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How to remove your name from FamilyTreeNow.com

You might be surprised to learn what kind of personal information this "genealogy" site already has on you.

Web of Trust doesn't like FamilyTreeNow.com either.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Here's FamilyTreeNow.com's promise: "100 percent free family tree and geneaology research."

Sounds good, right? Well known sites such as Ancestry.com charge you, but FamilyTreeNow is completely free.

But it's not a genealogy site. Rather, it's masquerading as one, when it's really a people-search tool similar to Peoplefinders and Spokeo. However, those sites charge for their services, and that's where FamilyTreeNow starts to feel a little scary. With very little effort, you can look up considerable data on just about anyone.

That sound you hear is the cheering of stalkers everywhere.

No doubt you're curious, and so was I. So I "FamilyTreeNowed" myself, and here's what it returned:

  • My date of birth
  • A list of several possible relatives (three of them correct)
  • A list of "possible associates" (all correct)
  • My current and past four addresses

Granted, all of this comes from public records and could undoubtedly be looked up elsewhere (with enough time and, often, money). FamilyTreeNow simply aggregates data from various online sources.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Even so, I wanted out. Fortunately, the site makes it fairly easy to opt out of its listings. Just click that link, then scroll down a bit, click the "I'm not a robot" captcha box, then click Begin Opt Out Procedure.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Next, run a search for yourself. Once you've clicked through to your record (making sure it's yours and not someone with the same name), click the red Opt Out This Record button. That's it! You're done.

According to FamilyTreeNow, it can take up to 48 hours for your record to be removed.

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