Protect Yourself and Opt Out of FamilyTreeNow.com Now

I am an amateur genealogist, and as such, I’m used to using sites to try to find missing relatives and other connections. With that said, there is one site out there that calls itself a genealogy site, but it is basically a stalker enabler of the highest order: FamilyTreeNow.com. Try searching your name on there, go on … I’ll wait.

Protect Yourself and Opt Out of FamilyTreeNow.com Now

How do you like seeing every name that’s ever been associated with yours put on the web for all to see?

Protect Yourself and Opt Out of FamilyTreeNow.com Now

How do you like seeing everyone who has ever lived with you, anyone who has ever used your address for any reason, and many of their relatives being listed as a clickable information source?

Protect Yourself and Opt Out of FamilyTreeNow.com Now

How do you like having a list of “possible associates” divulged for everyone to peruse?

Protect Yourself and Opt Out of FamilyTreeNow.com Now

But most of all, how do you like having every address you’ve lived at for the past 20 years printed on the internet? Fun, huh? Never mind the fact that past addresses are often used for identity verification, how do you like having your current address listed in all its glory — ready to be used anyone who might like to come by and say “hi”.

Protect Yourself and Opt Out of FamilyTreeNow.com Now

Whether or not you’ve ever had a stalker, it’s still a bit disconcerting to see personal information listed on the web for free. Sure, there are sites out there that will give the same information for a fee, but this site doesn’t even put up a feeble barrier that the merely curious might not be willing to climb.

What can you do about it? Read the privacy statement at FamilyTreeNow.com here to see exactly what you’re dealing with. Then OPT OUT. Do it now.

The good news is that FamilyTreeNow.com is fairly quick about removing your information; it took about 2 hours, but finally mine was gone.

Protect Yourself and Opt Out of FamilyTreeNow.com Now

To find out more about this site and what it means for your privacy, read this Washington Post article here. After you’ve removed your information from the site, be a good friend and share the word with everyone you know who might care about their privacy, too.


About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford

I’ve had a fascination with all types of gadgets and gizmos since I was a child, beginning with the toy robot that my grandmother gave my brother – which I promptly “relieved him of” in 1973. I’m a self-confessed gadget magpie. I can’t tell you how everything works, but I’m known world-wide for using a product until I have a full understanding of what it does, what its limitations are, and if it excels in any given area … or not.

  • Wow! That’s just crazy to see so much personal info posted for all to read. Thanks for the heads up. Thankfully, they don’t appear to have anything for those of us north of the border. At least not yet….

    • I’m glad that Canadian’s don’t need to worry about it; that’s a good thing in a weird situation.

  • paschott

    Thanks for the heads up on this. Opted out for my family so hopefully this will take effect soon. Was useful to remember where I’ve lived before and I know this is just public info, but it’s still not worth leaving this out there to me.

  • The whole thing that bugged me is that it was listing my current (unlisted) address; I use a PO box to keep that shielded, and this eliminated the precautions I’d taken. I’ve had a stalker; it’s no fun. =/

    I also didn’t like that my elderly and single mother’s information was all put out there — she shouldn’t have to worry about that.

  • Greg Alston

    Is anything safe anymore? Probably not. The fact is I shouldn’t have to google my name every month and opt out of programs like these.

  • Really sleazy that they make it so easy for someone to get so much information. I know it’s out there but these ease of it is scary. In addition, we are living in such a post-fact world of guilt by association that I really find the “possible associates” part of it even more troubling.

  • Much of this is all public record and this site isn’t the first one out there to do this. I can go get all of these at the source and while this makes it much easier to get the information taking them down is only a hurdle to someone who really wants to find your information.

    I have a friend who was in jail for rape (statutory) and his court record was out there…and even worse because of the sexual predator laws (laws designed to help us protect those we love against these guys) I can even find out what car he drives. He basically HAS NO privacy any more so if someone wanted to hurt him they could. Some would say he deserves it based on his crime but he’s served his sentence. He’s done his time and he’s not going to be stupid again. What worries me more about that database is even a 18 year old who has sex consensually with a 16 or 17 year old (not much difference in age) can be put there if her parents decide they don’t like him…and he’d be marked a predator the rest of his life.

    ANYTIME our government starts building databases should worry us. Be it the ones we know they need and the ones they say they need (hello muslim database….hello NSA data center approved by patriot act and continued by the outgoing administration). Some of these may not be available on the web…yet but it can be added. Very easily and it’s NOT a different issue! If you want privacy…you start by saying hey government why are you building this? What security is on this? What is it’s use? What are the protections? We need to get SMARTER about this stuff and stop the issue before it occurs by saying no.

    What this all boils down to is this: The internet has made it easier to access things including court records and more. It’s all there. All a site like this does is to make it easier to get the data and much of what they do in connecting things is disturbing. How do you protect yourself? I am not sure exactly how but I DO think the government should start putting this behind a wall of sorts. Not a heavy one because it’s our right to get public information. However they should have a way to track who is getting what. They should also crack down and make reusing the data by posting it on your own site illegal.

    In the end, I am worried about this as well. This site might get shut down but another one will take it’s place. It’s a never ending war unless the government says the info is public BUT you can’t use it for your own site. Only then will sites that DO make the connections such as this one will be put out of business.