FAQ:Privacy

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Questions about Privacy

How do I hide the names of living people?

By default phpGedView is configured to show the names of living people but hide their details. You can easily hide the names of living people by logging in as an administrator and going to the Manage Gedcoms page. Click on the edit link next to the privacy file for the gedcom privacy settings you would like to change. Then set the "Show Living Names" option to "No" and save the settings. When you log back out, you will find that living names are hidden.

How does relationship privacy work?

You can configure phpGedView to user relationship privacy. This means that when users log in, they will only be allowed to view the information of living people that they are related to.

There are several privacy settings that control the behavior of relationship privacy.

Setting Description
Use relationship privacy Turn on or off the relationship privacy.
Max relation path length This setting controls how closely someone must be related to you in order to view their details. It is a number based on how many steps it takes to get from you to the person you want to view. So for example to get to your niece you would follow this path You--Brother--Brother's Daughter. This required two steps, so it would be a path length of 2. A path setting of 4 would allow you to see second cousins along a path like You--Father--Grandfather--Grand Uncle--Grand uncle's son.
Check marriage relations This setting tells whether or not you can see relationships by marriage. With this setting checked you would be able to see everyone within the path length. With the setting unchecked you would be able to see your brother and your brother's wife, but not your brother's wife's parents or siblings.


More information about these settings can be found in the online help.

Note: Using relationship privacy will slow down your website while it calculates the relationships. The higher your path length setting, the longer it will take to calculate relationships.

Why does phpGedView mark my great great great grandfather as private?

To try and ensure privacy, people in your GEDCOM are automatically assumed to be alive. Here are the rules that are used to determine if a person is dead or not:

  • A DEAT record returns dead (1 DEAT Y )*
  • A BIRT record less than $MAX_ALIVE_AGE returns alive
  • Any date in the record that would make them older than $MAX_ALIVE_AGE
    • How is it, then, that I set the Age at which to assume a person is dead at 120, and there are people more than 200 years reported as alive in the alive in the year list?
  • A date in the parents record that makes the parents older than $MAX_ALIVE_AGE + 40
  • A marriage record with a date greater than $MAX_ALIVE_AGE - 10
  • A date in the spouse record greater than $MAX_ALIVE_AGE
  • A date in the children's record that is greater than $MAX_ALIVE_AGE - 10
  • A date in the grand children's record that is greater than $MAX_ALIVE_AGE - 30

For performance issues we stop at the grandchildren and do not continue on to great-grandchildren or great-great granchildren. Assuming an average of 4 children per family, the average number of records that would be checked is 4^generations (ie. 4 children, 16 grandchildren, 64 great-grandchildren, 256 great-greats)

  • Note: PhpGedView will also accept the following non standard GEDCOM generated by Legacy
1 DEAT
2 DATE UNKNOWN