A site called Zabasearch.com has stirred up a controversy by offering for free what you used to have to pay for.
Using their site, you can search for a person’s name, address, date of birth and known addresses – and currently it’s all free. You can also pay for a full background check on your subject, including 20-year address histories, bankruptcy and lien judgments, and family addresses.
Now, the only thing about this that is new is that these folks are giving away some of the basic search functionality for free. Everyone has been able to get this type of access to people’s personal information for years by paying for it. For example, a search for “background investigation” on Google will give you tons of places to purchase this info. ZabaSearch has just taken the next step.
If you’re wondering if this is all legal, there is a complete discussion about it on FindLaw.com. In a nutshell, yes, it’s legal.
If you really want to try and get your information removed from ZabaSearch you can supposedly send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org asking to be removed, but my question would be, why bother? Anyone wanting your info can get it from the hundreds of other sites already out there – many of whom charge a flat monthly fee for all you can search access.
You can however sign up to be alerted when anyone uses the site to search for your personal info.
What people should really be concerned about is the fact that all of our credit information is tied to a system that is so fragile and can be compromised in so many ways. With modern encryption, biometrics and the vast array of other technologies that truly allow us to uniquely identify ourselves the real crime is that credit issuing and reporting agencies haven’t been forced by congress to keep up with the times.