FTC to Examine Effects of Big Data on Low Income and Underserved Consumers at September Workshop; Project No. P145406 #00008

Submission Number:
Jim Johnson
Initiative Name:
FTC to Examine Effects of Big Data on Low Income and Underserved Consumers at September Workshop; Project No. P145406
Dear FTC, I am a United States citizen and I am making these public comments out of years of frustration due to proliferation of websites which scrape public records. I want to first let FTC know that I can within less than five minutes scrape (collect) the divorce records for ALL Americans and I can display them one website and start selling Google Ads. I can make a million dollars daily by doing so. Most people do not know that it is very very easy to scrape/collect such information. However, I am not doing so or engaging in such a business because it unethical and harassment of all Americans. While, I am not doing so, every now and then a software programmer gets up in the morning and he thinks he can make millions of dollars by copying public records and selling Google Ads. So, what is wrong, who is doing the wrong thing, how can we stop them? What can or should FTC do about it? What is wrong? I understand that United States public records are not copyrighted, so, anybody can copy them. However, they should NOT be manipulated, distorted or sold with Google Ads. A good example is the copying of ALL United States business registration records by a company called Bozoos. This website has copied all records and now it displays "2 Arrest Records Found" misleading Ad all over our business registration record. When I signed my registration record, I never thought that it will be displayed on a private website with this text flashing "2 Arrest Records Found". We do not know who owns Bozoos. The person who owns Bozoos has used initials A.M. in his registration record and he used the address of his 'Registered Agent' to hide his office address. You can see the irony here. The person who created Bozoos has taken ALL steps to hide his every bit of information, including using a false address and a false name (I think). I am now worried and scared of starting a business, because there are such websites which will copy my record and display such inappropriate Ads. Who is doing the wrong thing? This is complicated because United States allows copying of public records. But, the question is, does United States allow people to manipulate public records by displaying "2 Arrest Records Found"? In my State, the government website does not allow searching of public records by people's first or last name. Even Google has stayed away from searching public records. However, when a website like Bozoos copies our records and displays them on an private website, all of those records are now available on Google. Another question is: Why are these websites appearing in Google search results? Does Google have a conflict of interest due to sales of Google Ads? If so, then the blame for proliferation of such websites should be placed on Google. I personally think that Google Ads has created a new business model, which allows people to create such websites and sell Google Ads. In my opinion, we should ask Google to not ALLOW selling of Ads and display of results related to such websites. Maybe, FTC should take action against Google for selling Ads to illegal websites or public record scraper websites. Maybe Google is displaying these websites in search results because they are making money by Google Ads. How can we stop them? It seems almost impossible to stop proliferation of these websites. I personally think that if Google was not selling Ads to these websites and not displaying their pages in search results, we could immediately stop these websites. I will request FTC to please probe this issue. If nothing else, I making a humanitarian pleadge to Google CEO to please NOT sells Ads to these public record scraping websites. PLEASE! Another way to stop them is to create laws for their disclosure regarding ownership and employees. It is interesting that there is ABSOLUTELY no information about any employee, owners or address for websites such as Bozoos, Inetlluos, Peoplefinders.com etc etc. If these websites are legal, why are their owners