; i.e. GEDcom or whatever it may have been. Like match 

Gedmatch Private user G.B., was 379 Cm shared across 20 DNA segments etc., this is an idea if they permit, allowed most always. Explaining what you are using it for and where.


by Lori Cook G2G6 Mach 2 (27.8k points)

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