Contacting me just became a lot easier...
June 4, 2011 9:53 PM   Subscribe

Is there anyway I can ask for my information to be taken off?

Since my primary email associated with my university has been receiving more spam than usual lately, I took the liberty to google the email address to see if it was posted anywhere online in some random board or other online whatnot for it to be harvested. Turns out, there is an entire spreadsheet with not only my email address, but also my cell phone number!!! The list seems to be a contact information list for a group called Impact Planning. When I go to the homepage of this group, I have no idea what this group is! I'm generally super uptight about privacy controls (my Facebook page is only accessible to friends only, never ever leave my phone number and email out on forums I'm in, etc) so this is slightly freaking me out a bit.

The page lists me as a canvasser, which was accurate for one of the most miserable days of my life so far about 2 years ago. I stupidly worked for the Fund for the Public Interest. Could they have sold my information to this new mystery group or was there something in the fine print in the documents I signed? Has this happened to anyone else who has worked for the Fund for the Public Interest? Is there any action I can take to get my information removed or do I just have to hope this gets buried deep enough within the internet and hope less desirable people don't get a hold of this information, specifically my phone number as a simple search for my email address will turn up this information??
posted by astapasta24 to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you tried asking? Sending an email to whatever contact info you can find and just asking? I've managed to get my name off of several websites that way.
posted by brainmouse at 9:55 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Askme tends to get high search rank. If I were you, I'd ask the mods to edit out the links. There's no need to make harvesters job any easier.
posted by rdr at 10:30 PM on June 4, 2011 [3 favorites]

Second brainmouse. I was on a list from having coached one of my children's soccer team about 7 years ago. I had someone sort of stalking me so I wanted it down. I called them and explained the situation and they took it down. The whole list came down which was nice. I would contact first and see what they say. Don't be all angry about how they got your name, just explain that you have some safety concerns and would like your contact info taken down.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:48 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

So your "homepage" link seems to have an "satkins@..." address that you could try. I would also email "Abby Keisa", or call her cell phone, both available on that second link.

On the flip side: I've deliberately put my contact info including phone numbers on the Internet for longer than most people have known that the web existed, and the worst that's happened is I got called one Sunday evening by a drunk Kirby vacuum cleaner salesman who tried to convince me that I was wrong in my assessment of their vacuums (I'd have tried to talk him out of a more recent review model, but my experience was so bad that I figured it wasn't worth my time to mess around with a lousy vacuum, even for free).

Compared to what used to be available in the white pages, I think that as a general cultural trend we've become generally more private in the networked age. You make your own judgement calls.
posted by straw at 11:24 PM on June 4, 2011

Some searching says that Impact Planning is a business hired by other businesses to (probably) do things like pester volunteers to come volunteer again. So I would definitely e-mail Fund for the Public Interest and tell them they should do more research about the security of people that they hire.

I don't think you're overreacting since having your e-mail posted even once means a huge uptick in spam, which is really annoying even if your filters are good.
posted by anaelith at 12:44 AM on June 5, 2011

They seem to be getting uni addresses.

You need to ferpa your shit. Don't know what it is...look it up, sign the forms.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:24 AM on June 5, 2011

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