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New Site Displays ALL Of Your Personal Info

Upon launching the Spokeo website, they cleverly remind you that “it’s not your grandma’s phonebook,” which is not only a hacky reference but also literally true: the old meatspace phonebooks didn’t automatically expose all of your private information like age, income, home value, credit score, relationship status and map to your house. Who the Eff are these freaks? How did they get ALL of your info? I don’t know, but all of mine was there. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to remove yourself from the database of these privacy rapists currently thriving in Zuckerberg’s America.

1. Goto Spokeo.com

2.Enter your name and city in the search field

3. Suppress your shout of “Holy CRAPSTAINS!!!” when you see how much of your info is displayed

4. Copy the URL

5. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see “Privacy” in the footer links. Click it.

6. Paste the URL in the field underneath “To remove a listing from Spokeo…”

7. You’ll have to enter an email (sucky, I know) but do what I do and use a secondary one that you only give out to list managers. Try to AVOID giving them your primary email addy. No one has confirmed whether or not they’re phishing for emails, but I wasn’t going to leave the detailed info they had on me so I gave them the dummy address. Extortion much? Unfortunately, they limit the number of listings you can remove to two per email to “prevent abuse”. Really? Could that be any more abusive than displaying all of someone’s personal info??

8. Click “Remove Listing”

9. Check your email; the removal confirmation from Spokeo should come immediately

10. Click after “To complete the removal process…”

11. Celebrate that you have pulled your info off yet another service that took it from you, and rest until the next such battle with some other similar site, likely in an hour or so

UPDATE: Turns out the site it a couple of years old. Also, the veracity of personal information varies from person to person. For me it was SHOCKINGLY accurate. Other folks even found pictures on the site that came from their as-private-as-they-could-make-it Facebook accounts, along with links to family members. Still, other folks either report no listing or old info. In any case, it’s worth a look.

2nd UPDATE: When you’re done, go into your browser prefs and search cookies for “spokeo”, then delete them. Submitted by the hilariously named user “Obvious Point” in the comments.

Comments

  1. Use my SSN please 157-58-6679. I bet my husband no one would dare mess with me!

  2. I dare someone to take my SSN and try to use it! Go ahead and try to ruin my credit! 157-58-6679

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    Why users still use to read news papers when in this technological world all is presented on web?

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    for providing these details.

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    or copyright violation? My site has a lot of completely unique content
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  12. Cassie says:

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  13. Sam says:

    :O They said I was a guy!?
    I’m a girl all I do is shorten my name. It’s unisex anyways.

  14. Debbie J says:

    poedit.org is another site and I asked to be removed but m it has not been removed. I go to Google and can click right on it.

  15. Paxie says:

    Checked this with my real information: They told me that I still live in a town that I haven’t lived in in almost ten years, that my father is my son and that I’m in my seventies…

  16. Paul says:

    This isn’t that new. I remember finding this a couple years ago. Unfortunately I unlisted myself back then and guess what? All of it is back on there now. Removing yourself obviously isn’t going to work for long.

  17. spokefo says:

    looks like Spokeo is hiring. craigslist ad

  18. Robin says:

    Tried all three of my personal email addresses as well as my work address, and only found anything attached to my primary, which I’ve now made private. Using my name, it found the place I lived three apartments and almost seven years ago, and my deceased father (but not my still-living mother) at the family home they inherited and moved into two years ago. Weird.

    It always creeps me out how much of my personal information lurks in the corners of the internet, despite all my efforts to keep my private stuff private.

  19. milton says:

    Can someone tell me how to get my personal information of this damn site? I never gave them my permission to post my personal information. In order to get acess to the site you have to sign up and pay money. They have invaded my privacy and are making money in doing so. This is illegal and they will be sued. Also the Justice Department will investigate. A complaint will be filed with the states attorney general, and the FTC as well.

  20. Roberta says:

    They had me listed with the wrong gender and also had my ex-husband as the only other person at my address. He’s been gone for 4-1/2 years now.

  21. laur says:

    Found two different profiles searching my name, both with slightly out-dated info. That’s fine. What I don’t like is finding a profile on my dead grandmother.

  22. Wendy says:

    They won’t let you remove your username from their user name search. I tried, and emailed them, and they sent me a form letter about how to remove my email or phone number. When I explained that was not what I had emailed about, I then got this:

    “Dear Spokeo User,

    I understand you are looking to remove profile(s) that match(es) your username. At this time however, this is not supported. Your username, if common, may be shared with someone else. As such, our engineering team is working hard to find a way to allow you to verify ownership to certain profiles.

    In the meantime, please look into making your profiles private on the actual social network. This will be reflected on our end after a period of time.

    Thank you for your patience.

    Sincerely,
    Spokeo Privacy Team”

    I don’t care if my profiles are public. I just don’t want them all lined up in one place. Gross.

  23. Never! says:

    Well, nothing of any real interest on me (not even when searching by e-mail address) which is cool. I suppose that comes from not whoring out a ton of my personal information on the internet like most people do. The crap found by spokeo can easily be found on Google too – they just make it nicer to read and organize it better.

    Remember folks, Web 2.0 is an invasion of your privacy. The old maxim that you shouldn’t be giving your real name and other personal information out* unnecessairly still holds.

    *But you need to give it out for business transactions due to shipping and COD verification purposes! Here’s hoping Amazon doesn’t go rogue. :p

  24. Never! says:

    Well, nothing of any real interest on me (not even when searching by e-mail address) which is cool. I suppose that comes from not whoring out a ton of my personal information on the internet like most people do.

    Remember folks, Web 2.0 is an invasion of your privacy. The old maxim that you shouldn’t be giving your real name and other personal information out* still holds.

    *But you need to give it out for business transactions due to shipping and COD verification purposes! Here’s hoping Amazon doesn’t go rogue. :p

  25. 8BitMuzak says:

    @Joy: It probably imploded after all the removal requests.

    Just checked, it’s up and fortunately it doesn’t know who I am anymore. If I could only get places like ZabaSearch, etc., to forget such info I’d be less paranoid.

    BTW, I wonder what’s being done with the e-mail addresses collected from people who post here? đŸ˜‰ It is a required field you know….

  26. Joy says:

    The site is down now. Does anyone know what happened?

  27. Cait says:

    Thanks for the tips. It’s a never ending battle, but thanks!!
    <3

  28. Robert Mungo says:

    If you use Gmail, it allows you to filter your way around the limit from Spokeo. EmailAddress@gmail.com, EmailAddress+Spokeo@gmail.com, emailaddress+spokeoremove@gmail.com, EmailAddress+SpammerShield@gmail.com… they all go to the same place, but don’t trip the too many removals limit from Spokeo. Plus, if they do sell your email address, you’ll know exactly who because it’ll have a unique filter built right into the address.

  29. Chris says:

    A brilliant (but maddening, which is why it’s brilliant) marketing strategy for Reputation Defender, which is unashamedly mentioned and actively marketed in the removal area!

  30. Leeward says:

    It’s a trick to make you feel safer. After following the name removal instructions that are posted all over the Internet, it seems like if one does a name search that the info isn’t there. Try doing an email search. I’ve had problems trying to remove information that is connected to email adresses.

  31. Dee says:

    Whoa! Got different results from inputting name vs. phone number, some things were wrong but still!
    Very scary.

  32. Big Al says:

    My addy and phone number were 5 years old and the other info looked just made up.