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  • #7310

    An interesting question.

    I’m probably a bit more liberally inclined than you. I would also add into the list of things to consider the benefit of encouraging a youngster to become interested in their family history.I think it’s also good that schools are encouraging it, though it would be good if they included teaching about privacy!

    But I’m not sure how “public” a school project would be. Probably not very. Apart from the teacher, and fellow pupils I don’t see this getting much of an audience. Perhaps the other parents?

    As for the 72 year rule, I can’t really comment as I know nothing about your local laws. But from experiences here, and talking to people from other countries, those rules usually don’t actually (legally) apply to us “normal folk” going about our everyday life as amateur family historians. They are primarily targeted at government agencies and restricting what they can make public, when, and to whom. But it’s not unusual for genealogists to ascribe a wider meaning to the rules to protect themselves from potential liability – unnecessarily in my opinion.

    There is another way to look at this. If your cousin (or even his wife, or their child perhaps) expressed an interest in your work, and asked to register for access to your site, perhaps even offered to help with research (with no reference to any school project) would you have given it? I know that I most certainly would as I’m always keen to encourage family to take an interest. That’s why I have 100+ members on my site, of varying but generally low levels of activity. But, I also know that once I give that access, I have given up control over what they do with what they find on the site. But I vet who they are very strongly, and spell out my expectations very clearly, so I am comfortable with the situation.

    So I guess my answer is that I would give the youngster what they need, but perhaps with some friendly words of advice about how to use it responsibly, and perhaps even a suggestion they get in touch with any still-living ancestors and ask their permission to use their details (though I probably wouldn’t go that far myself).

    Nigel
    My personal kiwitrees site is www.our-families.info