Or "Rednecks, Certified Letters and Lynching's"
by Uncle Hiram
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION
Last week we discussed the growing problem of Privacy Infringement and one of the possible problems that can result from it. Before we discuss what we can do, I wanna address some of the Emails I received this week.
1) Joe Bob in Mule Shoe Texas - NO, you cannot tar and feather the CEO of the companies. Lynching is also not a viable option.
2) Julie in Michigan - I really don't think slicing their tires and pouring sugar in their gas tanks is an appropriate response.
3) Ruth Ann in CT - As satisfying as it may be writing the customer service phone of the offending company on the bathroom walls I really don't think it will help any.
Now that we have that out of the way lets discuss our options and methods of response.
The first thing you need to do when you discover your personal data on someone's personal page is send them a polite email requesting they remove it. If this does not work you need to send an email to the People who host the site (I.E., Rootsweb, Angelfire, AOL or whoever). In this email explain the problem and ask them to remind the pagemaster of Internet courtesy or to delete the page. If this doesn't work you need to send a certified letter to the Pagemaster, the Internet Host, the Better Business Bureau and to your State Attorney General. Be POLITE, but explain that this person is releasing your personal information without your permission.
If you find your Info on a Corporate page, CD or Gedcom your task is much more difficult. Again start with a polite email to Customer Service. Explain your objections and ask them to delete the info. When this doesn't work you need to send out the certified letters, but make sure your remain Polite and Rational.
I can't guarantee either of these methods will work but at the moment these are the only options that I have been able to find. The key is to make sure you don't release your personal info to people you don't know. If you send out a GEDCOM sanitize it. Good Luck and Be Careful.
- Adios and Keep Smiling!
- Bill Hocutt (Uncle Hiram)