Yellow Pages Directory Inc

Month: December 2017

Is It Possible to Remove Your Name and Address from White Pages Sites? Yes, But It Might Be Harder Than You Think

NEW YORK –  In this day and age of digital information, it seems that everybody knows everybody’s business. From names to addresses, opinions to facts, your personal information is ubiquitous on the World Wide Web, and if you wish to reclaim some degree of anonymity, it might just be a little harder than you think.

 

Even wonder how so much spam mail ends up in your mailbox, email inbox, or voicemail? It’s mainly because so much of your information is out there and easily found by all manner of companies large and small; that information, collected in vast databases, is a valuable source of income to them, whether you personally have any sort of business relationship with them or not. Many of these sites are mere front ends representing data brokers that don’t offer any kind of search features that are available to the public; instead, they use the information they have to track the personal data of millions, so when it comes to dealing with the numerous White Pages and social media sites out there, it’s best to deal with out the reputable ones and remember- always read the fine print.

 

And, much like a virus, your personal information can start in one place and, through no action on your part, spread to another, and another, so it’s probably in your best interests to be very careful where and when you enter your name, date of birth, address, and any other data that could be used to create any sort of mailing list for corporate America. Likewise, your personal information can even get out there without your even knowing about it, such as when you agree to a terms of service when using public wi-fi connections or if your wife or husband enters information into a online shopping site or other service, unbeknownst to you. Nowadays – in the age of rampant identity theft – being careful with your info isn’t just important- it’s vital.

 

Most white pages, and other similar types of websites, have opt-out procedures for customers to follow if they want their information removed from their services, but it’s vital to always read the fine print when doing so, as these companies will not always relinquish your info without a fight. It’s not impossible, but it does often take a lot of work and you need to be thorough.

 

For example some services, such as WhitePages.com, offer basic info on people such as names, addresses, and phone numbers; however, behind a paywall, lies even juicer tidbits about the public, such as criminal and arrest history, email addresses, and more. Contacting them will result in your removal from their basic, publically accessible services, but you will remain listed in their members-only section, as these files are often made up of publically-available sources. Spokeo.com, on the other hand, will not respond to any removal requests by an individual; their argument being that their profiles are all based solely on – once again – public sources, and therefore, if you want your information removed from their service, you need to track down those sources and deal with them first. It’s literally a scavenger hunt to free your identity from some websites, but with enough patience and perseverance, you can do it. However, it’s possible that there will be some information that you many never be able to reclaim…such is life in the digital age.

 

More reputable sites – such as YellowPagesGoesGreen, for example – will not only not collect your date for use by third-party companies, but will also offer a clean and easy opt-out procedure that ensures that your data will be properly utilized and not victimized.

 

In this age of the internet, people’s lives are laid bare more so then ever before, and the majority of the public aren’t even aware of it. For those actually in the know, you can actually curb the flow of your personal data and prevent it from reaching the wrong hands, but it requires you to almost live off the grid to do so; such a feat is nearly impossible in the modern day, but it can be accomplished – at least, in part – if you abstain from al social media sites, public internet usage, and the like. The point is to head off the wanton spread of your data before it ever happens, because after years of unmitigated of web use, that grows much harder to achieve. Case in point, as reported by the Huffington Post:

 

“In 2014, the journalist Julia Angwin tried to remove her information from the databases of every data broker and people-search engine she could find,” they said. “Of the 212 brokers she came across, fewer than half allowed her to opt out at all, and most of those required her to submit identification, like a driver’s license. Twenty-four of the brokers required opt-outs to be mailed or faxed in.”

 

So, there you have it. When it comes to the internet and your personal data, you’re either all in, or all out. There are things you can do to reduce your digital footprint, so to speak, but be prepared for an everyday, uphill battle to do so.

Australia Remains One of the Last Countries on Earth Clinging to Print Yellow Pages

NEW YORK –  Between the ease and convenience of digital hand-held devices, the omni-present use of wi-fi just about everywhere you go, and the common knowledge of the waste and environmental damage they cause, you’d think that pretty much the entire planet would have given the infamous scourge known as the print yellow page directory the old heave-ho long ago.

 

And, for the most part, you’d be right, as the vast majority of consumers these days are far more likely to turn to Google or an online Yellow Pages site than to dig out a heavy, outdated tome and spend minutes leafing through its ineffective pages for a listing that may not even be accurate anymore. Between opt-out programs and most phone companies finally getting the message, print yellow page delivery has vastly fallen by the wayside in most industrialized parts of the world. One notable exception, surprisingly enough, is Australia, where it’s been recently announced that – despite the wishes of much of the populace – phone book delivery will continue in the Land Down Under well into the foreseeable future.

 

During the early days of the internet boom, the yellow pages in Australia were not affected to any real degree, given that the technology had not progressed to the point where citizens could summon the world wide web using a tiny, hand-held device; at that time, most people still had to crack open a book to find a phone number of a given business, leading Sol Trujillo, head of one of the country’s leading publishers Telstra, to exclaim “Google schmoogle” when asked if he had any concerns about the impact of the internet upon the print directory business. In recent years, however, the print industry has acknowledged the harm done to their business by the web, but despite the lesser usage of phone books overall in Australia, publisher Sensis noted that they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

 

In fact, Sensis recently announced that, despite dwindling usage, they will continue to produce phone books for at least another decade; their reasoning being that, despite the dip in readership, there are still advertising revenue to be had from specific areas of the public, and while it’s still there, they will do what it takes to get it. This flies in the face of the fact that more and more Aussies are engaging in opt-out services, or are just straight-up throwing the books right into their trash cans when they arrive on their doorsteps. In fact, Sensis’ public relations team actually spends a not-insignificant amount of time responding to Twitter posts on their account from customers either attempting to opt-out of delivery, or who are relaying stories of how their brand-new copy of the yellow pages went right into the trash.

 

The great concern here is not only the inconvenience to their own customers, who have to waste their time to circumvent the delivery of these unwanted books to their homes and places of business, but the environmental impact of Sensis’ decision, which is quite considerable when you look at the facts of the pollution and resource drain that the creation and disposal of phone books are responsible for, using the United States as an example. Treehungger.com reports that, annually, an estimated 650,000 tons of phone books are distributed to America’s 100+ million households. At an EPA estimated national recycling rate of 18%, only 117,000 tons of phone books are recycled each year, many of them on the day that they are received. In addition, Treehugger also reports that greenhouse gas emissions from producing these phone books produces 1,474,000 metric tons of CO2-equivalents, and uses up 44.2 billion liters of water, in addition the loss of forest, the eutrophication of rivers, and more.

 

This is only a fraction of the harm that print phone directories are heralding into the environment; there are countless examples more, from deforestation to landfills choking on thousands and thousands of rotting copies of phone books, rotting in their plastic delivery bags that were never even removed before being flung unceremoniously into the trash.

 

Hopefully the people of Australia will soon get their point across to the phone companies that print directories are neither needed nor wanted in the digital age. With the harm and waste they are causing each and every day, it’s a wonder that any civilized country still makes use of them when just about anyone can whip out a cell phone and find the phone numbers they need in a matter of seconds. It’s understandable that companies such as Sensis are just trying to make a quick buck, but wouldn’t it be better to evolve with the times and discover new revenue streams that are also kind to the planet and the wishes of their customers at the very same time?

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