I'll explain how living people in the tree are handled and how that pertains to Smart Matching. I'm going to explain things from the basics for the benefit of everyone viewing this post. If you're already aware of some of this information I hope you'll understand my reasons for doing so.
1. Privacy settings apply to a family site. Since you can have more than one family tree on a family site at MyHeritage the privacy settings you choose will apply to all of the trees on that site.
2. You can set a family site to have Public, Mixed or Private privacy levels.
Public allows anyone to enter the site and view the tree.
Private is the opposite - only people you invite can enter with a password and email address.
Mixed is a combination of the two - guests can enter the site, but they see limited information about people in the tree, people you invite enter with an email address and password can see the whole tree.
3. Mixed privacy settings are the default for family sites. If you never changed the privacy settings on your family site, then this setting is what you've got. Mixed settings hide sensitive information about living individuals in the tree, such as first names, birth dates, addresses, etc. The Mixed privacy setting applies for guests who come to view the family tree.
Now, on to Smart Matching...
4. Matches are performed on your entire tree - including living individuals. If a match is found between two names in the tree, even if your site is marked as private, we display the name of the matched person ONLY. If you both have that person in your tree, then it's not a secret for either of you who that person is.
5. The compare page of Smart Matches at MyHeritage show the person you got a match with together with surrounding individuals like mother, father, children, siblings, etc. In the case that we show you a match of a living individual we DO NOT show the names of the surrounding individuals (unless of course you also have matches with those people). Absolute privacy for names of living individuals applies here.
6. It's always possible to turn off Smart Matching. This can be done in the Family Tree > Manage Trees page of your family site. "Edit tree settings" is where you can turn off Smart Matches. You can also get there on the Family Tree > Smart Matches page. Smart Matching settings are per tree so if you have more than one tree on your family site and want to turn off Smart Matches altogether, then make sure to change the settings for all trees.
At this point there isn't a setting that allows you to choose to match only deceased persons, but we can definitely consider adding it as an option.
You're getting the smart matches from other trees, or they are getting it from yours? I don't recall ever getting a smart match with a living person, but if you are, I don't think getting a match to a living person would work any differently from getting one with a dead person. In fact, I've copied living people from other trees, and other people have copied from mine, but I still don't think we've gotten smart matches for them. I'll go back and check.
Thanks Eric. The matches I am talking about came from another tree and matched to living people in my tree. It bothers me because 1) I have no right to be giving or taking information on living people as I do not have their permission and 2. My family information is not safe at all when I have promised them it will be.
I have just checked my privacy settings and I am set for "mixed". I had read somewhere that this setting does not include living family members, do you know Eric?
I'm sorry, I don't know the asnswer to that. As far as I know, my family tree is as open as it can be. I have no problem with people taking my info. It's as reliable as I can get. If it helps people then great. If it winds up as part of some nonsense on ancestry.com, then so be it.
I would have to say that there are some living people that I am REALLY concerned about too.
But I undersdtand the nature of YOUR concern.
What I dont understand is how to identify the living from the not living- I dont see that flaged on my FTB so how would anyone knwo if the indivdual is living or not- or is it just for your own peace of mind.