Crisis Center of Tampa Bay calls genealogy website with privacy concerns ‘dangerous’

(WFLA) – It’s all out there for anyone to see. Just go to Familytreenow.com, add your name, click your state, find your listing, and voilà.

While most sites offering a peek at your past make you pay, “Family Tree Now” is free.

What’s the problem with that?

“We see it as a huge danger, particularly for victims of crime, victims of trauma, people who have finally found a sense of peace,” said Clara Reynolds, CEO of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.

Reynolds runs the 211 contact center and helps victims of rape, human trafficking and domestic abuse.

Family Tree Now is new to her, and is important for clients to be aware of.

“For them to now know that this information about themselves is out there, is readily available, you don’t have to pay for it, you could just go out there, that was really eye-opening for me,” said Reynolds.

At the campus of the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, students got a chance to see just how much information is out there.

“This is really weird. Like extremely weird. Slight invasion of privacy,” said Aleek Nibbs.

The site shows your address, previous addresses, relatives, and their addresses, past and present.

“That really is. That’s not safe. I don’t think people should know where I used to live or where I currently live,” said Zaryna Jasmin.

Fortunately, you can opt out.

Go to familytreenow.com/optout. Search for yourself.

Then click the big red banner, “opt out of this record.”

At the Crisis Center of Tampa, informing clients how to do this is now a priority.

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