This Privacy Statement applies to visitors and to new users registering on the Websites on or after October 3, 2015 and to all users already registered or subscribing to the Websites on or after November 3, 2015. For the previous version of the Privacy Statement click here.
Ancestry’s mission is to help everyone discover, preserve and share their family history. We accomplish this by using the resources available on our various 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. You should visit our Privacy Centre to learn more about our approach on privacy.
In this Privacy Statement, we, Ancestry Information Operations Unlimited Company, 52-55 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland (referred also as “Ancestry”, “us”, “our” or “we”) provide information on what personal information we and our Group Companies collect and why, as well as how your personal information is used to provide you with a personalised, relevant, user-friendly experience on the Websites and the mobile websites and applications that we operate worldwide and which link directly to this Privacy Statement. This Privacy Statement forms part of and should be read in conjunction with the Terms.
Ancestry has received TRUSTe's Privacy Seal signifying that this privacy statement, our practices, and the Websites have been reviewed by TRUSTe for compliance with the TRUSTe program viewable on the validation page available by clicking the TRUSTe seal. The TRUSTe program covers only information that is collected through the Websites that link to this statement and does not cover information that may be collected through our mobile applications, mobile websites, AncestryDNA websites that do not link directly to this Privacy Statement or through any downloadable software that may be available on our Websites or from third party sites, which are covered by their own privacy statements, which you should review. If you have questions or complaints regarding our privacy statement or practices, please contact Member services. If you are not satisfied with our response you can contact TRUSTe here.
Much of the personal information on our Websites is uploaded by users for their own personal and private purposes. We recognise the confidentiality of information that may be disclosed by users in registering or making purchases from our Websites or performing their family history research and we are firmly committed to protecting your privacy choices.
As a reminder, by registering with any of the Websites you are becoming part of the Ancestry Community a collaborative resource in which the users of the Websites and other websites and platforms owned or operated by Ancestry and its Group Companies (‘Group Companies’) (including such sites as ancestry.com, ancestry.co.uk, archives.com, ancestry.com.au, ancestry.ca, fold3.com, Ancestry Academy and Newspapers.com) can communicate and exchange family history related information with each other. Please be aware that some sites may have some additional specific policies or different functionality and you should read and / or understand these before using the relevant services.
We primarily use your personal information to provide you with relevant information such as appropriate search results, information about content releases or other users' activity. Ancestry will also use registration information to let you know about new features or other offers of interest from Ancestry, or to address customer service needs and requests.
You have the right to ask us not to process your personal information for marketing purposes. We will usually inform you (before collecting your personal information) if we intend to use your personal information for such purposes. You can exercise your right to prevent such processing by checking certain boxes on the forms / web pages we use to collect your information.
When you provide us with any personal information, that personal information may be transferred to and stored and processed in other countries which may provide a different level of protection for personal data than in your country of residence. Whereas you specifically consent to the transfer, storage and processing of personal information on this basis by providing your personal information, we will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Statement.
Please note that when you create and save a family tree, the information that you input about yourself results in the creation of a profile about you. We will list you in our member directory which means that other members will be able to search for you by name. If you wish to request removal of your information from our directory, you can contact us at [email protected]. Even though your profile will be searchable, other users will not be able to view your information because we protect living nodes in a tree. Click here to read more.
To request that any unauthorised profile of you be deleted, please contact us here to request removal.
Here is a list of the type of personal information we request, collect or you provide:
i) Name, Contact Information and Payment Details: Ancestry asks for your name and e-mail address, gender, and age when you register. In addition we will need to know your postal address and payment details to facilitate payment and fulfilment for any subscription or purchases you may choose to make through the Websites. We may ask for similar information at other times, such as when you enter sweepstakes or other promotions sponsored by Ancestry and/or any company with which we may co-sponsor an activity. . The amount of other personal information you decide to submit to Ancestry is up to you but understand that your experience of the Websites may suffer if you choose to provide no additional background.
You can log in to our site using Facebook Connect. This service will authenticate your identity and provide you the option to share certain personal information with us such as your name and email address to sign you into our services. Facebook Connect gives you the option to post information about your activities on the Websites to your profile page to share with others within your network. Click here to read more.
There are a number of features that we have within the Websites, including our Member Connect feature. Click here to read more about this.
ii) Your Background and Interests: As a member of Ancestry, you can also choose to share certain information about yourself, your background and interests with other members. The amount and type of profile information you share in this way is entirely your choice. Information about some of your activity on the Websites, such as historical records you save, may also be shared with other members in order to help you connect with others researching similar ancestors. See Managing your privacy settings below for more information on how you can edit or control what you allow other members to see about you and your Website activity in your relevant Public Profile or other places on the Websites.
iii) Your Family and Others: You may also post additional personal information about yourself and others in the course of doing your, or others’, family research on our Websites, e.g., adding a photo or birth record to a tree or sharing it with someone through our Service.
If you choose to invite other family or other members of the Ancestry Community to view and edit your family tree, we will ask you for the individual's e-mail address. You must first make certain that you have obtained their consent to the passing of their details by you to Ancestry. Ancestry will only use this information for the purpose of sending a one-time email to provide the individual their 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 relevant Websites about anyone living is only posted with their prior knowledge and consent. If the person is under the legal age to enter into agreements, 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).
Ancestry also publishes records on its Websites that it has obtained from many sources, with appropriate consents and permissions where relevant. Some of these records may contain personal information that relates to living individuals, usually from public record sources. See our Privacy Centre for more information about this.
iv) Your Opinions and Comments: If you participate in community discussions, chats, communications between us or between you and other members, in disputes and while communicating with member services, we will capture that information. You should be aware that any information you provide in these areas may be read, collected, and used by others who access them. To request removal of your personal information from our blog or community forum, contact us at [email protected] and we will consider it for removal.
vi) Mobile Devices: If you access the Websites using a mobile device (for example, phones, tablets, iPads etc.), we collect mobile device identifiers such as the device type, IP address and the operating system. If you use your mobile device to take a photo through our application, we will ask if you wish to include your location. If you agree to this request, we will add your location to the photo. We will also occasionally send you push notifications to provide you information about our services. You may opt-out of these notifications at the device level.
i) To provide the Service: We primarily use your personal information to provide you with relevant information such as appropriate search results, information about content releases or other users activity. Ancestry may also use registration information to let you know about new features or other offers of interest from Ancestry, or to address customer service needs and requests. We also use your data to fulfil the purposes for which you have provided the personal information, such as processing your subscription. So that you get the most out of the Service we will also use your personal information to serve you hints about possible matches in your tree, to enable you and other members of the Ancestry Community to contact each other (on an anonymous basis if you choose), as well as to provide product and Websites updates and newsletters, for your Public Profile, using Member Connect etc. See section below Managing your privacy settings to learn how you can opt out or change your settings.
ii) To verify your identity: to verify and carry out financial transactions relating to payments you make online.
iii) For internal business purposes: such as data analysis, carrying out internal research on how our Websites are used, audits, developing new products and services, improving our services, identifying usage trends and determining the effectiveness of promotional campaigns.
iv) To communicate with you: Ancestry may communicate with you for the purpose of informing you of issues with your membership or changes to Ancestry or of any Ancestry-related products and services. Our communication with you will generally be via email, but may be made via telephone or another method of communication in select circumstances. You can also choose to receive promotional offers from third parties trusted by Ancestry. 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 e-mail or by amending your 'e-mail preferences' in the 'My Account' section of our Websites. You may have to opt out or unsubscribe on each Website separately depending on the type of subscription you purchased. You may also contact us by using the contact information below to manage communications you receive from us.
v) To distribute advertisements: We do not provide advertisers with access to individual account information. Ancestry does not sell, rent or otherwise distribute the personal information you provide us to these advertisers unless you have given us your consent to do so. Ancestry strives to display relevant advertisements. To that end, we use aggregated demographic information (such as women between the ages of 45-60), anonymised data compared to data from third parties, or the placement of cookies (as discussed in more detail below). In these ways, Ancestry can display relevant ads to appropriate users either on our Websites or on third party websites.
vi) To showcase your contributions: We may sometimes wish to highlight our user's contributions to the Websites and may include your contribution in a highlighted section of one of the Websites. When we do so, we will attribute your contribution and provide a link to your profile on the appropriate Website.
Ancestry will not disclose any personal information to third parties except in very limited circumstances which are set out below. Before Ancestry begins to transfer personal information to any third party, we will confirm that they have adopted, are subject to, or are contractually obligated to comply with the principles and objectives of this Privacy Statement.
i) In limited circumstances: Examples of the limited circumstances when Ancestry may disclose your personal information to third parties are: (a) with your knowledge and any relevant consents; (b) as described in this statement; (c) where personal information is collected through the Websites; (d) as may be required by law, regulatory authorities, legal process or to protect the rights or property of Ancestry or other users (including outside your country of residence); (e) to enforce our terms and conditions; (f) to protect our rights, privacy, safety, confidentiality, reputation or property, and/or that of our Group Companies, you or others; (g) to prevent fraud or cybercrime; or (h) to permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain.
ii) To Group Companies: to our Group Companies so that they may use personal information for the purposes described in this Privacy Statement, to provide the additional services of those Group Companies, and for the purposes of connecting you to Users of the other websites operated by the Group Companies. Ancestry is responsible for the management of the jointly used personal information. Additionally, as our business continues to grow and change, we might restructure, buy, or sell subsidiaries or business units. In these transactions, customer information is often one of the transferred assets, remaining subject to promises made in then prevailing privacy statements. Also, in the event that Ancestry, 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 including for the purposes of data storage, consolidation, retrieval, analysis or the effective management of customer information. For example, we use third parties to process payments from you and to help manage our Websites and relationships with 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. Processors include affiliated and unaffiliated service providers in in the United States, Europe and in other jurisdictions. With respect to processors outside Europe, we attempt to ensure adequate safeguards for your personal information, as required by applicable law and endeavour to confirm that they have adopted, are subject to, or are contractually obligated to comply with the principles and objectives of this Privacy Statement.
Ancestry’s United States organization complies with the U.S. – E.U. and U.S. – Swiss Safe Harbor Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use and retention of personal data from European Union member countries and Switzerland. Ancestry has certified that it adheres to the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles of notice, choice, onward transfer, security, data integrity, access, and enforcement. To learn more about the Safe Harbor program, and to view Ancestry’s certification, please visit http://www.export.gov/safeharbor.
Please note: If you click away from our Websites to visit the site of any third party advertiser or sponsor, you may be asked for your payment card or other personal information in order to purchase or use products and services offered. These companies have their own privacy and data collection practices. We have no responsibility or liability for these independent policies. You should therefore review their privacy notices carefully if you have concerns about how your information may be used.
Visitors may access Ancestry's free services by registering with a first name, last name, gender, age, and e-mail address. To gain full access to the paid members-only areas, a username, e-mail address and appropriate billing information are required. The amount of other personal information you decide to submit to Ancestry is up to you but understand that your experience of the Websites may suffer if you choose to provide no additional information.
You may share personal information through the Websites in a number of ways. Please be aware that any personal information you elect to post on our Websites may be made available on our Group Companies’ websites, may be visible to both registered and non-registered users of the Websites, and in some instances may be publicly available through, for example public record sources such as census records or birth, marriage and death records. You can control how you share some personal information by changing your privacy settings in the following areas (this is found in the My Account and Trees sections of the Websites):
- Site Preferences: this allows you to control the information that others in the Ancestry Community see about you.
- Email Settings: this allows you to control what marketing emails we send to you.
- Tree Settings: this allows you to control your tree settings of Public, Private or Hidden. What does this mean?
- Alerts: this allows you to control the email alerts that are sent to you.
There are also a number of default settings on the site that are there to improve your user experience as well as to protect your privacy. Click here for more information.
i) Non-personal and anonymised information: When you visit our Websites, we may collect information from you that does not personally identify you (“Non-Personal Information”). This includes demographic data, year of birth or age groups, geographic areas, and gender. This also includes computer-generated data that we automatically collect, such as the website from which you have come to our Websites, your Media Access Control address, your computer type, screen resolution, operating system version and Internet browser, as well as information based on your interaction with the Websites, such as web log information and page views on an anonymised basis. We have to use your device type, your website interactions, and other Non-Personal Information to deliver the Websites and our Services to you and to help diagnose problems with our server. This technology helps us to, for example, compile aggregated statistics about our Users and their use of the Websites. We use these statistics to improve the design and content of the Websites, to prepare and deliver our marketing programs, and for research and other purposes. We may also collect or create anonymised information, which is information that has been stripped of information that traditionally permits identification of specific individuals, such as names and full dates of birth, and/or that has been aggregated in a manner so that you and other users of the Websites are not personally identified. Because Non-Personal Information and anonymised information do not personally identify you, we may use either or both for any purpose, including sharing that information with our Group Companies and with other third parties. In some instances, we may combine Non-Personal Information with personal information (such as combining your name with your geographical location). If we do combine any Non-Personal Information with personal information, the combined information will be treated by us as personal information, as long as it is combined, and its use by us will be subject to this Privacy Statement.
ii) Mobile data: If you access the Websites using a mobile device (e.g. your phone or tablet), we may collect mobile device identifiers such as the device type and the operating system. We use mobile analytics software to allow us to deliver you the Websites and the Services and better understand the functionality of our Websites and Services. For example, if you are accessing the Ancestry mobile application, this software may record information such as how often you use the application, the events that occur within the application, aggregated usage, performance data, and from where the application was downloaded. We do not link the information we store within the analytics software to any personally identifiable information you submit within the mobile app. Our Websites may also collect other non-personal information from your mobile device, such as your geographic location, with your permission. For example, if you use your mobile device to take a photo through the Ancestry mobile application, we will ask if you wish to include your location. If you agree to this request, we will add your location to the photo. We will also occasionally send you push notifications to provide you information about our services. You may opt-out of these notifications at the device level.
iv) About our advertisements: Because occasionally the Websites may be partially advertiser supported, you may not "turn off" the advertising that appears on Ancestry pages. These third-parties may employ cookies and action tags (also known as single pixel gifs or web beacons) to measure advertising effectiveness (they do not collect personal information) and to provide information about your activity on the Websites to provide targeted advertising based upon your interests. If you wish to not have this information used for the purpose of serving you targeted ads, you may opt-out by clicking here. In addition, if you are a Facebook user and would like to opt out of receiving Facebook ads personalised based on the websites you visit, please click here. Please note this does not opt you out of being served advertising and generic ads will still appear on our Websites.
v) Social media features: Our Websites may include social media features, such as the Facebook “Like” button and widgets, such as the "Share this” button or interactive mini-programs that run on our site. These features may record which page you are visiting on our site, or set a cookie to enable the feature to function properly. Social media features and widgets are either hosted by a third party or hosted directly on our Websites. Your interactions with these features are governed by the privacy statement of the companies providing each such feature.
Removal of personal information from public records: Unfortunately we are not able to change the information in records published under statute, you need to contact the entity responsible for such records. We will however consider requests for removal of personal information from the copies of the records we hold on a considered basis.
Deleting or amending your Public Profile and 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 by accessing My Account.
Deleting or amending information that others have posted about you or your family: 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 Websites and try and resolve the issue between you. If you cannot resolve the issue then you should contact us here.
For disputes or issues with other personal information on the site about you: You may contact us by clicking here. 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 Ancestry will maintain procedures consistent with applicable law for individuals to gain access to their collected personal information and, when appropriate, correct or delete their personal information. Users of the Websites may update, correct or delete their profiles online. 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. You will no longer be identified with that content. Additionally, we may retain certain information to prevent identity theft and other misconduct even if deletion has been requested. If you have given third party applications or websites access to your information, they may retain your information to the extent permitted under their terms of service or privacy policies but they will no longer be able to access the information through our platform after you disconnect from them.
Backup copies: Removed and deleted information may persist in backup copies for a reasonable time for our internal business purposes but will not be available to others.
Ancestry places 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 authorised personnel have access to personal information. We use secure server software to encrypt financial information you input before it is sent to us. In addition, we use encryption when transmitting geo-location data on your mobile device. While we cannot guarantee that loss, misuse or alteration of data will not occur however we use commercially reasonable efforts to prevent this. It is also important for you to guard against unauthorised access to your passwords and the unauthorised use of your computer.
We may occasionally run contests, surveys, or other special promotions on our Websites in which we ask members or visitors for personal information (like an e-mail address or name) or demographic information (like a zip code, age, or income level). We use this data to send users promotional material about our company or third parties we deal with. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and you therefore have a choice whether or not to disclose this information. The participant’s contact information is also used to contact him or her when necessary and may be shared with other companies for promotional purposes, but only with your prior permission and under the terms and conditions specified when you take part in the promotion. At any time, you may opt-out of receiving future mailings of this kind by following the unsubscribe instructions in each promotional email, or simply decline to take part in the promotions.
If we decide to change our Privacy Statement, we will issue an updated version of this Statement with an updated date legend on the relevant Websites and/or notify you via e-mail or mobile application or by other appropriate means via the relevant Websites prior to the change becoming effective if it is a significant change so that you will be aware of what information we collect, how we use it and under what circumstances we disclose it in accordance with applicable law.
If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of or your dealings with the Websites or our mobile application or mobile websites, 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 by clicking here. We will respond to all access requests within 30 days.
- Call 1-800-251-838
- Or go to our Privacy Centre for more on Privacy
- Or Contact Us
- Or write to us at Ancestry Information Operations Unlimited Company, 52-55 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland
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