WARNING!! CREEPY PRIVACY ISSUE

Avatar for valentinebaby
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
WARNING!! CREEPY PRIVACY ISSUE
9
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 9:00pm
I normally don't post these types of things, but I tried myself and was a tad upset. However, that's what I get for having a 'listed' number. Anyway, if this bother's you like it did me, then I suggest you fill out the form to remove yourself from the database.

XX Nicole..

I received the following email from a friend. I tried it and sure nuff - a map to my house showed up! There are instructions on how to remove your phone no. from the database below. I understand it takes a day or so for the action to complete. - mamabear2

Take a look at the note below - if you go to http://www.google.com/ and

> type in

> your telephone number it will actually pull up directions to your house -

> there

> is a way to have your number removed.

>

> Many people are unaware of this danger. I was, in fact!

>

> Go to http://www.google.com/ then type in your phone number (separated by

> hyphens, including area code) and click on Google Search. If your phone

> number

> is listed it will show your name and address and give you two map options.

>

> Yahoo and MapQuest. See how accurate the map is to your home. VERY

> SCARY!!!

>

> Any person wishing to discover the physical location of a phone number, be

> it a

> home or business address, could use this feature to locate a physical

> street

> address, and receive directions on how to get there from anywhere in the

> country. In the age of the internet communication we all know the dangers

> of

> this - for adults and CHILDREN!

>

> Google has made available an option that will allow anyone to REMOVE their

>

> telephone number from the database that is linked to the mapping feature.

>

> You will first need to check if your number is listed in this manner by

> attempting a search-entering your full telephone number separated by

> dashes

> (e.g. 555-555-5555). If the number appears in the mapping database, an

> icon

> resembling a telephone will appear next to the first or second entry on

> the

> results page. Clicking on this icon will take you to a page containing a

> description of the service, and a link to request your number be removed

> from

> the database.

>

> So far unlisted numbers and cell phone numbers, do not show up.

Avatar for sparkysmom97
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 9:12pm
WOW!! You just freaked me out. I don't like that. I'm having my number removed. Thanks Nik!!

{{{{{H U G S}}}}}

Sparks

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 8:25am
OMG that is creepy. Thanks for the info, I am having our number removed.

Amy

Amy, Mom to Shelby (5/97) & Emily (4/01)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 8:47am
WOW! I am really upset that this was able to do that feature! So much for the Privacy Act! L.
Avatar for kansascity
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 9:07am
Well, to be quite honest with you, even without this search engine, anyone can access this information with just your phone number.

Actually, you can call 4-1-1 and ask for the address for ANY number. If it's a listed number, they will give you the street address, city, state and zip. I've done this many times when I can't find the address for X-mas cards, etc. I just did this for my number and they gave me my mailing address.

A little disconcerting - especially when so many stores now ask for your phone number when you check out. I just did this yesterday. I guess you never know who may be listening, call 4-1-1, find your address and then rob you - knowing you're not home. Or if a pedophile sees your child with you and can find out where you live. Now THAT'S CREEPY!!!!!!

Kathy, Alexandra (6/19/97) and Christian (12/22/99)

Avatar for valentinebaby
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 9:20am
Oh ITA, but that requires a little more effort on someone's part. I find this more bothersome because we share a lot of personal information (like when our DH is out of town etc.), all someone would have to do is know my last name and state or somehow have my phone number and they get a MAP to my house. While I DID make my number public record, that was more or less for the local phone book and 411 directory.. My bigger problem and what scares me with this is the number of TEEN's using chat and giving out their phone numbers or full names and WHAM some sicko can find them in two seconds. While I agreed to make my number public so in essence they did nothing wrong. I did not anticipate them putting it in an internet database.. I will be unlisting my number, technology has done wonders for many things, I just don't LIKE this one at all.

XX Nicole

Avatar for dldcnd
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 10:46am
It can also be done with any white pages search, such as on Netscape.
Avatar for suitemadameblue
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 11:13am
"......especially when so many stores now ask for your phone number when you check out..."

You know, I never put two and two together to realize why they wanted a PHONE NUMBER to add you to a MAILING list!! LOL

Our number is unlisted, so nothing popped up. But you are right, the information is out there.

~Carrie

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 10:38am
From www.snopes.com:

As to the issue of whether this Google feature is a shocking "invasion of privacy," there are a few points to keep in mind:

* This feature is not "new" -- the PhoneBook service has been offered by Google for at least a year now.

* This feature does not work for every phone number. Some classes of phone numbers, such as unpublished phone numbers (i.e., numbers belonging to customers who have requested that their local phone service providers not publish their numbers in printed phone directories or make them available through directory assistance), will not display.

* The information displayed is compiled from a number of publicly accessible sources and is not unique to Google. There are many other web sources through which users can look up the same information.

* Google has simply combined two different services readily available on a number of different web sites -- reverse phone directory look-ups and mapping/driving directions services -- into one step. Even without Google, it's a simple feat for any moderately knowledgeable web user to plug a phone number into a reverse phone directory web site to find the name and address corresponding to that number, then use an on-line service such as Mapquest to obtain directions to that address.

In short, the Google PhoneBook feature may be troubling to those who value their privacy, but it's a symptom and not a cause. The larger issue is that many entities we deal with in daily life who are privy to our personal information can make that information available to sources that compile databases which services such as Google PhoneBook use. The public has been making privacy gains through the implementation of laws such as those requiring credit bureaus, phone companies, and motor vehicle bureaus to offer "opt-out" features which provide customers with means to restrict the distribution of their personal information, but until that larger issue is completely eliminated, trying to keep one's personal information off the web is akin to engaging in a perpetual game of "Wack-a-Mole": momentarily satisfying but ultimately accomplishing nothing.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-24-2003
Fri, 04-25-2003 - 1:46pm
Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I was aware that if someone really wanted to find me, there was a way to get my info on the internet, but I didn't know how easy it was! My physical address isn't even listed in the phone book, but it pulled it up no problem! Anyway, I had it removed & just wanted to thank you.