OK, How Is This Legal?

I was just told about www.spokeo.com, a new “white pages” service costing (I believe) $2.95 annually.  For free, I accessed my own name, approx. age, address, map location, house photo, phone number, and family members’ names (two of them, anyway), as well as how long I’ve lived in my house.  If I were to pay the premium, I could get my own estimated annual income, details of my neighborhood, estimated credit rating, and more.

I was told there’s a way to “opt out,” a privacy button on the bottom of the screen, but I sure couldn’t see it when I visited.

Pardon me, but I’m feeling rather exposed right now.

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I’m left questioning whether this site is an example of the “free market” running without governmental restrictions (as many would argue it should), or whether this is a case where there is a right to personal privacy that really is being infringed here.  What do you think?


  • Eric Pavlat

    Eric Pavlat is a convert from Unitarian Universalism who entered the Church in 1996. He lives in Maryland with his wife and six children. He is also a perpetually professed Lay Dominican in St. Pius V Pro-Chapter, located in Catonsville, MD. He founded Democrats for Life of Maryland, Inc., in 2004, served one term as president, and stayed on the board of directors until 2010. He now considers himself more a Distributist than anything else. Eric teaches 10th grade honors and special education students in English literature, composition, and grammar at his alma mater, Parkdale High School.

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