Data Brokers like BeenVerified, Instant Checkmate, and MyLife are Making it Harder to Opt-Out

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Data Brokers like BeenVerified, Instant Checkmate, and MyLife are Making it Harder to Opt-Out

Data brokers like BeenVerified, Instant Checkmate, and MyLife have new ways of crawling the web, making it more difficult to remove your listing from Google. DeleteMe experts know how to deal with these stubborn sites and remove your info.

Opting-Out of BeenVerified, Instant Checkmate, and MyLife Just Got Harder

Several data brokers have begun a new search types, in addition to the typical people searches. In these new methods, a person can type a phone number or other piece of information, and the data broker will crawl Google in real time, not just their own database.

beenverified been verified instant checkmate instantcheckmate mylife truepeoplesearch true people search fast people search fast peoplesearch data broker opt out removal
Screenshot taken by Julianne Subia/Abine.

When you complete an opt-out on a data broker site, that means that your information is removed from their people search database, in accordance with most data brokers’ privacy policies. This means that, in some cases, even if you have performed their opt-out procedure, they can still find your information and compile a report.

In the past, information that had been previously removed could return to the site because data brokers periodically re-populate their sites with personal information. But now, they are going a step further.

Here are some of the sites that have began using these new methods of searching:

BeenVerified

In the past, opting-out of BeenVerified’s main database just meant submitting an opt-out request and confirming it over email. After this, information was removed immediately.

BeenVerified has begun a new type of search, where you can search by home address. There needs to be a separate opt-out request to remove yourself from this database. They have opt-out processes for people search and address, but not for phone or email search. Phone search opt-outs can be completed via email.

beenverified been verified instant checkmate instantcheckmate mylife truepeoplesearch true people search fast people search fast peoplesearch data broker opt out removal
Screenshot taken by Julianne Subia/Abine.

Fast People Search

The opt-out procedure will only work on the Search section of Fast People Search. If there was a listing in a Google Search result from Fast People Search, the listing will still be available for viewing, even after the opt-out. We’ve discovered that this is likely because of a caching issue and a miscommunication between the data broker and Google.

For this site, you must remove each individual who lived at your address for your listing to be removed. Like BeenVerified, they have multiple search options which affect the opt-out process.

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True People Search and Instant Checkmate

Like Fast People Search, we have noticed that even after completing a standard opt-out request, True People Search and Instant Checkmate’s listings will sometimes continue to show up in Google Search results. When contacting Google about removing outdated or cached search results, Google claims that the information is still present, and therefore Google will not remove the search result. This means that these data brokers are not deleting the information from their databases, only from the search sections on their websites.

Our support staff has been successful in deleting profiles from their database, but this is only after being very persistent over email. For example, Instant Checkmate will retain information in their system for several weeks after removal. The only way we have found so far to speed up the removal process is to contact them directly support@instantcheckmate.com and providing them a screenshot of the listing, often more than once.

MyLife

In mid-January of 2019, MyLife was refusing to honor any opt-out requests. Since the beginning of February, requests are sometimes honored, but sometimes not.

Previously, DeleteMe professionals were able to help guide customers through their removal process. Now, they are not always abiding by their own privacy policy and terms of use (a violation of FTC laws against unfair and deceptive trade practices).

Our customers have found that if they are not honoring regular removal requests, it will help to send an email to privacy@mylife.com using the following template:

beenverified been verified instant checkmate instantcheckmate mylife truepeoplesearch true people search fast people search fast peoplesearch data broker opt out removal

Last Resort: File a Complaint With the Better Business Bureau

When companies are not complying with their privacy policies, filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau has proven successful in resolving a situation in which data brokers won’t comply with their opt-out processes. You can check out our step-by-step guide here.

You can also contact your local district attorney.

What Can I do to Have my Information Removed?

Opting-out of data broker sites has never been easy. It requires a great deal of persistence, patience, and effort going through each website, combing the web for your personal information, and sending countless opt-out requests online, over email, on the phone, and even over fax and in the mail.

Now, even this arduous process is not guaranteed to remove your information. This is why it’s more necessary than ever to have DeleteMe experts on your side.

DeleteMe experts will do all of the work of removing you from data broker sites for you, letting you know where they found your info and when you can expect it to disappear. On top of that, they’ll keep checking every quarter  and repeat the data removal process and fight these data brokers for you to make sure that your information is removed, and that it stays that way.

Join DeleteMe today to take back control of your information from data brokers.


About Abine

Abine, Inc. is The Online Privacy Company. Founded in 2009 by MIT engineers and financial experts, Abine’s mission is to provide easy-to-use online privacy tools and services to everybody who wants them. Abine’s tools are built for consumers to help them control the personal information companies, third parties, and other people see about them online.

DeleteMe by Abine is a hands-free subscription service that removes personal information from public online databases, data brokers, and people search websites.

Blur by Abine is the only password manager and digital wallet that also blocks trackers, and helps users remain private online by providing ‘Masked’ information whenever companies are asking for personal information.

Abine’s solutions have been trusted by over 25 million people worldwide.

One Reply to “Data Brokers like BeenVerified, Instant Checkmate, and MyLife are Making it Harder to Opt-Out”

  1. KB says:

    Thank you for your work on this issue. These “info” companies have no incentive to ensure their information is accurate and exploit legal loopholes that are meaningless to the average web surfer. One of these services stated that I had been arrested for being drunk in public – at the ripe old age of 12 years.

    As a parent, I am aware that other parents or neighbors may pull my record and find these inaccuracies. This is damaging – but don’t try to get a receipt from them! In connection with a business venture, I tried once to get a receipt or invoice from one of these services. They literally refused to provide evidence that I paid for their questionably-sourced product. This struck me as a truly shameless refusal to be accountable to customers or to members of the public.

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