Gini Dietrich

Deleting Your Spokeo Profile

By: Gini Dietrich | January 3, 2011 | 
222

Privacy, as we know it, is dead. A website called Spokeo now provides everything about you in one convenient little form. And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING.

The site claims to be “not your grandma’s phonebook” and it provides photos, bios, email addresses, wealth, hobbies, and social networks about everyone who has a presence on the web (which is 99 percent of Americans).

I logged  on there, put my name in, and it came back with: My exact address, my age, that I’m married, and how much we paid for our house. And that’s just on the first page.

If you dig down, you can find out how much my house is worth (apparently not as much as we paid for it), how many square feet it is, how many bathrooms it has, and a photo of my front yard as it looks right this second.

Digging further, it says we have lived in our house for five years and that there are two parents and one child. But it lists me as the child…and the parents as unknown. That’s funny! I guess Mr. D doesn’t live here?

And if I’m a stalker, I can pay $2.95 a month and have access to all of the information I want on any person, including income, debt, and a comparison to the neighbors (talk about keeping up with the Jones’!).

It’s scary, scary stuff and, even though I’m a big believer in transparency, I’m also a believer in safety through some semblance of privacy. I mean, I was stalked right after I graduated from college and the guy knew where I lived, where I worked, what I wore each day, where I went to lunch. It was really scary…and he had to work pretty hard to figure all of that out. Now he’d just have to go to Spokeo and all of the work is done for him.

The good news is you can get yourself off of there.

  1. Go to Spokeo and type in your name.
  2. Copy the URL when it brings up your information.
  3. Go to the bottom of the page and click on “privacy”
  4. Paste the URL in the box provided
  5. Include your email address (it gives you further instructions via email)
  6. Enter the code
  7. Go to your email and click on the link they provide to you
  8. Confirm the directory listing has been deleted
  9. Go back to Spokeo and put in your name to be sure it was deleted and they can’t find you

Hope this helps!

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

  • rwohlner

    Thanks Gini, just did this great tip. Happy New Year to you and Kelly.

  • rwohlner

    Thanks Gini, just did this great tip. Happy New Year to you and Kelly.

  • NancyMyrland

    I will share this Gini. I was happy to know I must have made John’s any my profiles private at some point as we came up missing…very good news! Thanks for the reminder!

  • NancyMyrland

    I will share this Gini. I was happy to know I must have made John’s any my profiles private at some point as we came up missing…very good news! Thanks for the reminder!

  • patrickreyes

    Thanks Gini! Done!

  • patrickreyes

    Thanks Gini! Done!

  • timjahn

    While I agree that this is quite scary, Spokeo is aggregating publicly available information (or at least they claim to: http://www.spokeo.com/privacy). I wonder if the bigger discussion is why we provide so much information to everybody.

  • timjahn

    While I agree that this is quite scary, Spokeo is aggregating publicly available information (or at least they claim to: http://www.spokeo.com/privacy). I wonder if the bigger discussion is why we provide so much information to everybody.

  • NancyMyrland

    John’s and (not any) 😉

  • NancyMyrland

    John’s and (not any) 😉

  • ginidietrich

    @timjahn Yeah, you have to go into the individual accounts and delete it. And I can tell you I do not make my address, how much I paid for my home, or what it’s worth public. It’s one thing if it only aggregates the information YOU put online. It’s another to put your personal records out there for everyone to see…and that’s what this does.

  • ginidietrich

    @timjahn Yeah, you have to go into the individual accounts and delete it. And I can tell you I do not make my address, how much I paid for my home, or what it’s worth public. It’s one thing if it only aggregates the information YOU put online. It’s another to put your personal records out there for everyone to see…and that’s what this does.

  • ginidietrich

    @NancyMyrland It’s kind of a relief when you put your name in and it says, “no information available.”

  • ginidietrich

    @NancyMyrland It’s kind of a relief when you put your name in and it says, “no information available.”

  • timjahn

    @ginidietrich Your personal PRIVATE records or PUBLIC records? If the information is publicly available, I’m not sure how they’re in the wrong.

    Your address is publicly listed in the White Pages generally, right? How much you paid for your home is generally public in real estate data, right? (I could be wrong, trying to figure this out.)

  • timjahn

    @ginidietrich Your personal PRIVATE records or PUBLIC records? If the information is publicly available, I’m not sure how they’re in the wrong.

    Your address is publicly listed in the White Pages generally, right? How much you paid for your home is generally public in real estate data, right? (I could be wrong, trying to figure this out.)

  • DallasK

    @ginidietrich @timjahn In Maryland, if you know the address of the person you want to stal…er…know about. The State of Maryland provides a simple form where you just put in the address of the location you want to stal..er…know about and it spits out the entire sales history of the property, the current and past owners, the type of house, square feet, and the assessed tax value of the house.

    You can also go to sites like Zillow and see sales values of houses. My point is that spokeo seems to just be aggregating data that is already out there for my stalkin…er…enjoym…err…research.

  • DallasK

    @ginidietrich @timjahn In Maryland, if you know the address of the person you want to stal…er…know about. The State of Maryland provides a simple form where you just put in the address of the location you want to stal..er…know about and it spits out the entire sales history of the property, the current and past owners, the type of house, square feet, and the assessed tax value of the house.

    You can also go to sites like Zillow and see sales values of houses. My point is that spokeo seems to just be aggregating data that is already out there for my stalkin…er…enjoym…err…research.

  • timjahn

    @DallasK @ginidietrich That’s what I’m saying.

    Yes, this practice is scary. But Spokeo isn’t the culprit here. The culprit is ourselves and the laws in place that make so much information public. Many clueless people will gladly give the checkout lady at the grocery store their phone number, zip code, and maybe a kidney if she asks nicely.

    And every other place you visit wants your social security number. I wonder what percentage of people give that out to people who clearly don’t need it without questioning why.

  • timjahn

    @DallasK @ginidietrich That’s what I’m saying.

    Yes, this practice is scary. But Spokeo isn’t the culprit here. The culprit is ourselves and the laws in place that make so much information public. Many clueless people will gladly give the checkout lady at the grocery store their phone number, zip code, and maybe a kidney if she asks nicely.

    And every other place you visit wants your social security number. I wonder what percentage of people give that out to people who clearly don’t need it without questioning why.

  • ginidietrich

    @timjahn No, you’re correct. My point is that I don’t want the entire world knowing that stuff. It’s not something *I* put on the web. There are some things that should remain private and I think my address and phone number and how much I paid for my house are among those things.

  • ginidietrich

    @timjahn No, you’re correct. My point is that I don’t want the entire world knowing that stuff. It’s not something *I* put on the web. There are some things that should remain private and I think my address and phone number and how much I paid for my house are among those things.

  • timjahn

    @ginidietrich That’s the point though. That information is NOT private. If it was, this blog post wouldn’t exist because Spokeo wouldn’t have the information.

  • timjahn

    @ginidietrich That’s the point though. That information is NOT private. If it was, this blog post wouldn’t exist because Spokeo wouldn’t have the information.

  • DallasK

    @ginidietrich @timjahn But Gini, the amount of money you spent on your house is already public record. Anyone can go online and likely search for the address and see.

  • DallasK

    @ginidietrich @timjahn But Gini, the amount of money you spent on your house is already public record. Anyone can go online and likely search for the address and see.

  • ginidietrich

    @DallasK @timjahn And that is MY point. I don’t want it public, which is why I’m deleting it everywhere I can find it.

  • ginidietrich

    @DallasK @timjahn And that is MY point. I don’t want it public, which is why I’m deleting it everywhere I can find it.

  • Doug_Davidoff

    @ginidietrich @DallasK @timjahn Spokeo is clearly not doing anything illegal, or even unethical (I used to get information like this when I was a stockbroker in the 90s – I just had to pay a handsome fee to have access to it). It doesn’t make it any less scary.

    I think the bigger problem here is that you have to opt-out of these types of sites – and I didn’t even know Spokeo existed until I saw this blog. Gini – I know it’s too late for your trends, but this will be a growing one.

  • Doug_Davidoff

    @ginidietrich @DallasK @timjahn Spokeo is clearly not doing anything illegal, or even unethical (I used to get information like this when I was a stockbroker in the 90s – I just had to pay a handsome fee to have access to it). It doesn’t make it any less scary.

    I think the bigger problem here is that you have to opt-out of these types of sites – and I didn’t even know Spokeo existed until I saw this blog. Gini – I know it’s too late for your trends, but this will be a growing one.

  • DallasK

    @ginidietrich @timjahn Well, your state government is the one posting it…good luck getting them to remove it.

  • DallasK

    @ginidietrich @timjahn Well, your state government is the one posting it…good luck getting them to remove it.

  • ginidietrich

    @Doug_Davidoff @DallasK @timjahn Doug, I agree. I’m not saying it’s illegal. I’m just saying I don’t like it. So I’m giving everyone an option to opt-out (as you say), as quickly as I’m finding they are available.

  • ginidietrich

    @Doug_Davidoff @DallasK @timjahn Doug, I agree. I’m not saying it’s illegal. I’m just saying I don’t like it. So I’m giving everyone an option to opt-out (as you say), as quickly as I’m finding they are available.

  • ginidietrich

    @Doug_Davidoff And…it was the ninth trend in creative destruction. This idea that everyone will leave the more popular social networks for more privacy. I agree with you!

  • ginidietrich

    @Doug_Davidoff And…it was the ninth trend in creative destruction. This idea that everyone will leave the more popular social networks for more privacy. I agree with you!

  • FollowtheLawyer

    @ginidietrich @Doug_Davidoff 🙂

  • FollowtheLawyer

    @ginidietrich @Doug_Davidoff 🙂

  • All the information in this may be publicly available but I still think this is a great thing to put on your personal “Todo” list. In fact I would venture to say that there is a market for a service that will go and do this (and other similar things) for people. Thanks for sharing Gini, great useful post!

  • All the information in this may be publicly available but I still think this is a great thing to put on your personal “Todo” list. In fact I would venture to say that there is a market for a service that will go and do this (and other similar things) for people. Thanks for sharing Gini, great useful post!

  • ErinBrumleve

    Well in my case anyway, the Spokeo info was inaccurate, which will hopefully throw off any would-be stalkers. Some of the inacurracies include: no profile with my married name, my maiden name profile fuses several pieces of info from diffrent locations, for example listing my former St. Louis address as one I have in Denver. My husband’s profile is a little more accurate – but he is also listed as a child of two parents (unknown) in our household. I’m listed as a single female in our house – which freaked me out a bit with the whole stalker thing.

    Deleting all the various incarnations of the profile anyway, and I appreciate the specific instructions on how to opt-out, Gini.

  • ErinBrumleve

    Well in my case anyway, the Spokeo info was inaccurate, which will hopefully throw off any would-be stalkers. Some of the inacurracies include: no profile with my married name, my maiden name profile fuses several pieces of info from diffrent locations, for example listing my former St. Louis address as one I have in Denver. My husband’s profile is a little more accurate – but he is also listed as a child of two parents (unknown) in our household. I’m listed as a single female in our house – which freaked me out a bit with the whole stalker thing.

    Deleting all the various incarnations of the profile anyway, and I appreciate the specific instructions on how to opt-out, Gini.

  • Doug_Davidoff

    @ErinBrumleve Erin, the danger with things like this is that inaccuracy doesn’t really matter. Salespeople, employers, employees, and other resources will use tools like these and will treat the info in there as if it were true.

    When I was in sales, working directly with consumers I would have killed for a tool like this – and I’m certain that a part of Spokeo’s (or any other competitor) monetization strategy is to provide this to employers and salespeople.

  • Doug_Davidoff

    @ErinBrumleve Erin, the danger with things like this is that inaccuracy doesn’t really matter. Salespeople, employers, employees, and other resources will use tools like these and will treat the info in there as if it were true.

    When I was in sales, working directly with consumers I would have killed for a tool like this – and I’m certain that a part of Spokeo’s (or any other competitor) monetization strategy is to provide this to employers and salespeople.

  • meganbeausang

    Thanks Gini. Apparently, I too live with my parents and have been living here for 16 years. Have you ever seen this website? http://www.blockshopper.com/ You can see what people have paid for homes.

  • meganbeausang

    Thanks Gini. Apparently, I too live with my parents and have been living here for 16 years. Have you ever seen this website? http://www.blockshopper.com/ You can see what people have paid for homes.

  • ErinBrumleve

    @Doug_Davidoff Thanks David, for allowing me to clarify. The fact that I’m listed as a single female is inaccurate, but still dangerous as it could potentially invite unwanted company to our home. And I imagine you are right about the monetization stragety, though such is not an area of my expertise.

  • ErinBrumleve

    @Doug_Davidoff Thanks David, for allowing me to clarify. The fact that I’m listed as a single female is inaccurate, but still dangerous as it could potentially invite unwanted company to our home. And I imagine you are right about the monetization stragety, though such is not an area of my expertise.

  • FollowtheLawyer

    Even though it presents as a marketing database-esque service, it seems too slow and kludgy for that purpose. I can’t help but wonder whether Spokeo is primarily a privacy FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) demonstration project to sell scrubbing services through its “partner” Reputation Defender.

    The “Remove a Listing ” page reads like a “We’ve Been Expecting You” message. The clear implication is that if Spokeo can do this, anyone can, and if that bothers you then you can pay Reputation Defender to help you keep your online privacy curtains closed.

    From the Spokeo “Remove a Listing” page:

    “Spokeo aggregates publicly available information from phone books, social networks, marketing surveys, real estate listings, business websites, and other public sources. Spokeo does not originate data or publish user-generated content. Rather, Spokeo indexes third-party data in ways similar to Google or Bing. Spokeo does not control or maintain any aggregated third-party data, and therefore cannot guarantee its accuracy or currentness. Spokeo does not publish directory listings for children under 18. Please read our full privacy policy. Spokeo cares about data privacy. We have partnered with ReputationDefender, a leading privacy protection agency, to help you control and remove your information on hundreds of other people search sites. Click the banner to get started:You can also remove your Spokeo listing from public searches for free. Please note that removing your Spokeo listing from public searches does not remove your information from the third-party data sources. Your information will still be shown on other people search sites, and you will need to contact those third-party sites one-by-one, or use ReputationDefender to protect your online identity.”

  • FollowtheLawyer

    Even though it presents as a marketing database-esque service, it seems too slow and kludgy for that purpose. I can’t help but wonder whether Spokeo is primarily a privacy FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) demonstration project to sell scrubbing services through its “partner” Reputation Defender.

    The “Remove a Listing ” page reads like a “We’ve Been Expecting You” message. The clear implication is that if Spokeo can do this, anyone can, and if that bothers you then you can pay Reputation Defender to help you keep your online privacy curtains closed.

    From the Spokeo “Remove a Listing” page:

    “Spokeo aggregates publicly available information from phone books, social networks, marketing surveys, real estate listings, business websites, and other public sources. Spokeo does not originate data or publish user-generated content. Rather, Spokeo indexes third-party data in ways similar to Google or Bing. Spokeo does not control or maintain any aggregated third-party data, and therefore cannot guarantee its accuracy or currentness. Spokeo does not publish directory listings for children under 18. Please read our full privacy policy. Spokeo cares about data privacy. We have partnered with ReputationDefender, a leading privacy protection agency, to help you control and remove your information on hundreds of other people search sites. Click the banner to get started:You can also remove your Spokeo listing from public searches for free. Please note that removing your Spokeo listing from public searches does not remove your information from the third-party data sources. Your information will still be shown on other people search sites, and you will need to contact those third-party sites one-by-one, or use ReputationDefender to protect your online identity.”

  • wagnerwrites

    I’ve been having problems with this for months. I can’t get my profile removed. It just keeps looping, asking for another code. I wonder if this is a deliberate strategy.

  • wagnerwrites

    I’ve been having problems with this for months. I can’t get my profile removed. It just keeps looping, asking for another code. I wonder if this is a deliberate strategy.

  • ginidietrich

    My friend hackmanj created video instruction on how to remove your profile, if you’re more apt to visuals. http://msol.us/byespokeo

  • ginidietrich

    My friend hackmanj created video instruction on how to remove your profile, if you’re more apt to visuals. http://msol.us/byespokeo

  • ginidietrich

    @wagnerwrites I wonder if that is a deliberate strategy? I’ll check mine again in a couple of weeks to see.

  • ginidietrich

    @wagnerwrites I wonder if that is a deliberate strategy? I’ll check mine again in a couple of weeks to see.

  • ginidietrich

    @FollowtheLawyer I freaking hate companies like this.

  • ginidietrich

    @FollowtheLawyer I freaking hate companies like this.

  • ginidietrich

    @meganbeausang It seems we have absolutely no control over what is put online.

  • ginidietrich

    @meganbeausang It seems we have absolutely no control over what is put online.

  • ginidietrich

    @hackmanj I agree!

  • ginidietrich

    @hackmanj I agree!

  • Thanks for the heads-up, Gini! I happened to be just finishing removing my profile when my next client came in. I asked her if she was familiar with it and she said yes, her mother had posted it on Facebook but she found little on her since her last ten years were in Singapore but plenty on other family members. She too saw it as too much information. I am out there on purpose but as you said, I want to control what is out there and how you find it. Thanks for the alert!

  • Thanks for the heads-up, Gini! I happened to be just finishing removing my profile when my next client came in. I asked her if she was familiar with it and she said yes, her mother had posted it on Facebook but she found little on her since her last ten years were in Singapore but plenty on other family members. She too saw it as too much information. I am out there on purpose but as you said, I want to control what is out there and how you find it. Thanks for the alert!

  • balemar

    Gini! Thank you! It was a bit frightening to see all that information aggregated from everywhere. I know that information is online, but we don’t have to make it so easy for other people to find it like this.

  • balemar

    Gini! Thank you! It was a bit frightening to see all that information aggregated from everywhere. I know that information is online, but we don’t have to make it so easy for other people to find it like this.

  • ginidietrich

    @balemar If I’d been smart, I would have looked up yours before I posted this so I could stalk you! 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @balemar If I’d been smart, I would have looked up yours before I posted this so I could stalk you! 🙂

  • HowieSPM

    Curious to see if I am still in there. I deleted everything last year. I think it should be a crime for businesses to sell customer info including jail time and not just 30 days. My sister told me in NY State when you register to vote all that data can be seen by anyone. Not every state allows this. I think it is completely jacked up.

    Gini didn’t you know to buy low and sell high?

  • HowieSPM

    Curious to see if I am still in there. I deleted everything last year. I think it should be a crime for businesses to sell customer info including jail time and not just 30 days. My sister told me in NY State when you register to vote all that data can be seen by anyone. Not every state allows this. I think it is completely jacked up.

    Gini didn’t you know to buy low and sell high?

  • HowieSPM

    OK need to report back with important good news. Over a year ago when I was told about this website I did as Gini said to delete my information. It did stay deleted for my proper legal name. My non-proper name ie. Howie vs Howard has a listing at my old address in Redondo Beach and all the data is wrong.

  • HowieSPM

    OK need to report back with important good news. Over a year ago when I was told about this website I did as Gini said to delete my information. It did stay deleted for my proper legal name. My non-proper name ie. Howie vs Howard has a listing at my old address in Redondo Beach and all the data is wrong.

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich @FollowtheLawyer Gini if you sell my Spin sucks comments to 3rd party marketers for a profit I want a cut!

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich @FollowtheLawyer Gini if you sell my Spin sucks comments to 3rd party marketers for a profit I want a cut!

  • NancyMyrland

    @ginidietrich Yes, it was a relief!

  • NancyMyrland

    @ginidietrich Yes, it was a relief!

  • MandyBoyle

    Thanks so much for sharing this Gini. I saw something about this last week and deleted myself and my parents. Super scary stuff!

  • MandyBoyle

    Thanks so much for sharing this Gini. I saw something about this last week and deleted myself and my parents. Super scary stuff!

  • ginidietrich

    @MandyBoyle It IS super scary!

  • ginidietrich

    @MandyBoyle It IS super scary!

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM Did you delete it again?

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM Did you delete it again?

  • AndreWillis

    Gini: Thanks for the info. I plan on forwarding this post to various family members ASAP!

  • AndreWillis

    Gini: Thanks for the info. I plan on forwarding this post to various family members ASAP!

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich Didnt have to. The important one has stayed deleted since I did it the first time. Was so happy to see it didn’t return. I checked some friends and they tend to be wrong on much of the data. Thankfully!

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich Didnt have to. The important one has stayed deleted since I did it the first time. Was so happy to see it didn’t return. I checked some friends and they tend to be wrong on much of the data. Thankfully!

  • bdorman264

    Always the facilitator w/ a wealth of useful info; thanks. Oh yeah, I didn’t hear you cheering loud enough for your Bears last night and you let the Pack win. That’s ok however, because the Giants won too so the Bucs wouldn’t have made it anyway……….

  • bdorman264

    Always the facilitator w/ a wealth of useful info; thanks. Oh yeah, I didn’t hear you cheering loud enough for your Bears last night and you let the Pack win. That’s ok however, because the Giants won too so the Bucs wouldn’t have made it anyway……….

  • I just tried and received the following note: In order to prevent abuse, we must limit the frequency of privacy requests. Please try again tomorrow. Government officials please use your @.gov email address for priority processing.

  • I just tried and received the following note: In order to prevent abuse, we must limit the frequency of privacy requests. Please try again tomorrow. Government officials please use your @.gov email address for priority processing.

  • I proudly present the brand-new web site: http://www.SpokeoArchive.SpokeAgain.com

    In case you run into a password protected field, try < jackbauer : jackbauer >

    For starters, Amazon UK, BBC arabic version, two Russian and one Dutch wiki sites start announcing the numerical analysis of the data, starting from the letter-group “Diet” which belonged to genuine and undeleted records by tomorrow morning. My associates further informed me that there are ongoing negotiations with a Chinese rogue broadcaster and a Chicago-based PR company.

    If you excuse me, I gotta sexual assault case to deal with.. (damn, you start making real money in 2010 – how? ohh, silly question.. just make a few more clicks and get through)

  • I proudly present the brand-new web site: http://www.SpokeoArchive.SpokeAgain.com

    In case you run into a password protected field, try < jackbauer : jackbauer >

    For starters, Amazon UK, BBC arabic version, two Russian and one Dutch wiki sites start announcing the numerical analysis of the data, starting from the letter-group “Diet” which belonged to genuine and undeleted records by tomorrow morning. My associates further informed me that there are ongoing negotiations with a Chinese rogue broadcaster and a Chicago-based PR company.

    If you excuse me, I gotta sexual assault case to deal with.. (damn, you start making real money in 2010 – how? ohh, silly question.. just make a few more clicks and get through)

  • Rieva

    Thanks for the head’s up Gini. I deleted it. Though it said I was a male.

  • Rieva

    Thanks for the head’s up Gini. I deleted it. Though it said I was a male.

  • ginidietrich

    @Rieva That kind of makes me laugh!

  • ginidietrich

    @Rieva That kind of makes me laugh!

  • ginidietrich

    @PhilipNowak Are you serious? I have no idea what to say to that.

  • ginidietrich

    @PhilipNowak Are you serious? I have no idea what to say to that.

  • ginidietrich

    @bdorman264 Sigh…I kept telling myself that game didn’t matter, but I REALLY wanted them to win!

  • ginidietrich

    @bdorman264 Sigh…I kept telling myself that game didn’t matter, but I REALLY wanted them to win!

  • Rieva

    @ginidietrich @Rieva Also had the other occupant of my house as a male. If you bought their info you would have thought we were either 2 brothers or a married gay couple. However it was me and a cat that died about 10 years ago.

  • Rieva

    @ginidietrich @Rieva Also had the other occupant of my house as a male. If you bought their info you would have thought we were either 2 brothers or a married gay couple. However it was me and a cat that died about 10 years ago.

  • Stormbringer_5

    As I was following the instructions, this seemed awfully familiar. Pretty sure I did this a year or so ago. But I was in there. So, I did it again. And it did not delete my info like it said it would. Tried again, still nothing.

  • Stormbringer_5

    As I was following the instructions, this seemed awfully familiar. Pretty sure I did this a year or so ago. But I was in there. So, I did it again. And it did not delete my info like it said it would. Tried again, still nothing.

  • DavidSpinks

    @timjahn You’re spot on with the real discussion here. It’s been something I’ve been following intently.

    Deleting your spokeo profile doesn’t solve anything because the information is still out there. If they can get it, so can the loads of other sites collecting data about people. I can name 5 other sites off the top of my head that are doing the same stuff, or more. There will only be more and more of these sites coming up. It’s valuable to businesses to be able to automate data collection about people.

    Privacy as we’ve known it is already dead. It’s at the point where we ask, what information do we really want private? Then ask how much of that information can you actually keep private? It’s not always possible due to official records, like that of your house.

    As technology continued to open windows of communication, our valuation of personal information has changed as well.

    It’s not really something you can stop…you can only adapt.

  • DavidSpinks

    @timjahn You’re spot on with the real discussion here. It’s been something I’ve been following intently.

    Deleting your spokeo profile doesn’t solve anything because the information is still out there. If they can get it, so can the loads of other sites collecting data about people. I can name 5 other sites off the top of my head that are doing the same stuff, or more. There will only be more and more of these sites coming up. It’s valuable to businesses to be able to automate data collection about people.

    Privacy as we’ve known it is already dead. It’s at the point where we ask, what information do we really want private? Then ask how much of that information can you actually keep private? It’s not always possible due to official records, like that of your house.

    As technology continued to open windows of communication, our valuation of personal information has changed as well.

    It’s not really something you can stop…you can only adapt.

  • LegallyErin

    I was able to delete four listings in my name. Thanks, Gini.

  • LegallyErin

    I was able to delete four listings in my name. Thanks, Gini.

  • @DavidSpinks @timjahn Tim – you make valid and accurate points here, but would you agree that it is wise to limit where the information is available if you can? In this case people who subscribe to Spokeo premium service will have to look elsewhere for information on ginidietric and may go for the low hanging fruit. Food for thought.

  • @DavidSpinks @timjahn Tim – you make valid and accurate points here, but would you agree that it is wise to limit where the information is available if you can? In this case people who subscribe to Spokeo premium service will have to look elsewhere for information on ginidietric and may go for the low hanging fruit. Food for thought.

  • rhcherokeej

    If you google ‘people search’ you will see at least a dozen, if not more, of these sites. All you have to do is pay a small fee and they will give any information they have on you. I had never before heard of Spokeo untill now but I have seen these same kinds of sites for many years on the internet. I’m afraid that one would have to go to many more of these sites to try and get each of them to delete your information and I’m not sure if they all would even do it. This is really no different then paying a private detective to find information on someone…only a lot less expensive and much more available on the internet. That is how most of them do it now. Sad to say, it has been around for a long time and I don’t see it going away anytime soon.

  • rhcherokeej

    If you google ‘people search’ you will see at least a dozen, if not more, of these sites. All you have to do is pay a small fee and they will give any information they have on you. I had never before heard of Spokeo untill now but I have seen these same kinds of sites for many years on the internet. I’m afraid that one would have to go to many more of these sites to try and get each of them to delete your information and I’m not sure if they all would even do it. This is really no different then paying a private detective to find information on someone…only a lot less expensive and much more available on the internet. That is how most of them do it now. Sad to say, it has been around for a long time and I don’t see it going away anytime soon.

  • microfud

    Any of you think to consider that you had to give up your e-mail address in exchange for deleting the page? What makes you think that data won’t be added to their database and provided to one of their partner sites. By “deleting” your page you may just be enhancing their dataset.

  • microfud

    Any of you think to consider that you had to give up your e-mail address in exchange for deleting the page? What makes you think that data won’t be added to their database and provided to one of their partner sites. By “deleting” your page you may just be enhancing their dataset.

  • microfud

    @Stormbringer_5 Yup. All you did was provide them with an e-mail address which they’ve now, undoubtably, added to the information they have about you.

  • microfud

    @Stormbringer_5 Yup. All you did was provide them with an e-mail address which they’ve now, undoubtably, added to the information they have about you.

  • rhcherokeej

    As for them adding your e-mail address, if you give it to try and delete information, yes…they will add it if they don’t already have it. Anytime you put your e-mail address into a database, it becomes public information.

  • rhcherokeej

    As for them adding your e-mail address, if you give it to try and delete information, yes…they will add it if they don’t already have it. Anytime you put your e-mail address into a database, it becomes public information.

  • microfud

    @rhcherokeej makes sense to me. That’s why I didn’t delete the page. Nothing prevents this company from turning around and selling the e-mail address to some other company. Seems like this web page is just the honey used to attract the flies (us users and our data).

  • microfud

    @rhcherokeej makes sense to me. That’s why I didn’t delete the page. Nothing prevents this company from turning around and selling the e-mail address to some other company. Seems like this web page is just the honey used to attract the flies (us users and our data).

  • @microfud @rhcherokeej Interesting point, an easy work around is to use a alias that you can easily delete later or a “junk” email account that you rarely use. Nice thinking!

  • @microfud @rhcherokeej Interesting point, an easy work around is to use a alias that you can easily delete later or a “junk” email account that you rarely use. Nice thinking!

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich @DallasK @timjahn I spent a lot of time cleansing certain things from the web. I don’t give my full name on comments, I changed my FB profile to an alias, I even post on Media Post and Ad Week as either my company or Chief Alien. I don’t mind work related stuff being public but my private life they can go take a walk off a short pier if they think it should all be public. Plus no one needs to know my Sea Monkey farm has cruel living conditions.

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich @DallasK @timjahn I spent a lot of time cleansing certain things from the web. I don’t give my full name on comments, I changed my FB profile to an alias, I even post on Media Post and Ad Week as either my company or Chief Alien. I don’t mind work related stuff being public but my private life they can go take a walk off a short pier if they think it should all be public. Plus no one needs to know my Sea Monkey farm has cruel living conditions.

  • ginidietrich

    @hackmanj @microfud @rhcherokeej I did what Joe suggests…used my junk email account that I never open.

  • ginidietrich

    @hackmanj @microfud @rhcherokeej I did what Joe suggests…used my junk email account that I never open.

  • ginidietrich

    @microfud @Stormbringer_5 I also learned last night that Spokeo was down (i.e. not accepting privacy requests) because it had so many requests yesterday. So you may need to try again later this week.

  • ginidietrich

    @microfud @Stormbringer_5 I also learned last night that Spokeo was down (i.e. not accepting privacy requests) because it had so many requests yesterday. So you may need to try again later this week.

  • 3HatsComm

    Wow Gini, had no IDEA this was out there. Thanks for the tips, deleting this now.

  • 3HatsComm

    Wow Gini, had no IDEA this was out there. Thanks for the tips, deleting this now.

  • you know, I almost didn’t read through this article, because after reading the title, I thought – I never signed up for one of those accounts… glad I did read, and I have deleted now!! THANKS 🙂

  • you know, I almost didn’t read through this article, because after reading the title, I thought – I never signed up for one of those accounts… glad I did read, and I have deleted now!! THANKS 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @RandomShelly LOL!! What am I going to do with you?!

  • ginidietrich

    @RandomShelly LOL!! What am I going to do with you?!

  • ginidietrich

    @3HatsComm You’re welcome! There are others so I’ll post them when I find them.

  • ginidietrich

    @3HatsComm You’re welcome! There are others so I’ll post them when I find them.

  • 3HatsComm

    @ginidietrich Please do, I’ve already shared this with someone, this is just some scary stuff.

  • 3HatsComm

    @ginidietrich Please do, I’ve already shared this with someone, this is just some scary stuff.

  • asfgasdg

    Uh, Im pretty sure not even Google takes instant pictures of your home when you take a gander online. Quit being ridiculous. Maybe if you had changed your yard in the last few years it would look different. Get off the computer and do some landscaping.

  • asfgasdg

    Uh, Im pretty sure not even Google takes instant pictures of your home when you take a gander online. Quit being ridiculous. Maybe if you had changed your yard in the last few years it would look different. Get off the computer and do some landscaping.

  • @ginidietrich @microfud @Stormbringer_5 there ya go, there is a new /. in town, it got “Spinsucked” 😉

    I will take any likes that get my joke 🙂

  • @ginidietrich @microfud @Stormbringer_5 there ya go, there is a new /. in town, it got “Spinsucked” 😉

    I will take any likes that get my joke 🙂

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  • ginidietrich

    @asfgasdg Yeah, I’m pretty sure the foot and a half of snow that showed in the photo when I looked has been there all year. Thanks for the comment.

  • ginidietrich

    @asfgasdg Yeah, I’m pretty sure the foot and a half of snow that showed in the photo when I looked has been there all year. Thanks for the comment.

  • AliciaKrick

    Does this delete the information that Spokeo has for $2.95 per month or just the free stuff?

  • AliciaKrick

    Does this delete the information that Spokeo has for $2.95 per month or just the free stuff?

  • @AliciaKrick it appears that they delete everything from their site by this (part of their extended privacy information on the site):

    “This process is only intended to remove information available through Spokeo.com and cannot remove the information from the third-party public sources, such as phone books.”

    So if I am reading that properly they are saying that they remove the information available from their site. Of course it would not delete the other information that is out there. Of course they are advocating a reputation service on their privacy/opt out page so they will want you to be concerned about the information being elsewhere.

    Hope this helps!

    Joe

  • @AliciaKrick it appears that they delete everything from their site by this (part of their extended privacy information on the site):

    “This process is only intended to remove information available through Spokeo.com and cannot remove the information from the third-party public sources, such as phone books.”

    So if I am reading that properly they are saying that they remove the information available from their site. Of course it would not delete the other information that is out there. Of course they are advocating a reputation service on their privacy/opt out page so they will want you to be concerned about the information being elsewhere.

    Hope this helps!

    Joe

  • Thanks for sharing, Gini! A friend of mine had posted info re: Spokeo, last week. I deleted my account then, but after seeing your post, I thought, “Hmmm, I should check to see if my *full* name has a listing.” Sure enough, there it was….picture of my house and all! AH!

    So, an extra tidbit of advice to everyone would be: Make sure you check your nickname *and* your full name!

    -Katie (aka Kathryn) 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing, Gini! A friend of mine had posted info re: Spokeo, last week. I deleted my account then, but after seeing your post, I thought, “Hmmm, I should check to see if my *full* name has a listing.” Sure enough, there it was….picture of my house and all! AH!

    So, an extra tidbit of advice to everyone would be: Make sure you check your nickname *and* your full name!

    -Katie (aka Kathryn) 🙂

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  • ginidietrich

    @KatieFassl Katie – that’s a great point. I just went and looked for my maiden name and it was there. Thank you!

  • ginidietrich

    @KatieFassl Katie – that’s a great point. I just went and looked for my maiden name and it was there. Thank you!

  • I saw this post earlier, Gini, and just went to the site. it is TRULY frightening. Thank you so much for working through this and sharing.

  • I saw this post earlier, Gini, and just went to the site. it is TRULY frightening. Thank you so much for working through this and sharing.

  • ginidietrich

    @Shonali Make sure you look at your other names (if you’re using your husband’s last name). I forgot about my maiden name and sure enough! There is was.

  • ginidietrich

    @Shonali Make sure you look at your other names (if you’re using your husband’s last name). I forgot about my maiden name and sure enough! There is was.

  • @ginidietrich Yup; it didn’t have my maiden name (probably a good thing). I think we need to make sure our spouses/significant others delete theirs as well.

  • @ginidietrich Yup; it didn’t have my maiden name (probably a good thing). I think we need to make sure our spouses/significant others delete theirs as well.

  • One more thing to try: if you/spouse use a middle initial, try putting that in as well. That way you can make sure you delete all listings associated with your name.

  • One more thing to try: if you/spouse use a middle initial, try putting that in as well. That way you can make sure you delete all listings associated with your name.

  • privacychoice

    Try this new beta service which includes Spokeo removal.

    http://www.privacychoice.org/disconnect

  • privacychoice

    Try this new beta service which includes Spokeo removal.

    http://www.privacychoice.org/disconnect

  • Pingback: What is Spokeo? (and how to delete your profile) | Law Firm Marketing and Management Tips for Personal Injury and Disability Attorneys()

  • Headhunter

    As a recruiter we use these tools to locate difficult candidates. Some posts here mention this is no different than opening the phone book, whitepages.com or even netdetective.com. The only difference is that it shows a person’s “demographics” with regards to price of home and income. When i reviewed my spokeo profile it was just that. Nothing “exact” as this article claims. In fact my profile mentioned that I “Like the outdoors” and “I like to go for bicycle rides”. FALSE! You will have a better chance of identity theft by opening a credit card or purchasing a vehicle. Those companies ACTUALLY SELL your info. Purchasing property/home is public knowledge viewable via county records. To safeguard your personal info I suggest you shred any solicitation via post mail and have your utility bills coverted to ebills. In order to obtain someones identity, one will need more than Spokeo to be successful.

  • Headhunter

    As a recruiter we use these tools to locate difficult candidates. Some posts here mention this is no different than opening the phone book, whitepages.com or even netdetective.com. The only difference is that it shows a person’s “demographics” with regards to price of home and income. When i reviewed my spokeo profile it was just that. Nothing “exact” as this article claims. In fact my profile mentioned that I “Like the outdoors” and “I like to go for bicycle rides”. FALSE! You will have a better chance of identity theft by opening a credit card or purchasing a vehicle. Those companies ACTUALLY SELL your info. Purchasing property/home is public knowledge viewable via county records. To safeguard your personal info I suggest you shred any solicitation via post mail and have your utility bills coverted to ebills. In order to obtain someones identity, one will need more than Spokeo to be successful.

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  • JennaM.Pitman

    I deleted a bunch of spokeo accounts a couple years ago for my family and myself. They were back now.

  • stevo12342vdf

    They also auto-renew your account and don’t issue a refund if you cancel.

  • stevo12342vdf

    They also auto-renew your account and don’t issue a refund if you cancel.

  • stevo12342vdf

    They also auto-renew your account and don’t issue a refund if you cancel.

  • aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    Information is still not totally removed.

    Use Google and you can still view personal information.

    Even if some of it is omitted with the use of asterisks, personal information is still easily viewed from a page referred by a Google search.

  • CraigMcDaniel

    I used this process when you originally posted this item and checked again today. Everything was back up. I repeated the removal request and got confirmation that the listing had been removed but less than a minute later it was back.

    •  @CraigMcDaniel This really bothers me. I don’t know what to say. They’re not supposed to be putting the information back up. Grrrrr.

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  • IPStevieB

    I went through this process, and I discovered that I have many profiles dating back to the late 80’s.   When I tried to remove the 5th consecutive profile, I received this nifty little note from them.  That is beyond belief.

  • IPStevieB Whoa. That is unbelievable.

  • Pingback: What is Spokeo? (and how to delete your profile) - pilmma.cwdevelop.com Managed WordPress Site()

  • dallasfweather

    I live in the Uk and i didnt know that it was only for americans and i tried to find my profile and it didnt pop up what should i do.

  • jayjay47

    You can cancel at http://reviewspokeo.com/spokeo-cancel/

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