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MyHeritage.com (the "Website") is an online service that allows members to create profiles and family sites in order to build and print their family trees, share family photos, keep in touch with family members, and research their family history with advanced research tools (the "Service"). The Service is owned and operated by MyHeritage Ltd. (hereafter 'we', 'our' or 'us'). 'You' or 'your' means an adult user, over the age of 13, of the Service (in some countries the minimum age is 14, see Section "Underage Users" in the Terms and Conditions). The Website is part of a group of websites that we own and operate (the "MyHeritage Website Group") which also includes, among others, WorldVitalRecords.com and FamilyLink.com.
Much of the personal information on our Website is uploaded by users for their own personal and private purposes. We recognize the sensitivity and confidentiality of information that may be disclosed by users in registering, making purchases from our Website or performing their family history research and we are firmly committed to protecting your privacy.
Our mission is to help everyone discover, preserve and share their family history. We accomplish this by using the resources available on our websites and also through collaborating with our extensive number of users around the world. This may involve the collecting, processing, storing and sharing of personal information. We want to ensure that this is done in a responsible, transparent and secure environment that fosters your trust and confidence.
The Website serves as a worldwide platform for family history, allowing its users to build their family trees and benefit from the synergies of having many family trees from all over the world in one central location, such as the ability to find Smart Matches between the family trees, and to allow users to search other users’ family trees, and historical records, to benefit their family history research.
MyHeritage family sites
Information on the Website is organized in family sites, each serving a family or a community of users with a shared family history background or research goal. Every family site is managed by a site manager – the user who created it, and may have site members as participants. Family sites typically contain one or more family trees, plus family photos and additional family-oriented content posted by the site manager and the members of the family site.
Within a family site, the Website provides convenient visual tools for building a family tree and adding information to family tree profiles. The Website also provides output tools for producing family tree charts and posters and for showcasing a user’s family history to family members via slideshows and online reports. When building a family tree, the user determines at his/her discretion which relatives to add to the family tree, whether to add deceased relatives, living relatives or both, and which information to include about them.
The user decides to what degree information on the family tree and other information from the family site will be visible to and discoverable by other users, by setting the Privacy Preferences (described in a detailed section below). The user decides whether to build the family tree on the Website on his/her own, or to make it a collaborative effort by inviting family members to assist, using facilities available on the Website for inviting members. If other members are invited, they make similar choices on entering information into the family tree. All information is entered into the Website directly and is not collected implicitly. The Website prevents information on living people from being disclosed to strangers, to protect privacy, and such information if entered will not be visible outside the family site or discoverable by search engines such as Google. It is often useful however to allow deceased people entered into the family tree to be visible to and searchable by other people, to allow one’s distant relatives to discover it.
The personal information that you and other users enter is stored in the Website only for the purpose of delivering the Service to you and the other users, i.e. displaying the family tree, printing the family tree, searching historical records, and other genealogy features.
What personal information does the Website collect from you or about you?
Here is a list of the type of personal information we request, collect or you provide:
i) Name, Contact Information and Payment Details:
When you sign up for the Service, we ask for your name, gender and email address, as well as birth year and country. The birth year is collected to ensure that you comply with the Terms & Conditions of the Service with regards to underage and minor users. Users who are underage (below age 13, and in some countries, below the age 14) must not use the Website, and users who are minors (below age 18) must obtain the written consent of a parent or guardian before using the Website. See the Terms & Conditions in this regard. The country is collected so that we can comply with local laws and regulations in your country of residence.
In addition we will need to know your postal address, phone number and payment details to facilitate payment and fulfillment for any subscription or purchases you may choose to make through the Website.
ii) Your Family and Others:
You may also post additional personal information about yourself and others in the course of doing your family research on the Website, e.g., adding a photo to a family tree. Personal information entered in the course of building a family tree may include any of the following:
* Dates and places of events (e.g. birth, death, marriage, divorce, immigration, etc)
* Photos, documents, video files, audio files and other media
* Email addresses, addresses and contact information
When you provide us with any personal information, that personal information may be transferred to and stored by us in our secure data centers which may provide a different level of protection for personal data than in your country of residence. By providing us with personal information, you specifically consent to the transfer and processing of personal information and its storage in our data centers. We take all adequate security measures to ensure the privacy protection of the personal data provided by you. We place great importance on the security of all personally identifiable information associated with our members. We have security measures in place to attempt to protect against the loss, misuse or alteration of member data under our control. For example our security and privacy practices are periodically reviewed and enhanced as necessary and only authorized personnel have access to personal information. We use secure server software to encrypt financial information you input before it is sent to us. While we cannot guarantee that loss, misuse or alteration of data will not occur; we use commercially reasonable efforts to prevent this.
If you choose to invite other family members or other users to view and edit your family tree, we will ask you for the individual's email address and name. You must first make certain that you have obtained their consent to pass on their details to MyHeritage. We will only use this information for the purpose of sending the individual his/her access details and will not use the information we collect as a result of this process for marketing purposes.
In addition you should also make sure that information or material you wish to place on the Website about anyone living is only posted with their prior knowledge and consent. If the person is under the legal age to enter into agreements (typically 18 years old), you represent that you have obtained the consent of the parent or guardian of the person under the legal age to enter into agreements. In all cases, you must make the implications of the consent clear to the person (or, if applicable, to the parent/guardian).
iii) Your Opinions and Comments: If you participate in discussions on our message boards, or post messages on our blogs or Facebook accounts, we may capture that information.
iv)Your Use of the Website: While you use our Website, we may collect information based on your interaction with our Website or from the devices or computers you use to access the Website, including web log information, page views and IP addresses, all on an anonymized basis.
How do we use your personal information?
i) To provide the Service:
We primarily use your personal information to let you know about new features or other offers of interest from MyHeritage, or to address customer service needs and requests.
We also use your data to fulfill the purposes for which you have provided the personal information, such as displaying your family tree, calculating a relationship path between you and another relative, printing your family tree poster upon your request, processing your subscription, etc. So that you get the most out of the Service, we will also use your personal information to serve you Smart Matches ™ for your family tree, or to enable you and other members of the MyHeritage community to contact each other, to suggest relatives you may invite to your site as members, as well as to provide product and Website updates and newsletters. See section on Privacy Preferences below to learn how you can opt out or change your privacy preferences.
ii) To verify your identity: to verify and carry out financial transactions relating to payments you make online.
iii) To send you email: We may send emails to you for the purpose of informing you of changes or additions to MyHeritage or of any of our products and services. If you do not want to continue to receive such emails, you may opt out at any time by using the unsubscribe link listed in the email or by changing your Email Preferences. See section on Email Preferences below to learn how you can opt out or change your email preferences.
Will MyHeritage disclose any of my personal information to third parties?
None of the personal information provided by our users is distributed outside of your family site and the MyHeritage Website Group.
In no case is the personal information provided by our users sold, licensed or otherwise shared by us with advertisers, sponsors, partners or other third parties.
MyHeritage will not disclose any of your personal information except in very limited circumstances which are set out below.
ii) In an acquisition of the company: in the event that MyHeritage, or substantially all of its assets or stock are acquired, transferred, disposed of (in whole or part and including in connection with any bankruptcy or similar proceedings), personal information will as a matter of course be one of the transferred assets.
iii) Third-party service providers: Under the protection of appropriate agreements, we use third parties to perform various tasks for us. For example, we use third party platforms to process payments from you. These third-parties are only given access to that information needed to perform their support functions, and are prohibited from using it for other purposes. With respect to processors outside Europe, we attempt to ensure adequate safeguards for your personal information, as required by applicable law.
May you refuse to provide personal information to MyHeritage?
Visitors may access some of our free services anonymously, such as the SuperSearch™ engine for historical records. Other services that we provide may be accessed by registering with a first name, last name, email address, gender, country and birth year, some of which are optional. To gain full access to the paid subscription-only features, appropriate billing information, and to purchase physical products such as family tree posters and family calendars, a shipping address is required. The amount of other personal information you decide to submit to MyHeritage is up to you but understand that your experience with the Website may be limited if you choose to provide no additional information. Most of the personal information submitted to the Service may be offered at your own discretion and is intended for family use only. Naturally, withholding some personal information may compromise the usefulness of the site for other family members.
How do you report, change or delete information about yourself or your family?
Deleting or amending your Public Profile and your Tree: Any information that you have uploaded into your tree or your profile is controlled by you and can be amended or deleted by you at any time. See information below on how to do this.
Deleting or amending information that others have posted about you or your family:
If the information was posted in a family site where you are a member, you may delete it. See information below on how to do this. Otherwise, you are not able to delete or amend this information and if it has been posted by another member then you should contact them through the Website and try and resolve the issue between you. If you cannot resolve the issue then you should contact us using the contact information at the bottom of this document.
For disputes or issues with other personal information on the site about you:You may contact us using the contact information at the bottom of this document. For your protection, we will only implement such requests with respect to the personal information associated with the particular email address that you use to send us your request, and we may need to verify your identity before considering your request.
Please note that where you or we delete content or your account, copies of that information may remain viewable elsewhere to the extent any such copy has been shared with others, was otherwise distributed pursuant to your privacy settings, or was copied or stored by other users.
Backup copies: Some removed and deleted information may persist in backup copies for a limited time for our internal business purposes but will not be available to others. However, in most cases deletion is permanent and if you request information to be removed, it may not be restored later.
How may you modify or delete information on the Website?
Any member may modify his/her personal information, including password, by logging into the Website, visiting the member profile via Account > My profile, and editing it, to update the information therein. At any time, members may modify or delete information and content items such as news articles and photos which they personally have posted to their site.
At any time you may delete information that you have posted on the family site. As site manager you can also delete all information and content that other site members have posted on your family site. As a site member, you can delete information that the site manager or other site members have posted about you.
Your entire family site and all its contents may be deleted from the Account > Site settings > General > Administration link "Delete my site".
Deleting an entire family tree (but not the entire family site) may be done from Family Tree > Manage trees, click the "Delete" link next to tree you wish to delete.
Deleting any individual from your family tree (but not the entire tree) may be done via the online family tree viewer in your family site: click "Family tree" to visit the tree, find the person in the "Find a person.." box, then click Options > Delete this Person on the side panel.
You may delete a photo album by clicking Photos in the navigation of your family site. Click any album on the side panel, then click More actions > Delete album.
You may delete a photo (not an entire album) by clicking Photos in the navigation of your family site, find the photo in the album viewer, then click the wheel icon next to the photo and select Delete.
You may delete your member account from the Account > Account Settings link "Delete my account".
In case you need extra assistance, you may email us at email@example.com to request us to help delete any information that you wish to have deleted, and your request shall be carried out promptly by our staff unless it is examined and believed to be illegitimate.
IP Addresses, Cookies and Non-personal Information
IP Addresses: We need your IP address to deliver the Website and our service to you and to help diagnose problems with our server. Your IP address is also used to gather broad demographic information such as geographic distribution of our members. When you visit the Service for the first time, we use your IP address to suggest the service to you in the language deemed the most appropriate for the geographical region from which it originates. Your IP address is not stored permanently in our Service. Server logs maintain IP addresses for a period of one month and are used to investigate suspected abuse of our Service.
Cookies: We make use of browser cookies to enhance the experience of visiting the Website, for example, to avoid displaying certain messages to you more than once, or to optionally save your logon details on your browser so they won't have to be re-entered by you each time you wish to log in, or to remember the display language you selected last time, so you won't have to pick it again each time you visit the site. Our cookies do not extract any contact information or other private or personal information from your computer's memory, but rather record only information your computer sends us when you visit our Website. Cookies enable our server to recognize or "remember" who you are each time you return. You can erase or block cookies from your computer if you want to, but certain parts of our Service may not work correctly or at all if you set your browser not to accept cookies.
Advertiser Cookies: The Website does not include third party advertising on family sites. There are no advertiser cookies on family sites.
Other non-personal information:
When you visit our Website, we may automatically collect non-personal information about you, such as the website from which you have come to our Website, your computer type, screen resolution, Operating System version and Internet browser. We may also collect non-personal information such as demographic data, for example your geographic area. Non-personal information also includes personal information that has been aggregated in a manner such that the end-product does not personally identify you or any other user of the Website, for example, by using personal information to calculate the percentage of our users from a particular country or who are female. Because non-personal information does not personally identify you, we may use such non-personal information for any purpose. In addition, we reserve the right to share such non-personal information.
Who will be able to view your family site?
This is determined by your Privacy Preferences (see appropriate section below).
If your family site is set up on the Website as a private site, only those with a valid username and password will have access to your site. Initially, the family site manager (creator) is the only one with access to the site. The site manager may invite other members to the site via email, and only recipients of this invitation will be able to gain access to the site after becoming members in the Website. It is then the responsibility of the site members to help keep the site secure by offering password access only to appropriate relatives and friends – those they want to have access to the site. Each user is responsible to protect his or her username & password. See section "What are the implications of inviting other people to your family site?" below. By default, family sites are accessible to guests (i.e., the general public) but guests cannot view information about living people in your family tree.
Who will be able to find information in your family site?
Information about deceased individuals in your family tree, including photos, can be found by other people using the research facilities on the websites of the MyHeritage Website Group. These facilities help other people research their past and find relatives who are also in your family tree. If you do not want others to find information in your family tree, you can make your family trees and photo albums private and exclude them from the MyHeritage historical search engines. See section on "Privacy Preferences" below. Unless your family site is set to private, public search engines such as Google may find your site and make it accessible via search engines to guests (i.e. the general public), except that guests cannot view information about living people in your family tree.
What are Smart Matches ™ and how do they affect your privacy?
Smart Matches™ is a technology owned and developed by MyHeritage to find matches between family trees, by looking for individuals that they have in common, and bridging across differences in spelling, phonetics, facts and languages. Smart Matches™ are very useful in that they facilitate discoveries of unknown relatives and reuniting families whose ties have been disconnected over time.
Other MyHeritage users may receive notifications regarding Smart Matches™ between individuals in their family tree and individuals in your family tree. Smart Matches™ may also be found on living individuals in your tree. If you are concerned about the privacy of your family tree, to the extent that you do not wish to allow potential relatives to find and view parts of it, you can disable Smart Matches™ for your family tree(s). See "Privacy Preferences" below. By default, Smart Matches™ are enabled.
What are the implications of inviting other people to your family site?
Inviting other site members is useful if you are treating your family tree as a collaborative effort and wish to enlist some of your family members to help you complete it, and upload more photos of the family. In the Privacy Preferences page (see below) you can control whether the members that you invite can themselves invite more members or not.
Because family sites contain sensitive, private information and site members have full access to the private data in the family site, think carefully before you invite anyone and be sure to invite only people you know and trust. As site manager, you can revoke the membership of any member, even if previously approved, from the "Site members" page of your family site, by selecting "More > Remove from site" next to any member’s name.
Family sites have several places for inviting family members, such the "Invite close family" widget in the front page of the family site, the page for inviting more family, and the facility to invite family members from an email address book. Inviting typically requires you to provide the email address of the user you wish to invite and his/her name. MyHeritage will then send an invitation email to the invitee (currently with hard-coded phrasing, in future versions it will be possible to edit the phrasing).
Members invited into your family site typically receive fewer emails from the Service, such as event reminders and family site activity newsletters only, and can control that when they accept the invitation and later through the Email Preferences page accessible from their MyHeritage profile page. So inviting family members typically does not expose them to marketing or advertising.
If you have been invited as a site member and wish to see what kind of information has been entered about you, click Account > My profile to view your member profile, created for you when you were invited based on information provided by the inviter. Click "View in tree" to see information about you entered in the family tree. As a member of the family site, you may delete information from it, such as information about you. See Section "How do you report, change or delete information about yourself or your family?" above. Note that as a living person the information about you will not be accessible to anyone who is not a member of this family site, so the fact that you are inside a family site does not mean that your privacy has been compromised.
What are membership requests in family sites?
The opposite of inviting other people to be site members, is the ability of others to request to be members in your family site. You can determine whether or not this is possible in the Privacy Preferences (see below). Default: yes. People submitting a membership request are required to provide their full name, email address and reason for the request for you as the site manager to evaluate their request. When you reject a membership request, this is done silently and the requester is not notified. When you approve a membership request, a notification email is sent by the Service to the requester informing them that the request has been approved by you. Approved requesters become members of your family site as if you had invited them. You can revoke the membership of any member, including requesters you previously approved, from the "Site members" page of your family site, by selecting "More > Remove from site" next to any member's name. When rejecting a membership request you can optionally block that user and prevent them from requesting membership in your family site again.
MyHeritage face recognition demo
Photos uploaded by users to the MyHeritage celebrity face recognition demo are not shared with any third party. They remain stored on the Website in the member profile of the user who uploaded them. Any user who uploads photos can choose to delete the photos or keep them private so that only he or she can access them.
Users who wish to make use of our "Tell a friend" feature to email their friends a link to a photo they just uploaded with its celebrity resemblances, should be aware that the link to their photo will remain valid for up to 2 days at most, after which it will no longer work. Users are advised against posting links from the celebrity face recognition demo on the Internet, as these links will become invalid within 2 days, or sooner.
As of February 2012, MyHeritage offers genealogical DNA tests for Y-DNA, mtDNA and autosomal DNA among its product range. The purpose of these tests is to discover blood relatives and to explore geographical and anthropological origins of one’s ancestors. Users must be above the age of 18 to be eligible to purchase or take the DNA tests. Users living in France, Poland and Israel are not eligible to purchase or take the DNA tests. If the local laws prohibit purchasing or taking DNA tests in your country then you are not eligible to purchase DNA tests from MyHeritage.
Managing your privacy
You can control how you share personal information by changing your privacy settings in the following areas:
- Privacy Preferences: this allows you to control the information that others can see about you and your data. See extended details about Privacy Preferences.
- Email Preferences: this allows you to control what marketing emails and other emails we send to you.
MyHeritage may send you the following types of emails:
* Transactional emails. These are emails that occur following your specific action or request on the Service. For example, if you indicate on the Website that you forgot your password, an email will be sent to you with instructions on how to obtain a new password. If you make a payment, you will receive an email with a confirmation that your payment was received or the charge has failed. If you purchased a subscription, you will receive a head notice before it is about to expire, and so on. You cannot unsubscribe from transactional emails and by providing us with your email address you give us your consent to receive transactional emails as necessary.
* Family site emails. These are event reminder emails that alert you about upcoming birthdays and/or wedding anniversaries of your family members; and family site activity newsletters which summarize on a weekly basis the activity of your family members in a family site in which you are a member. By default these are enabled when you create a new family site or join it as a member and you can opt-out and unsubscribe from them. Users invited to a family site managed by another person, are taken to an invitee wizard which includes the option of unsubscribing from event reminders and family newsletters of this site before they are ever sent out.
* Announcement emails from MyHeritage. These are new feature announcements, promotions and offers from MyHeritage concerning the Service. They are enabled by default and you can opt-out and unsubscribe from any or all of them. Announcement emails are most commonly not sent to users invited to MyHeritage by other users, unless they are family site managers.
In detail, announcement emails from MyHeritage include:
- Genealogy: updates about new genealogy features
- Smart Matches™: notifications about new Smart Matches you received, and Smart Match confirmations by other users relevant to you.
- Invitations: emails initiated by other users who wish to invite you to their family site, and reminders to such invitations.
- Messages: notifications about messages sent to you by other users on MyHeritage.
- Announcements: news from MyHeritage about new features, offers and discounts.
- Informations: information about genealogy in general and MyHeritage features in particular.
All non-transactional emails sent to you by MyHeritage have a link at their footer that leads directly to the Email Preferences page in which you can conveniently turn off any particular email type you do not wish to receive any longer, or re-enable some emails that you have turned off in the past. Family site emails have a link at their footer to the site preferences page which allows you to unsubscribe from or re-subscribe to event reminder emails and family site activity newsletter emails.
For each family site in which you are a member, the Email Preferences page lets you control whether or not you will receive event reminders and family site activity newsletters.
Emails with 3rd party offers
MyHeritage does not send commercial offers originating from partners, affiliates and third parties. To the extent that MyHeritage sends an offer, it is always about a service owned and operated by MyHeritage, or integrated into the Service or the MyHeritage Website Group. MyHeritage reserves the right to email about bona-fide activities of non-profit organizations, such as organizations that aim to make the world a better place by improving water supply, planting trees, etc. If such emails are sent, they will be included in the category of Announcements from which users can unsubscribe.
Text Messages (SMS)
The Service offers the following free feature internationally: if you are a member or site manager of a family site, you can opt-in to receive free Text Messages (SMS) to your mobile phone, regarding event reminders in your family. The text messages are sent one day in advance ahead of events such as birthdays and wedding anniversaries of close family members only. This can be enabled or disabled via Account > My profile > Edit site preferences. Default: disabled. You can enable this at your initiative by ensuring that event reminders are sent, then check the box to receive them also by Text Message (SMS), and enter your mobile phone number with an international prefix.
MyHeritage will never share, license or sell your mobile phone number to any third party, or send you promotional Text Messages (SMS) to the mobile phone number you provided. The Text Messages (SMS) feature is available only to users who are 18 years of age or above and only users who are 18 years or older are eligible to use it. MyHeritage may discontinue this free feature at any time or cease providing it for free and transform it into an add-on feature of a paid subscription.
Contacting us about Privacy
If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this Website, or your dealings with this Website, or wish to request access to and receive information about the personal information we maintain about you, update and correct inaccuracies in your personal information, have the information blocked or deleted, as appropriate, or oppose (in case of legitimate reasons) the processing carried out with respect to your personal information (note please that the right to access personal information may be limited in some circumstances), you can contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to us at the address below:
PO Box 50, Or Yehuda 60250, Israel