I started using FTB a week ago and am a Basic member, evaluating the package before paying for membership. Immediately after entering my data online FTB found matches with many others, they are genuine matches and if I pay I can confirm these matches.
I am however concerned by the level of data held by some others, eg birthdates and birthplaces of myself, my husband and my children, which were presented to me as a possible match for my own data. I have carefully omitted this information myself, entering only names and sometimes birthyear. So the information about myself has not come from me, which is fine, it is the nature of genealogy for this to be discovered. But I am concerned that our data is out there to be presented as a match over and over, in such detail, to non-family members who have a similar name but no relation. As a Basic member I cannot contact the person to ask that the data be kept for his/her eyes only, no need to be in such detail outside of his/her own personal computer.
I understand that non-site members see <private> for living persons, but since this obviously does not extend to matches, I perceive a security issue. Can the software be set so that full birthdate of living persons is not shown in the matches? Or is there some way at least for a basic member to send a request for data restriction if we find our own out there?
Irene Dillon (very happy to make contact with genuine family members, hoping no one takes my concern as personally directed to them).
Smart Matches are a very good solution for peoples' need to protect the privacy of their family tree, while allowing them to be discovered by relatives.
If other users have a match with your tree, they will be able to see only the overlapping areas in your tree, plus adjacent deceased people, but not adjacent living people who were not matched.
The contact option (with matched site managers) is limited only to upgraded users to maintain the quality of the Smart Match feature. We don't want to open it to all users, as it will allow users to spam the SmartMatch system. We want to keep it a Premium feature that will enable you to contact active, loyal and serious genealogoist as yourself.
If you want to enjoy the SmartMatch feature, I would recommend that you consider upgrading your site. If you wish I can offer you a monthy payment that will allow you to try it out without the long-term commitment.
Let me know if you are interested and I will enable the monthly billing for your site.