I found “Violet Blue” on Google+ - one of a couple of Big Wins there vs. none on Farcebook. Anyway, here’s a great article she wrote: How To Remove Yourself from People Search Websites.
"With a quick search of your name on any given “peoplefinder” website, you’ll see your name, date of birth, names of family members, current and past addresses, your phone number and gender. Some sites will also reveal your marital status, your hobbies, your online profiles, and maps or a photo of your house.
"Many peoplefinder sites will give up enough to make you choke on your latte without a registration or a fee, so anyone with an internet connection can stalk you from their couch (or office) with about twenty keystrokes. Scary? Completely."
Seriously, “social” and “business/work” networking sites make a lot of money by knowing you and collecting your PPI (Private Personal Information), which needs to be addressed and restricted by the Supreme Court, IMHO.
"No, this isn’t a fluff post, and I’m not being paranoid. I just spent weeks investigating the process of having one’s personal data wiped from these sites and interviewing Sarah A. Downey, lawyer and privacy analyst… Downey explained that one way they get your info is via social networks:
"[One common example is] social networking info, which sometimes depends on the site’s TOU regarding sharing info with third parties, as well as your privacy selections on that site (e.g., your Facebook Likes and interests, your Friends, your Tweets, the work information you provide to LinkedIn). [emphasis mine]”
It’s a much-too-long article (should have been broken up into parts) so here’s a list of the tips, for those too busy to read the whole thing (like me!)
Tip #1: Right now it’s unclear whether these sites retain the information you enter into their search boxes; many suspect this is one of the ways they collect data. Avoid typing your info directly into these sites by Googling the site name along with your name.
Tip #2: Never scan and send your ID to anyone without blacking out your photo and ID number. [RV: Uh, duh!]
Tip #3: Do you think this is wrong? Here is a link to the FTC’s Complaint Form. [RV: Send a complaint ASAP!]
"Abine seems to like helping people opt-out on their own, though one can also use their service DeleteMe and they will do it for you. I used both to see how each works.
"While maintaining a privacy blog that’s like delicious junk food for us pro-privacy people, Abine’s Downey also got fed up one day and decided to post a how-to on removing yourself from background checks on Reddit.
“Page 2: Links and complete instructions to opt-out, plus a site you can’t remove yourself from”
A painfully long read that’s too disorganized - should be by topic, not just time-based, but the above should be more than enough to get both me and all y’all started. Just make sure to send a complaint: The FTC’s Complaint Form!!