Callsign Data Removal From Website

Scenario

I often receive requests from amateur radio operators who want me to remove their call sign and/or data from the RadioQTH website. Often they will threaten to sue me if I don't take it off. I find this rather odd since having an amateur radio license is a legal document and as such is a matter of public record. It's all the more odd to me when you consider that we live today in an age where information is everywhere. Do a search on the internet for your name and see what comes up. It's not like the RadioQTH website is the only one who has information about any one individual.

What many don't seem to realize is the nature of the data on the RadioQTH website. It's not static data that I could remove information for a particular individual and then that would be the end of it. The data on the website is in a constant state of flux. The very nature of the site is to make it easier to find what call signs are available so that you can apply for a vanity call and have some assurance that the call you are applying for is available. In order to be able to do that the website downloads data from the FCC site on a daily basis and then on a weekly basis the entire FCC database is deleted from the site and downloaded fresh from the FCC. As a result if I removed any one individual's data it would just be put back on the next weekly update.

Also consider that I also get requests from ham operators who have changed their address and the information hasn't yet been published by the FCC and so it hasn't shown up on the site yet and they contact me asking that I correct the information. That's the easy one since it's just a question of saying wait a few days and it should be corrected automatically.

Work Involved

If I were to try and remove information for a particular ham operator it would become a full-time job. I would need to remove their data for their current call sign but only while they held the call. Others who held the call may want their data shown. So I would need to have a history of when one particular individual had it so the data could be removed. If they changed to a new call then the next person to have it would potentially want their data shown and I would need to start showing the data again. And if an individual who doesn't want their data shown gets a new call then I have to start monitoring yet another call to hide or show data based on who held the call at the time.

Current Policy

The RadioQTH website downloads data from the FCC's website that is a matter of public record. It will continue to do so without modifying that data in any way.

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