Privacy Statement and Policy

Originally Created: June 26, 2004

Last Update: January 14, 2009

Introduction

The Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe (referred to below as either SGGEE or “the Society”) is incorporated under the Canada Corporations Act as a non-profit society. A review of the privacy laws of Canada suggests that SGGEE is exempt from those laws due to the form and nature of its construct as a non-profit Society.

However, SGGEE Directors recognize the concerns of its membership in light of current trends involving computer hacking and identity theft and have therefore developed the following Privacy Statement (summary) and Policy (details). We believe that this at least meets the intent, if not the letter, of current laws while still maintaining our ability to serve the genealogical purposes for which the Society exists. The Privacy Policy applies to the information gathering and dissemination practices for our website, the Journal, Bulletin Board, Mailing List and all other features associated with the purpose of SGGEE as outlined in its bylaws.

Use of any SGGEE services constitutes your acceptance of the terms of this Privacy Policy then in effect.

Privacy Statement

SGGEE is committed to your privacy rights and to keeping your personal information private.

We use the information you send us for genealogy purposes only. We do not sell member data, email addresses, databases, or personal genealogy data to anyone for any reason.

We have security measures in place to protect against access, loss, misuse, and alteration of user information by unauthorized persons. Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet or storage of information on Internet accessed computers can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. In addition, while it is unlikely that people will join SGGEE for the purpose of misusing data, SGGEE has no way to verify the integrity of its membership.

As a result, while we strive to protect your personal information, we cannot fully warrant the security of any information provided to us, and you provide all such information at your own risk. We make reasonable efforts to ensure the security of such information stored on our systems.

Privacy Policy

What information does SGGEE collect?
SGGEE collects personal information through its membership lists and databases. Information in databases is supplied directly by members or is extracted from publicly available documents of various types.

Personal Information
You do not have to provide personal information to use publicly accessible portions of the SGGEE website. Membership and certain other services provided by SGGEE require that you furnish personal information that we collect, such as your name, postal address, telephone number, and/or email address.

Your contact information is used to respond to your inquiries, distribute the Journal, operate our Mailing List, provide information or ask questions about databases submitted by you, or for any other Society related purpose. We may share information that we collect about our users with other members but only as required for dissemination of genealogical information or data or other information you may have provided to SGGEE. We do not share any such information with third parties for commercial purposes.

If your membership lapses, your contact information may be held in SGGEE archives so that future contact can be made with you about information you may have provided. We may also disclose personal information if we believe that we are permitted to do so
(i) by law,
(ii) to comply with legal process or governmental requests,
(iii) or to protect the rights, property, or safety of the SGGEE web site, databases, their users, or the public.

Use of Cookies and Other Technologies
Cookies are data that a web site transfers to an individual's computer for record keeping purposes. Cookies, which are an industry standard tool used by most web sites, can facilitate a user's ongoing access to and use of a web site. Cookies do not cause damage to your computer systems or files.

We use cookies and other authentication technologies to eliminate the need for you to log in every time you use certain features on the web site or access particular services for which you have a subscription through the site.

If you do not want information collected through the use of cookies, there is a simple procedure in most web browsers that allows you to automatically decline cookies, or to be given the choice of declining or accepting the transfer of a cookie to your computer. You should note, however, that declining or deleting cookies may encumber your ability to access member only pages.

Databases
SGGEE collects material for and maintains several different electronic databases for genealogical purposes. The material for these databases comes from a variety of sources including extractions from public documents and the submissions of data from members in either electronic or hard copy format. These databases are held in a secure area safe from the general public. They can only be accessed by personal members of SGGEE whose dues are current. SGGEE also has institutional members for the purpose of sharing newsletters, journals, and other general society information. Institutional members cannot access these databases.

We encourage our members to submit pedigree and family group information to be included in our databases. All or part of such data (except as noted below for living persons under 80 years of age) submitted to SGGEE will become part of an online archive that other members can see and research. It is important to understand that, once such information is merged within our database, it is impossible to reverse the process. Therefore, if you choose not to renew membership in SGGEE, the information provided by you cannot be withdrawn. Some individual data can be removed or modified (see Information About Living Persons and Deleting Personal Information From a Database below).

Information About Living Persons

When you contribute data to SGGEE, we run your content through a program that attempts to identify any living persons, 80 years or younger, listed therein. We use commercially reasonable efforts to make certain that personal information relating to such identifiable persons is protected by removing the name and listing them as “LIVING” (with possible exception as follows).

If you give us data that does not include a birth date, the database search engine cannot calculate how old those individuals are and they are by default “dead” and they WILL show as search results. If data shows in the database that is for living people under 80, and you do not want that limited data to show in a search, then please provide us birth dates or delete them from the file before submitting it to SGGEE. Please refer also to the consequence of deleting yourself or others from the file in Deleting Personal Information below.

Please be aware that the program will still show the relation of a “LIVING” individual to other individuals within the family tree. SGGEE recommends that you obtain the consent of any living person before supplying their information to us for use in our databases.

Deleting Personal Information From a Database

Upon your request (whether a member or not), SGGEE will delete information about you from our database. You can make this request by contacting databases@sggee.org .

Consequence: Deleting personal information or deleting one’s self entirely may make it impossible to identify material sources or to establish relationships. This represents a substantial reduction in benefit of SGGEE membership since sharing of such data allows others to correct information and establish connections to earlier generations.

Please be aware that information about yourself may be submitted by another member. With that in mind, it is possible that, after deleting your information, it could reappear at some later time. In the process of compiling the information into our database, it is not possible to determine if a particular individual was previously deleted.

Bulletin Board and Mailing List
Our Bulletin Board is open for view by anyone using the Internet. The Mailing List is restricted for use by anyone subscribed to it but its archive can be accessed by anyone. These users may or may not be members of SGGEE. Furthermore, postings to both venues are archived in a way that permits searching by recognized major search engines such as GOOGLE. Please remember that any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public information. You should exercise caution when deciding to disclose personal information in any Bulletin Board or Mailing List.

Posters’ email addresses may appear in either venue because the very nature of the posting implies that you would like to be contacted about the question or information contained therein. SGGEE makes every effort to protect contact addresses in both venues from collection by spammers or other non-authorized users, or it gives you the option to do so personally. In using either of these venues, you acknowledge that your email address and message contents may become available to the public.

Other
Links to Third Party Sites: Our web site contains links to third-party web sites. The linked sites are not under our control, and we are not responsible for the privacy practices or the contents of any linked site. We are providing these links only as a convenience, and the inclusion of a link on our site does not imply our endorsement of the linked site.

Assignment: SGGEE Directors reserve the right to transfer any and all information, including your personal information, that we collect from members to a third party in the event that SGGEE becomes insolvent or ceases to operate. Such third party would only be another nonprofit genealogical society, which can utilize the databases for further research.

Contacting Us: If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, you can direct them to us at contact@sggee.org .

Revisions to Privacy Policy: Any of the policies or procedures described above may be changed at any time without prior notice. You can determine if this Privacy Policy has been revised by referring to the "Last Update" date at the top of this page. Use of any SGGEE services constitutes your acceptance of the terms of this Privacy Policy then in effect. We encourage you to periodically review this page to ensure familiarity with the most current version of our Privacy Policy.