The LostCousins website is operated by Lost Cousins Limited, a company incorporated in England. We have developed this policy so that you can feel confident about the privacy and security of the personal information that you provide to us.

Disclosure of information

Lost Cousins Limited complies with and is registered under the Data Protection Act 1998 in the United Kingdom. We take all reasonable care to prevent any unauthorised access to and use of your personal data.

Our staff and those working for our agents and contractors maintain a responsibility to keep your information confidential.

When you are matched with another member we may display your first name or your initials to the other member. However we will usually disclose your full name to another member only after you have agreed to make contact with that person. The exceptions are if you do not respond within 21 days to an email we send to you, or if emails sent to your primary email address are returned for any reason; then we may disclose your full name. If you do not wish us to do this, then you should ensure that your primary email address (shown on the My Details page is always current, and email us within the 21 day period.

Note: the 21 day period commences from the first email that we send to you, and does not restart when we send a reminder. It is your responsibility to ensure that the email addresses we have on file are correct and that you can receive our automated emails (you can test this by requesting an automated password reminder).

We will only disclose your email address to another member if and when you ask us to do so. We will not disclose your postal address to any person without your permission, although we may in certain circumstances and at our sole discretion forward mail.

Your personal details will not be passed to any third party without your permission.

The Internet is not a secure medium, however to protect your data we put in place various security procedures including use of passwords and firewalls.

Personal information

You must register to make use of the services provided by the LostCousins website - this site exists to put relatives in contact with each other, and so we must be able to contact you.

Your details may be combined with other information in our records in order to:

  • Save you having to keep giving us the same information for different Lost Cousins Limited services, or those offered by associated companies.
  • Help you to get more out of your visits to our website by suggesting information about products and services which may be useful to you.

When you register you consent to us using your personal data in the manner described in this Policy.

If any of the information that you have provided to LostCousins.com changes please update your 'My Details' page on the site. You can de-register using the form on the 'Contact Us' page.

Financial information

We do not hold financial data relating to our members. If you subscribe online then your credit or debit information is entered on a secure page hosted by our bank, and we do not have access to it at any stage.

Genealogical and other historical information

Other than with your consent, or for the restricted purposes described below, information you input on your My Ancestors page will be displayed only on your personal pages, which cannot be viewed by other users of the site.

We may use the information you have entered on your My Ancestors page either on its own or in combination with that of other members to provide additional services on the LostCousins site or on associated sites - for example, indexes of maiden names and surnames. We will not, however, knowingly use such information in such a way that you can be identified from it.

If you request help with your research, or request advice, we may pass the information you have sent us to another member who has offered to provide assistance (a 'buddy'). However we will not disclose to them either your full name or your contact details, although you should be aware that if you have posted information elsewhere on the Internet it may be possible for a reasonably-skilled researcher to discover or deduce facts other than those that we have disclosed.

Cookies

The LostCousins web site uses 'cookies' to identify registered users of the site. A 'cookie' is a piece of information that is held on your PC, which enables our website to recognise you and can log you in automatically if you so choose.

Email

We respect the privacy of personal email accounts and we store your email address as securely as any other personal information we hold. We will not knowingly send you unwanted email messages or junk mail and your details will not be passed to any outside organisation without your explicit permission.

Please note, however, that the efficient use of the LostCousins site does require us to send you emails triggered by certain events, for example, when another member wishes to make contact. We may also write to you if your use (or non-use) of the site suggests you may be in need of assistance or advice, or if there have changes to the operation of the site which we believe are sufficiently important that you should be notified.

We issue newsletters, and these are usually emailed to members twice each month. If you do not wish to receive our newsletters you can indicate this by changing the settings on your My Details page. If you allow us to send you newsletters we may occasionally use email to send you other messages to keep you up to date with news about our current services, as well as anything you have expressed an interest in.

If another member wishes to contact you we will send you an email. You can then choose whether or not to respond to the other person, and if you do decide to respond, you can choose whether or not your email address should be revealed to them. If you agree to make contact but either person opts to withhold his or her email address, then neither email address is disclosed until both parties have given their consent. Each person may, however, contact the other by sending a message via the LostCousins site. Neither Lost Cousins Limited, its associates, directors, or employees accepts any liability for emails sent by members via the site

Third party sites

Third party internet sites that you can navigate to from our website are not covered by our Privacy and Security policy, and we can accept no responsibility or liability for these sites.

Changes

From time to time this privacy policy may alter, but we will give at least 14 days notice by an email sent to all registered members at the email addresses we have on file.