General Question

anonyjelly16's avatar

How can you stop a website from displaying personal information and where/how can you file a complaint against them?

Asked by anonyjelly16 (744points) March 25th, 2008

ZabaSearch.com claims that it is only displaying information in public records. However, several people have complained that ZabaSearch is displaying private information. (See: www.consumeraffairs.com/online/zabasearch.html)

ZabaSearch charges money to not display one’s private information which seems to be a form of extortion.

I am interested in learning how one can stop a website from doing this and where/how one can go about filing a complaint against this company?

My guess is that one could start with the FTC and the BBB. What other guidance can you offer?

Thank you.

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2 Answers

soundedfury's avatar

ZabaSearch is simply aggregating information available on the web. What they are doing is not illegal, so getting them to stop is difficult. They are indexing 3rd-party data, so if you want your data removed, I would recommend going to the third party.

They aren’t even doing a good job, as I know that my numerous moving violations are a matter of public record and can be easily accessed online from a state agency. However, all that came up on a ZabaSearch of my name was my current address and a few old addresses. Nothing that can’t be purchased from a number of places. All ZabaSearch is doing is showing how little privacy we actually have. There are companies that simply troll around looking for the slightest information on you in the public domain and sell that info back to marketers. These guys are just using that info.

Let me make this clear: even if you are successful in opting out of the ZabaSearch database, it will not remove your data from the source that ZabaSearch got it from.

I should point out that home address and phone number are not protected by most state privacy laws, so the vast majority of complaints listed at the Consumer Affairs URL are simply unfounded.

There is also some info at http://www.snopes.com/computer/internet/zabasearch.asp

YARNLADY's avatar

My problem is with a person who has published false statements about me. It’s practically impossible to get rid of. I am lucky, because my son has the time and knowledge to contact the individual website owners and get the material removed. It is extremely time consuming, but he has mostly succeeded.

I’ve advised him to create a business of doing it for people for a fee, like his does his web creation service.

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