March 20, 2010
By Holly Deyo
Yesterday an Internet friend alerted me to Spokeo. It is a personal database on YOU. It posts your age, gender, home value, home address, length of residence, locator map, occupation, family info plus a slew of other stuff.
I was horrified at this intrusion and lack of privacy, never mind the fact more than half of the posted information was dead wrong. If you want your personal data removed, here's what you do.
Go to Spokeo: http://www.spokeo.com.
Enter your name in the SEARCH box. If you go by several names, check them too. Also, check for the names of your spouse and kids. Every single entry must be individually removed.
When your name comes up, click on the location that matches. (Prepare to fume!)
This brings up your profile for all to see. ** COPY the URL where your information appears. **
REMOVAL FROM DATABASE
At the bottom of the page is the word PRIVACY. http://www.spokeo.com/privacy.
Once there, paste in the saved URL, your email and the code provided.
Hit Remove Listing.
By return email, they will send you a URL that you must click or paste into your browser to complete the removal process.
SEND THEM A BLAST
If you are irritated by this exposure you may want to pay them a visit via their contact page: http://www.spokeo.com/public/feedback. It's also found under CONTACT in small print at the bottom of the page.
I sent them the following:
Yours is a VERY unreliable, intrusive website. In checking what you had posted after someone alerted me to this, more than HALF of your data was incorrect.
I am contacting everyone I can think of as well as posting notices on our websites about being removed from your worrisome dis-information. You are WORSE than the Census.
Their website states to allow 1 business day for removal, which since this was Saturday, would likely be done on Tuesday. Instead, our personal information was removed within 5 minutes.