Home / General Tips / Protect Your Privacy–Make sure this public registry doesn’t have your information

Protect Your Privacy–Make sure this public registry doesn’t have your information

Multiple friends send me a link and warned me that you can find out most people’s personal information on it.  I’ve received warnings like that in the past and found websites that listed my city and birthday.

This website, FamilyTreeNow, goes a step further.  When I looked at my record, it listed all my relatives, plus all of my previous roommates.  It also listed every address I’ve ever lived at.

spy covert privacy

Yeesh.

Luckily, it was really easy to remove my record.  And you can remove yours.  Just follow these steps.

  1. Visit this link.
  2. Find your own record.
  3. Verify that it is yours.
  4. Click on the big red “OPT OUT” button at the top.
  5. Repeat if you’ve gone by multiple names.

It says that it will take 48 hours to remove, but mine was gone within 24 hours.

When I first heard about this, I checked it out on Snopes.

I learned that law enforcement officers were especially concerned about this because people they previously arrested could potentially find their addresses.  Snopes confirmed that the site does give out people’s addresses (but also emphasized that the site isn’t specifically targeting law enforcement).

FamilyTreeNow claims to be a genealogy website, but doesn’t follow the privacy rules that other geology sites are governed by.  I’m active on Ancestry.com, and you cannot pull the records of any living person.  I like that.

I recommend opting out.  Odds are, someone will not use your information in a damaging manner, but it’s better to be safe.

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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16 comments

  1. They do charge for probably useless reports. Remember the old days of phone books complete with everybody’s name, address and phone number? Except for a few oddballs who paid for an unlisted number.

  2. Wow, where was this registry when I was trying to remember all of my addresses for that loan app. Right after college it was like, “You seriously expect me to remember every address I’ve had for three whole years?!”
    But on a more serious note, that’s creepy. Thanks for the heads up. Removed myself.

  3. Thanks for this info, removed myself and family members!

  4. Some of the info was correct but some of the info was wrong (like former addresses)

  5. Thank you so much!! I found lots and friend and family and passed this on.

  6. I found my records, but I don’t see the Opt Out button. Which page is it on?

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      You have to go directly through this link and directly to your record (so it may require repeating if you had to surf to find it). The button will be at the top left if you do it correctly.

      If you are still having trouble, you can email them the link directly (email address is listed where I linked to above)

  7. Thanks for the information. Removed all the family member information.

  8. Thanks. Removed my infor.

  9. I don’t think that this is a valid website. Links to some of the things aren’t working for me. Also, opting out is just confirming the information is valid. I would suggest not doing this. If this information is out there, anyone can get to it and opting out would only remove it from this site.

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