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Consumer

3 On Your Side: Privacy On The Web

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Have you ever done a search for yourself on the web? Most people are shocked to learn what information about them is available on them online. As 3-On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan found, getting that information to go away is easier said than done.

They have names like Intelius, Zabasearch and Spokeo. They are websites that scour public records and databases ranging from SEC records when your trade stock, to postings that you put on Facebook. They then merge the information found onto one place on the web. What these sites do isn’t typically illegal, and while you can’t stop the sites from doing it, you can often tell them not to show the information they’ve found that is related to you.

Some sites have a simple form you fill out to remove the information. Spokeo, for example, just asks for the address of their page on you and your email address then sends you an email to confirm. Once you do that, your listing should be deleted in one day, and sometime it vanishes immediately.

CNET’s Brian Cooley says the toughest sites are Zabasearch and Intelius. He says, “These guys make you go through fine print that looks like the like terms and conditions for a credit card. If you wade through that, you’ll find a fax number where they want you to fax your request and a copy of your drivers license. It’s rather vague, it takes a long time and they don’t tell you how permanent or temporary that’s going to be.” In addition, when new information comes out on you, it could be used to open a new file!

Watch this video…

For links on how to remove your information from these websites, click below:

Spokeo
www.spokeo.com/privacy

Zabasearch
www.zabasearch.com/block_records/

Intelius
www.intelius.com/privacy.php

Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS 3

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