I have filed a complaint with the Texas Attorney General, the FTC and the BBB regarding Radaris. Radaris has my full name, address, employment information, email, birthdate, close relatives and all of their personal information, displayed prominently on search engines through their website. This will allow anyone, nomatter how malevolent their intentions, to track me down to do physical harm to me or my family, or use my information to steal my identity.
Why I am so concerned:
I have been the victim of Identity theft multiple times and have fraud alerts on my credit file since 2003 when my information was first stolen. Since that time my information has also been taken through the Equifax Hack (Equifax confirmed this) and also through the U.S. Federal Government's hack a few years ago which the U.S. Government said was done by China.
Both Equifax and the U.S. Federal Government (Through the OPM) are paying for identity theft protection services which will only last a certain amount of time and then end.
In addition to this a few years back someone was able to file my taxes without my knowledge and I have fraud alerts with the IRS. I had to send the IRS a notarized affidavit showing that someone else filed my taxes. How were they able to do this? With information displayed publicly online through search websites such as Radaris no doubt.
Many of the security questions asked by the credit bureaus to prove my identity Radaris has displayed prominently on their website. Online. At the top of google.
And I am closely related to members of law enforcement, both current and retired, who take part in cases against dangerous people. Radaris has exposed those LINKS and familial relationships publicly on their website.
I went to the Radaris website to have my information removed and to my astonishment, Radaris requires you to 'opt in' and get a membership to do this and they also require you to agree to their terms and conditions.
What's in the Radaris Terms and Conditions?
There is one clause specifically where you have to agree that Radaris 'OWNS' all of your info and will continue to 'OWN' all of your personal info.
Without you agreeing to give Radaris FULL OWNERSHIP of all of your personal info, making it possible for them to publicly display all of your information online - they won't allow you to even request a removal of your information from their site.
I refused to do this.
Radaris has also LIED to the public by placing a clause in their terms and conditions which states that they are 'not a consumer reporting agency'. Now why would Radaris tell this lie? Becuase if they are viewed by the regulatory bureaus as being a consumer reporting agency, they are OBLIGATED by LAW to make sure all the information they publicly display about each of us is correct or they face financial penalties and can be sued.
Well, the problem for Radaris is that per a recent Federal Court Case, they ARE a consumer reporting agency. (Please see Robins v. Spokeo, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit).
This case was eventually decided against Robins because the court said he essentially had no standing to sue WITHOUT a clearly defined HARM (job loss, etc.) HOWEVER the most important thing to note is that Spokeo and 'like companies' that are online data aggregators WERE DEFINED THROUGH THE COURT PROCEEDINGS AS BEING CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCIES.
So you are allowed to file complaints against Radaris through the FTC for incorrect information displayed and you are also allowed to SUE RADARIS if you suffer a CLEAR HARM (someone rescinds a job offer, you suffer job loss, you have a loan rescinded, etc.) due to incorrect' information displayed on the Radaris Website.
SO RADARIS IS INDEED A CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCY AND SUBJECT TO THE REGULATIONS OF THE FTC and FCRA and RADARIS CAN BE HELD FINANCIALLY LIABLE IF THEY DISPLAY INCORRECT INFORMATION ONLINE WHICH CAUSES SOMEONE TO SUFFER HARM.
So I've been attempting to reach Radaris by phone at their number 1.855.723.2747 and no answers. Ever. I've called dozens of times over a period of several days.
And Radaris has no email that you can send information to.
And frankly.. I'm too afraid to contact them through my facebook account because they are in the business of aggregating information about us and I'm sure they will pull that info into their system.
So I may simply create a fake facebook account to message them.. but I figure they will demand all of my identifying information up front and tie that fake facebook account to me in their system as well.
So it's an ongoing issue trying to get my information removed through Radaris.
Radaris has an opt out for law enforcement but not for their 'families' and those who are 'related closely' with them. And this is insufficient because one does not need to be law enforcement to suffer harm by being 'found' or having their personal address 'so publicly displayed'. One could be fleeing a dangerous spouse or partner and there are many other instances where people feel safer being LEFT ALONE.
NOTE TO THE PUBLIC:
1. Stop doing change of addresses through the U.S. Postal Service. The U.S. Postal Service SELLS this info several times a year to credit bureaus and data aggregators whose sole purpose is to keep TRACK OF US ALL.
2. Have a private mail box where you continue to get all of your mail so that nomatter how many times you move you can use the same address to get your mail and simply have the private mailbox (such as the UPS Store) forward it to you. (They don't report to data aggregators).
3. Put as much MISLEADING INFORMATION about yourself online such as birthdates and addresses and create FAKE PROFILES on social media all over the country to throw off these data aggregators such as Radaris.
3. Use phone apps which generate disposable numbers to use on all online ordering forms and social media. Only give your family your real phone number. Don't use it anywhere else.
4. Have a disposable fake email address (Radaris says this isn't allowed but they don't know what's disposable or not) to communicate with Radaris and others. Radaris will only snapshot and SELL your email address in the first place if they have the real one.
5. FILE AS MANY COMPLAINTS AS YOU CAN WITH YOUR STATE'S ATTORNEY GENERAL, THE BBB, THE FTC, AND THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO COMPLAIN ABOUT RADARIS. WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN.START PETITIONS. SOMETHING MUST BE DONE TO STOP THESE COMPANIES WHO HAVE PLACED THE DOLLAR ABOVE OUR PERSONAL PRIVACY AND SAFETY.
I will continue to fight Radaris to have my information removed as it endangers my life and those of my family.
The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer's satisfaction.