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Privacy Warning For New Personal Data Aggregation Site - Please Read

A friend of mine recently told me that he was appalled to learn of a new website that aggregates data about people, a lot from social media sites, called Spokeo.com.  He said the first time he went there, he found a lot of information about himself, including his children's names! And if you pay the site's small monthly subscription fee, the amount of information you can access is creepy.

What you can do:

Type your name into the directory on Spokeo.com and copy the URL.  Then go to this Privacy Page and enter the information to request your information be removed from the directory.  The final step is that you'll get an email confirmation that you must click on to complete the process.  You may also want let other friends and family members know.

As a precaution there are two other Facebook privacy settings I recommend opting out of (this is for a personal page, not a fan page):

1) Click Account in the upper right hand corner, and then choose Privacy Settings.  Then choose Applications and Websites. I recommend opting out of the Instant Personalization Pilot Program and Blocked Applications.  I don't mind information being public that I put out there, but I don't like services coming and getting anything from me. 

2) Again go to Account then Privacy Settings,  but this time choose Search.  There is a box you can check or uncheck to "Create a public search listing so others can see a preview of your Facebook profile on search engines".  Allowing this how sites like Spokeo can get your main profile picture.  However, if someone does a search for you in Facebook, your profile pic will also be totally blocked.  Just wanted to make you aware of this setting, so you can decide what you want to allow.

If you haven't already, I would strongly recommend spending some time in the Privacy Options of Facebook.  There are a lot of choices you can make about how open you'd like to be.  Of course, the best rule is just not put anything out there that you wouldn't care if your mother saw.  But it is also good to make sure your privacy settings match the goals of how you are using Facebook. 

 

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Comment balloon 13 commentsSara Bonert • May 17 2010 01:20PM
Privacy Warning For New Personal Data Aggregation Site - Please Read
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