Website sends letters with Watertown woman’s name, but not her permission

Nextdoor letters

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - If you live in Watertown, you might have received a letter from a neighbor asking you to join something called Nextdoor.

About a Month ago Kristy Urdiano got a letter in the mail to her Watertown home about the website and app. Nextdoor is designed to help people stay informed in their neighborhood about things like crime and safety. Urdiano says she thought it would be a good idea to sign up.

“I had heard about it from other people that lived in the neighborhood I grew up in that it was a good resource if you lost a pet, if there was suspicious activity going on, even a garage sale or something like that,” said Urdiano.

Shortly after she signed up for the Nextdoor app, some residents on neighboring streets started to get letters, too. This time appearing to be from Urdiano.

The letter is asking others to sign up for Nextdoor Watertown and gives a link, but the envelop was mailed from Wyoming and has no real return address. Urdiano says she had no idea letters were sent with her name on them.

“To have my name sent out to people that I don’t know, saying I’m soliciting something I had no idea, is kind of, I guess, probably alarming to some people,” said Urdiano.

According to Nextdoor’s privacy policy invitation letters are only sent out with the permission of a member. A spokesperson for the company says when a new member signs up they are asked if they want to send invites. Urdiano says she remembers addresses coming up but doesn’t believe she clicked any of them.

“I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be on there because it has a lot of good information,” said Urdiano, “it’s just, maybe it could be the process can be streamlined a little more, where it’s a hard yes or no and then a next step and you can click to invite all these people, so you know what you are doing, because the process was kind of misleading.”

The better business bureau says they have not received any complaints about invitations in the last month. Nextdoor’s company spokes person was not available for an interview.

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