SJMN reports `Yahoo retracts unlisted home addresses'
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 96 20:03:05 -0700
Subject: SJMN reports `Yahoo retracts unlisted home addresses'
Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <email@example.com>
Forwarded-by: Wendell Craig Baker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
YAHOO RETRACTS UNLISTED HOME ADDRESSES
By Alex Lash. Yahoo has headed off a public outcry by deleting 85 million
records containing unlisted home addresses from its newly launched People
Search service, the San Jose Mercury News reported today. The service,
jointly run with marketing list vendor Database America, just launched two
weeks ago and allowed Net searchers to put an instant finger on 175 million
people, all culled from commercial mailing lists. However, many of the
published addresses and phone numbers were unlisted, and their availability
drew the ire of privacy advocates and citizens, like police officers and
judges, whose safety depends upon privacy. After considering complaints,
Yahoo yesterday decided to block any record that didn't include a publicly
listed phone number. The records have now been winnowed down to 90 million.
The problem won't necessarily disappear, privacy experts said. "People don't
know that when they get an unlisted number, the phone company will still
put it in a database that they sell," said Stanton McCandlish, online
activist at the Electronic Freedom Foundation. Personal information on
commercial mailing lists can also originate from credit card purchases,
magazine subscriptions, and in some states, driver's license records.
© 1996 Peter Langston