Improve View Relationship for living people
Let me start by saying I really love the FamilySearch site. I've been searching for a long time for a good tool to organize and contribute my family tree information, and FamilySearch fits my requirements very well. I really like the ability to collaborate with others, including distant cousins who are effectively strangers, on our shared ancestry.
However, I find it very difficult to determine the relationship to other living FamilySearch users, even if we have confirmed with each other how we are related to one another, if they have living parents and/or grandparents.
For example, I have just recently gotten in touch with a user who is (I believe) my 3rd cousin, once or twice removed. That is, our shared ancestor is my g-g-g-g-grandfather, which is their g-g-g-grandfather or something around there. The problem is, my parent and grandparent are still living, and I believe their parent (and maybe grandparent) are living as well. Due to the permissions setup on FamilySearch, I cannot see down their branch past the deceased great-grandparents, thus I can't determine where my cousin is exactly in that branch of the tree.
Now, I understand this is somewhat by design. Living individual's privacy should be protected, and information such as their birth date, residences, etc, should definitely not be shown. However... I believe it would be safe to show an anonymized version of those living people, for the purpose of connecting to other collaborating cousins. The anonymized profile wouldn't include any names, dates, or even sources. It would just say "Living person" with a relationship to the deceased, and possibly a relationship to another living person.
Of course, I believe all contributors should have the ability to opt out of this entirely, in case they don't want their distant cousins to know how they are related. So there should be a settings toggle somewhere for this new functionality. But if two distant cousins opt-in, I think they should be able to see how they are related to each other.
If that functionality were implemented, I think it would also be very cool to see a special icon on those profiles who have FamilySearch accounts. So when I'm viewing my tree, and I navigate around and find a living person (or even non-living person) that has a FS account, maybe I see the FamilySearch logo below their picture, or an account/person icon or something, making it clear they have an account.
Finally, a somewhat related feature request: I think users should have the option to make their profile picture public. eg, I have no problem sharing my own picture with anyone on FamilySearch. I would like to be able to check a box in my settings to enable showing that picture in my family tree to people, or to anyone I message.
If all of this is still too lax on privacy concerns, another option could be to opt-in to individual users seeing your profile information. For example, if I message with someone and we determine we are cousins, we could have a button somewhere that says "Show my private information to this person" or something along those lines.