First, before you read the material below, please be assured that Tree52.com ALMOST ALWAYS honors requests for name removals, in that we remove the name from public display, and abbreviate it when displaying to classmates. (The reasons for this policy are listed elsewhere.)
Unless you have registered with our site, we don't have any other information about you, no email addresses, phone numbers nor physical addresses. (Other websites often sell that information, but not us.) If your name appears in the "Probable Alumni" section of the alumni class pages, all we have is your name. If you have registered, and then later decide to withdraw, only your name is retained as part of your class, just as it was before you registered. If your name appears in the "Probable Alumni" section of the alumni class pages, it also appears (or appeared in the past) on at least one other online web site. We get our initial lists from other online resources (newspapers, obits, other almuni lists).
This information is provided for educational purposes. Online privacy is an important issue and everyone should be knowledgeable about the dangers and the options available to protect ourselves from identity theft and unwanted contact.
Myth #1) It is illegal to post personal information without permission. No, it's not. Surprisingly there is no law against it. There are many laws, but they either specify penalties for those who steal identities or prescribe rules for publishing descriptions of how websites use any data they acquire.
Myth #2) Websites are required by law to remove personal information. No, they aren't. Surprisingly there is no law like that, either. California's legislature tried and failed to pass such a law in May of 2011, and there will likely be continuing efforts to do so, possibly even in the US Congress. What you *can* do, is try to convince a judge to issue a Cease and Desist Order or a Restraining Order. The best outcome of this action is that the website will comply with the order. Very seldom does it come to this, most websites will remove information upon request.
Myth #3) Alumni class lists contain personal information. Even if there were laws against publishing private information and requiring removal upon request, school attendance is mostly considered public information. Think about it, newspapers print class lists, and honor rolls, sports involvement all the time. Much of that is now archived online. If the information wasn't public, newspapers couldn't publish it.
Myth #4) I can sue a website for not removing my name. Yes you can file a civil lawsuit for damages, but to prevail: you must prove that you have actually been harmed. If you think, for example, that you haven't been hired by prospective interviewers, because they can find the date that you graduated from high school, you would have to prove that it actually happened, not just that it *might* have happened.
If an ex-husband or boyfried has become a danger to you, it is understandable that you would want every online reference removed (and we do our best to comply, of course). But it is improbable that they don't already know what high school class you attended. We suggest that you contact everyone that knows how to contact you, and make them aware of your situation. As a reminder, Tree52.com does not know anything about you except what high school class you attended (unless you register). Even if you do register, no contact information is ever provided to anyone, classmates or otherwise.
Bear in mind, also, even if all of the myths above were true, it would be prudent for the website to require proof of identity before honoring any requests, which is incredibly problematic. After all, just because someone claims to be a person, that doesn't guarantee that they aren't someone else, trying to wreck havoc on that person's online presence. If proof of identity were required, it would obviously need to be something difficult to fake, and it would need to tie into the alumni situation. A photo copy of a driver's license only proves that you have had possession of a license with a certain name. Often that name won't match the alumni list, e.g. name change through marriage. Even if your name is quite unique, uniqueness only makes identification likely, not certain. Perhaps a photocopy of the school's yearbook with your photo, plus an official photo ID might be enough proof to establish identity and class membership, but not if your appearance has changed over the years. It's not unheard of, the two people with the same fairly unique names, get into online feuds about their names and activities and try to mess with the other person's online presence. The best solution we considered so far is a photocopy of a diploma.
You might want to read this article about removing personal info from the web, and also check out the most invasive discloser, Spokeo.com to see if you are listed.