Thursday, August 07, 2008

I can't believe this

I am upset today and I need some help. Recently, my husband was checking his googles, or rather his Cuils, and he discovered that his name was entered on a geneology website.

Without his permission.

And so was my name, and our kids, and his parents, and my birth parents, with all our birthdates and biographical information for all the world to see, no password, no privacy protection, no nothing.

Without our permission.

And the most upsetting part of it, is that it doesn't have my real married name on it, it has my ADOPTIVE name, for fuck's sake, even though I changed it legally well over 10 years ago. And the person who created the website?

My birth mother.

Who constantly does things like this---then is mystified as to why I get upset with her afterwards. She constantly violates boundaries that we have discussed, promises to do better next time, then knowingly does it again in some other way.

Now some of you may wonder what the big deal is, since you have your lives on the web, with your kid's names and photos, but first of all, that is your choice, and your decision. You want to do that for your family, fine, but I would like to make a different choice, and she has taken that decision away from me.

More importantly, I have other concerns about my adoptive name being used on the web. I have never blogged about this, although I have spoken about it with some of you in person. You see, my adoptive parents were very very awful people, who should never have been allowed to adopt any children, but CAS really doesn't do proper checks in this province. They were violent, and still are. They do not know where I live, or that my children exist, or that I ever met and married my husband. In an age of grandparent's right's court cases, and the impossibility of ever getting a conviction against them for the abuse they perpetrated on me---I'd rather live in safe and secure anonymity.

The police, courts, and Children's Aid in this province have a pathetic record of protecting women and children from violence. After the Randall Dooley inquiry, I thought that maybe it might improve, and after all the money that the Liberals put back into violence prevention and victim's services, I really thought the CAS and the cops might get a clue. But no, disaster has struck again, and another child has been killed, as a direct result of CAS incompetence. Two different agencies didn't give a shit about doing their job and a child was murdered.

Based on what I've seen, depending on the system to save you is to stupidest thing a crime victim can do in Ontario. Really, when the auditor general of Ontario and ombudsman both agree that CAS has serious structural issues and needs oversight, yet the system refuses any all reforms, there is only one conclusion I can reach. That protecting the bureaucrat's turf is more important that protecting the citizens of Ontario. Especially the most vulnerable ones.

And as an aside, for those of you who think that women should never change their last names to their husband's name----THIS is the biggest reason why we should have the choice to do it. As long as other women in society do it, I have cover. Using my married name, means that my credit cards and university transcripts could be changed, without having to tell everyone the whole story, and convince them to help me. Instead, they just think I'm like other women, blending in to the crowd, yet protected by Privacy legislation. It really is the perfect cover for anyone who wants to flee an abusive spouse, or parent, or a bad boyfriend. Would it be nice if the system worked and they could be arrested, and I could divorce them as my adoptive parents, and just have no contact at all? Suuuure---it would also be nice if sunshine and puppies came out of my ass, but that's a fat chance too. So I'm doing whatever I have to keep myself and my kids safe, and fuck anyone who thinks that isn't a feminist choice.

To sum up, my adoptive parents might be able to find me, but it would be very very difficult.

Until now, when my birth mother, with full and complete knowledge of the situation, made it easy to find me and figure it out.

Passive aggressive much, Mom? Sigh...

My husband is writing her an email, asking her to take it down, or change it, but she might say no, just to drive me nuts. So if anyone out there reading this, has any ideas on how to get it off the website, technical or tactical or whatever, I'd be grateful.

I need all the help I can get.


  1. FUCK. Fingers crossed she willingly takes it down.

    I will not even start in about CAS and the uselessness of our government. Up until last year I thought that maybe a death would get peoples attention but now I know better.

  2. Damn, A. Nothing is ever easy, huh?

    I hope she listens to reason.

  3. I would think that contacting the geneology website administrators and explaining that you feel it is a direct violation of your privacy and possibly why you feel that way. They are very likely to take it down. It's worth a shot. Good luck.

  4. That's the thing, she has used some sort of geneology hosting for her own site, but it is her site....and I think she may be the only one who can remove it. It is her url...

    But who knows?


  5. Know any good hackers? It's a last resort, but you do whatever you can to keep your family safe.

  6. I would contact the hosting company and tell them your information has been used without your permission. This is a violation of your privacy.

    On a quick search, here is a company that hosts this sort of thing and their terms of service. Her site should have a footer telling you her host. I would go straight to them and insist they pull down your information. Throw out key words like identity theft, harassment, etc.

    Good luck, let me know if you need more help, I am good at writing up "dont make me get an attorney emails"

  7. Write to the site administrators explaining that it is a matter of your and your children's safety that they remove this info. you did NOT give permission to have put up, and THIS IS THE KICKER, closer your e-mail with "and if that is not possible under your company's policies, please provide me with a physical address where my lawyer can send a subpoena and the name of someone who can receive it." I did that to get my identity off of Google one time and it took them from "we don't take things done, it's not our policy to intervene in such situations" to "your information has been removed, we are very sorry for any inconvenience." If they are convinced you'll follow through with legal action you'll find them MUCH more cooperative! Good luck...

  8. I hope you are able to have this taken down soon.

  9. I don't know jack shit about this, but I hope you can get this resolved soon.

  10. Ugh, what a nightmare. I am so sorry. I hope the ideas people are suggesting work.

  11. Maybe your birth mother and mine should befriend each other on facebook, or something.

    I love the part about feigning "but what's wrong," puhlease!

  12. I understand completely. I never give my name or post pics of my kids on the net. It's too scary these days. I agree with some of the other commenters, contact the hosting site if she doesn't take it down. Many hosts and sites don't want legal action against them and are pretty accomodating when it comes to these things. I hope it works out. If there's anything I can do to help, just let me know.
    (and I'm so sorry you had to go through such horror with your adoptive parents, there is so much more we should be doing to protect our children)

  13. Sounds scary. I think the best advice is to contact the website host immediately. You don't have to explain the situation, just say that for your safety and the safety of your family you cannot have this information listed. I really hope they respond quickly.

  14. I can't even begin to imagine how you feel now. You've gotten good advice and people really are scared of legal action, so I hope that works. I did have a website taken down because it used my (copyrighted) material - unfortunately, I think it took 2 weeks or so.

    Let's hope your birth mother is reasonable about it.

  15. No suggestions, but if my personal details go up on the web, I want to be the one who put the there (or at least asked). That's why I don't tend to refer to friends or family much, and if so, only by initial. Basic courtesy.


  16. contact the site itself and ask for the information to be removed

  17. You can contact the hosting company and do as someone else said, explain your privacy was violated and they are obligated to take it down.

    I run a company and my corporate site was taken down by the host for a complaint of spam. The host companies are very scared of litigation and caution on the side of compliance. Won't hurt to give it a shot.

  18. What Eliza said.

    Canada has a data protection act, PIPEDA, perhaps invoking a violation of that can help convince the hosting provider if need be.

    In the EU, posting someone else's personal data online, even on a personal blog, is an infringement of data protection.