We have all done it: put our names into a search engine and see what came up. You may have been surprised at how much private information is out there for the public to see. Immediately, many of us ask:
- How can I remove my name from an online database or directory?
- How can I take my name off an internet listing?
- How can I opt-out of an on-line database?
You have encountered a reality of our contemporary world where many, many organizations have our private data and many are unscrupulous in sharing that data. They should not share our private information unless we grant permission. Some never acquire that permission; others do so on the sly, perhaps in tiny print on forms. Even worse, many of those organizations sell our data, making money off our private information. PC World has a good article on the dangers that you can read here.
Internet security and identity theft is outside my range of expertise, though a client asked me to help with a problem she had. I learned that you can take steps to remove your name from an internet directory, though you may need to contact each directory to remove your name from that directory and you will need to monitor them to make sure your name does not re-appear.
There is a company, Reputation.com, that will do this work and monitor your name, but they charge a monthly fee ($8.25 per month) and do not cover all databases (for example, they cannot help with Intelius.) I have not used this service, so I cannot vouch for it.
Common Online Databases and How to Remove Your Name or Data
Here are some of the most commonly used databases and how you can remove your name from them:
- Spokeo: This site declares that this is not your grandma’s white pages. You can remove your listing on Spokeo here.
- Intelius: Click here to learn how to remove your information from this site.
- Google Listings: If you find your name in a Google listing, they have a form to remove it. You can find that information here.
- U.S. Search: A popular listing used for phone records, they provide a service to remove your name from their site. Click here to learn more.
- FullNameDirectory and DOBSearch: You can learn how to remove your name from these listings by clicking here.
- White Pages: An online version of the old-fashioned telephone book white pages, they make it easy to remove your name from their listings. You can learn more here.
I hope you have found this information helpful. I practice personal injury law in the New York metropolitan area. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury through the negligence or recklessness of another, you may be entitled to compensation. If you have questions, you should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer in New York. I will be glad to answer your questions and assist you. There is never a charge for this consultation. You can call me at 1-800-660-1466 or email me. You can also visit my website or read more on my blog, New York Law Thoughts.
This material is intended for informational uses only. It is not meant as legal advice. To receive legal advice, you should consult an attorney.