Herald Journal Columns
May 26, 2003 Herald Journal
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Strangers looking for directions to your home

By LYNDA JENSEN

Here's something to raise the hair on the back of your neck.

If you go to www.google.com and type in your telephone number with the area code (320) 000-0000, for example), then click enter, your name pops up . . . along with your address and a map link that gives exact directions to your home.

I did this myself and it worked. My name popped up, clicked on the map link, and saw a surpisingly detailed map to my home.

This even worked with my co-worker who rents his apartment (it showed his apartment on the map).

Think of all the unwanted strangers (or even relatives) who might show up at your door!

I personally found this whole idea utterly distasteful, even sinister, because it involves private homes, even though the information is public.

I could understand the concept if it applied to businesses or something else that welcomes strangers dropping by.

To remove your telephone number from Google, click on the telephone icon to the left of your name).

Scroll down to "Phone book" and follow directions to have your name removed.

Perhaps in this information age, it's time to get an unlisted number.


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