I am doing a bit of research and wondered if any of you legal bods knew anything about this.
Today it came to my attention that my details have appeared on a commercial website without my consent. How did this happen? You may be asking.
Well, I shipped my personal belongings from the UK to Belize. They passed through Miami and as a result, it seems, that my personal information is now a matter of public record. Not only that, but there are a number of commercial sites that use this information and post it on their websites.
When I contacted one of these sites, the owner's immediate response was to say that I could have my details removed for a fee. I was flabbergasted and this reeked of extortion to me. I chatted to him about this and he hadn't really thought of the invasion of privacy issue, but said that he can't go taking people's details down upon request as it would affect his competetive edge against other online companies who do the same thing.
Now, I know that many people in the UK try to avoid flying via the USA because of invasion of privacy concerns. Does this mean that it would also be wise to avoid shipping via the USA for the same reason? The gentleman I spoke to assured me that what he was doing is perfectly legal and that shipping records have been public for 200 years. The first thought that came to mind was what if I were a woman escaping domestic violence and trying to move to a new country. There is no way I would have known that I would be so easily traceable as a result.
I'd appreciate opinions, advice etc.