Friday, January 14, 2011

Internet privacy infringement alert: Spokeo

Some wise person said years ago that there's no such thing as privacy on the internet. He was right, of course, but there are things you can do to decrease the ease of discovery of details about your life.

A friend of mine sent out a warning about a data aggregator, Spokeo, that makes it far too easy for anyone to learn all kinds of things about you that I think should not be in the public domain. She also gives instructions for removing yourself from their directory. I'll just quote her e-mail.
There is a website called Spokeo which purports to be a new "white pages" phone book, but it is much more. It provides nearly everyone's private information to anyone who accesses the site -- your name, your age, your family members' names and ages, where you live, what your income level is, what the value of your home is, and (for a small fee) much, much more personal information about you, your family, and your background.

Fortunately, there is a remedy:

Go to and find your listing (by name and, if necessary, location). Copy the URL of your listing, then click on the "Privacy" link on the lower right of the page. Then paste the URL in the appropriate field; send it to your e-mail address; type in the Captcha code; check your inbox and then follow the instructions on the confirmation e-mail to remove your listing.

Thanks, Jill.

I've done it, and I suggest you do it, too.

(I do hope the estimate of the value they had for my apartment is accurate, though.)

No comments: