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This “Genealogy” Site Knows All About You AND Your Family

FamilyTreeNow.com website (snapshot)

I recently came upon a story from the Washington Post about a genealogy website that had lots of information about you. Since my daughter and several family members have been compiling a family tree, I thought this might be useful. WRONG!

According to the Washington Post:

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.

Profiles on FamilyTreeNow include the age, birth month, family members, addresses and phone numbers for individuals in their system, if they have them. It also guesses at their “possible associates,” all on a publicly accessible, permalink-able page. It’s possible to opt out, but it’s not clear whether doing so actually removes you from their records or (more likely) simply hides your record so it’s no longer accessible to the public.

As I read on, the author noted how she and several post staffers checked out the site and within minutes began opting out.

I checked my name, which is fairly common, and discovered it knew a lot, too much actually, about me. This included my grand daughters name.

As I read through my file, which was compiled in under a minute, I noted that many ‘associates’ names came from Facebook. These are people I’m not related to but am connected with.

I too have opted out.

If you’d like to opt out, by the way, go here and follow the steps.

I suggest you read the Washington Post story, check out your profile and decide your next step.




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