Everyone talks about how hanging out on Facebook and other digital sites will reveal everything about us. However, even if you don’t have an internet presence, you will have no privacy. See for yourself. Go to Spokeo.com. Type in your name and the whole dossier is right in front of you. It gives me a creepy feeling.
I also typed in a name of a friend who has absolutely no internet presence, at least no self-generated presence, but there it was: his age, how much his house cost, photos of his house, information about his family, etc. and that’s just from the preview. The full service and more about his personal life costs $2.95 a month.
I wonder if we shouldn’t have a way of opting out of such services so our names don’t appear there.
Update: My brother emailed me pointing to this story on how to get off of Spokeo.com.
Also here are the steps from the Spokeo.com website:
How do I remove my information from Spokeo’s search results?
Spokeo respects your privacy, and you can easily opt out of Spokeo’s public search if desired. Please note that since the information aggregated by Spokeo is publicly available, opting out of Spokeo does NOT remove the information from its original sources, which are hundreds of additional websites. You can remove the search results derived from performing any Name, Reverse Phone or Reverse Email searches here.
To remove your Name/Phone/Email Listing(s):
1. Locate the listing to remove (for name listings, please select the state, city, then exact profile match)
2. Copy the URL (the URL can be found on the top of your browser and should look something like “http://www.spokeo.com/search?q=Smith%20Sample#Sample:1219812367″)
3. Go to www.spokeo.com/privacy
4. Paste the URL
5. Provide your email address (this acts as a verification process for the confirmation to be sent to your Inbox) and Captcha Code (Image Verification Code)
6. Check you Inbox for the confirmation email, and click on the link on the bottom to complete the removal process.
7. The directory listing will become flagged and will be removed within 1 business day.
If you are seeing any error messages, please see below for the solution to some common issues: