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Since WikiTree is for genealogy collaboration, including collaboration on profiles of living and recently-deceased family members, privacy is very important here.

Every profile on WikiTree has an independently-managed Privacy Level and Trusted List. If you're on the profile's Trusted List you can access everything. If you're not on the Trusted List, what you can see and do depends on the Privacy Level.

The Profile Manager can change the Privacy Level by clicking the Privacy tab on a profile or change the Privacy Level on multiple profiles at the same time.

Here are details on the seven Privacy Levels. Please also read our Privacy Policy.


unlisted.png Unlisted

Unlisted profiles are entirely hidden from everyone except those on the Trusted List. Unlisted names do not appear in search results or surname index pages.

Unlisted is required for all profiles of living people who are not members. There are exceptions for certain public figures.

Unlisted is not an option for non-living people or profiles of actively contributing members. If you, as an active member, do not want your name to appear anywhere on WikiTree, click here.

private.png Private

The public can see certain limited information on a Private profile. Like being listed in a phone book, this enables others to find it.

When editing a profile you can tell at a glance whether a particular piece of information is private with the following colored icons.

dot20.gif Private information

Red icons mean the information can only be viewed by the Trusted List.

This includes Proper First Name, Nicknames, and family relationships such as Spouses, Siblings, and Children, as well as the Personal Memories section.

The biography/sources section (text of the page) and family relationships are private by default but can be changed to be public.

dot50.gif Public information

Green icons denote public information.

This includes the Preferred First Name and Last Names, the name Prefix and Suffix, and Public Comments.

dot40.gif Partially private information

Yellow icons mean that the most sensitive aspect of something is protected but a limited version is made available.


Middle Name: The full middle name is private, but the middle initial is public.

Birth Date and Death Date: The exact month, day, and year are private, but the decade is public, e.g. "1970s". We do this so that people can figure out whether someone is related to them.

Photos: The tiny thumbnail of a photo is always unrestricted but the full version and information about images is private. Note, however, that if someone in a photo is public the whole image will be public. See Photo Privacy.

Activity: The items recorded in activity feeds are viewable by anyone but they can only see the line item itself, not the details. (For example, anyone can see "Thomas Jefferson edited the biography of Ben Franklin", but only those on the Trusted List can click to see the details of what was edited.)

public-bio.png Private with Public Biography

Exactly like Private profiles, with all the protections outlined above, except that the Biography/Sources section of the profile (the text of the page) is visible to everyone. It can still only be edited by the Trusted List.

privacy35.png Private with Public Family Tree

Exactly like Private profiles except that relatives are visible if the relative also has a public family tree. For example, if a child has a public family tree but their mother does not it will say "[private mother]" on the child's profile and family tree pages.

Having a public family tree also means that DNA Test Connections and Sex at Birth are public. Spouses may also be public, but are treated a little differently.

public-tree.png Private with Public Biography and Family Tree

Like the above, but with the text of the profile and the tree public.

public.png Public

Anyone can view all the information on a Public profile. However, you still need to be in the Trusted List to add or change information.

Public and Open are not options for profiles of living people.

open.png Open

Anyone can view the information on an Open profile, and any WikiTree member in good standing with a confirmed email address who has signed the Honor Code can edit it. All edits are tracked, credited to the appropriate member, and can be reversed.

  • Profiles of non-living people without any sensitive information or real privacy concerns should be Open.
  • Profiles of people born over 150 years ago or who died over 100 years ago must be Open.

WikiTree Project Leaders can merge 200-year-old Open profiles. The mission of the WikiTree community is to connect modern families with ancestors on a single family tree. Merging duplicates is an important part of this.

To change the Privacy Level on multiple profiles use the Bulk Privacy Changes tool.

It's important to understand that WikiTree's privacy controls are for privacy, not control. All descendants have to share the same ancestor profiles. It's in our Honor Code to keep information as free and open as possible. See the page on ownership and control.

For the legal details of our privacy policy, click here.

This page was last modified 15:16, 15 September 2023. This page has been accessed 1,182,632 times.