Is it legal to search a persons personal information on the internet?

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Is it legal to search a persons personal information on the internet?

Someone has used the internet and found my address, date of birth, home phone number and now this person is trying to get info on my divorce.

Asked on July 13, 2011 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If information is "publically" available on the Internet--that is, it is available to anyone doing a web search, and does not require identity theft (e.g. representing themselves as you), stealing or misusing your personal passwords, or hacking a protected account, server, or computer--then it's legal for someone to get it. Information that is out in the public sphere and not protected is information that anyone can access without criminal or civil liability. That also applies to information about your divorce, much of which (e.g. court records, except and only to the extent that are actually sealed) is officially public information, anyway, unfortunately. This is something we all need to deal with in the internet age.


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