Privacy: A Personal Thing December 2000
by April | Dec 13, 2000 | Genealogy
Heycuz, What’s New?: December 2000
- To publish or not to publish? I have been struggling with this question lately. In December I received a couple of emails from people who were concerned about our policy of publishing information on living people. They admitted that the information can be found in published books, but felt that it was an invasion of their privacy to publish it on the web. There are hoards of articles on this issue available on the internet containing many horror stories.
Personally, I can understand their fears and so I agreed to take their information off of this website. However, I never do anything half-heartedly as many of you know. I took it a step further, by removing all information on living people from this site. I thought that this was a good idea, but I soon learned that it was not. Shortly after I did the updates, I received emails from concerned members of the Heycuz newsgroup who wondered why their family information had been deleted from the site. They worried that the information that they had worked so hard to research would not be out there for others to collaborate and/or correct. They argued that they had provided the information with the understanding that it would be published and so had no qualms with it being released. Also, they argued, if others didn’t see them there, how would cousins or fellow researchers know that they existed.
Both of these theories have equally strong merit. So, I have been weighing both sides. I don’t like to make these kinds of decisions. I try to avoid altercations at all costs. So, I am at a loss for what to do. Some people may have information in their files, as I do, that is completely second hand. There are some living people in my personal database that I have never had contact with at all, and so obviously I could not have getting direct permission to publish their information. Being aware of that, I have always removed the dates and places of those who were living but kept only the names. Years ago, we had discussed this same problem on Heycuz and the overwhelming concensus (100 percent) said they supported having it published.
I have not come to any cure-all solution that will make everyone happy. All that I am going to do for the moment, is put the information up. If someone does not want their information published, perhaps they can contact me to take it off. Some people may be concerned about contacting me fearing that I will be offended. Please don’t worry. I don’t bite and I won’t run crying to my Daddy. I promise. Although I have some degree of authority because I am the one putting the information on the web, gathering and correcting the research of others as it is submitted, I don’t believe I have the authority to edit or censor members of Heycuz. Nor would I even want to. In the meantime, I hope that one of the wise members of Heycuz will come up with a viable solution to this problem.
I have slowly begun scanning and posting some records that I have collected or have been submitted to me. Some of these originals are now up and available for downloading. There are just a few right now, but it is some of the best stuff I have. I urge you to take a look. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. I hope to get more up soon. Also if you would like to post some of your vital records for others to view, let me know and I’ll post those also.
The Family Album seems to be having some trouble. Several people have written that they cannot view it within the Netscape browser but can see it just fine using the AOL or Microsoft Explorer browser. I have contacted Tripod, who hosts our Family Album, to see if they have any solutions, as I have tried to save it in different formats and am still getting the same complaint. I might end up moving the site altogether to another server. Because the site is so large and involves so many photographs, I am hoping to find a better alternative.
A Little More Personal
I am very busy these days as Steve and I are on the verge of coming out with our first edition of our newspaper, The Hellenic Calendar. This newspaper had been published ten years before and was very successful then. We have big hopes for it! Steve and I have dreamed of this moment for a long long time and are very excited about making these dreams a reality. We have also purchased our own domain and you can view the web version. At the moment it only contains events but will soon also feature articles from our newspaper. So this is keeping me very busy causing me to get behind in my emails and updates. I apologize. Please be patient with me. After our first issue comes out in March, I should be able to settle down and get back into a reasonable routine. Thank everyone for their support and prayers as we travel upon this unpaved road.