By J.G. Noll
You might have seen the hysteria on Facebook: A website called TruePeopleSearch is airing all of your personal information. It’s a conspiracy! Or illegal! (At least that’s what worried posters are writing.) We all know that shared information on social media can be distorted or wildly inaccurate, so we decided to get to the bottom of it.
What the site shows
TruePeopleSearch is a search engine with the aim of making “finding lost friends & family as easy as possible.” It allows you to search by name or reverse search a phone number or address.
When you search a name, the engine populates:
- Your name
- Current address
- Phone numbers
- Email addresses
- Associated names
- Previous addresses–with the ability to view them on a map
- Possible associates
What’s going on?
The information that TruePeopleSearch shows is information that is already publicly available. It’s aggregated, which makes it feel a lot scarier, especially for PERSEC-conscious military families. (And don’t get me wrong–it feels invasive and can be a security issue.)
TruePeopleSearch isn’t the only website that does this. You might remember when Military.com reported on a similar site, FamilyTreeNow. There are other sites that aggregate public records and make them searchable, although some of them are harder to use or might charge fees.
Here’s what to do
It is possible to opt out of TruePeopleSearch through their record removal page. (It can also be found through a link on their contact page). Once you verify that you are not a robot and that you are the person you say you are, click “Begin Removal.” The next screen you see will be the TruePeopleSearch search page. Type in your name, your spouse’s, or your child’s, and find the correct entry. Scroll to the bottom of the individual’s record and click the “Remove Record” button. You will be directed to a page with this message: “Record removal request accepted. Your record should be removed everywhere from this site within a few hours.”