I went and tried to remove my info from a bunch of sites. Some had more accurate information than others. It’s a strange feeling that I can’t fully know what’s out there about myself without paying for it (unless I track down the original public sources, but are those even free?).
Side note: has anyone heard about any real-life people who pay the people-finding sites for information about potential dates or contractors or whatever else the testimonials say? I’m mostly wondering, I guess, how sites like PeekYou and Intelius make their money - through purchases, or is it through advertising like so much of the internet?
Yep, and you also noted the other creepy part of it, where you can’t opt to have your data removed without giving them more data (confirming data links, confirming email). It’s a real catch-22. For me, the threat of that data being public is worse than data brokers having my email.
Good question. I don’t know of any. I’ve only seen the free data on these sites being used for doxing purposes.
I read a column in the New York Times about someone who did in order to figure out inconsistencies about a Tinder date, but that’s only quasi-real life and she may have done it with the idea of a column in mind.
I ran about 80 searches of people with his name under 35 from his home state and their relatives on TLOxp, a professional backgrounding database ($18.80).
@mtkinney The Epsilon report for my spouse arrived a few days ago (they didn’t have one for me). The information they listed about him was fairly minimal, though they did have his age right. They also listed a market segment or market profile or something like that–a composite that he’s supposed to fall into. That was pretty far off as far as income bracket, age, and interests. Like, in the first part they listed his actual age but then in the composite, it said he was like 15-20 years older. I wonder if the composite is based on neighborhood. Our house is significantly smaller than a lot of others in the neighborhood, and our neighbors tend to skew towards retirement age.