1. Computing

How to Remove Personal Information from Zabasearch

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UPDATED July 1, 2010: Zabasearch has updated their privacy information, and is endeavoring to make it easier for users to get their information removed from Zabasearch's indexes. However, that does NOT mean that this information is not still publicly available on the Web via other means (search engines, directories, etc.). Learn more about keeping your Web information private by reading How to Guard Your Web Privacy.

I often get emails asking me how to remove personal information from Zabasearch, a free people search engine; so here's a quick FAQ:

Your Zabasearch Information

Information gathered at Zabasearch is a matter of public record. They are not compiling anything on you that is not already out there, in the White Pages, the Yellow Pages, or other commonly known informational databases.

There's only so much you can do to keep your information private, and some things will always be a part of public record (most court records, for example, are publicly searchable). That being said, you can still do quite a bit to keep your information out of Zabasearch and other public information databases. The Zabasearch help page has five things you can do; I've briefly outlined them below.

Get a P.O. Box

You can remove your private address from public view by getting a P.O. Box for bills. This is one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to get your information out of sight. Use the USPS Post Office Locator to find a post office near you.

Get an Unlisted Number

If you already have an unlisted number, it might be a good idea to change it and take VERY special care to whom you give it to. Phone numbers that are in public records are public access, and if your unlisted number is in there, it's a matter of public record.

Read Privacy Policies

Yes, they're pretty dry, but it's a good idea to read them. Find out if the company you aim to do some kind of business with does not intend to sell your information - you'd be surprised how many actually do.

Try Mailing A Removal Request

You can mail written requests to informational databases formally requesting that your information be removed. However, anyone who wants to will still be able to see that information in search engine caches for a limited time.

Zabasearch Information Options

MANY people have let me know that Zabasearch is proving more and more tricky to get a hold of to remove information. Here's the latest contact information you can try: Zaba, Inc. 22647 Ventura Blvd., #323 Woodland Hills, CA 91364 Agent for Service of Process Richard Mooney 560 Nussuib St., #2500 San Francisco, CA 94105 Here's the address you can send your written removal request to Zabasearch:

ZabaTools

2828 Cochran Street #397

Simi Valley, California 93065

And here's what you'll need to include (via Privacy Rights):

Send letter with email address, full name including middle initial, date of birth, address, year of birth and telephone number, sign and date request and ask that matching records be removed/deleted. You may want to include a print out of info. that they currently post about you. Company will notify you by email when request has been received and when info. has been removed.

Zabasearch Email and Contact Information

Now, I highly suggest that you go the written letter removal route instead of email, but if you want to, here's a couple of email addresses you can use for contacting someone within Zabasearch:

info@zabasearch.com

optout@zabasearch.com

According to WhoIs, Zabasearch's registry information is as follows (current as of July 25, 2006):

Zaba, Inc.

2828 Cochran St.

Suite 397

Simi Valley, California 93065

United States

Technical Contact:

Zakari, Robert domain.admin@zabasearch.com

Zaba, Inc.

2828 Cochran St.

Suite 397

Simi Valley, California 93065

United States

3106912373

Update: I've received email that letters are starting to bounce back from these addresses; however, the Cochran Street address should still be current. While I've attempted to contact Zabasearch directly regarding this matter, none of my emails have been returned as yet. I'll keep you posted.

Zabasearch - You Do Have Options

I've given you quite a few ways you can get your information out of Zabasearch. For more ways to stay private on the Web, try these articles:
  • AOL Search Records and User Privacy: The AOL search records debacle released over 500K private search records on the Web in the name of research. These records were almost instantly taken down again, but not before many mirror sites got a hold of them. Now, what are the lessons we've learned from the AOL search records fiasco?
  • Search Engines and Internet Privacy: Ever wondered what a search engine's privacy policy looks like? Here's a few for you the next time you'd like some light reading.
  • Ten Ways To Keep Your Search History Private: Most of us have no need to hide our search history, but there's no harm in more cautious Web surfing. Here are a few ways you can keep your searching history private.

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