When I went there, I discovered they’ve published my street address—with a map to my house!—telephone number; approximate age; credit rating; wealth level; value of my home; gender; marital status; length of time I’ve resided in my home; socioeconomic status of my neighborhood; type of structure I occupy and and the year it was built; its alleged value; whether it has a fireplace, central heating, central air, or a pool; how many kids I have; my educational level; my hobbies; my occupation; my interests; and my zodiac sign.
To be fair, some of these are left blank. Some are wrong—hilariously, they think my house is worth in excess of a million bucks. I wish!!! Some of the data clearly came from Facebook: I recognize the disinformation I entered there.
However… Spokeo also has another me in its bowels: Some woman by the same name is still living with my former husband at my former address. Interestingly, this woman’s information happens to match my own real-life personal data.
Folks. I divorced before there was such a thing as social media. The Internet barely existed when I ran away to the Alaskan outback. So…wherever these SOBs are aggregating their data from, it’s not all coming from the Internet.
If you go to their contact link and send them an e-mail demanding that they take your personal data down, you’re forced to enter their choice of subject lines. Select “business matter” instead of “privacy” to reach a human being. Select “privacy” and instead of sending the dear-sir-you-cur you’ve scorched into their contact form, you get instructions for a hoop-jump and the advice that the only way to get your information off their site is to remove yourself from all the social media sites you use.
In other words, if you don’t want these bustards publishing your current address and phone number to your abusive ex- who threatened to cut off your head, pee down the hole, and flee with your children to East Zambia, you may not participate in any social media of any kind. Either that, or you must leave a trail of lies wherever you go.
I wonder if Spokeo’s management can spell “class action suit.”
Postscript: Go here for an excellent video taking you through FaceBook’s new privacy settings, step-by-step.