12/15/08

EVERYONE needs to know this (USA)

I found out about this in an email from our Internet Provider and it's truly shocking! You need to tell everyone you know to check to see if their phone number, address and directions are listed.

We checked our own, and not only was it listed, it gave our names, our address, directions and worst of all a picture of our house!! PamOKC I also got to see a lovely picture of your home; it seems my sat-nav can't find you, but Google knows where you are!! Most of our friends locally were listed and many with pictures of their actual homes. I was truly shocked that all this information could be had, just by entering a phone number. This really should be outlawed by the government. Maybe when someone sues Google after a scare or worse, something will be done about it.

In the meantime, please read below and warn all friends and family:

Question: I've heard that Google recently implemented a feature that enables anyone to type a phone number into the search bar and be able to see the corresponding address and view a map that shows where that home is located. I'm concerned that this could pose a safety risk for me and my family. Is there anything I can do?

Answer: Google did recently implement the feature you've described and it also provides a link that will give directions to the address. While this feature can certainly be convenient for your legitimate visitors, it could also lead strangers to your front door and create security issues. We encourage you to take a moment now to look up your own phone number and find out if it is mapped:

Go to http://www.google.com/

Type your phone number (including area code) in the search bar.Press the "enter/return" key or click your cursor arrow on "Google Search."

If your address information appears, click on the link "Phonebook results for..." located just above your address information.

To remove your name from the Google phonebook, click your cursor arrow on your phone number, and click on "Request to have your name removed from this list." Complete the form and click on "Submit Form." Your removal request will be processed in approximately 48 hours.

If you have an unlisted number or cell phone as a primary contact, this Google map issue will not apply to you.

12 comments:

Ladybird World Mother said...

What a horrible thought. Have clicked on that link, and our number is ok. Will pass this round to friends. Thank you for alerting me.
Doesnt it make you cross that we live in such a world where privacy simply doesnt exist.

Expat mum said...

I don't see the difference between this, and having your phone number listed in the regular phone book. People can find out where you live from that. I always think it's great that so many people in the USA aren't ex-directory. It drives me mad that nearly everyone I know in the UK hides their phone number. They can't all have received dirty phone calls!

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Expat Mom - I disagree completely, this is alot different. First of all I don't have a directory for other area's nationally, this will give you anyone listed nationwide if you know there #.

Secondly it's pretty shocking to put your own # in there and see a picture of your front door!! This the complete package - just from putting in a number. You get their full name, which you have to know for the directory, their full address, a map and a picture of the home. That's scary.

BTW - we requested to be removed and after 48 hours we have been, so the removal does work.

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

Truly makes you realize how identity theft is so prevalent, right? This, of course, coming from someone still fighting credit agencies as a victim.

Expat mum said...

Maybe I'm not shocked because we have always had the SBC number finder here (which I have used a lot). If you have someone's number but not their address, you call the SBC number, put in the number in question, and they give you the names of the residents and the complete mailing address too.
Also, if you use White Pages (dot com) online, you can get an alarming amount of information about everyone that lives a certain distance around you. Nothing is private any more sadly.

Janet said...

Thanks for the info, Sarah. I checked google and we were on there. Thankfully, no pictures of the house, but certainly of the area. I have requested that the number be removed.

Expat mum said...

Well, the photo for us is of the corner shop! The really scary thing - my kids' school was listed! Apparently something went out in the newsletter with my name and phone number on it, and it now comes up with the school's name and details too. If I were a celeb I'd be a bit worried!

Expat mum said...

Also - if you're going to remove yourself from Google, you're listed on 6 other sites which also give full details (plus a map in most cases). These are on the Google "remove" page.
I have alerted my school to the fact that their newsletter is going out with the Google searches, so thanks Sarah!

Kay said...

I knew about google maps to find locations but I didn't know you could type in a phone number to find it. Good gosh! Thanks for the tip!

pamokc said...

Well our house wasn't exactly the one pictured, but I have been wanting an unlisted number for some time now. This just might be the final reason why!

Kat said...

I may have moved across the pond in the nick of time! I will warn my family though!

Daryl said...

A good thing can also be a undesireable thing so its good that Google is taking requests to delete seriously ... cant ask for more than that

And I learned a long time ago, if someone wants to find you, they will.

:-Daryl