Removal of Private Information Online
There’s likely an abundance of information about you available on the Internet. Online directories and databases offer this data either free or for a fee. Fortunately, you can remove your personal details from some of these online databases.
You might be wondering how your name, address, telephone number and, often, date of birth ended up on the net? Information is obtained from public records and marketing databases. This includes court documents, county and state records, voter registration, marriage licenses, subscriptions and many other public record sources.
The following are five of the biggest online databases with instructions on how to remove your private data.
US Search (www.ussearch.com) often shows up in internet searches. Many online phone directories also link to it. US Search sells background reports to anyone for a fee.
You can remove your records from most of its search results by sending your request through postal mail.
US Search requires your name, date of birth and Social Security number. Additionally, it wants your addresses going back several years. You should supply any aliases, including your maiden name.
Intelius (www.intelius.com) sells background reports for a fee. Reports include your birth date, court records and previous address history.
You must fax a copy of a state ID card or your drivers license and cross out your photo and license number. It only requires your name, address and date of birth. Otherwise, you can send a notarized form confirming your identity.
Acxiom (www.acxiom.com) provides data to websites, businesses and law enforcement officials. Its products fall into the category of marketing and reference.
Reference data is retrieved from public records. Also included is financial information and Social Security numbers. This information is only provided to businesses and law enforcement where you can’t opt out.
But, you can opt out of its marketing database. The marketing database does not include credit information or Social Security numbers. Request an opt-out form via telephone or e-mail. Since other businesses use Acxiom’s data, this also removes data from some other sites.
Marketers use 555-1212.com to find addresses and phone numbers of potential leads. You can remove your information from its database using an online form.
Removal requires minimal information. You must provide your name as it appears in the site’s listing. This may be difficult, as you can’t view your listing. You must also provide a phone number and an email address.
WhitePages.com is an online directory available to anyone. It lists your name and address in its search results.
You can remove your information using an online form. Your name, city and state are required, along with a reason for removal. You can select General Privacy Concerns.
Many marketers use the Direct Marketing Associations (DMA) preferences. You can submit removal requests for mailing, telemarketing and email lists.
You’ll find removal forms on the DMA’s site (www.the-dma.org). Some of the forms carry a fee ranging from $1 and up.
This won’t remove your information from all marketing databases. But DMA members are required to adhere to the lists.
Also, you can opt out of pre-approved credit card and insurance offers. One request covers four major credit-reporting agencies.
Unfortunately, it often isn’t easy to remove public records from databases. Some services only remove sealed records which may require a court order.