Right now, you are in FamilyTreeNow.com whether or not you want to be. Information about you and other living family members has been aggregated and is available for free. From the Washington Post, an article today entitled “You’ve Probably Never Heard of This Creepy Genealogy Site. But It Knows a Lot About You.” Abby Ohlheiser writes,
There are many “people search” sites and data brokers out there, like Spokeo, or Intelius, that also know a lot about you. This is not news, at least for the Internet-literate. And the information on FamilyTreeNow comes largely from the public records and other legally accessible sources that those other data brokers use. What makes FamilyTreeNow stand out on the creepy scale, though, is how easy the site makes it for anyone to access that information all at once, and free.
…Unusually for a site like this, FamilyTreeNow doesn’t require a fee, or even the creation of an account, to access those detailed profiles (assuming, of course, that person hasn’t already opted out). Lexis Nexis, for instance, can also aggregate tons of public records to create an in-depth profile of a person. But that service is cost-prohibitive to most people who don’t have access to the site through an institutional subscription.
Sure, a free database aggregating thousands of U.S. public records could be beloved by genealogy hobbyists across the country. But the site is also extremely useful to those who might want to harass or physically harm someone else — and that, it seems, is what is freaking a lot of people out about it.
The only thing I disagree with on this article is that this is a genealogy site, whatever it may be named. This is simply another invasive data aggregator wolf dressed in genealogy sheep’s clothing.
Today, you are in FamilyTreeNow.com whether or not you want to be. Click for a link to opt out of this site and suppress your information.
I’m so glad to see that you mentioned this. I saw the Post article last night and got my family off there. I hope everyone does that.