Is Your Personal Information On This Website?

By Reg Chapman, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you haven’t been concerned about what you post on the Internet, you might want to pay close attention to this story. There is a website out there that puts all of your personal information on one website.

It’s Spokeo.com and some say it provides a disturbing amount of information to the public.

The website gathers information on you from the phone book, social networking sites, marketing surveys and even real estate listings, and puts it all together for anyone to access.

Dave Erickson is director of e-Strategy at Tunheim Partners.

“It’s shocking when you go to the site and see all your information on one page,” said Erickson.

He says what Spokeo is doing is not new.

“Its legal. It’s no different than what direct marketers have always been doing: collecting demographic information and taking different list and matching them together and getting a bigger picture of an individual,” Erickson said. “What’s scary is I think for people they don’t realize how much of their information is actually out there on the web.”

Spokeo does not give out your credit score, financial information or social security number, but there are pictures, addresses and phone numbers.

“For more information, you have to pay them to look at it. Again, based on what I’ve seen, on the public information they have available on me, I’m not convinced that it’s really entirely accurate,” Erickson said.

Some say Spokeo is forcing people to think before posting resumes and personal information on Twitter, Facebook, Flicker and YouTube.

“Information about yourself is going to be out there if you are using these sites. It’s a matter of what you want the public to see,” Erickson said.

You can request to opt out through the sites privacy page and have your information removed from the site, but you have to become a member to do so.

Erickson says you can also protect yourself by making sure you understand the privacy options on every social media site you are on.

More from Reg Chapman
Comments

One Comment

  1. Sylvia says:

    A friend alerted me to this site yesterday. I went to the privacy page and followed instructions to remove my information. I did not have to become a member to do so. I’ve returned to the site and entered my name and I am no longer listed.

    1. M Kiesner says:

      did you use the Spokeo.com site to log on and where did you find the privacy page to opt out?? help please

      1. Shannon R says:

        you don’t have to log on to spokeo to remove your information. What you do is you enter in your e-mail address under the e-mail tab, copy the link that has your e-mail in it from the address bar. Then scroll down to the bottom of the page to where it says privacy. Click on privacy, copy the link that contains your e-mail and follow the steps to remove your e-mail address.

  2. Jeepneasy says:

    Checked 5 family member names.
    Old addresses, incorrect income, no family info.
    The site is a joke, wouldn’t pay a penny for their “info”!!
    Nice advertisement for the site though Reg!
    Will you write a “scare” article for me about my website that will generate thousands of hits to my site too!!

  3. TMH says:

    It showed that I was on 40+ social sites yet I am only on 1. I don’t have much for it to show yet I don’t want it shown that I am alll over the internet when I am not. So I did what Sylvia did. Now I am not shown. I also did a telephone listing… I would like to have that information removed but it would not allow it.

  4. lalie says:

    They had all of my info. correct addresses,house worth,spouse and parents. How is it ok for them to do this us? It also makes it easier for home intruders. if it says an 70 year old lives in a 280thousand house and it says how many people are in the home, Dont you think an intruder would think this is useful information?

  5. JKB says:

    I was notified of this site months ago through a forum of people throughout the US that are employed in the same field. Curious, I too went to check on my information. It had me listed as 25 yrs younger than I am, correct address, but location totally wrong. Much like all the others that have been to the site, most everyone is finding it a farce with little to no information contained as correct.

  6. Kim says:

    Correction to this story: I was able to remove my information without needing to pay for this service. I went to the Home Page, selected Privacy at the bottom (small print). I provided the URL’s that I wanted removed, email address. Once I did this then I went into my email to select the link to remove the URL. I did not need to pay to have my information removed. Thanks

  7. MNTAXWASTE.COM says:

    LMAO Reg how much did you get paid to market this? Their is more info on Goggle than this site

    1. Confused says:

      Speaking of which, I checked out MNTAXWASTE.COM and it appears to be nothing but a GoDaddy website advertising trash collectors. Am I missing something? What exactly is this website supposed to do? Are you fighting tax waste or are you using these chat sites to market your website?

  8. Ms notaboy says:

    Too Funny!!! I check my mom’s and they have her still married to my father and me and my dad’s new wife has their kids!!!! I checked me and the have my listed as a male- so not the case!!! LOL!!!!

  9. Patricia Sroka says:

    You do not need to become a member to delete your name. Click on more info then privacy and it will give directions on how to erase your information. I do ont want to see this site gaining income due to this information. Thank you Mrs Patricia Sroka

  10. Jean-Paul Dangerbunny Beaulieu says:

    It seems our Mr. Chapman recieved the facebook chain warning. Really guys, do better research. This is nothing new. Sites like this have been around for almost 10 years. ie: Intellius.com, zabasearch.com, ANY people search engine. All they do is pick up on information a person has posted about themselves on unsecure sights. Facebook is too secure and not included in the lists these sites search. More knowledge and less paranoia please.

  11. anonymous says:

    That web site had my name, address, AND MY CELL PHONE NUMBER !!!
    Wonder how they got the number.
    I followed the directions and had my name removed.

  12. Skeptical says:

    So if you go this website and put in more personal information to block what’s already there, ie your e-mail address, where does this information go and what is it used for?

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