For more than a decade IronWall360 has effectively removed our clients’ personal information from the Internet. This is sometimes easier to do in states that have passed consumer privacy legislation, or have specific laws in place about safeguarding the privacy of judges, police officers and other public sector professionals.

The trend in the US is toward more privacy legislation, and that’s a good thing. But a recent article in the Indianapolis Star called into question whether the legislation under consideration in several states, and that recently passed in places like Indiana and New Jersey, will really make a difference.

The article, citing a report card prepared by Public Interest Research Groups (PIRG) and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), graded the laws in the 14 states that current have them. California’s law ranked highest with a B+. The rest received grades you’d never want on your own report card: “C” grades were given to such states as New Jersey, Oregon and Delaware, while Connecticut, New Hampshire and Montana were given a “D.” The remaining six states – Indians, Texas, Virginia, Utah, Tennessee and Iowa – received the dreaded “F.”

And if that’s not bad enough, many of the states where privacy legislation is being considered are modeling their laws after the one in failing-grade Virginia.

Why the Bad Grades?

The organizations signing these report cards cited the fact (unfortunately true) that much of this legislation has been watered down by lobbyists for tech companies. In the case of Indiana (among other states) they claim that the law doesn’t stop entities that collect data from “collecting whatever data they want from people and using it just about however they like.” They also note how difficult it is for a person to request the removal of their home address and other content from hundreds of websites.

We wish we could take issue with this, but we can’t. However there is some good news.

No, Really – Good News

First, there are other laws already in place for judges and police (and in some states, social workers) who face a greater likelihood of threats, harassment and violence should their home addresses be easily accessible.

In Indiana for instance, the state’s Public Records Act lists individual exemptions to home address release for emergency management workers, public safety officers, correctional officers, probation officers, law enforcement officers and judges. In Virginia, it is a Class 6 felony to publish the identification and personal information of a federal or state justice, judge, or magistrate with the intent to harass or intimidate. The measure further prohibits the state from publishing this information online if, for any reason, the judge, justice or magistrate has requested in writing to have personal information withheld.

What About the Rest of Us?

In every case, the privacy laws recently passed do give consumers the right to request that their home address and other personal information be removed. But doing so does take time and effort, and that’s the case with the Public Records Act exemptions cited above as well. Someone has to go to these companies and say, “Take this content down.” When that happens, the companies generally comply.

But it’s not a one-time process. Information that is removed can reappear months later. If there’s any way to get out of taking content down, data brokers and other sites will exploit it.

That Is Why We’re Here

When you become our client, you’ll know that we’re monitoring the entire breadth of the Internet for your personal identifying information. We know whom to contact to make sure it comes down, and we keep watching those sites to make sure it doesn’t come back.

We do it all – that’s why thousands of public servants and private citizens trust IronWall360.

Ready to take your online privacy protection seriously? Contact us for a quote.

IronWall360 makes the process simple and easy. We live in a time of unprecedented technology advancements that make it easy to infiltrate and access personal information. I trust IronWall360 to protect my privacy.


Ron Zayas


Ron Zayas is an online privacy expert, speaker, author, and CEO of 360Civic, a provider of online protection to law enforcement, judicial officers, and social workers. For more insight into onli... Read more

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