Town Square

Post a New Topic

Privacy Online - how to?

Original post made by Anonymous by choice, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 13, 2007

I just typed my last name on and found a shocking amount of private information on myself and members of my family. A link on the page promising "more records" led to even more information on a site called .

Go ahead and type in your family name - find every place you've lived, your phone number, maps to where you live now, etc.

How do you get removed from such lists? I am a very private individual. I have an unlisted number. I've removed my info from Google. I use a po box for my mail. I choose not to put myself on the Internet. How do these people obtain our information? What recourse do I have?

Comments (9)

Posted by Anonymous 2
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 13, 2007 at 3:07 am

Wow. I just typed in "Jenna Bush" and a few celebrity names, and got detailed address info, email, etc. This isn't safe.

Posted by Anonymous 2
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 13, 2007 at 3:56 am

Try "Antonin Scalia" or "Nancy Pelosi"... We need privacy laws! (Now, let's see, what's the name of the president of Blue Shield...)

Posted by Anamika
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 13, 2007 at 6:55 am

How did you get your information removed from Google?

Posted by Anonymous by choice
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 13, 2007 at 8:13 am

I didn't get my name removed from Google searches, I only got it so that searches on my name and telephone didn't allow for mapping of my location. If that would be useful to you, please post again, I will try to dig up the email from which I learned how to do this.

Posted by Anamika
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 13, 2007 at 1:24 pm

Please post the removal instructions .. Thanks !

Posted by Thanks for the alert
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Sep 13, 2007 at 2:34 pm

Our listing included much more than the last name and initials only that are listed with our telephone number with Pacbell. FAQ gives instructions to remove information:
Click on "Listing Detail" under your name and information. Then scroll down about 2/3 to " Privacy Options" and click on "Is this you? Remove your listing" The screen that comes up asks you to select a reason (incorrect information, general privacy concerns etc.) then type in a random word shown. After selecting the Remove button a screen told me the information would be removed in 3-5 business days.

Posted by jane
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 13, 2007 at 4:53 pm

You can try removing your info from various sites, but it will pop up again when they buy new info, or on other sites that you didn't know about or that are new. Plus sites sell detailed info a la credit reports to anyone for cash.

I also see that to remove info from that particular site you have to send them info like your Social Security number and birth date, I think not :-) although the irritating fact is that they probably have that already.

Just to make it more thrilling, a lot of the data is bad. That site has me completely scrambled together with my ex-sister-in-law, who has the same first and last names, and who is a credit deadbeat.

Posted by Mary
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 16, 2007 at 10:29 am

My husband and I were not listed so I presume we are 'anonymous' - or maybe dead?

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 17, 2007 at 7:04 am

Most of the information has always been public record, it just required effort to locate. Change your expectation of privacy.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Worried about the cost of climate change? Here is some hope.
By Sherry Listgarten | 19 comments | 2,979 views

Make Palo Alto prettier than just its parklets, please
By Diana Diamond | 7 comments | 1,700 views

Two Hours - 75,000 Meals – Wanna Help?
By Laura Stec | 0 comments | 1,486 views


Sign-up now for 5K Run/Walk, 10k Run, Half Marathon

The 39th annual Moonlight Run and Walk is Friday evening, September 29. Join us under the light of the full Harvest Moon on a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon. Complete your race in person or virtually. Proceeds from the race go to the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund, benefiting local nonprofits that serve families and children in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.