Website Exposes Loads of Personal Information

By: Amy Long Email
By: Amy Long Email

How many people know you on a first and last name basis? Thanks to spokeo.com, anyone can gain access to your personal information and you don't even have to accept a friend request for them to see it.

"You have no privacy anyway. Get over it!" Words of Scott, McNealy, former CEO of Sun Microsystems on today's information and web technology era.

Sites like Spokeo.com back up the notion finding a way to make a buck off your public information by compiling it all in one place.. All someone searching needs is a name.

Matthew Kissner, a FSU student says, "All of this information I knew was online somewhere but this is the first I've seen it all in the same place."

Brett Carey was surprised, "Wow! Brothers, sisters. Yea- It does have street view. Here's my car."

And nearly everyone's "digital identity" is there- whether they know it or not. "That's pretty crazy. Family tree? hum"

Personal information doesn't float away into "Internet Space". Sites, like Spokeo gather it from phone books, social networks, marketing surveys, business websites, even real estate listings. "I think it was just a matter of time before somebody put it all together. I'm okay with it as long as it's not too intrusive." says Carey.

Faye Jones with FSU's College of Law says, "Certain business professionals, psychiatrist, public officials and others who feel that having all this information makes them more vulnerable to identity theft, possibly opens them up to ethical considerations."

Where is the line drawn?

Jones pointed out- Spokeo partnered with a protection agency called Reputation Defender in an attempt to sell a consumer protection for the information Spokeo has already tapped into.

You do have to subscribe to Spokeo to get more and more detailed information and some who say they were okay with the basic version say being able to pay for deeper personal information, concerns them.

The Commerce Department task force did call for the creation of a "Privacy Bill of Rights" for Internet users in December. But for now people will have to go in and manually remove themselves from the site.

Spokeo Directory Removal:
Go to www.spokeo.com

Type in your name and hit enter.

Go to the state you live in

Then go to the city.

Click on your listing.

Copy the URL listing

In the bottom right hand corner go to privacy

Then follow the steps on the website.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 17, 2011 at 08:09 AM
    This is nothing new. Google has been around for years, and they are so popular because it make it easy to search the internet, although Google may not have created the content. This site is doing nothing more then collating the information already freely available on the internet (just like Google). Removing your listing from here doesn't remove the actual data from the internet nor does it keep another entity from doing the same thing that this site does. If you are really afraid go off the grid completely. Not just pay cash for everything, but completely off the grid which means no bank acct no bills no records of anything which is a lot harder than it sounds.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 17, 2011 at 06:06 AM
    You should complain to Leon County Clerk of the Courts and Property Appraiser. They scan all of your documents and put info about your divorce and loan info on your house. Everyone knows how much your utility bill is.
  • by Mr.C on Jan 16, 2011 at 07:39 AM
    I enjoy the internet. It's a wonderful tool to use. But I believe that there is to much personal information being giving without our permission. If I want you to know where I live I will tell you, others don't need to know what I'm worth. Your hear on the News about people being scammed. Information like this is giving the Scammers the tools they need to take avantage of others. Before a site list your information I believe they need to ask for our permission first......It like leaving your front door to your house open to let anybody walk in....I don't agree with sites like this at all....
  • by wondering Location: tally on Jan 16, 2011 at 07:13 AM
    To all folks that have incorrect information...is it possible that identity thieves have already tampered with your info?
  • by Rosa Location: Florida on Jan 15, 2011 at 09:48 PM
    They have like 10 on me and they will only let you remove 2 of them. I think this is a shame and something should be done about it.
  • by friendell Location: tallahassee on Jan 15, 2011 at 03:46 PM
    well went here and checked me and my wife out...it has old addresses for me although i do still own one of the properties( i have multiple properties but the others are not listed), had my age correct, zodiac correct, the wrong wife ,wrong number of people who live in household, says i am caucasion which is correct but has pic of black guy according to them my current wife is married to someone else(beeen divorced 5 years from him)...anyway IMO its total BS. u can find more under the clerk of court which is free and white page search for 1.95 which will give you names for phone numbers or phone numbers for names including cell number...i would say this isnt even as good as the free info at Melissa Data...If it were free it would be an ok reference site but not for 15.00 month
  • by jenny Location: wakulla on Jan 15, 2011 at 03:26 PM
    tracy maby you were really born as a man. it is a good thing you found out. you dont want to be on springer. do you?
  • by Tracy Location: Cairo on Jan 15, 2011 at 02:03 PM
    It's also a good idea to search for any different last names you may have used....
  • by cb on Jan 15, 2011 at 12:00 PM
    sites like this need to be outlawed. we try hard to keep personal info to ourself. and the people who create these sites should be arrested. they are crooks helping crooks. does the patriot act do anything about this?
  • by Tracy Location: Cairo, GA on Jan 15, 2011 at 10:54 AM
    Good thing I looked - it shows me as the wrong sex! Wrong income, too... hope people don't use this information as being verified or true. I deleted my info.
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