You’re in the cloud

So I’m reading some political news on one of my favorite sites and I see the following ad: “Find anyone in Texas using public records“.  Normally I wouldn’t even notice the ad or my eyes would automatically scan past it, but I accidentally tapped on the ad as I was trying to scroll down on my iPad.

The ad took me to which is a blog about public records.  I was bored so I decided to actually read a few of the posts on the site.  Most of it was boring stuff but some of it was kinda interesting.  One post talked about what kind of government information is publicly available to anyone that requests it and another one was talking about how public records are often requested for political reasons.  Interesting stuff, but the one that got my attention was a post about what information you find out about anyone by doing a public records search.

This made me curious, so I decided to do a public records search on myself.  The basic search was pretty weak and just showed my age and some people that were related to me.  They got my mom, dad, sister and brother in law in the results.  I guess that was a little creepy.  The results also showed my previous address from a place I lived at 2 addresses ago but it did not show my last address.

This was pretty much all the information I was able to get for free.  To get anything else I had to pay.  The service had 2 payment options and I opted for the more expensive one as I really wanted to see what was out there on me.

Let’s just say I was kinda shocked at how much information they had on me.  It really was pretty creepy to find out how much someone can find out about you in a quick online search.  I was rather upset because there was a big mistake in the results.  Apparently there is someone else living in New York that has the same name as me and that was convicted of a felony.  Unfortunately, the service I used ended up attributing that felony to me.  I was kinda pissed as this point so I decided to look through the site’s support information.

They had a nice opt out form which I promptly filled out and which I hope will remove me from a good part of the Internet.  Sadly, it looks like you have to actually find the local public records office that has the mistake if you want the problem corrected permanently.  This was not something I wanted to do so I just went with the opt out option.

Long story short, you might want to take the time to do a public records search on yourself.  You are almost definitely in the cloud.