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When you add the personal information search engines to Google Maps street view, it’s astounding what’s available. Last year I foolishly bragged to someone in a group that I’d successfully removed our information from most of the major people-search engines on line (so I thought). One person in the group started laughing, but said nothing. He pulled out his smart phone, started entering things, and I smugly sat there knowing what he was doing, and “knowing” he was unlikely to find details on us. He got up, walked over to where I was, stuck the photo of our home in my face, with details of current and past addresses, kids’ names, others associated with me, etc. It was rather unnerving. I’d never heard of the site. Because of his work, he subscribes to it, but what he showed me was “just” the information available to anyone in the public, without paying any fee or disclosing any personal information to look at the site’s public information. What’s “out there” is astounding. And if a “motivated person” pays a small fee, he or she can get even more information.

I suspect that when ISIS and Al Qaeda start really following through with their plans to attack military families, for example, they will have zero problems getting all the data they need. The criminal element in the world has gotten very good at data mining, and it’s a piece of cake to accomplish for anyone that understands how to do it. I thought I was way ahead of the game until that incident last year. This past year has been a real eye-opener for me, and led to even greater cautions. As the old saying goes, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. And more realistically, it’s not that any one person needs to necessarily feel “targeted,” the data collection is being done across the board on everyone – both by governments as well as corporations. Don’t forget those nice “little” buildings just south of the Great Salt Lake.

Innocuously named Utah Data Center