Who: Plaintiff Ethan Shebesh filed a class action lawsuit against Ancestry.com and Geneanet SA.
Why: Ancestry.com allegedly uses consumers’ identifying information for commercial purposes without their consent in violation of Illinois law.
Where: The Ancestry.com class action lawsuit was filed in Illinois federal court.
An Ancestry.com class action lawsuit alleges the company uses consumers’ identifying information for commercial purposes without their consent in violation of the Illinois Right to Publicity Act (IRPA).
Plaintiff Ethan Shebesh filed the Ancestry.com class action lawsuit June 29 against Ancestry.com and Geneanet SA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ancestry.com.
The defendants own and operate www.geneanet.org, a genealogy website that allows users to share their genealogical information and connect with relatives and other Geneanet members.
“As with other genealogy websites, Geneanet allows its users to upload family history to build out an online family tree,” the Ancestry.com class action lawsuit explains. “The information uploaded may include relatives’ names, as well as documents, photographs, historical documents, news articles, and the like.”
Plaintiff says his full name appeared on Ancestry.com website to promote paid premium Geneanet memberships
Shebesh says he is one of 8 billion individuals identified on the Geneanet website. When searching for his last name, he discovered his full name and his spouse’s full name listed in the “free preview” search results.
When he clicked on his name on the free preview page, he was directed to a “Profile” page that included his full name, as well as the names of his parents, spouse, and half-siblings. The page also featured an orange “Become Premium” button urging users to sign up for a paid membership.
You can read more about this story in an article by Anne Bucher published in the TopClassActions web site at: https://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/privacy/ancestry-com-class-action-claims-website-shows-identifying-info-during-advertising-memberships/.