Profiles changed to unlisted [closed]

+12 votes
351 views
We have the Relationship finder, which is great, and we can see our links to all these wonderful people like the Queen or Prince Harry - or could, until the new Unlisted Profiles demon hit Wiki Tree.

Now you cant see any of them. it almost blows the relationship finder out of the water.

These are very public figures, for whom there is very little that is private, however they previously had a Public Profile, that was viewable to all, that gave enough information that was already publicly available - and has been published in many places, and is free for the public to see and use.

So why has Wikitree now taken this path?

I saw previous comments about it for people, however the nature of WikiTree as a resource, has now lost much of its relevance.

Hopefully there will be a fix soon, or is this testing that didn't go quite to plan?
WikiTree profile: Queen Elizabeth II Windsor
closed with the note: Old statement; no need to continue discussion.
in WikiTree Help by Robert France G2G2 (2.8k points)
closed by Darlene Athey-Hill
The point of GDPR is to protect personal data that is held on living people and give the people more control over how their data is used, not to muzzle websites and the press from ever talking about public figures in an appropriate way,  for whom there is a legitimate public interest. Wikitree however is a site that is edited by many people so I guess the thinking is, the safest thing would be not to have public profiles of living people at all, that way nobody can overstep the mark and publish data that would be considered a breach of public figures' rights, e.g. their medical data, which would render Wikitree liable and could potentially get a big fine. There also seems to be quite an administrative burden for using living people's data which I assume would be difficult to achieve with so many potential editors. Maybe the answer is some "set" profiles that are made by higher admin with limited, already publicly available info that don't have any edit function for anyone else.
Of course Wikitree cannot get rid of all personal data, but the subscribed users' data has been given with consent. Presumably Wikitree still has to have a papertrail to show it has considered the legal basis on which it holds and uses that data. it all seems quite a toothache.
Anyone who has a profile or biography on Wikipedia should not be unlisted. This change is ridiculous.
Hear hear Stevenson!

3 Answers

+9 votes
This is being done in response to the GDPR. See https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:GDPR_FAQ for more information.
by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
+10 votes
Also QE2 is NO LONGER the Connection finder anchor.

That has now been changed to Queen Victoria!!!

It had to be changed to a dead person for privacy reasons.
by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (929k points)
And since she was "Queen Elizabeth II Windsor", could not Victoria be called "Queen Victoria Hannover", rather than that phenominally long name she has in the Connection Finder.  I almost didn't recognise her - and I am English!
+10 votes
Does GDPR really have to affect famous people who are discussed every day in newspapers, such as the royal family? I think this is an misinterpretation, or a software convenience. Newspapers and for example Wikipedia have not made any such changes.

I think there needs to be an option which allows Wikitree to keep a living person open when they are mentioned in respectable publications? (This has always been the approach of Wikipedia anyway.)
by Andrew Lancaster G2G6 Pilot (107k points)
Well, if Great Britain really does withdraw from the E.U., then the GDPR wouldn't apply to them, just as it doesn't apply to North Americans, South Americans, Africans, Aussies, New Zealanders, etc., etc., etc.
I don't really see that as the solution as all wealthy countries are bringing in similar rules eventually, simply because they are needed in the world we now live in. But the concerns addressed by those new rules are old ones, and Wikipedia was already acting accordingly.
Darlene, unfortunately as a New Zealander,all my profiles have been rendered unlisted regardless of my location
Richard, I do realize that.  The same holds true for everyone on Wikitree, regardless of their location.  :(
On what happens if the UK leaves the EU, the government is committed to continuing with the GDPR rules. And most non-EU developed countries already have similar rules, some arguably going further. The US is the most egregious exception. We have to accept that rules like this are here to stay. There are good reasons for them.
I am sure the US will get some kinds of rules. The worry is that they might be less logical because it is such a politicized subject there, connected to bitter disputes about the legitimacy of the last election that have divided the country.
Most intelligent United States citizens know about identity theft. So, don't open any living beings profile, not even the family dog. I would guess if they are smart enough to figure out how to use the Wikitree site half-way correctly, they are smart enough not to need a law to tell them not to expose their living family members' birth date and other personal information.

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