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Blockshopper.com / Privacy and safety concerns--unsolicited publication of full names with addresses and home costs

1 MD, United States Review updated:

Blockshopper.com website business model apparently places people at personal and professional risk to become targets of identity theft, stalking, and other serious crime. Though Jones Day and their Chicago Law firm filed suit against Blockshopper.com and this website's owners-TIMOTHY LANDON, BRIAN TIMPONE & EDWARD WEINHAUS about trademark infringement, the law firm was also victimized by Blockshopper.com by having their home addresses with their full names published and accessible in Blockshopper.com. Numerous concerns have been expressed by private citizens who in their joy of becoming homeowners were published on that unscrupulous website along with their addresses and real estate information, creating easy access to their information and positioning them to be victims of crime. It seems clear that the Blockshopper.com business model includes the unethical use of people's information for their own business profits and contributes to the crime opportunities and the rise in crime against US homeowners. Do these website business owners have an ethical responsibility to the US homeowners not to publish full names of the real estate information? Many people would agree. Do they have a legal obligation? The websites owners said they don't and will not remove homeowners' information (even just names) when requested. For the sake President Obama's success of stimulating the economy and homeownership, it is hoped that these website owners have a legal responsibility to remove when requested people's information from their website. Can the legal entities that be or the local, state, and/or federal government help citizens with these grave concerns?

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Comments

  • Op
      27th of Jan, 2010
    +1 Votes

    We have a NEW ORGANIZATION AND WEBSITE devoted to getting Blockshopper to allow people to opt-out from their listings. Please go to:

    www.OptOutMovement.org

    We have a very interesting and active discussion going on (see "join the discussion" link). If you're ticked off at Blockshopper and ready to do something about it, the Blockshopper Opt Out Movement (BOOM) wants you!

  • Ch
      21st of Feb, 2010
    +2 Votes

    I'd like to add my comment to Privacy and Safety Concerns. After several attempts to have my name removed from their database- including sending them legal documentation regarding a stalker that I have had a protection order against- they still have not removed my info. When I began writing to their advertisers to tell them what the business practices of blockshopper are- I then received a letter from blockshopper's attorney threatening me with a lawsuit. So not only are they using information un-ethically, they are attempting to intimidate the people who are fighting against it!

  • In
      26th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    We are a law firm investigating the conduct of BlockShopper.

    If you feel that your rights may have been violated by BlockShopper, please contact us by e-mail at [email protected]

    In your initial e-mail, please do not include personal or sensitive information. Thank you.

  • Ja
      1st of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    My name and personal data is also on Blockshopper. Seems to me that they violated the Real Estate code of ethics. Can someone find out if the Real Estate board can go after them. Im assuming that they are licensed real estate agents/brokers.

  • Gc
      2nd of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    you can do something about it! easily! you don't even need an attorney. you will affect them where it hurts the most.

    google and other search engines will take them down.

    read up on DMCA act and submit the infringing material to each search engine. just because they claim that something is public information DOES NOT give them the right to repost it. Google and the other search engines have a legal responsibility to take their entire site down.

    good bye blockshopper. it's perfectly legal and there is nothing they can do. the entire site will be gone.

  • Ga
      3rd of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    gcbr Have you actually removed your info by using DMCA? I run several websites and have filed my fair share of DMCA complaints all of which were successful. However this is obviously a violation of our privacy but is it a copyright issue? I cant see how

  • 42
      3rd of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    Because Blockshopper pulls public records, and scrapes data off of other website, we have not found law that really helps. In regards to DMCA: The law is currently unsettled with regard to websites that contain links to infringing material; however, there have been a few lower-court decisions which have ruled against linking in some narrowly prescribed circumstances. One is when the owner of a website has already been issued an injunction against posting infringing material on their website and then links to the same material in an attempt to circumvent the injunction. Another area involves linking to software or devices which are designed to circumvent DRM (digital rights management) devices, or links from websites whose sole purpose is to circumvent copyright protection by linking to copyrighted material.

    If any of you can point us in the direction of more specific law, that would be helpful. Unfortunately the DMCA really hasn't been updated since 1996; when public records were handled much differently, technology wasn't doing what it does today, and Facebook, Youtube and Twitter (popular sites for scraping data) did not exist.

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