Family Organizer access to other member's vault

edited March 2018 in Families

I have read other posts, but I'm still not clear on this:
As a Family Organizer, do you have access to vaults created by your Family Members?
In other words, Family Organizer gives access permission to 1Password, but Family Members could create vaults private even from the Family Organizer?
Thank you

1Password Version: Not Provided
Extension Version: Not Provided
OS Version: Not Provided
Sync Type: Not Provided


  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @Fairgame: Great questions!

    As a Family Organizer, do you have access to vaults created by your Family Members?

    Yes and no. Yes, an Organizer can grant themselves access to a created vault. No, an Organizer (nor any other user) cannot access anyone else's Personal/Private vault.

    In other words, Family Organizer gives access permission to 1Password, but Family Members could create vaults private even from the Family Organizer?

    They can crate them, and only have access to them themselves, but Organizers have the ability to set permissions on all non-Personal/Private vaults.

    I hope this helps. Be sure to let me know if you have any other questions! :)

  • Thanks for the answer. Still not sure, because “yes and no” above :).
    Here is my real question, trying to explain potential 1PW Family users the details:

    Are there settings available to the Family Memeber to be sure that Family Organizer cannot see their passwords?

    PS: Do not ask me why.

  • LarsLars Junior Member

    Team Member


    PS: Do not ask me why.

    Don't worry; especially in this public-facing forum, we never ask users for personally-identifying information and in fact will occasionally redact users' posts when they inadvertently include some. Your data - and your reasons - are your own.

    However, 1Password Families is indeed intended for families, and there's something of an implicit level of trust built into the design. Every member of the account will have his or her own Personal/Private vault as a default. This is a vault that not even the Family Organizer(s) can view/use/change the contents of. But it's important to recognize that any Family Organizer -- while they cannot SEE your data in the Personal/Private vault -- could summarily delete your (or any other family member's) account. That's what it means to be a "Family Organizer, and it's where the "trust" issue is baked into the model. If you are concerned that giving a Family Organizer administrative control over whether you have an account might put your data at risk, then you should be using and paying for an individual 1Password account where you are the only person with access and privileges.

    To make sure you're clear on this: the Personal/Private vault is one of the default vaults built into 1Password Families accounts (the other being the family-wide "Shared" vault). Only the user can access their Personal/Private vault. Each member of the family gets one such vault for their personal/private items. Any other vaults that get created by users can be accessed and modified by those with Family Organizer privileges. In other words: any items you wish to keep secret/private from other family members can be put in your Personal/Private vault. Putting items in any other vault will mean Family Organizers could assign themselves - or anyone else - read or read/write permissions to the vault it's in.

  • Great answer, thank you.

  • LarsLars Junior Member

    Team Member

    @Fairgame - you're quite welcome! Glad I could help clarify, and drop by anytime if you have further questions. :)

  • Just to be clear about this. I am the only family organizer at present and have 2 other family members, call them A & B.
    If I share an item with A which I don't want B to see and I share something with B that I don't want A to see, does this mean that neither of them can be made a family organizer ?

  • LarsLars Junior Member

    Team Member

    Welcome to the forum, @JohnOS! It kind of depends on what your goals and needs are here. 1Password Families is different from any other type of 1Password account we offer in that there is some implicit trust built into the model. You as a Family Organizer cannot see any data in the Personal vault of other family members...but you could delete their account at any time -- so they need to trust you won't do that. In a 1Password Teams account provided by your company, for example, it's understood that because the company is paying for it, they can remove your access any time they wish, just like they can deactivate your building pass or delete your company email, etc.

    Families, however, aren't like that. In order to set the account up, someone has to be "in charge" (in this case, you), but that also means you have the power to control people's access. In the situation you've posed, I'm not sure how you shared the item(s) in question. If you just sent a copy of a particular item to one or more people, then no -- it goes into their Personal vault and no one else - not even you - can see it. So either person could be made a Family Organizer without even knowing something had been shared with others.

    If you created a separate vault and invited that other person to view/edit that vault, and that's where you placed the items you wanted to share, then anyone you add as a Family Organizer could (theoretically) add themselves to that vault, without notifying you, and view/copy/delete the items inside it. My suggestion to you would be that if you have family members with whom you want to share data without anyone else knowing about it or being able to discover it, then you should probably either send the person a copy of the item(s) and let them keep it in their Personal vault, or you should not - as you suggested - make anyone else a Family Organizer.

    Ultimately, however, the 1Password Families model really isn't set up to facilitate ultimate privacy in that way, precisely because anyone with Family Organizer status can delete other users or add themselves to any vaults except people's Personal vaults. If you feel you and/or the rest of your family members need to have 100% autonomy and control over their own individual data, then you probably should each have a 1Password individual account. The trade-off there is that you cannot easily share data amongst all of you by putting it into the Shared vault. And certainly, three or four individual accounts are more expensive than a single 1Password Families account.

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member
    edited November 2018

    Maybe it's worth stating that 1Password Families is called that because we've designed it with the purpose of sharing with family members in mind, based on our own use and over a decade of talking to customers. But it's just a name. There's no rule that says you have to use 1Password Families for your family if 1Password Teams is a better fit because of the particular features it offers, like more granular permissions.

    I suspect some people here are using 1Password Families only because of cost, when it's not really the right fit for them. If it's really important for someone to be able to both give family members additional powers but not access to change permissions for everything, 1Password Teams will be a better option. Sure, it costs more, but that's because it has more features. And if those features are really important to you, I'd argue it's worth paying for -- for the same reason I've always paid for CrashPlan "business" backup, even when they used to offer a "home" option: the additional flexibility is important to me for my use. Something to consider.

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