Namesdatabase

Is The Names Database bad? My friend keeps sending me the E-vite, but I’m not sure if I should add myself in there.

Published by

Bryan Villarin

Bryan is a Community Guardian at Automattic. He's also a photographer, card magician, and cat whisperer. (Thanks to my friend and colleague Steve Blythe for the sweet photo!)

106 thoughts on “Namesdatabase”

  1. No, it’s not bad. Half of my high school class in on there and I’ve used it to keep in touch.

    Like

  2. Hey Guys… you might want to read section 3 of the terms and conditions page…. here’s a small part regarding ‘Your Personal Information”… go to their site to read the rest….

    “You grant Opobox a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, transferable, royalty-free right to (a) use, copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, modify, translate and reformat Your Information in any media now known or not currently known, and (b) sublicense these rights, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law. Opobox will not pay you for Your Information. Opobox reserves the right (but not the obligation) to remove or edit Your Information, but does not regularly review Your Information. “

    Like

  3. da site suckz. its a trick of getting free email contacts from all the users. Access is allowed only after payment. If everyone’s contributing da service should be free.

    Like

  4. I was sent a link through my friends ex-girlfriend and I stupidly added
    my email address to the database. You have to go through several
    pages to remove yourself from the database. The database grows every day like a virus or a plague. Every Lamer from my old Highschool who has net access is on there. This net trash is very much a privacy concern.

    Like

  5. I received an ‘invite’ from my gf for this BS. When I called her to ask her about it she said that she had never heard about it. Some spyware had stripped her entire address book from her yahoo mail and spammed everybody in her name!! This site wants everything from you but gives you nothing in return! I say STAY AWAY!! If you get an invite, check with the sender BEFORE clicking the link!!! If they stole your address book post your experience here. If enough people can show they’re stealing data and identity, maybe they can be shut down.

    Like

  6. Thanks for addressing this subject, Bryan. I recieved an e-vite from a stranger, read the conditions, then googled Opobox. Your blog came up and made up my mind. There is no way I’m getting involved.

    Like

  7. I got and invitation from my buddy who doesn’t know anything about namesdatabase nor has acknowledge sending me email. This brings me to conclusion that his email address book had to been copied and used to spread this garbage. My take on this is stay away from them. Nobody I know heard of them and if it acts like a spam its got to be a spam.

    Like

  8. This comment is from the support team at The Names Database. We believe that in the comments to this blog post there is some confusion about our service. We are hopeful that we can clear it up.

    First and foremost, we are very sorry for any trouble our service may have caused you. We intend no harm and we work hard to resolve all outstanding issues that are brought to our attention in a timely fashion. A detailed explanation of our service can be found at
    https://namesdatabase.com/explanation.htm, which is linked off of all main pages at our site.

    A few brief points of clarification follow. If you have further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to put in a support request at https://namesdatabase.com/support.pl. We really try to respond very quickly.

    The absolutely only way we get information is from individual people themselves. In other words, all the information in The Names Database is from members entering it in. We save server logs so we can help you find out when and how your information was added to the site if there is a question or concern about how it ended up there. If your information was added by someone other than you (rare, but it happens), we would be happy to remove it for you.

    Actually, anyone can remove their account information at any time. We have an automatic removal process that involves sending just one email with a special subject line. Directions detailing this process (with a pictorial example) can be found at our support page listed above.

    Finally, we have not nor have any plans to sell any individual’s information to third parties. We are just a simple service trying to help people worldwide keep in touch with old friends. Millions of messages have been sent through our site for that purpose, and we at the support desk routinely receive thanks for successful reunions.

    Thank you for your time and for giving us the opportunity to share a little about our service. Again, we are very sorry for any trouble our service may have caused you, and we look forward to resolving any outstanding issues you may have as soon as possible.

    Like

  9. “The absolutely only way we get information is from individual people themselves. In other words, all the information in The Names Database is from members entering it in. ”

    Which doesn’t necessarily mean the people weren’t misled into submitting their info. The front page is very weird, demanding that you accept the terms before you are allowed to see what the site is about, supposedly because someone recommended that you go and look at it.

    Like

  10. Right on the front page, and above the fold, there is a bulleted list of the private people search tools available to members. We intend this section to convey exactly “what the site is about” clearly and concisely. The section lists the main tools available to members and what they are primarily used for. The text currently reads:

    “Use our private people search sections:
    • Names — find old friends and former flames.
    • Schools — reunite with high school classmates.
    • Groups — meet new people with shared interests.
    • Dating — find singles near you for new relationships.
    Schools now available in US/UK/ZA/PH/IN/AU/CA/NZ/IE/HK/SG.”

    However, we still know that a longer explanation is needed to explain all the aspects of the site in great detail. What we have found over time is that what works best is a short description on the front page like it is exists now, but accompanied with a much longer sectioned description, the terms, and support documentation, all just one click away.

    The longer sectioned description is our extended explanation page, which is linked right of the front page, and actually off of all main pages of the site (along with a link to the complete terms and support documentation). The extended explanation page contains a complete detailed explanation of all the aspects of the site for which explanations are frequently requested. It is way too long to put on the front page—currently 6 pages when we PDF it.

    We have grouped the extended explanation into sections with bolded questions representing the most frequently asked questions. We know from server logs and support requests that most people with significant concerns click on this page before signing up for anything. There are very few links on the page and this is the first one. There are also link to the terms and the support documentation as mentioned, from left to right, which help to address further concerns, problems, and questions.

    Finally, when you sign up, we provide a final chance to review the information entered and cancel before accepting the terms. That is, you can click Continue, but then go ahead and still click Cancel to actually opt-out once you have already clicked Continue. Then you can go back and review the extended explanation page and/or the terms and support documentation and then choose to then leave or go back and hit Continue again. We also know from server logs that many people do just that.

    Again, we thank you very much for your feedback. We are continually
    evolving the site to lessen confusion.

    Like

  11. These guys are *so* Jehovah’s Witness it’s beyond belief. you have to give out your personal information before you even get a look at the site – let alone find out what it is supposed to be offering. It’s a crazy notion, anyone being so foolish is really asking for their privacy to be invaded.

    The nonsense they spout in their reply here is highly suspect. Someone asks what they are about – they reply “It is way too long to put on the front page — currently 6 pages when we PDF it” That is simply not a credible statement. Hey guys get real. If I can summarise a huge book like the Bible in a few sentences – “It’s God’s handbook, it shows you how to live abetter life and make the world a better place to live in. Two sections to it, firstly the history of the Jews and the lineage of the main character of the book. Second section deals the life and death of the hero and tails off with some far-out visions about how the world’s eventually going to end. Bloody good read, sold several million copies, never been out of print, available as a boxed set along with the Torah and The Qran”

    Not entirely accurate, I admit, but at least you get the gist… but these guys can’t even give you hint of what benefit you might get from handing over all your personal details up-front.

    Still not convinced? Well I got my Email from them by being “referred” by a friend of mine… who had never even heard of them.

    And of course (as Lorenzo pointed out) these are the terms and conditions…

    “You grant Opobox a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, transferable, royalty-free right to (a) use, copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, modify, translate and reformat…”

    Get outta here… are these con merchants having a laugh? Not even Bill Gates would try to get away with that old hokey shit… It’s not legal anyway, even if you push the “I agree” button, it would *so* not stand up in any court in the world.

    I don’t know what their scam is precisely but someone should report them for crimes against sensibilty for a start.

    Go ahead, give ’em your details and watch your daily spam quota shoot through the roof for starters… Bah – floggins too good for them.

    Steve

    Like

  12. Used Mailinator.com email address to check out what namesdatabase.com was all about. It was pretty evident it was a phishing scam. Run run run

    Like

  13. “Again, we thank you very much for your feedback. We are continually evolving the site to lessen confusion.”

    You have GOT to be kidding me… “Evolving to lessen confusion” ?? I don’t think so…

    I want to Thank everyone who has posted to this site. I, too, “googled” this name, because I received, in my Yahoo e-mail (go figure), a request to join from my 13-YEAR-OLD niece, and I have the strangest idea that she has NO idea that she “sent” it to me….

    I rarely read any site’s “Terms of Service,” but something made me read theirs. Yes, you are correct. First, you “give” your name — and lord only knows what other information — to this place WITHOUT PAY (“without royalty”). That means that they can use YOUR name WITHOUT paying you.

    If you get upset and want to sue them? Well, they PREPARED for that by having at least TEN of the 28 paragraphs in the TOS refer to Lawsuits and “Choice of Law” etc. etc.

    THAT’S not even my “favorite” part, though. [Sarcasm…] My “favorite” part is how they will “automatically RENEW” any subscription and CHARGE your Credit Card WITHOUT asking you. Gee…. Isn’t that special? [Paragraph 6]. Of course, Subscription to “what” I don’t know, because as others have pointed out, no one knows what the site is really for, and the “NamesDataBase Support Team” have only said that “the site is EVOLVING.”

    Anyway, thanks but no thanks.

    But THANK YOU ALL very, very much.

    Anne

    Like

  14. One additional comment:

    After all that? I had deleted the original e-mail which was forwarded to me on March 15, 2006 –( apparently because my 13-year-old) niece unknowingly signed up for this, and gave them my name.

    Today, March 19, 2006, I received ANOTHER e-mail from “NamesDataBase” telling me that my niece “sent me a Website” and I was “selected you for this on 03-15-2006 21:14 ET.”

    So now you know why you “kept getting the e-vite” back in April 2005 — It was because you NEVER joined them, so it appears that they automatically kept e-mailing you until you did join, or until they finally gave up on you.

    I wonder if I am going to continue to receive e-mails for this until I report this company for harassment. After the 3rd one, I’ll ask a lawyer friend of mine.

    Again, thank you Bryan for this Blog!!

    Anne.

    Like

  15. Wow, this is exactly wat is happening to me. One of ma friends sent this to me, but they didn’t even write it. It was easily known ma friend didn’t write it so it could possibly be some kind of virus. Luckily, when it says “read the terms before accepting blah blah blah blah” i ooked at it seeing uncomfortable terms and i also read this blog so i’m not going to accept.

    Like

  16. Seriously, after reading the terms, it doesn’t seem safe. I can’t stress this enough! Read the TOC before accepting anything! Then, if it doesn’t disturb u, then accept.

    Like

  17. OK, just to be redundant, these people forward email IN YOUR NAME to all of your contacts. Is this an acceptable practice? Would i want anyone who considered it to be acceptable have my personal information? It is bad enough they have my email address. Disregarding the TOS, this is enough for me to stay away from the namesdatabase, even going as far as to not even try to get them to remove me from their records. When i used to recieve spam FAX’s, i would reply to the cease and desist number on them – which would result in an immediate flood of Fax’s from “other” entities. STAY AWAY!

    Like

  18. Sorry to double post, but after further inspection of the email “invite” i received, i notice the senders IP adress in the footer. THEY ARE EVEN LOGGING IP ADDRESSES!

    Like

  19. Another red flag is that the address for the namesdatabase is Orem Utah.

    Orem Utah is a worldwide scam center. They specialize in seminars that travel around the country offering seminars on how to get rich quick by working at home. You always have to pay.

    A few years ago my wife and I paid up for one of these schemes with a 3-day full-money-back guarantee, to see what it was about. When we asked for our money back they kept a portion. We contacted the Utah Attorney General’s office (and got all our money back). The AG said these people just keep coming up with a different wrapper for the latest scam. Looks like this is the latest.

    Like

  20. Thanks everyone. This blog just reinforces what my instinct was telling me. I’ve been getting these from someone I’ve never met for a while now. I *never* respond to things from people I don’t know–heard too many horror stories–i.e., respond to anything and that shows them you exist and enters you in their database forever. It’s a godawful catch-22–can’t get off ’em w/o them getting into you! I guess, relatively speaking, I’m lucky it wasn’t coming from the stolen addressbook of someone I know! I’ll be checking back here for updates–in case anybody finds a way out.

    Thanks again.

    Like

  21. Holy sh*t! Sorry for double posting, but I just googled the “person” (“Adell Stith”) who my “e-invite” was coming from. I got this:

    tith spam-free email and website community
    stith email and website. … Try your spam-free email address free for 30 days! Find out about PW spam-free email! Check the availability of your permanent, …
    adell.stith.pw/ – 11k – Supplemental Result – Cached – Similar pages

    But google then reported that the page couldn’t be found.

    Like

  22. Another point is that anyone can add your information to the database. There is no check it is really you to add your data. A guy in my highschool might think we should all be there and add all the class at once, but that doesn’t mean I give lifetime permission to namesdatabase to do whatever they want with my data. They ought to be SUED just for that.

    Like

  23. Can someone, anyone give me the snailmail address for these clowns? I saw it earlier, but now I can’t find it. I got snookered in the wee hours this morning, and I’ve full of vim and viga to give them a piece of my mind. TIA

    Like

  24. Everyone…I got suckered into this thing, too, b/c the person I received the invite from had gotten suckered…it’s like a rapidly spreading plague (as you can see by how quickly the website’s counter increases!!). Anyway, I found a page on their website:

    https://namesdatabase.com/support.pl?c=24368284&q=removing

    This gives you specific instructions for removing your information from the database; however, it doesn’t guarantee, as some of you have mentioned, that someone ELSE hasn’t stolen an address book and put your info out there anyway.

    They don’t make it easy to remove your info, but if you have the original invite sent to you with the link you clicked to submit your info, you’re pretty much in the clear; if not, they have another link you can follow (which I did not) to try to recover it or to possibly receive alternative instructions for removing your info.

    Good luck!!

    p.s. if any of you has information on any petitions and/or class action suits being organized for these a-holes, please be sure to post the info here!!!

    Like

  25. I was horrified to discover that my 13 year old daughter has naively added her whole address book to this site – including my glossy brand new spam-free email address.

    It looks to me like the perpetrators are being very clever. Their operation is probably legal – or they have gone to enormous lengths to make it appear so. Their terms, conditions and descriptions are indeed complicated. Thye have obviously gone to a lot of time and expense to get a team of lawyers to write their term and conditions and description of service and it would take a lot of time and expense to unravel exactly what they are doing and how legal it is.

    But basically, in a nutshell, they are gathering an enormous database of email addresses and other valuable personal details such as age and location.

    That they are encouraging people to transmit their whole address book seems Wrong Wrong Wrong. I think (though am not sure) that might go against the Data Protection Act here in the UK. For instance, I have supplied my email address to my daughter for her own personal use. I think that it is WRONG and possibly ILLEGAL for namesdatabase to solicit that information from her (a minor, when all’s said and done), for their own free and unrestricted use.

    They said in their blurb above that they have ‘no plans’ to sell this on. Excuse me if I look askance at this, but sites that genuinely do not pass on user information have transparent privacy policies that are part of their Terms and Conditions. They say things like ‘We guarantee that we will NEVER pass your details on to a third party.”

    They say they are complying with the US ‘CanSpam’ act, and as far as I can see the nub of this is that you can send unsolicited email as long as the addressee is given the option to opt out of further emails. THE ONUS IS ON THE SPAMMED TO OPT OUT. IF YOU IGNORE THE UNSOLICITED EMAILS, YOU ARE IMPLYING THAT YOU ACCEPT YOUR INCLUSION ON THAT MAILING LIST.

    However, as we know, clicking on that ‘opt out’ link at the bottom of an email can sometimes just serve to confirm that your email address is live and active.

    And namesdatabase have been particularly clever here – they are not simply a spam mailing list. Nooooooo. They are more like a spam mail service. They are not the spammers. Nooooooo. It is the businesses that use their service who are the spammers.

    Check this out, from this page on their site:

    http://namesdatabase.com/support.pl?c=0.464873233015478&q=refer

    STARTS

    If you want to stop receiving a particular type of email:

    # Please first understand that all email sent by The Names Database was authorized by someone other than us. We do not send spam of any kind, and as such, do not send email that was not authorized by someone other than us at some point in the past. Every email address that we have was entered by one of our customers, and we record timestamp and ip address information associated with each address.
    # Please also understand that we do not have one “Email List.” Most of our email is sent on demand by a request from one of our customers or as a result of periodic updates to The Names Database.
    # In most every type of email we send, we include a remove or deactivation link. Please use this link to stop receiving that type of email. If successful, you should see a message on the screen that says you should no longer get that type of email after processing.
    # Note that we often include authorization information at the bottom (and sometimes top) of emails. If you do not recognize the person that authorized the email that was sent to you, please understand that sometimes people mistype or fake email address and other information. Simply use the remove or deactivation link within the email you received to stop more messages of that type from being sent to you.

    ENDS

    Note you can only opt out of that TYPE of email. Not from any emails delivered by their ‘service’.

    I’m getting deja vu here. Does anyone else recall when Yahoo and Hotmail were first starting up, they were amassing marketing data about all their users wiht the obvious intention of pushing ads into their mailboxes. In their wisdom, they stopped it – but not before some of those databases were sold on to third parties.

    But somehow I don’t think namesdatabase are going to stop unless someone stops them.

    As they are based in Utah, they are subject to US law so it’s best if you guys in the US take this up and put it before whatever authorities you have over there. Please feel free to use this as evidence that nameserver.com is also becoming a problem in the UK.

    Like

  26. Daphne…right above your post is my original post; if you follow the link below:

    https://namesdatabase.com/support.pl?c=24368284&q=removing

    You can read instructions on how to remove your information from the database. The easiest and quickest way can only be used if you still have the original e-mail from The Names Database which contains the link you clicked in order to add your info in the first place. If you have this, copy/paste it into the subject line of an e-mail and send it to:

    nremover@namesdatabase.com

    I validated that my information had been removed by waiting a few minutes, and then clicking the original link inviting me to add my information in the first place (the one you copy/past into the subject line of the removal e-mail).

    If you are taken into the database, your information has not yet been removed, if you are asked to complete the forms again, your information has been removed.

    Hope this helps!!

    Like

  27. I am not happy with the service, but for reasons not addressed here so far. I am also looking at the reasons people say it is bad and can fully understand how a lynch mob gets started. I checked with the person who gave them my name and was told that, no, he did not give them my name. After reading this blog I called him again and he still said no. But after describing what NamesDataBase was, he said, ” Oh, that. OK. Yeah, I forgot that was the name. Sorry.”
    The two things that I am unhappy about have to do with my “giving” them 20 names (to be spammed) before I really knew what good it was. I copy and pasted 20 names from my address book and only one showed up in their list. OK – so I have to type them all in. I did. Well, I tried, but all of them were “already in the database” and each one was rejected so I eventually put in 20 more. Now I realize I put in over 40 names to get what? For me, not much. I am not a young person and do not even remember 20 High School classmates that are still around anymore (I am 67 and graduated from high school in 1956) so this “service” is bloody usless to me anyway.
    But all the fears expressed before are not really as big a deal as some seem to think. Chill out. I have been around computers and the Internet for a long time (I was one of the few students allowed to work on our school (college) computer way back when and also worked for a small company called IBM and I am still around.

    Like

  28. There must be some kind of trojan or worm involved.

    I received a few messages with a friend of mine as the sender, quoting an IP address that is allocated to her employer. She knows nothing about it.

    Like

  29. And even worse… Namesdatabase has just notified that my subscription has been renewed and my credit card charges, according to the terms I have agreed to. Of course there is not one email address where you can send a cancellation request, not to mention a procedure for cancelling. Only snail mail details. I’m sending a letter to them and asking my bank card company to refuse to pay them anything anymore. This is robbery!

    Like

  30. ive already sent emails to all my contacts warning not to touch this based on what is written above. what i find annoying is that they already have my name and email address, as “someone i know” uploaded them onto the namesdatabase website. the can know do what they want with my name and that, despite the fact i never gave them my details, nor did i ever give them permission to.

    Like

  31. don’t even bother entering your email address, cos the opt-out option is not an option. I’m still getting mails from namesdatabase 1 month after i opted-out, not to mention msgs from unknow senders in my messenger.

    Like

  32. Well, I ‘m guilty of doing the same….except when it came to importing my address book to the site…HELLO..they ask you for your password…YOU NEVER GIVE OUT YOUR PASSWORDS TO ANYONE EVER,PERIOD…I feel foolish,my brother-in-law e-mailed this blog to me, obviously to make me feel as I had done something foolish. Lesson learned for sure, reguarding his addie. But they did’nt my passwords or address books, cc#’s, ect.. from this one…lol, it’s called rightclick copy,paste.

    Like

  33. This seems to be one of only two websites where this whole weird experience is being discussed, so I’m hoping I can add something by raising a couple of points I haven’t found yet in all the previous posts.

    One: three out of four members of our household have lately received emails to ‘update’ them on their ‘basic membership’, yet none of them has ever voluntarily entered anything into the Opobox site. One of them recalls getting the ‘invite’ email, pretending to come from one of the others, but did not respond to it. However, from the header of their ‘update’, it turns out that their ‘membership’ was commenced the following day. So, watch out – it looks like they are quite happy to abuse your privacy even if you don’t fall for the ruse of the ‘invitation’. (Are they getting desperate now and going flat out for as many names as they can, and to hell with the legal consequences?)

    Two: all three of the above people were staggered to find that their age-ranges were correctly shown beside their names and country of residence. Now, I can see how a spybot could strip your personal name as well as your email address out of the address-book of one of your contacts who doesn’t have spyware protection, but … your domicile and your AGE [not shouting, just speechless with rage and disbelief]. Let’s be clear about this, there’s no way this info has come from the ‘referrer’ whose name was on the original ‘invite’, so where are they getting it from?

    Three: And how can we stop them? I’m writing from the UK, so I’m going to investigate how our infringement of privacy laws bear on this scenario.

    Meanwhile, anyone care to approach Michael Moore and see if he’d like to doorstep the President of Opobox?

    Like

  34. Me again, after thinking (and reading) some more about the Opobox ‘service’…

    Someone else has already posted an alert about section 3 of the TOS that describes the rights that Opobox intends to claim over ‘Your Information’. I looked at the equivalent sections of the TOS for sites like Bebo and Friendster, where it’s clear that you grant similar rights to them , so … no real problem? Except that with other sites, ‘Your Information’ seems to mean the stuff you post (like messages, creative efforts, etc) whereas Opobox refers explicitly to things like your identity and IP address. A legal opinion would be good to have: I’m not clear about what they really mean, or what harm they could actually do.

    But now, what about this – the other ‘social networking’ providers all have an explicit up-front Privacy Policy that offers users genuine protection against abuses. Guess what? Not only is there no such section heading in the Opobox TOS, I can’t find a privacy policy spelled out anywhere on their site, no matter how many of the complicated menus or links I follow up. Can anyone else help me out here?

    So … time to revisit another of those earlier posts, which asked if you should trust Opobox to send emails ‘on your behalf’ to the people you want to get in touch with. On the face of it, why not. It’s how, for example, Bebo works. But without a privacy policy, what’s to stop Opobox from reading your emails along the way? Given that some people are using this network as a way of contacting folks they’ve lost touch with, what proportion of those messages might contain home addresses, phone numbers, perhaps even a snapshot or two?

    Finally, what about getting yourself deleted from the database? Well, one of us at our house has successfully negotiated that tortuous pathway and, two days later, her name has been removed, so I recommend you to do that if you’re concerned about your full personal name, age and domicile being out there for all to see. Whether the TOS guarantees that you’ll also be removed from the company’s records is debatable.

    The process is bizarre, though. A very intimidating bold-type message warns that if you seek to be removed, you can never, ever use the service again. Woo-hoo! We were *so* scared – but then we read the next section, where it said that when we arrived at the log-in page after requesting cancellation, we shouldn’t re-enter our details or we’d end up back on the list! I think ‘despicable’ is probably not too strong a word for people who use crass intimidation towards their ‘valued customers’, especially when the threat is a hollow one.

    Btw, where *are* those people lately? We know they’re aware of this thread, but we don’t seem to have had any more ‘reassurances’ from them. I’d be really interested to hear how they got the details of three out of four of us at this house (especially our ages), since we’ve verified among ourselves that none of us and none of our ‘referrers’ supplied them.

    Like

  35. Namesdatabase also stripped my mail account, which is very embarassing being a grad student. Try explaining that to your professors and fellow students.
    I had no idea what they were talking about at first…….My advice STAY AWAY.

    Like

  36. This load of scum stripped my E-mail account of my friends address’s, they are total SCUM! STAY AWAY FROM THIS CONNING SCUM!
    THEY SAY THAT THEY HAVE PERMISSION TO USE YOUR ADDDRESS, BUT THEY SSTEAL IT FROM YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS’S.
    THEY ARE AS BAD AS CANCER,THIS IS THE WWW CANCER >> GO THERE AND DEMAND YOUR DETAILS BACK, OR REMOVED

    Like

  37. One more posting and then I think I’ll have said everything I need to say…

    This one is just to say that I did eventually find the ‘privacy policy’, which is on what they call their ‘extended explanation ‘ page. (There’s no link to it from the home page, though.)

    Here it is:

    How Do You Protect Privacy?

    The Names Database takes privacy very seriously. We take many steps to ensure privacy is adequately protected, and that people are not sent unwanted or unnecessary email messages. The following are some notes about some of the steps that we take.

    We do not show email addresses on the site.

    We do not give out your email address when you send messages to other messages. Instead, a link is included in the message enabling them to reply to you if they so desire. You can, however, include your email address or other contact information in the body of the messages you send if you want.

    IP addresses and timestamps are recorded whenever email addresses or messages are entered at The Names Database.

    We check for email addresses that seem like that they are erroneous or broken, and stop them from being entered.

    If a referral email address bounces, we do not send to that address again.

    We prohibit people from entering the same email addresses again, such that people should not be sent multiple referral emails to the same address by different people.

    We comply with the CAN-SPAM act and other appropriate legislation.

    We provide our mailing address in the non-relationship and non-transactional emails we that send.

    We provide remove links in emails we send, which, when invoked, instantly and automatically stop future messages of that type from being sent to the relevant email address.

    We have communicated with many firms to comply with heightened email sending standards, including Yahoo!, Hotmail, Brightmail, Outblaze, and AOL.

    We make all pages available over a secure SSL (https) connection.

    We encrypt payment information.

    We try to prohibit children (people under 13) from joining The Names Database.

    We enable people to remove themselves from The Names Database at any time, which instantly and automatically deletes any personal information associated with the profile removed from The Names Database.

    We check for common misspellings and try to correct them automatically.

    We monitor the site for abuse, and remove anyone that we feel is violating our Terms.

    We block certain domains from being sent any email messages.

    If you receive a message from a member, and you do not want to receive more messages from that member, you can block them from sending you more messages.
    ————————————————————-
    Now, compare this with the Privacy Policy of Bebo at http://www.bebo.com/ and you can’t help noticing some significant differences.

    Example #1: NDB ‘tries’ to prohibit children (‘people under 13’) from using their site; Bebo says quite simply that they just aren’t eligible.

    Example #2: Bebo freely admits to using cookies and tells you how to block them if you want, while NDB says nothing about using them, though it must do, as – after thinking you’ve logged out – on returning to the site, you get logged in straight to your ‘own’ page of contacts rather than to the NDB home page.

    As with everything else they say and do, it all looks kosher until you start to analyse what it might all really mean.

    It’s good to see that this thread is still active. I’m not sure what I plan to do next, but I’m not going to leave things where they stand.

    Like

  38. This site is just bad!
    It promotes distribution of spam, and charges money for what other and better services online will give you for free.

    Like

  39. I stupidly go suckered into entering my email in the names database from a friend. Thankfully i just removed myself, and it seems to have worked. I made the mistake of entering five contacts into their database to forward to, but not the 20 contacts that they say are required to access the whole database. Do i still have worry about them sending out emails in my name to anyone besides these five people? Am i in the clear?

    Thanks in advance. This info has been helpful

    Like

  40. You should no longer get reminders about that link
    after its deactivation has been completed.

    The deactivation process has begun,
    and can take up to 7 business days.

    Only a minute to add, but a week to remove, awesome!

    Like

  41. Oh my god, these people should be shot in the head!
    When you spend more than 5 sec. on the site you can find out it’s full of crap. They are trying to confuse you with neverending text and numerous links about “deleting you address this and that way”. I am always very cautious with this kind of crap, but got an email from a relative, so thought it was cool. No way man ! It’s the end of the world! 🙂
    But seriously. Do not believe the sweet words they are posting above (and probably below). It’s all part of the money-making machine. Wake up people! we’re not humans any more, we’ve become consumers. And the law doesn’t care!

    My advice:
    Be careful with your id on the net. NEVER, EVER trust a site wich asks you for all your personal data. Why would they need everything man?? And if they do, they ask you in a proper way, on a secured site. And don’t screw your friend or family by filling in their addresses. They LOVE you! 🙂

    Ciao from Europe!= ¿USA volume II?

    Like

  42. Woo!

    At first I was bored by the legal section in my software course, but it’s gotta be one of the most helpful things I’ve done. Not only can I glance through these in minute (I didn’t sign up, by the way), but I can even begin to understand…
    MICROSOFT EULAs!!!!!

    I recomend that anyone who often signs up for ‘net services read through a few TOCs – a little practice is all you need.

    Like

  43. Total scamLegal or not, these people are using deceptive social engineering to scam people out of their email addresses and their contacts.

    You enter a legitimate email on the first page and then they make you enter at least two emails from friends…except it says they have already been notified at least three or four times so you enter 8-10 emails before you get anywhere. Big surprise.

    Be sure to let friends and family know about this crud so you don’t start getting their emails. This is definitely the dark side of social engineering.

    Like

  44. I just deleted my email address from the database, and it feels really good. But who’s to say they actually delete it…and instead just don’t make it public..?

    Like

  45. I followed the link: http://www.copyright.gov/onlinesp/agents/opobox.pdf that Rob left on this blog towards the top of the page. From there I googled “Gabriel Weinberg” (who copyrighted “namesdatabase.com”) That led me to a fellow with that name who graduated from MIT last year who wrote his Master’s Thesis about problems with spam. His thesis is called “A System Analysis of the Spam Problem” You can read it here:
    itc.mit.edu/itel/students/papers/weinberg_thesis.pdf
    I assume this is the same fellow from the US Copyright Office’s records. It seems he’s so clever at spam because he studied the ins and outs of it. Maybe this thing is all just a big experiment for his PhD.

    ~all the best

    Like

  46. Hey, I didn’t really sign up because it refused some of the email-address, but still I seem to have a free account. If I don’t have the original email (the one my friend send me?) where else do I find my account link which I have to enter in the subject line?

    Thx

    Like

  47. I signed up (very foolishly) for the names database, but later decided I did not want to take part in it any longer. However, I found I could not cancel my account.

    What I did was to use the link from the bottom of a monthly update email to disable my updates, from there I used the link to the main page where I was able to edit my profile. I changed my provided name, and the email adress that I had supplied. I changed it to a real email adress which I had created to act as a place for all the spam to go to (I simply did this so no unsuspecting person would be bombarded with spam, which is what would have happened if I had typed in a random adress).

    Once I had done this, I clicked on the link at the bottom of my monthly update email (in my real account) and a message came up reading “Error.” The fact that it can not access the database under the username of [myrealname] implies that my email adress and details are no longer in the database.

    I did this just a few minutes before posting this, so I have not had a chance to see if my real account will receive the next monethly update. Therefore I can’t guarantee that this information will be reliable, but it may be a good shot at getting rid of the problem.

    I hope I have been of some help! =D

    Like

  48. What made me go “no way” when I received an invite to join from a family member was the location, Utah. I’m leary of the Morman Church out there and the odd ways they go about recruiting new members and colleting date. I don’t trust them a nanno second.

    Like

  49. Two people have apparently signed me up for this and I keep getting requests to join.

    What I want to know is this – in order to sign up, did they have to give any other details about me besides my email address? I have an unusual name – a bit of a curse in the cyber age if I want to maintain some level of anonymity!

    It sounds like a Mormon effort to get names. It doesn’t have to be a money-making rip off – they could all be baptizing us by proxy.

    Like

  50. If you want to delete your account at The Names Database you should just follow the steps at: http://namesdatabase.com/support.pl?c=0.193914052871154&q=removing

    Or just follow these steps:
    -> You have to send an eMail to nremover@namesdatabase.com with your unique acces link as the subject. The eMail can be empty. The only important thing is your acces link which you can also find in your first eMail that you got from The Names Database – you just have to copy and paste the link.
    -> If you want to look if your account has been deleted, write your eMail into the empty space at: http://namesdatabase.com/a.pl
    -> If your account has been succesfully deleted, there would be a message which says: “YOUR MAIL was not found. Spelled correctly?
    Note that this must be the email address you used when signing up.”

    Anyways….I already deleted my account. So to those who have gotten an invitation from The Names Database, don’t add yourself up. Because you don’t really have something good from this site. They just want to make some money and distribute spam.

    Thanks a lot for your attention and I wish I could help y’all =)

    Like

  51. Hmmm. This is very interesting. We’ve covered about everything on the “scheme spectrum”, except it being a government conspiracy.
    If this is more legit than we make it out to be, than the “scary legal text” might be just the thing they needed to actually answer the legal problems they might walk themselves into if they didn’t say those things.
    I doubt it though. I like the differences you noticed in the legal text of other companies. And I keep getting these emails (usually from the exact same person) and keep ignoring them. Only just now did I have the curiosity to google the thing and end up here.

    Also, About the Mormon church’s involvment. It’s basically impossable that the church itself would employ such methods for geneology(namesdatabase is waaay too hack-and-slash, crude, and probably filled with so much misinformation for any mormon leader to think it more valuable than a bucket of spit.) But that brings be to this: the church itself is very careful and honorable in its workings, but individuals may not be. Over-zealous people can be found in every group or religion or anything, and it wouldn’t be too far out there to think that namesdatabase is seen in some over-zealous mormon’s mind as his own little gift to humanity–collecting all these names for generations to come.

    But, I think even THAT is unlikely, and I’ll tell you why. Modern records are stored and saved 1,000 times better than what you have to slog through to find your distant ancestors two or three centuries ago. And mormons do their OWN geneology–not other peoples. You can’t proxy-baptize non-relatives. And knowing your OWN relatives in these times is as easy as looking at the pictures on your wall, or talking to your parents, so having a massive database filled with strangers would do nothing.
    Infomation is money these days. It looks like (and all those STUPID classmates.com ads remind me) it’s about money. I really hope some big lawsuit hits it and they lose it all.

    Like

  52. It’s a while since I last posted on this subject (see June 3, 6 and 12 above) but I said I would try to find out if anything could be done to get these people to come clean about how they’re obtaining data – especially folk’s ages. As I live in the UK, I decided to start from here.

    So, first I got in touch with a London-based organisation called Privacy International. They were courteous – and seemed surprised that this was going on – but they couldn’t help, as they focus on policy matters, like trying to get the law changed, and lobbying.

    But they suggested I contact the Information Commissioner’s Office, so I did. This is the reply I received today:

    ‘I am afraid that as this website is based in the USA the matter will not fall under the Regulations which this office is responsible for. To elaborate further it is where the company is based which dictates which countries laws apply to it, not where the individuals who may be affected by the processing are based.

    As such unfortunately the matter will fall under USA legislation and not UK legislation. As the USA does not have a direct equivalent to this office as their privacy laws are different to our own, which are based on European Legislation, I am unable to guide you with any level of certainty to an appropriate authority to whom you could complain. However you could try the Federal Trade Commission whose website is http://www.ftc.gov.’

    At least this makes it clear that if you live in the UK and your private information gets hi-jacked by pesky foreigners, your own government ain’t gonna step in to help you.

    Before I appeal to the US authorities, is there anyone out there who’s (1) still following this thread and (2) US-based and willing to take it up?

    Like

  53. I read all the above writings and I can tell you this invitations allready showed up in the Netherlands. So I guess they going round the globe, it’s not only a U.S emailers problem anymore. I got it in my Gmail-account

    Like

  54. just a note on this – i too was looking for info on it – as it seemed fishy in my search i found that classmates.com has now purchased the site for 10 mil

    Like

  55. I just got an email from namesdatabase. It’s so weird. I checked in the search engine and found how bad is the namesdb. Thanks goodness, I haven’t registered yet. Thanks to all of you guys.

    Elizabeth, namesdb is spreading in Malaysia too.

    Like

  56. I thought I’d just about said everything I wanted to say about the sinister Opobox corporation, but – guess what – I’ve just discovered this link: http://www.myspace.com/gabrielweinberg.

    If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll recall that Mr Weinberg was named as the company’s contact for reports of copyright infringements (his name was the only one that ever surfaced in relation to the company, in fact).

    It turns out he was co-CEO until 3/2006, so I guess he must have stepped down when UOL bought them out. His annual salary of more than £250k may or may not have been ‘earned’ by trading my family’s personal details and ages (I repeat – does *anyone* out there know how Opobox could get that information?) all around the world, but it sure leaves this Joe Schmo feeling pretty speechless.

    I couldn’t possibly encourage anyone to send Mr W a personal message to let him know what a great public benefactor he is – at least, not till I’ve checked out how I could be protected by the kind of legal loopholes that have allowed him to make his fortune at our expense.

    Like

  57. I got an e-mail from a friend today who said that he got an invite from me to join namesdatabase. I have a feeling that they stole my address book, as I never game his name to the database.

    Like

  58. I got this invite “from a friend” (or so I thought) and thought it was either a cool website or a joke. Blindly filled in my info. And now can’t get to it to remove it. I either never received that “first” email from them with the Unique Access Link (UAL), or I didn’t know what it was and deleted it without looking at it. All of the “removal” addresses above take you to the same place. Without the UAL, you can’t get out of it. Their removal site is a joke. Just a viscious circle with no way to remove info. They seem to be associated with Classmates.Com. I had problems with them about a year ago and had to pay for a year and then cancel my membership with no refund. I don’t see how they can charge my credit card this time. I gave them nothing but the front page info. But it does show something about an automatic renewal being charged automatically to you credit card in the TOC. If anyone finds out how to actually remove your name without a UAL let me know!

    Like

  59. @phobin105: Your name is in my database because you commented here – three times. If you’re asking about the Namesdatabase, you have to go to their site.

    Like

  60. I’ve just received an “invitation” from “Gregory Bonaventure Lyons” — whoever THAT is — to join Namesdatabase.com. I thought the whole thing stank, because I’ve never even heard of this person, and my cynical mind started wondering whether it’s a made-up name to hook the unsuspecting into joining the network.

    Like other contributors to this thread, what little I know about this site screams at me, “STAY AWAY!”

    Like

  61. hi,

    i just caught my fiance signing us up to this.. with my clean email address! she filled out the first page which contained my email address, and then proceeded to the next page but couldnt get four working email addresses to add as friends. Her poor friends at Mothers Group, i think one or two of them got added. anyway she never finished the registration, and I asked her to stop what she was doing while i researched this dodgy website (thats how i ended up here) – anyway she got mad at me for asking her to stop!!

    Anyway 10 minutes later, I just got the How-To Access The Names Database email!!! I have tried to remove my email address using the method to email my unique access address to nremove@namesdatabase.com will see if it works. these is all so shifty im furious because im likely to get a lot of spam and my fiance is furious at me!!!

    Like

  62. Thanks, guys. I just received an invitation from Names Database, from, allegedly, someone who I don’t really know, and so I looked at it, I could not see, from their terms, anything I would see as an advantage to me, but plenty of negatives. A precis of their terms is ‘We can do whatever we like with your data, and of course any info about your friends and contacts, and even if you find our actions harmful hurtful or extremely distressing, the most you could ever get back from us, no matter the extent of damage we cause you is one hundred dollars u.s.’
    Those are not terms I find enticing. They claim to offer something, but you can’t see whether it’s any use until you take the bait.
    I am a wily rat, and google traps.
    Names Database. What do you plan to do with the information you gather?
    Just a simple, upfront answer will do.
    The email I used to post this comment is spam-trapped.

    Like

  63. This organisation(?) might have relocated to Australia:

    Domain Name: NAMESDATABASE.COM
    Registrar: MELBOURNE IT, LTD. D/B/A INTERNET NAMES WORLDWIDE
    Whois Server: whois.melbourneit.com
    Referral URL: http://www.melbourneit.com
    Name Server: AUTHNS-WS.LAX.MYSITE.COM
    Name Server: AUTHNS-WS.NYC.MYSITE.COM

    Like

  64. These b@stards! I have tried so many times to get my information OFF this god-forsaken site but it DOES NOT work. Bunch of spamming m*ther f*ckers!

    Like

  65. the namesdatabase is the worst thing ever. my name is stuck there .if i google my name the 1st link is from the namesdatabase. this is soooo annoying. ive tried to get myself removed but my name is still there on the website. take my advise whatever you do. DO NOT USE THE NAMESDATABASE.

    Like

  66. PLEASE HELP!!! I want this stupid namesdatabase account to be cancelled. But I’ve searched high and low on their website, did what they asked (email to them) AND NOTHING has happened. I am so furious with the friend who’s linked me with this. And I feel terrible for the friends whose addresses I’ve used to start this crap with… Any tips on how to cancel this sh** out???

    Like

  67. I’m on the same boat as you, Kie.
    Wow… it looks to me that The Names Database has gone global.

    I only wish corporate idiots don’t go snooping around in someone else’s e-mail and publicizing it to people you barely know.

    “What are people saying about The Names Database?” – All positive? Never met your friends in eons? Please… Their opinions ain’t even half of what’s really coming straight out of the horse’s mouth.

    Like

  68. yes!!!!!!!!!! fianally!!!!!
    after months and months of me complaining they’ve fianlly removed my name! im soooooooooo pleased

    Like

  69. YES! Finally!!! Me too! After all this time, I’ve finally been removed from this site. I sent about 100 requests to that nremover email address and it just didn’t work. Eventually (yesterday) I went into my profile and edited all my ‘interests’, ‘hobbies’ etc., with really foul words repeated over and over and over (they block out the f word automatically it seems but not that other really bad one) then I went into my details and changed them to dodgy ones (email address, name etc). Added a few comments on various places on the site where I could (telling them what they were, using that really bad word) and whadya know. When I checked back a bit later, my ‘unique access’ id just took me to the first screen on the site. I’m cautiously optimistic about this but doesn’t get me off those damn spam lists tho does it? Still, I will know better next time.

    Like

  70. did any one give credit card info and have fraud happen? i gave my # but they didnt except it – but maybe they did – oh brother. nothing bad has happened to me yet but now im scared.

    Like

  71. You know what? I lied. I haven’t been removed from this god-forsaken site. I’m still there. Its just that my ‘unique link’ doesn’t take me into my profile anymore. When I did a search the other day for my area and then my school, whaddya know??? There I am, bold as brass, sitting there like I want to be on these bastard’s website. Man! They so suck. I’m out of ideas, short of hiring an American lawyer I just don’t know what to do. Why don’t we start a rumour that this site is trying to recruit anti-American terrorists? Bet the site would get shutdown quick smart.

    Like

  72. lol thats a good idea.
    the way i got my name removed from that site was by going to this link:
    https://namesdatabase.com/support.pl?q=other&c=4636880
    and at the bottom of the page there should be a place where u can contact staff. add your e-mail address so they can contact u, NOT UR PHONE NUMBER!
    tell them your name and copy and paste the url of the web page that has your name on it. leave your name and asked to be removed from the page.and after a few weeks you should be removed.
    NOTE: you may have to send more than 1 message.
    hope that helps, thats ow i got myself removed. =p

    Like

  73. i found a toll free number to contact mysite who runs namesdatabase. 1-877-208-1003. press 1 for customer service and tell them you want your information deleted. i tried the nremover@namesdatabase.com and could never get to the link. i told the guy that i tried to edit/delete my info and he said that there was no way that i could do it myself. he said it should take until later today and i will definetly be checking back. hope this helps.

    Like

  74. IT WORKED! the 877 number worked. it took until mon. the 16th to get a confirmation e-mail. they apologized for any problems they may have caused-right. my info has been deleted from their website. good luck to everyone!

    Like

  75. I receieved an invite to this site today. The instructions state: Instructions

    1. Connect with …. by clicking on the link above.

    I did click on the link, however it seemed fishy decided to look it up and did not yet subscribe. Although I did not subscribe, did actually clicking into the site have a negative effect on my address book or privacy?

    Thanks everyone

    PS I appreciate all the blogs of everyone, otherwise I may have ended up registering!

    Like

  76. I deleted myself from this stupid website THREE TIMES and I still keep coming back. I guess I’m going to have to call that toll free number.

    Like

  77. To be honest, I signed up 2004 cause a former classmate gave them my email. Today I tried and searched the whole site over and over again, looking for a way to terminate my membership. That’s how you know a website is fishy; when they make termination a hard and grievous process.

    I didn’t want to take the risk of sending them an email. I had little of my information on the site to begin with, like a fake last name (thank God I was at least that smart) and a shortened form of my very long first name haha. So what I did was, change my first name to damm and last name to whuteva. and changed date of birth to make me look in my 50s and changed my country to somethingkistan.

    Also changed my email to crappy@yahoo.com. So I’ll wait and see what happens, and whether or not I still receive emails from them.

    Like

  78. I’ve been in the process of deleting my account from this site for about a month now. I’ve actually managed to remove my email from their site so that if I enter it at the lost unique link page, it returns a no email found error. However, and here’s the messed up part, my name is STILL searchable on the site… and I KNOW it’s me because of the same age range, country, and even school. I thought this nremover@namesdatabase.com trick was supposed to get rid of all of your information from the database? Also, the direct link that I had emailed to me before I deleted my account still works. According to the help page, after your information has been removed, you’re supposed to get an error message if you use the direct link. Can anybody that knows anything about this site tell me if my information will EVER be deleted from their database?

    Like

  79. Has anyone ever heard of WAYN? (“Where Are You Now?”) It sounds very similar to NamesDateBase because “WAYN” also wanted you to “click” onto a link. I have not done so.

    Like

  80. i tried the nremover@namesdatabase.com procedure 3 times and it didn’t work. when i called my credit card company, they gave me the namesdatabase customer service number (866-395-4982) so i called that instead.

    when i called, the customer service rep was very polite and deleted me off namesdatabase in under 2 minutes. 10 minutes later i verified my unique link and indeed it wasn’t working anymore. my name is still on their website though so it remains to be seen it that will drop off at some point.

    i find it very fishy though that even though when i spoke with the rep i didn’t specify why i was cancelling (and she never asked either) and i was very polite as well, the standard confirmation email i received says “We are very sorry for any trouble our service may have caused you”. it’s as if they anticipate that their service does cause trouble and every person who cancels is doing so because of it.

    > Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2007 22:23:46 +0000
    > From: questions@namesdatabase.com
    > To:
    > Subject: Re: Your Message to The Names Database Email Support Team ()
    >
    > Your account has been removed. We are very sorry for any trouble our
    > service may have caused you.
    >
    >
    > Take care,
    >
    > The Names Database Email Support Team
    >
    >
    > Support: https://namesdatabase.com/support.pl
    >
    > Explanation: https://namesdatabase.com/explanation.htm
    >
    > Terms: https://namesdatabase.com/terms.html
    >
    > This message is the property of The Names Database or its affiliates. It may be legally privileged and/or confidential and is intended only for the use of the addressee(s). No addressee should forward, print, copy, or otherwise reproduce this message in any manner that would allow it to be viewed by any individual not originally listed as a recipient. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any unauthorized disclosure, dissemination, distribution, copying or the taking of any action in reliance on the information herein is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify the sender and delete this message.
    >

    Like

  81. They refuse to remove my underage child from their database without an email or god damn code. We have no idea how she got on there, and I’m livid. I will contact the Attorney General about this, if I do not have results of removal within a weeks time.

    Like

  82. I’ve been trying to call these folks to get info, but of course the “voicemail is full” recording came on. I think letting my credit card company deal with this is the best plan of attack. Thanks, for the info.

    Like

  83. This is really random (and late), but I just have to say that I’ve been trying to remove my name for months. I signed up when I was in middle school (the stupid years), and I regret it very much. I followed all of the procedures for name removal many times by emailing them, and when that didn’t work, I submitted one of those forms where you can “directly contact” their people. Nothing has worked.
    Today, I tried to change my last name for some “privacy”, since it was obvious they were never going to delete my account, and something weird happened. My “unique access link” doesn’t work any more, and my email is supposedly not in their database, either. However, my new fake name is still there.
    This is messed up.

    Like

  84. I know it has been awhile, but does anyone know how to get their name off this site?! Or how to go about a class action or some other retaliation against their methods?

    Like

  85. So are we screwed if we dont have the original email to send them when deleting our accounts? I wish we could hunt these losers down and have a good ole lynching!!!

    Like

Comments are closed.