The internet is a huge place that changes each and every day. That being said, your information may be out there and you have no way of knowing who has it and what you can do to remove your data. There is really very little that you can do to remove data on your own if you do not know where it is and what it is being used for. Knowing a bit about some of the top data brokers can make a big difference in how you find out what data is out there.
What is a Data Broker?
A data broker is simply a website that collects information and publishes it on their website. Data brokers obtain this personal information like addresses, phone numbers, marriages, divorces, criminal records, and more and publish it. Then they utilize others that want this information or want to remove this information for a profit.
Top Ten Data Brokers
There are tons of different data brokers out there that buy, sell, and broker the data that they collect on users. These companies make their name and their living by collecting data and then selling it to those advertisers and other companies that are interested and that may be able to use the data to garner a sale. Here are some of the larger data brokers that are currently working today.
Acxiom, a company out of Conway, AR, is listed as a data and technology company. They collect data and give their customers the opportunity to customize their advertising and bases to make the most of their content and to make the most sales.
Corelogic, based in Irvine, CA, is known for collecting financial information. They may also collect things like your name, age, address, and more. They also work with property information like sales agents, brokerages, and appraisers information.
Datalogix is a company that is based in Colorado and they collect online and offline purchasing behaviors from loyalty card programs. They sell this to their clients and provide ad campaigns through online and mail.
eBureau, a relatively new company in Saint Cloud, MN collects data from public and private sources and does then broker it to their clients. They collect basic information as well as more specific, demographic information.
ID Analytics in San Diego collects both personal data as well as proprietary data and does have an option to really look at the insight of the customer and what they are doing and how they are behaving and provide their clients with relative identity risk management.
Intelius, out of Bellvue, WA, works a bit differently than other companies in that they do offer information to the average person as well. They offer reverse telephone lookup, background checks, better business bureau information as well. They offer a huge range of information that is varied and vast and much of it is collected from public records.
PeekYou is a contact site. The site allows you to search for people, whether that may be a long lost friend or finding contact information for a person.
Recorded Future is not so much a typical data broker as it does not maintain records, but is utilizing information to predict potential future events. They are in the real-time threat intelligence business and support agencies like the CIA.
Towerdata, formerly RapLeaf, collects a great deal of data about email addresses. They broker this information to companies looking for email marketing strategies.
Google Analytics uses the information that you search to then target ads that are based on what you have been searching and on your content.
How Do Data Brokers Get Their Information?
Data brokers get their information from a huge range of sources, both private and public. They can get their data from public records like property records, marriage records, court records, driver’s licenses, motor vehicle records, and more. They may also collect information from things like census records, voter registration, bankruptcy records, and so much more. These are all going to be records that they can access freely and legally that they can then create databases around.
Data brokers can access these records at any time and can then categorize the information to sell it or broker it to the person or company that is going to be able to best use the information. They can also collect their data from other sources like commercial sources. They may collect purchase histories, warranty registration, coupons used, and more all from retailers. This allows them to then create databases that are based on what you are buying and then what you may buy in the future.
Data brokers can also access social media accounts and can access information that is stored there. This can be your browsing history, your media reports, what sites you have visited, quiz results from those fun little quizzes that you take to pass the time and more. These brokers may also collect information on what pages you like, what pages you interact with and so much more. These are all legal means of collection and these companies can collect and then sell this data.
Is This Legal?
The big question is, are data brokers breaking the law? The issue with data brokers is not coming from them collecting data that was willingly posted or entered on the internet. The big issue happens when credit reporting agencies or other agencies that have your private info like your bank account numbers and social security numbers get involved.
For the most part, data brokers do not fall into the consumer reporting agency category so they are not breaking any laws by sharing the information that they have collected legally. For the most part, you yourself could compile a database with the information that many of these companies are selling, it would just take you far longer to do it. This is a fully legal procedure and you can opt out of having your information on these sites if you just take the necessary steps to do so.
How to Opt Out of Data Broker Databases
There are some ways that you can opt out of your data being kept in data broker sites. For some sites or brokers, there are opt-out lists that you can sign up for that will prevent them from collecting and then sharing your information. Opt-out lists can be those that you sign up for online or those that you have to call to opt-out for. Either way, they add your name to a list that keeps your data from being shared and from being collected on that particular site. This is a tedious method of opting out and you can end up taking hours to opt out of every single site that collects data.
There are some sites that you can go on that list the opt-out links for popular data brokers. You then need to follow those links and follow the specific information and instructions that each site lists so that you can then be opted out from data collection.
Opting out on your own is possible, but it is going to take more time, more effort, and you may end up missing some of the smaller data miners that you are not even aware of. Taking the time to opt out one by one is not going to be plausible for most people. Also, there are some sites that list an opt-out link that does not really opt you out of data mining.
Professional Information Removal
You can always pay a company to remove your information and to help you to opt out of these data broker sites. This is a fantastic way to make sure you are opted out of a huge range of data brokers that you may not even be aware that you are opted into. Paying a service to help remove your data from the internet and from these data broker sites as well as keeping you from having data collected in the future is a fantastic way to make sure the process is done right.
Paying for personal data removal is going to free up time, effort, and is going to be far more comprehensive than your trying to remove yourself from every opt-out list that is out there. A service that is able to work to make sure your data is fully removed and that you are free from data miners is going to be far more efficient than your trying to remove data on your own. Professional companies know all the tips and tricks to get your data off the internet and out of the hands of data miners faster and more efficiently than you would be able to do on your own.
You can go and work to remove yourself from data bases all day and all night but this is time consuming, difficult, and you may end up missing some of the sites that are still collecting your data. A professional service is going to be able to make sure you are removed from as many lists as possible, that your data is erased from these databases, and that you are able to keep surfing the internet without having to worry about what data is being collected.
What is People Eraser?
People Eraser is a data removal company that works to make sure your information is not floating around the internet for data brokers to profit off of. They answer the pivotal question, “How do I remove my personal information from google search,” and help you to feel that you are safe and that you have nothing to worry about. They offer a range of services that are comprehensive and that work to make sure you are going to be able to get on the internet without having to worry about where your information is.
They offer two different program options so that you can choose what is right for you. You can either opt to have a one-time clean where your information is wiped and that is it. This is a great place to start if you are only an occasional internet user and you may not have a ton of information out there to be collected. For those that use the internet with more frequency, you may want to take a look at the other option that People Eraser offers.
They also offer a yearly program where you are protected for a year. They will work to keep your data out of the data mines for an entire year so that you can have your data out of the hands that will then sell it for profit. This is a great option for those that do frequent the internet and that do have a great deal of data floating around out there and want to be safe and secure. The right service for you is going to help you feel better about what data is out there, about what data is being used and collected, and about what possibility there is that your data is going to be used for profit.
No matter what you choose, data miners are still going to be there collecting and selling data. Having a professional company on your side to help remove your data, control what is being shared, and to make sure your data is secure is going to be a tremendous help. You may be able to catch a data miner here and there but full and comprehensive removal from data mining sites does require the help of a professional.
Contact People Eraser today today to find out more about our services and about what you can do to remove your private data from the internet and from the data bases that data miners are continually collecting and selling.