I am all for technology. Google is amazing. It has changed the way we search and access information. Any dispute over an answer to a question, Google it. Your son wants to know how and why mosquitoes suck your blood, Google it. Even my eighty year old mother in law uses Google. Now that is amazing! But is there a limit to what they should offer? Or how much information they give out, especially if it could impact the safety of your children?
Recently, Google has implemented a new feature which enables a person to type any telephone number into the search bar, hit enter, and receive that person’s name and address. By then selecting MapQuest, a map to the person’s house is displayed. It is basically a nationwide reverse telephone book with street directions to the home address.
This scares me, as there have been several kidnapping attempts lately in my small community. The biggest concern of this new feature is how easy it is for a predator to find the home of a child. If a child gives out his/her phone number, anyone can look it up through Google to find out where the child lives.
In order to test whether your phone number is mapped, go to: google.com Type in your phone number in the search bar and hit enter. I did this and my name and address came up with the ability to use MapQuest for directions to my house. Pretty scary.
You can BLOCK Google from divulging your private information. Click on your telephone number on the screen that shows phonebook results and then click on the Removal Form. It takes forty-eight hours to remove.
Privacy is important! Google should focus their efforts on the cool applications they are currently developing, like Google Docs and Google Spreadsheets, and not on distributing OUR information to the world. Pass this on to your friends!