Zabasearch – Great new tool or invasion of privacy?

by Stephanie Rewis on September 5, 2006

I usually keep the personal stuff out of here. But since this rant relates to Zabasearch, a web site, I'm going to spout off for a minute. Please bear with me.

Zabasearch is touted as "The #1 Free People Search and Public Information Search Engine." And whether it's number one or not, I can't say, but without a doubt, it is thorough. In fact, I'd say it could very well turn into the number one tool for stalkers and identity theives. It takes a small amount of initial information on a person to pull a whole myriad of info. They've obviously pulled together a large number of databases — yes, some would argue that those are available other places already — but I greatly dislike the fact that they've made it so easy for people to find it all in one place. I can't really think of a good, upstanding use for this tool. (Don't say to find long-lost classmates 'cause there's already a site for that!)

Go ahead — enter your name (you may or may not need the state). You'll find your birthdate (month/year), phone number and street address (with the date that particular address was recorded which makes it simple to tell which is your current address), county and zip all in the initial results. In fact, if you've moved much at all, you'll likely find a good many, if not all, of your addresses. Then, all you have to do is click to "map it." That gives you a great map (thanks to Google Maps) and you can see the neighborhood by satellite as well. The other links will take you to a Google search for that name, and some other paid services like:

  • background check
  • property check
  • advanced people search
  • an instant background report (which includes bankruptcies and liens, small claims & judgments, criminal check, sex offender check, address history, relatives, friends and neighbors, alias names, AND much more!)
  • business listings
  • income and home value
  • unlisted phone number information
  • you can also "leave a message" for the person

Maybe I'm just a privacy freak, but having this stuff all easily accessible in one place is a bit much for me. If you're uncomfortable with it for any reason, I was told you can request that your info be removed from their results by emailing them at I did that last night with no reply at all. That said, I can find no mention of that email on their site — or any contact info at all for that matter. You actually have to drill into the site to a search page before you can access the privacy policy, terms and about us info. In those pages, they explain where they get their information and how they use it. There's good info there about protecting your privacy, but nowhere could I find information on removing the information they're already using. There's a statement at the bottom of the "terms" page that says:

How to Submit Records, Edit Records or BLOCK records FROM APPEARING IN ZABASEARCH

Individuals wishing to have records created, edited or blocked from appearing in ZabaSearch, can use ZabaTools. Click the ZabaTools link below.

Only there is no link for ZabaTools anywhere that I could find. It seems to have been removed. Leave me a note if you find it. I want out of there.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

John Dowdell September 5, 2006 at 7:33 pm

Contrarian viewpoint: Such info has been available to the few for a long time. Now its availability is seeing the light of day.

People used to worry about Big Brother, but computers democratized access — anybody can be Little Brother with the search engines now. Sites like Zabasearch help us realize this, which seems the first step to dealing with it.

… and what happens when anyone can own a swarm of micro-flying drones with their own webcams and IP servers? Anything we do in public will likely be available to anyone else, at some point in the future. I’m not sure how we’ll come to terms with this yet….

Gordon Mackay September 6, 2006 at 3:50 pm

<< Goes to check everyone out :) hehe

Heidi September 7, 2006 at 8:18 pm

Interesting. I knew there was another person out there with my first and last name. And now I know where she lives…

Stef. September 7, 2006 at 10:44 pm

@Heidi — I had no idea there could be anyone with my maiden name — it was so odd. But it seems there are more with that than with my married name. ;)

@John — yes, I think it’s going to be interesting to see how it all pans out… my fear is it’s going to pan the wrong way though… there IS no privacy anymore — and likely it will never be reclaimed. ::sigh::

John Dowdell September 8, 2006 at 5:56 pm

Y’know, maybe one way to go would be to pollute the database… use your own name to create many temporary street adresses, websites, etc… flood it with offkey data.

Peter September 17, 2006 at 11:50 pm

Isn’t the Internet (to) full of off key data already?

Hugh Elliott October 25, 2006 at 9:07 am

Phew! It’s US only. We Canadians are safe for the moment. Our privacy isn’t as interesting, granted, but it’s still good to know.

Jeremy November 29, 2006 at 1:03 am is hosted on Since it’s impossible to get in contact with ZAbasearch, Please forward your complaint about to:

If you are like me, I wrote a letter to to be removed from their search index, please send a complaint to:

Forward this message to anyone who has an issue with

JUST ME MAYBE December 30, 2006 at 7:04 pm

I just tried to zaba someone and, I got a new window which ent to “yellowbook”.

the zaba site no longer functions as it did.

When you enter a name and click on ‘search”, you get the list of those names.

Then, when you click on one of those naes, you get a window from “yellowbook’ and, it’s all screwd up.

Is anyone else experiencing this?

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