OK, this is seriously creepy. Genealogy website FamilyTreeNow.com is the talk of the town — and not in a good way! The database is meant to help you track down your family history, but it’s turning out to be a total invasion of privacy. Find out why, here!
We’ve all seen those genealogy commercials on TV. The idea of discovering your entire family’s roots and heritage sounds pretty cool, but if YOU’RE able to access that information, what’s to stop anyone else from doing the same? That’s the problem people are having with FamilyTreeNow.com. Apparently this genealogy site enables anyone to access “billions of historical records” like your birth, death, marriage, divorce, and military records — for FREE! That’s a lot of personal information up for grabs, and users are NOT happy.
@familytreenow How about taking HOME ADDRESSES off the site???? THERE IS NO REASON FOR THAT INFO TO BE AVAILABLE!
— Mary L. (@MsVegasMary) May 5, 2015
— DS (@diggs808) January 17, 2016
WHAT THE FUCK @FamilyTreeNow, why are you giving identity thieves EVERYTHING THEY NEED TO STEAL OUR ACCOUNTS?
— Matthew Ebel (@matthewebel) January 9, 2017
Good time to say that @familytreenow has literally most of your personal information up right now with no safeguards and you have to opt out
— Discourse Delver (@RainierOunce) January 9, 2017
While I'm glad the freakout over @familytreenow has gone viral, I wish the same care was taken with Spokeo, PeekYou, Instant Checkmate, etc.
— Lesley 🥞 (@hacks4pancakes) January 12, 2017
GUYS LISTEN TO ME. There's a website called FamilyTreeNow & if you search your name it shows A LOT of your personal info. GO OPT OUT.
— Sarah Saltbaugh (@jk_ItsTori) January 13, 2017
— BeeBee (@CodenameSailorB) January 12, 2017
Chances are you’ve never heard of this site, but it sure knows a lot about you! All it takes to access this information is a computer. There’s no log-in, password, or fee to deal with. Just go to the site and type in any name you can think of. The good news is, there’s a way to protect your family! Many Twitter users are linking to the web address that allows you to “opt out.” This means you’ll be able to delete any and all information on the site if your name comes up. Rest assured that not EVERYONE you know is listed, but it never hurts to check and give a shout out.
So how did this panic start? Thank Anna Brittain, whose sister told her about the site. After hearing her sister’s story, Anna shared a status on Twitter that quickly went viral. “She called me yesterday morning – she’s a social worker, a child advocate for the state, so that puts her in a little bit of danger,” Anna told People.“She’s really very concerned with making sure there’s not a way to connect her to my kids.” Stay safe everyone and DELETE your info from the site!
HollywoodLifers, are YOU worried about this site leaking your privacy?