Genlighten Privacy and Security Policy

A Brief Plain-English Overview

For you to be able to order and pay for lookups from Genlighten providers, we’ll need you to provide us with your e-mail address, mailing address, and payment processing information (e.g., a credit card number or a PayPal account.) We may eventually accept payments via electronic check but we do not currently do so.

We utilize state-of-the-art industry best practices to protect your confidential financial account information. We do not store credit card data or bank account numbers anywhere in our site or on our servers.

Though we collect your e-mail address as part of the registration process, our site is designed so that neither Genlighten clients nor providers should ever need to share contact information with each other in order to carry out lookup transactions.

Instead, the site provides an internal messaging tool to enable convenient communication between clients and providers without either having to reveal their e-mail address.

Our providers upload each record they find for you in digital form to a secure portion of the site to which only you and the provider have access. Your documents are then stored on our servers for up to one year for you to download and print out at your convenience.


We want you to feel confident and secure ordering and offering genealogy lookups through Accordingly, we’ve designed this privacy and security policy to address your use of the site. The policy tells you how we manage and use the personal information that we collect and receive from you.

As a reminder, our Terms of Use specify that you must be 18 years and older to use this site or have permission from a legal guardian. Accordingly, this policy makes the assumption that you fulfill these requirements.

The effective date of this policy is 14 May, 2009.

What Information Does Genlighten Collect and What Do We Use it For?

Genlighten collects personal information when you register to access Genlighten lookup offerings or to offer lookups through Genlighten. At registration you are asked for your email address. We may use your e-mail address to notify you:

  • When a lookup provider has accepted or completed one of your lookup requests.
  • When a new lookup offering becomes available in a geographic area that you’re researching.
  • When a client submits a new lookup request to you (if you’re a lookup provider).

You may opt out of these e-mail messages whenever you wish and instead simply visit the site itself to receive these notifications.

Genlighten will not sell or disclose your name or e-mail address to third parties without your explicit consent, except as specified in this privacy policy.

If you would like to offer lookups through our site, Genlighten will ask for your mailing address and phone number so we can contact you if your email address becomes inaccessible for some reason. In order to distribute your lookup fees to you, we may also ask you to input PayPal or other financial account information.

Genlighten automatically receives and records information on our server logs from your browser, including your IP address, cookies, and the pages you request. IP addresses are automatically reported by your browser each time you view a web page. Your IP address is stored in our user registration databases when you register with us.

Genlighten uses IP cookie, and page navigation information for the following purposes:

  • to assist us in creating changes to our site design that make it easier to use.
  • for billing, identification and authentication (to help us keep track of your order and make sure no one orders anything using your account without your authorization).
  • to prevent providers who have low feedback scores from continually opening new accounts with different usernames so as to shirk accountability.
  • for anonymous research and reporting (e.g. traffic and volume statistics).

Administrative Communications

Genlighten will send you a welcome/confirmation email when you sign up for our services in order to verify the accuracy of your e-mail address. Receipt of this email and clicking on the included response link is required for using certain features of the site.

Genlighten will send you administrative communications on an occasional basis. In particular, if you are one of our registered lookup providers, we will e-mail you once per month to verify that your e-mail address is current. This helps us insure that we can notify you promptly of incoming lookup requests so you’re able to fulfill those requests in a timely manner and receive positive feedback from your clients.

You may not opt-out of these administrative communications, which are not promotional in nature. If you do not wish to receive them, you have the option to deactivate your account by e-mailing from the email address you signed up with.

Service-Related Announcements

Genlighten may periodically e-mail you with service-related announcements, based on options you select on your preferences page. In particular, if you choose to specify geographic locations where you are conducting research, we may e-mail you to notify you when new lookup offerings become available in those locations.

If you don’t wish to receive service-related messages, simply opt-out by de-selecting the appropriate options on your preferences page or e-mail us at


A cookie is a small amount of data, often including an anonymous unique identifier, that is sent to your browser from a web site’s computers and stored on your computer’s hard drive. You can configure your browser to accept all cookies, reject all cookies, or notify you when a cookie is set.

If you reject all cookies, you will not be able to use Genlighten products or services that require you to “sign in” and you may not be able to take full advantage of the Genlighten site.

Genlighten uses its own cookies for a number of purposes, including to:

  • access your information when you “sign in”;
  • keep track of preferences you specify;
  • estimate and report Genlighten’s total audience size and traffic;
  • conduct research to improve Genlighten’s content and services.

Information Sharing and Disclosure

When you post a lookup request or other message, your Genlighten username is visible to other users. If you post personal information online (such as your e-mail address) that is accessible to the public, you may receive unsolicited messages from other parties in return. Genlighten will not share your contact information with other Genlighten users or lookup providers.

Genlighten will not rent, sell, or share personal information about you with nonaffiliated parties except as specified in this Privacy Policy to provide products or services you have requested or when we have your permission.

As part of the process of offering lookups, a Genlighten user may share with you their email address and/or other information. In accordance with Genlighten’s Terms of Use, you may not use this information for unsolicited commercial messages. Without limiting the foregoing, without express consent from the user, you are not licensed to add any Genlighten user to your email or physical mail list.

Without limiting the above, in an effort to respect your privacy and Genlighten’s ability to keep the community free from bad actors, Genlighten will not otherwise disclose your personal information to law enforcement, other government officials, or other third parties without a subpoena, court order, legal process, or substantially similar legal procedure, except when Genlighten believes in good faith that the disclosure of information is necessary to protect Genlighten’s rights, prevent imminent physical harm or financial loss, or to report suspected illegal activity.

Genlighten may be required to disclose personally identifiable information under special circumstances, such as to comply with subpoenas or when your actions violate the Genlighten Terms of Use. It may be necessary to share information in order to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of any person, or violations of Genlighten’s Terms of Use, as specified in this Privacy Policy or as otherwise required by law.

Genlighten may share aggregated demographic information with business partners.

Genlighten will transfer information about you if Genlighten is acquired by or merged with another company. In this event, Genlighten will notify you by email or by putting a prominent notice on the Genlighten web site before information about you is transferred and becomes subject to a different privacy policy.

Genlighten limits access to personal information about you to employees who Genlighten believes reasonably need to come into contact with that information to provide products or services to you or in order to do their jobs. Your Genlighten Account Information is password-protected.

User Profile

If you register as one of Genlighten’s lookup providers, we encourage you to provide background information on your user profile page so potential clients can evaluate your expertise and experience. However, you should be aware that any personally identifiable information you submit there can be read, collected, or used by others could be used to send you unsolicited messages. Genlighten is not responsible for the personally identifiable information you choose to submit on your profile page.

Third Parties

Except as otherwise expressly included in this Privacy and Security Policy, this document addresses only the use and disclosure of information Genlighten collects from you. If you disclose your information to others, whether they are clients or lookup providers on Genlighten or throughout the internet, different rules may apply to their use or disclosure of the information you disclose to them.

Genlighten does not control the privacy policies of third parties, and you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties where applicable. Genlighten encourages you to ask questions before you disclose your personal information to others.

Editing and Deleting Account Information

You can change your Genlighten Account Information (except your username), at any time. If your personally identifiable information changes you may correct or update it by making the change on your Genlighten Profile page.

You may delete or deactivate your account by emailing Customer Support at or by postal mail at the contact information listed below. Genlighten will respond to your request within 10-15 business days. Please note that your identification, billing and contact information may remain in Genlighten’s records for some period.


The security of your personal information is important to us. When you enter sensitive information (such as a credit card number) for registration Genlighten encrypts that information using secure socket layer technology (SSL). Genlighten follows generally accepted industry standards to protect the personal information submitted to us, both during transmission and once Genlighten receives it.

No method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. Therefore, while Genlighten strives to use commercially acceptable means to protect your personal information, Genlighten cannot guarantee its absolute security. If you have any questions about security on Genlighten’s Web site, you can email Genlighten at

About the Genealogical Documents Genlighten Provides

To help get the records you request to you quickly as possible, Genlighten asks its providers to scan the documents they retrieve and deliver them to you in the form of digital images uploaded to the site. Only you and the lookup provider have access to these images through your respective password-protected accounts. After a period of one year, these images will be deleted from our servers. You will be given adequate and warning before this occurs.

Under Genlighten’s terms of use, our providers are urged to take reasonable steps to assure that the documents they upload do not include sensitive, private information about living individuals. However, Genlighten cannot and does not review each and every document stored on the site for privacy concerns. If you believe that a document you’ve received via upload online may represent a privacy risk, and you would like it removed from the site prior to the usual one-year deadline, please contact us and we will attempt to do so promptly.

Changes to this Privacy and Security Policy

If this privacy and security policy is changed, Genlighten will post those changes so that you are aware of them. Genlighten reserves the right to modify this privacy and security statement at any time, so please review it frequently. If Genlighten makes material changes to this policy you will be notified here, by email, or other places Genlighten deems appropriate.


If you have questions or suggestions regarding this privacy policy you can contact us at You can also write us at:

Genlighten Customer Support
P.O. Box 6673
Laguna Niguel, California 92677

or call us at (302) 566-5871.