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Privacy policy

This Privacy Policy explains how we use information that you provide us with when you interact with our website and how we make sure it is stored and managed safely and legally.

This Privacy Policy is part of the Terms & Conditions of using this website, so please read it carefully. We take your privacy extremely seriously, and commit to storing all your personal information securely.

Information we gather about you:

Whenever you visit the website, we gather information about what you do during your visit, including the searches that you perform and the records you view. We also gather some statistics about your computer, such as the browser you use and how big your screen is. We gather personal information (e.g. name, address, phone number, email address, postal address) about you when you register, pay for a service or get in contact with us, or sometimes if you reply to a survey. By using this website you agree to be bound to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

If you create a family tree or create content on the website, we also manage that information, which may include personal information about you and other people (for example, names and birthdays of people in your family). We always aim to gather only the information that we need in order to provide the records and services which you have subscribed to and/or purchased PayAsYouGo credits for.

What we use this information for:

We won’t keep your personal information for longer than is necessary and will only use the personal information that we gather to:

  • manage the website (including your account);
  • provide advanced website features to you and others;
  • understand your needs to help us improve the website;
  • improve search results;
  • understand website usage to allow us to improve our marketing or the way we do business;
  • send you emails (more details below)

We use decent security technology and processes:

We keep your details safe when you sign in or pay by using encryption. We always use up-to-date technology security standards and make every effort to keep our systems as secure as they can reasonably be. Please be aware that although our systems are secure, your information might be intercepted on its way to us via the internet, although it is extremely uncommon for this to happen. Keep your sign in details private at all times, do not share them with anybody.

We don’t store your payment card information:

When we take a payment from you, we use a secure third party service to process the payment and do not keep a record of your credit or debit card details in our systems. This means that even if (in the very unlikely event) someone broke into our systems, your payment details would not be available for them to steal.

We won’t sell your information to third parties:

We won’t ever sell your information to third parties, full stop. If we run a promotion or competition where your information would be shared with a third party for marketing purposes, we will always ask your permission first.

Who in our company sees your information:

Only specific people within our Group Companies (meaning brightsolid online publishing (US) Limited), and any subsidiary and/or parent company of brightsolid online publishing (US) Limited that might exist in the future have access to your information. We restrict this as much as we can. We aim to make sure that people only have as much access to your information as they need to carry out their job in providing you with services and records.

Using third parties to process your information:

We occasionally use third party companies to manage information that you provide us with. When we do, we keep the amount of personal information they hold to an absolute minimum, have contracts in place to stop them using your information except on our behalf and obviously use reasonable efforts to make sure they are as careful with your information as we are.

Where your information is stored:

The vast majority of your information is stored securely on our servers in Scotland. Some of our third party partners use servers in the United States. When we process data in the United States, we only use providers certified under the EU-approved Safe Harbor scheme and we abide by the “safe harbor” framework set forth by the US Department of Commerce.

When we can delete your information:

If your account is inactive for two or more years and you are not paying for a service, we reserve the right to delete your information (including information in your family tree), although we’ll try to contact you first. Of course, if you have an active subscription or PayAsYouGo credits, we won’t do this.

Information stored in your family tree:

Information stored in your family tree will, in almost all cases, include personal information about other people that are still alive. As with all information in your family tree, your information may be searchable by findmypast.com users (together with users of other websites) and may appear on internet searches, but all of the information will not be viewable unless you explicitly give them permission to view your tree.

You should always seek permission from people who are living before you make their personal information available in your tree, or anywhere else online. We have provided you with privacy controls to manage your family tree and control who can see the information in it. You should familiarize yourself with how they work as you’re responsible for using them to protect the information you have provided. We reserve the right (at our own discretion) to remove any personal data which you have included in your family tree about people who are living if we are alerted to the fact that this personal data was used without that person’s permission. If you become aware that your personal information has been included in somebody else's tree without your permission or is being misused in any other way on the findmypast.com site, please send an email to our Customer Support team with details and we will investigate and, if necessary, remove this information.

Emails we send you:

We try only to send you emails which are relevant and help you with your family history or tell you important things about the website. There are some emails which we send you only if we have your permission (marketing emails) and you can notify us at any time if you no longer wish to receive these marketing emails (see below). There are some emails which we send you even if we don’t have your permission (service emails) - we send these to administer the service. Both types are explained below.

Marketing emails:

These emails include our regular newsletter, emails which help you with your family history, special offers and market research emails. They also include product updates: announcements of new features or historical records on the website. Very occasionally, we might tell you about a service offered by another company within our group, or even outside it, but this is rare.

Unsubscribing from marketing emails:

There are several ways to do this and we aim to make it as easy as possible for you. The easiest way is to change the settings in the “my account” area of the website. There are also instructions on every email we send and you can usually unsubscribe directly from the email without visiting the website.

Service emails:

We send these out to administer the service. Service emails include registration and payment confirmations, warnings that we are about to charge you or that your subscription or credits are about to expire, and welcome emails that provide useful information about how to use a service or feature when you sign up or start using it. Also, if we make a fundamental change to the website or our Terms & Conditions that we think we need to make you aware of (for legal or simply for courtesy reasons), we will send you a service email.

Unsubscribing from service emails:

Because of the nature of these emails, we don’t allow you to unsubscribe, but we can switch off your account if you are no longer interested in using the website. Contact our Customer Support team to do this.

Our use of cookies:

We use cookies (small information files that are stored on your computer) to help us provide many features on the website. You can choose not to accept cookies from us (by changing your browser’s security settings) but if you do, the website might not work as intended and some features may not work at all.

Seeing what information we hold on you:

If you want to know what personal information we hold on you, get in contact and we’ll be happy to supply you with it: there is a $6.35 administration charge to cover the cost of compiling this.

Updating your personal information:

If the information we hold about you is no longer correct, please update your details in the “my account” area or alternatively, let us know and we will update our records.

When we might disclose your information:

We will only disclose your information to somebody outside our group companies (or who is processing your information on our behalf under contract) if we are required to by law.

If we change hands:

If the findmypast.com business transfers to anyone else, you agree that we can pass your information to that person, so they can continue to provide you with the service.

Changes to this policy:

Any changes to this policy must be in writing and posted under this Privacy Policy in order to have any effect.