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.
Luckily, it was really easy to remove my record. And you can remove yours. Just follow these steps.
- Visit this link.
- Find your own record.
- Verify that it is yours.
- Click on the big red “OPT OUT” button at the top.
- 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.