General Question

El_Cadejo's avatar

Why is my personal info available online?

Asked by El_Cadejo (33846 points ) January 8th, 2013

This question was sparked by my response over here. Every couple months or so I will do Google search on my name an see if anything comes up, if it does I take down whatever links there are to me. Call it paranoia or whatever you will but I just don’t like having that info out there.

For the longest time if you Googled my name you would get nothing, today after my response in that question I googled my name and came across this site mylife.com not only did it have my full name but it had the town I’m living in. I find this extremely disturbing that this information is readily available on the internet.

According to the site’s FAQ “2. Why do I have a listing on MyLife.comĀ® if I never joined?
The information in these listings comes from a variety of records in the public domain and is already accessible to anyone who may be trying to reconnect with you. MyLife.comĀ® has simply assembled a listing on your behalf with all the information in an easy-to-read format so people can reconnect with you.”

The only way to contact this site is by calling an 888 number, not email or anything like that, but calling a number (assholes). “your privacy is a top concern for us at MyLife.com” Fuck you Mylife.com I also find it hard to believe that its all from public domain things since the only thing related to my real name in any way what-so-ever on Google is from this site. If its all from public domain info shouldn’t more results with my name come up?

And if “The information in these listings comes from a variety of records in the public domain” how exactly did it get there? I don’t have a facebook or any other social media profiles. I never mention my real name online and especially not where I live, at most only that I’m from south jersey but certainly not the town. I suppose address could be easily tracked by IP but to get my full name? Its not like my name is on the ISP bills or anything like that so how exactly was this information gathered?

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15 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

They don’t just use online records. They use phone books, voter registrations (which are available through the Freedom of Information Act), and whatever other public records they can access. If your information is listed in any publicly available document, they can find it.

El_Cadejo's avatar

How do I go about removing that? Is that even possible?

jrpowell's avatar

Just for the record. If you are listed in someones address book on their phone and they install the Facebook application on the phone it will send all their contact info to Facebook unless they tell it not to. And I bet 99% of people just click on Okay.

So even if you don’t use Facebook they most likely already have all your info.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Cool, reason 1 million why facebook is a piece of shit.
reminds me of this

SavoirFaire's avatar

You can get yourself removed from the phone book by calling your phone service provider. They’ll either do it for you or tell you what you have to do. There may be a fee involved. It varies from company to company. As far as I know, there’s nothing you can do about the voter registration form except not register to vote. Not worth it.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@SavoirFaire I already know I’m not in the phone book. I’ve removed myself from that a while ago in an effort to stop telemarketers.

who knew this issue ran so deep lol Thanks George for the Freedom of Information Act, way to stop terrorism -_ -.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

So much for the “Privacy terms” on social sites then, uh?!!!!!!!

SavoirFaire's avatar

@uberbatman Then you might want to try removing yourself from the Google phonebook and check if you are on any of the other sites they mention. Like I said, though, there’s not much to do about the voter registration forms (at least, not as far as I know).

El_Cadejo's avatar

@SavoirFaire I keep gettin a 404 whenever I try and use that >_< . I’m going to give the site a call in the morning and try and figure out how they got my info. I’ll let you guys know what I figured out.

pleiades's avatar

@uberbatman Looks like you won’t be able to win this battle, for the time being, prepare for internet fame :P

El_Cadejo's avatar

I mean for me all the site has is where I live now and my full name. But my Dad for instance it has the last 3 places he lived, his full name and it has everything but the last 4 digits of his phone number. Some other people it has even more such as whole they married how old they are etc. Pretty scary stuff IMO.

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SadieMartinPaul's avatar

It seems that it’s no longer possible to keep one’s identity off the internet.

Even if you have an unlisted telephone number, the various “search” companies will find your address through deed recordings, property tax records, etc. Anyone can look up your name, find your address, and view pictures of your house—both from satellites and at street level. Then, there are also school records, birth, marriage, and divorce recordings, etc.

Some of the things that I read about myself make me feel very vulnerable and exposed. A search for my married name revealed the grammar school that I attended from the 1st through 6th grades. I’ve also been traced back to the address where my family lived when I was in high school.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Just to update you guys, I just got off the phone with Mylife.com they said they got my information from voter registration. I asked them to remove it from the site and they did instantly with no head ache on my part which was nice. If any of you guys are listed on there I suggest giving them a call as well.

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