TruthFinder has Information on Everyone: Ethical or Not?


Reya Mehta, Staff Writer

   In today’s world, privacy has gone extinct. About 49 million Instagram influencers, celebrities and brands had their accounts breached on May 20. Their private contact information, including their location, email address and phone number, were exposed. 

   There have been so many data breaches recently, which is hardly surprising. But what if hackers no longer needed to put so much effort into finding someone’s private information? What if there was a website where you could see all that information laid out clearly? 

   Now, with the rise of TruthFinder looming on the horizon, the sun is setting on a world where people can trust that their personal lives are locked away.

   In simple words, TruthFinder is a website where you can look people up and find in-depth reports on them. The site uses public records, including government documents and social media profiles, to find everything from parking ticket violations to arrest records. The report includes every single thing about an individual. There may be things from their past, long forgotten now, that they may not want to be public.

   To get a report on someone, type their name into the database (minors won’t show up) and click open report on the search subject. The site goes through four steps, during which it asks questions about the search subject (a pathetic way of building unnecessary suspense), asks to include relatives in the report, shows some agree and confirm checkboxes, verifies that the user is not a minor and asks for a name and email.

   Throughout all of this, TruthFinder advertises itself relentlessly. After the steps are completed, a timer starts counting down from five minutes, yet another way to build “suspense.” A little box pops up to confirm that the user is “ready to learn the truth” about the search subject.

   Then the big cliffhanger — a subscription plan must be picked to continue. They charge about $30 for a month of unlimited reports. 

   This is pretty much just as much as any other website like this will charge, and TruthFinder definitely gives more reliable information than any other, but is that really a good thing? To know that the only thing that stands between a creepy random stalker and your address and personal information is $30?

   TruthFinder is a complete invasion of everyone’s privacy. There are so many reviews of this site that gush about how it helped them find out something about someone, or helped them reunite with an old friend. 

   But what is never mentioned are the instances when the use of TruthFinder resulted in a negative outcome.

   For one, if a person looked up to a close friend, but then found out that he/she had a pretty heavy police record, that person’s perception of his or /her friend’s character may be affected, resulting in a strained relationship.

   For another, a random, creepy online stalker could be looking to steal a person’s identity.

   TruthFinder doesn’t show anything that isn’t already accessible, as they only use public records. However, by making them so easily attained in one place, more people will be able to access the reports.

   TruthFinder may be a blessing to some, and a nightmare to others, but in the end, it’s incredibly important to know that your information is out there, whether you like it or not.