Ladies and gentlemen. Go to http://truepeoplesearch.com and type in your name and zip code then check out the results. Got a good look at it? Good. Surprised at how accurate this information is? Not so good. Want to get it off of there?
Go to https://www.truepeoplesearch.com/removal and start the process. Go head and take care of that. We will be more than happy to hang around until your done. Got your info off of that site? Great! Now I would like to take the time to tell you that you have essentially wasted your time. Yeah, I know thats not what you wanted to hear, and you may not even agree with me, but that doesn’t matter, you’re wrong. There are other sites that offer this exact same service (some for cost) with the same information. You could go to them and try to go through the same process but you would still be wasting your time. Why? because these are not the source of your problem. These are the end users of a huge marketplace that is personal information. Detailed information about an individual is just short of literally being a gold mine. With more detailed information about you as a person, companies can better focus their products for you.
When it comes to companies and your personal information, If your concerned about what they might do with it, you should definitely read the fine print. Companies that are giving things away just because you sign up for them should be your first hint that your data is being sold. Nothing is free in this world. Google is probably the first company you think of when it comes to this kind of work. If you lightly look around you’ll see them demonized for collecting your personal information. What if I told you that Google were actually the good guys as far as data collection is concerned? You might think of Google as the San Francisco 49ers (the actual guys from the 1940’s, not the football team). When it came to personal data being collected, they dug in quick, deep and huge waves, but instead of taking this information and selling it as other companies do today, they took this information and went to potential clients and said things like we have information on twenty thousand unique users who would be a great target for your ad. Would you like to pay to use our ad service? This made sure only the company you gave the information to (you know because they gave you free gmail and access to that mail) kept that information safe while they still made money off of it. Yes they made money off of it, but really, did you think they were hosting all of those mail servers out of the goodness of their hearts?
There are other companies who collect your data and sell it to other companies. Surprisingly, these companies are called Data Brokers. The greatest thing about these companies are how much affect hey can have on your life. Thee of the top 10 Data Brokers are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These names sound familiar? They should. These three companies are essentially what makes up your FICO credit score. Two more names that might come as a surprise to you are ValPak (these are the people who stuff the envelope full of coupons and mail them to you) and Readers Digest (yep, theres actually occasions where you pay someone to sell your data).
Fortunately there are people who think that this is plain wrong and are willing to help you out. The site StopDataMining.me has a page ( http://www.stopdatamining.me/opt-out-list/) for helping you to opt out of what are considered the top 50 companies that collect and/or sell your information.
Unfortunately there seems to be not enough people who know (or care?) that this is going on to push hard enough for the required changes to be made. This post is my mild attempt to educate the masses. I don’t expect it to go far, but I feel I have done my part.