Remove your Information from Spokeo and other Social Aggregates.
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There are a number of social network aggregator web sites online nowadays. They work by aggregating data from many offline and online sources (such as social networks, photo albums, mailing lists, Dun & Bradstreet, real estate listings, business websites, and even Facebook or marketing surveys). The information is out there and the aggregators have seemingly unlimited access to it, but, what about the people whose personal information has been collected. Are they able to remove information if necessary? If so, how do they do it?
One of the major aggregators is a site called Spokeo. It collects data that is publicly accessible from its original sources. Spokeo considers data is only as good as its source – all sources of public information. Another site is Pipl.com. This one uses a deep search robot to crawl the web and extract facts and relevant information about people. Pipl.com uses natural language processing and statistical analysis to find the information that it consolidates and puts up online. However, with both sites, users have reported a number of difficulties in removing their personal information which is on them.
Both of these services are part and parcel of the new frontier that is the wild, wild web. Pipl.com, for example makes the following information available with the touch of a button:
- Background reports from Intelius.com
- Personal profiles from MySpace, Spokeo, LinkedIn, Members-Base, Bebo and Flickr
- Contact details from Whitepages.com, Spokeo.com and others
- Public records and documents
- Web pages, blog posts, and YouTube videos
So How do you Remove Yourself from Spokeo?
We get this question almost daily from people, how do I remove my Spoke page? Spoke removal is not as easy as one might think. The opt-out form is accessible from the “Privacy” link located at the bottom of every page. The challenge is that while it IS possible to block your listings from being openly displayed on Spokeo, there is no removal from the original sources. Plus, if a person moves to a new address or if there are any significant typos which prevent the Spokeo computers from matching an existing list, new listings may sprout and appear. That’s why InternetReputation.com has developed and can ensure to remove all your personal information from Spokeo and any other people gathering database aggregates like Pipl.com. Our technology is working hard for your peace of mind and protection of privacy: http://www.internetreputation.com/
While the trend of social media aggregation is useful for marketers and online entrepreneurs, it’s also raised several invasion of privacy concerns for web users.
One of the biggest concerns is that with so much personal information so easily available, that cyberstalking is even better enabled than before. Personal credit information, mugshot records, and private residencies are all there to be accessed. In fact, a number of Spokeo users have complained openly on Facebook that Spokeo is in violation of their privacy and many discussion groups were begun to demand an end to its service. In June of 2010, a complaint was filed with the Federal Trade Commission stating that Spokeo.com violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by offering credit ratings without any controls. Subsequently, a class action lawsuit was filed against Spokeo seeking both injunctive and monetary damages for this.