Who spilled the beans?

#1
While researching about somebody else and being intrigued as to the quantity of data that I was finding, I decided to throw my army number and surname into Google Search. Now, I've been quite careful over the years to avoid leaving my personal details on the web. Even on ARRSE, I've been careful - dropping sufficient hints that those who know me will be able to confirm my identity, but not enough that a stranger can trace me. So I expected the search to come up with a strange electrical component and thousands of unfamiliar people.

Not so. A page of results in and there's my name and number. A statement of "Army" and a date range - that just happens to be my joining date and the date of my VRSM - in the summary. On opening the link, there are some random people who have the same name but no mention of "Army", my number or the dates.

The page belongs to webmii. I've thrashed my brains and can't think how they've made the connection because I've never (as far as I'm aware) ever given all of that information in a linkable format. And I've never given permission for the bits that I have given to be passed to third parties - I'm always careful to tick or untick that box.

Try it yourself and see whether the Google summary shows details that you wouldn't expect to appear. I suppose it's nice that webmii don't put that information on the linked page, but scary that it appears in the Google summary.
 
#3
I considered that, but they've also got my VRSM date - which I presume comes from The London Gazette. Unless, by coincidence, that was also when I subscribed to FR (though I'm sure I joined it before then).
 
#5
Curious. When I just entered my number and name, the Google Search summary wittered an about "if you want to contact me, log onto Facebook" or words to that effect. When I added "forces reunited" to the search, the summary came up with "if you want to contact me, log onto Forces Reunited" instead.
 
#6
I had 2 hits, both to FR. Did you check your profile there?
It's been years since I logged on there. I can't remember if you have to enter a password (I presume you must) and I'm buggered if I can remember what it is.
 
#7
My subscription ran out years ago, I could still get to my profile though. The first Google hit took me to a list of names, I then searched that page, found myself and a link to FR. Hit the link and it took me to the members list, searched for me, straight to my profile.


Edit to add, I didn't need to login.
 
#8
One hit, LS&GC entry in the gazette so I've not done that bad.
 
#9
Cheers, jinxy.

That clears it up. It's not my VRSM date after all, it's the date that I last updated my profile.

Now who would have thought that all the stuff you put on there would be open to people who haven't logged in?
 
#11
Blimey, thats shocking. The only place I have put my number is on forces reunited and now its all over the internet. Think I will be winging an email their way.
 
#14
Nothing on my name and number, and I have a long forgotten Forces Reunited account aa well.

Wouldn't really bother me if anything came up to honest. Boadicea and my Iceni section have long since disbanded.
 
#17
A friend emailed me some time ago and suggested I did what you've done and I found that a couple of Forces-related sites showed up with my data. A quick email to them had my details removed from their databases and I'm no longer quite as 'visible' on the web.
 
#18
Well, I wrote to them and this was their response:

Hello Sir, it''s an issue that we understand of course and I have asked the technical desk to add this as a priority task so it is removed from Spidered searches.
The google searches will still show name etc, but service numbers will be hidden.


A surprisingly very quick response and fairly good result. I just wonder if it is bluff, as this must have arisen many times before since they started.
 
#19
I tried it, I got one hit, but it had black sticky across it so could not see the details! ;)

Ok, ok, no hits at all for me...but I am a boring sod with no exciting things in life!
 
#20
Yep got my Gazetted pages. One thing did intrigue me though:
The following Soldier has forfieted the Long Service and Good Conduct
Medal... then the name rank serial number etc.
What was that for, being naughty and getting caught? Also I did not think it was gazetted as such
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Cambrai-Kid The NAAFI Bar 79
The_Cheat The NAAFI Bar 23
Little Jack H The NAAFI Bar 12

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top