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Jan 10

Spokeo Privacy – Get the Scoop from the Source

by Katie • January 10, 2011

Hype and Myths, People Search, Privacy Unplugged, The Spokeo Perspective

As mentioned in our previous blog, Spokeo has been a sizzling hot news topic recently. I’m sure you’ve all seen the warning messages about Spokeo that you’re supposed to repost to your friends on your Facebook and Twitter accounts, or heard about Spokeo from your local news stations. To help clear up any confusion and dispel some of the rumors and myths going around, we would like to reiterate some facts about Spokeo – get the low down from the source.

We recognize that for some users it can be a startling experience to encounter a block of personalized information which they may otherwise be unaware exists – particularly when the information is of a type they may perceive as “private.”  It is important to understand, however, that Spokeo does not generate any data, nor is it the source.  We simply aggregate public records already published across the Internet and other venues, many of which have been in existence for a very long time, and act as a search engine like Google.

To shed light on some common misconceptions, Spokeo does not possess Social-Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank accounts, or other private financial information, such as credit scores. We are not a credit reporting agency. Further, since individual profiles are only as accurate as the published information they are comprised of, we continue to remind users that any information on our site is not guaranteed for accuracy and therefore should be regarded as a reference only, as stated in our disclaimers. That being said, we are actively working on improving the accuracy of the data, and will keep you posted with new developments.

Although the number of opt-out requests is only a small percentage of our total usage, we very much value all user input, and remain highly sensitive to any concerns some may have regarding their privacy. It is noteworthy that few search engines offer a full opt-out feature, or if they do, make it remotely as easy to use. The small percentage that do offer this option frequently employ lengthy and demanding authentication processes, often requiring one to submit hard copies of driver’s licenses, social security numbers, or other forms of identity via fax or mail. At present a user can opt out of their listing and remove it from Spokeo with only a few clicks of a mouse through an email verification process. (Click here for full instructions on how to opt out.)

Some people want to know why we require an e-mail, and speculate about whether it is for purposes of collecting more information. It is not. The reason Spokeo requires an e-mail to opt out is for the same reason that many other websites do – to authenticate that the request is in fact coming from a person and not a spambot – a malicious program that could otherwise wipe out the entire data base. 

I didn’t post any information in this blog that we haven’t already stated, but please use it as a reminder and base for debunking any Spokeo myths. Spokeo not only remains a great people-search engine, but it provides valuable insight into what types of public information are published about an individual, and presents a great way to monitor one’s own virtual identity as well. To learn more about Spokeo and privacy, please refer to Spokeo’s Privacy Policy page.

If you have any additional questions about Spokeo, check out our Help pages, or send us an email. Our traffic remains extremely high and may cause our site to run slowly, so please be patient as we work on improving this. We are also working on responding to all of your emails, and greatly appreciate your patience as our small team works on doing so.

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8 Responses to Spokeo Privacy – Get the Scoop from the Source

  1. Michele Girard says: Sep 12th, 2012

    PLEASE PERMANENTLY REMOVE ALL MY INFORMATION IMMEDIATELY!

  2. Katie says: Sep 13th, 2012

    Hi Michele, You can opt our your listings from our privacy page at http://www.spokeo.com/privacy. You can also email our customer support at support@spokeo.com and provide them with the links to your listings so they can remove them for you. Thank you.

  3. joanna patrice says: Dec 14th, 2012

    Just DELETE ALL MY INFORMATION
    YOUR ONLINE SITE IS NOT WORKING.

    REMOVE ALL OF MY INFORMATION A S A P FROM ALL OF YOUR SITES. YOU CAN FIND MY NAME AND DELETE EVERYTHING>EMAIL< ADDRESS< AGE< PICTURES YOU MAKE IT SO HARD

    PLEASE DO THIS RIGHT AWAY AND CONFIRM IT
    THANKYOU

  4. Katie says: Dec 17th, 2012

    Hello Joanna, Spokeo respects your privacy interests. Please email our customer support at support@spokeo.com and provide them with the links to your specific listings so they can remove them for you. I apologize for any inconvenience, our site and privacy page, http://www.spokeo.com/privacy, are currently up and running. Thank you.

  5. Barbara Reagan says: Jan 17th, 2013

    Please remove all information under the names of:
    John E. Reagan and Barbara Reagan (AKA Carmen Ines Leuteritz Fabrega de Reagan) in Riverside, California 92506 and Charlotte, NC 28277. We are respectively 81 and 80 and have no children and have no relatives in this country. Thank you. Barbara

  6. Vanessa says: Jan 21st, 2013

    Hi Barbara, I have confirmed with our privacy team that the listings your requested have been removed. If you happen to come across a listing that we missed, please email the link directly to privacy@spokeo.com and they will assist you with the removal. Thanks!

  7. Tamara Levi says: Mar 12th, 2013

    remove me from your listings immediately

  8. Vanessa says: Mar 21st, 2013

    Hi Tamara, Spokeo respects your privacy interests. Spokeo aggregates publicly available information from phone books, social networks, marketing surveys, real estate listings, and other public sources. This third-party data is then indexed through methods similar to those used by Google or Bing to create a listing. For further information please read our full privacy policy: http://www.spokeo.com/privacy/terms. You may opt our your listing from our privacy page: http://www.spokeo.com/optout, or you can contact customer support at support@spokeo.com and provide your listing so they can opt it out for you. Thank you.

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