This is not okay. This is bad. This is downright evil.
The vast majority of people searches are largely behind paywalls. You don’t really get much identifying information without paying a fee. And that will turn off most bad actors.
But now, you can get everything you’ve ever wanted, including previous addresses, phone numbers, and even friends and family… all for free, at one site:
Now, I will say that it’s out of date. I searched myself to see…
It does have me at my current address, as well as my most recent addresses, but it does not give my current phone number or email address. It gives my old phone number, a phone number that was never mine directly but was connected to me, and an old email address I no longer use. It does, however, give my actual relatives.
I should say up front that I’m not very anonymous online. Everyone here knows my real, actual name, and much of my stuff on Facebook is public (not everything, but enough to tease out even more info). Thanks to privilege, I’ve never actually worried about my real life identity online. This is who I am.
But even I can see why this is horrid. Even I can see how this can, and will, be used by stalkers and doxxers to attack people. Hell… I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s happened already.
They do give you an option to have your records removed the from the site. I’m removing mine, largely so I can show y’all how it works.
First, go here. That’s the record removal link. Check the box agreeing that you’re an actual human being and not a robot, and complete the captcha. Then hit “begin removal”. You should be taken back to the front page.
I searched for myself again and…
I’m still there.
I guess it’s a process? I guess I have to be removed manually? And they’ll fucking get to it when they fucking can?
This is not okay. First off, if something like this is even going to exist, it should be opt-in, not opt-out. Second, the record removal should be instantaneous. It shouldn’t be a “request”. It should happen as soon as the removal request form is filled out.
This is bad. This is very bad.
If you don’t care, that’s fine. But please let others who might care know that their information could easily be out there ripe for the taking.