Finding out how where and how to remove yourself from the big data broker sites can be tedious. This list of opt-out guides has directions and links to opt-out of most major data broker sites.
Data brokers collect an astonishing amount of information about people. If you're in the USA and visited My Life or Pipl you might be surprised by how much data they've collected about you, even if you aren't on the internet and never have been.
Data brokers collect information about you, usually personally identifiable information. They then sell that data to any one of several types of entities; other data brokers, companies that collect personal data for targeted advertising or other purposes, and individuals. None of these data brokers have a direct relationship with us, the consumers, and most people aren't aware of the type and amount of data that's being collected. To learn more about data brokers, what kinds of information they collect and what they do with it check this Privacy Rights Clearinghouse article: "Data Brokers and "People Search Sites".
Most (but not all) data brokers have some way to opt-out - to have your information removed from their site(s). It can be relatively easy (submitting a request via email) or difficult, (sending a copy of your ID card or license by postal mail to the company). Since many data brokers rely on publicly available records, your information can reappear after you've opted out of a site.
Delete Me has an Opt-out guide with a thorough, current list of the largest data brokers and how to opt out of their service. There are specific directions for each site, how hard it is, how long it takes, or whether you can opt out at all. The good news is that opting out of some of larger services also opts you out of other data broker services a site may own. For example, opting out of Whitepages.com also opts you out of 411.com, Address.com, Anywho.com, DexKnows.com, PhoneNumber.com, WhoWhere.com, and YellowPages.com making the process a little less tedious.
There are services that will remove your information for a fee, and Delete Me is one of them. They promote their service on the opt-out guides, but you can do it yourself. It takes quite a bit of time and effort, and since personal data can reappear, you may have to do it more than once on some sites. Be prepared to to identify images in a seemingly endless parade of CAPTCHA's to prove you're a human. If your on a Delete Me opt out guide review page, you may hear a little tinkling bell sound. It's associated with a bell icon that pops up in the lower right corner of your screen. Clicking the bell prompts you to remember that Delete Me has an information removal service. Not all removal services cover the same companies, something to consider if you decide to go that route.
If you're in the EU, you can use a similar service to opt out of the top data brokers: Opt Out of Top Data Brokers. The links open an email in your email client or service that includes a GDPR Erasure Request, just fill in the subject and personal information then send the email.
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