August 15th, 2019



There was a somewhat blown out of proportion article about sharing your phone number on the NY Times, so i did a search on mine. I found out a page i had up to provide contact information on LJ was public. Ugh. What other free information was less concerning - the area code is associated with a place i haven't lived for 19 years, the carrier associated with the number is no longer the carrier, at least two random other names were associated with the number as well as Christine's.

It did lead me to go look at my privacy settings at twitter. You don't need a phone number there anymore, since they've long left their SMS dependency, so i removed it there. There was a setting that indicated i was allowing myself to be found by phone number, but i didn't find any results searching for my phone number before removing it.

I can be found on Telegram with my phone number, and i keep it open to chat with two people.

Obviously, someone who paid a data aggregator will get plenty of more or less accurate information (which drove the panic of the NY Times story). The state of North Carolina makes voting history (the elections in which you voted, by what method you voted) as well as gender, race, party affiliation, and residence all public, given first and last name (and includes a "sounds like" search on those fields). That database is available via other interfaces online that have indexed it differently. It seems Ohio and Florida are similarly free with their data ( while other states charge fees. I didn't look at all 50, but i did find those three states to be rather curious compared to other states pricing from $2.50 to $30 (California) to thousands of dollars to tens of thousands.