Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I know my personal information is really out there for anyone to buy?
There are many ways to confirm your information is exposed. The simplest
would be to visit our home page and key your name and location into the
“Free Search” box. When you hit submit, we will query four of the more
active information broker sites to see what types and how much of your personal
data they have. Based on what we find, we will assign you a Personal Privacy Risk
Profile. We will also show you the type of information they have. If these sites
have your information, it is safe to assume many others do as well.
Alternatively, you could key “find a person” into your browser.
When you do so, you will be presented with a bunch of information broker URLs.
Select one or two, key in your name and see what they come back with. If you’re
comfortable with what you see, you’re done; and, congratulations, by the way.
If you are not, we can help.
2. How long does it take to remove my personal information from all these sites?
The amount of time it takes to remove your information varies from site to site. Some will
respond instantly and remove your information immediately upon instruction to do so. Some will
take several business days to a week. And, a few may take as long as 30 days. You can actually
watch the process on your Personal Privacy Dashboard. There you will be able to see how many
sites your information has been removed from and how many remaining pending. You’ll also be
able to see when we issued the removal instructions to each site. As a matter of practice, if a
site has not removed your information within 15 days of initial request, we reissue the removal
instruction. If they have not complied after the second request, we escalate the matter by
making a direct call to the site to assure removal.
3. Will my personal information ever reappear on these sites?
Unfortunately, your information will inevitably reappear on some of these sites. In fact, some
will repopulate your information as early as 30 days after it was initially removed. That’s why
it is so important that we continuously monitor for the appearance of your information on a new
site or the reappearance of your information on a previous site. During the term of your subscription,
we will frequently check each site to assure your information has been removed and that it does not reappear.
If it does reappear, we instantly initiate the removal process and manage that process until your information
is removed once again.
4. How would I know that my personal information has actually been removed?
When you subscribe to the ManageURIDProtect service,
in addition to beginning the removal process, we will build you a Personal Privacy
Dashboard. That Dashboard, accessible only via personal user name and password,
will be dynamically updated to reflect improvements in your Privacy Profile as
your information is being removed, and the status of our removal efforts with
respect to each of the sites we have identified as able to make your personal
information available. Additionally, we will deliver personalized daily, weekly
or monthly reports which will summarize the actions we have taken on your behalf
during the past month. If you feel further validation is required, you could always
visit the sites we represent we have removed your data from, key in your name,
and see if anything is returned.
5. Is ManageURID affiliated in any way with the data
brokers that are compiling and selling my personal information?
No! ManageURID is an independent entity; and,
that independence allows us to offer our members a completely unbiased service.
6. How much of my personal information would you be collecting while
performing this service, and would I then need protection from you?
We do not collect any of your information in the performance of
this service. We would essentially be acting as an agent on your behalf
issuing removal instructions to the many information brokers that can make
your personal information available. Of course, we then follow-up to assure
your information has been removed – and we continuously monitor thereafter
to intercede again as your information is repopulated - an inevitability in
the Internet universe. The only information we need to perform our service
is the data you provide us when you set up your account. That modest amount
of information is never shared, rented or sold to anyone.
7. Why would I pay a fee to remove my personal information from existing
entities when they can simply repopulate my information or form another
company to build a personal information profile about me?
It is also true that new sites will appear from time to time. Some will be
uniquely new while others will be derived from or associated with existing sites.
At ManageURID, our research staff is constantly monitoring
the changing landscape of the information broker community to assure we provide
the best and most comprehensive service in the industry. As the industry evolves,
so will we.
8. My personal information is mine. Why should I have to pay someone to
remove it from companies that shouldn’t have it without my permission
in the first place?
Unfortunately, there is very little of your ‘personal information’
that is truly yours anymore. Information brokerage has become a significant
and very big, multi-billion dollar business with many, many players. Some
of these players acquire your personal information for benign (if not
sometimes irritating marketing) purposes, often with your unwitting permission
(through Privacy Policies or Terms and Conditions of doing business with them).
However, in environments like these there will always be the inevitable others
(in this case many) who will seek to capitalize on the situation by compiling
and making your information available to literally anyone willing to pay.
Our purpose is to help you remove your information from the many you do
not wish to have it.
9. Why hasn’t the government stepped in with legislation to protect my privacy?
The government has indeed stepped in and implemented legislation (and more
will follow) in an effort to curb the abusive use of personal information and protect
the privacy rights of citizens. However, with literally billions of dollars at stake,
every player in the industry will find a way to continue to operate either within or
by navigating around the law (such as securing permission to use your personal
information or making the use of your personal information a condition of availing
yourself of their services). Some of this will be obvious; some much less so.
For example, the following was extracted from a Statement of Rights and Responsibilities
published by a social network provider:
“You grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty free, worldwide
license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with……”
Some will ignore the law altogether. In any case, with 2.3 billion users of the Internet,
any kind of legislation designed to protect your privacy will be very difficult to enforce.
Therefore, it will continue to be incumbent on every one of us to know who has our
information and how they might use it. Because this is a significant task that few
will have the time or the knowledge to manage, we have developed a service to perform
these functions on behalf of our members.
10. Most of the information being made available is a matter of public record,
so can’t someone who wants it just go and get it anyway?
Much, but not all, of what the information brokers compile is a matter of public
record. However, acquiring public record information requires time and knowledge and is
not a trivial task for the uninitiated. Information brokers assemble public record
information into one place making it very easy for someone who wants your information.
At the same time, many information brokers compile significant amounts of non-public
information as well, and most people are extremely sensitive about the compilation
and sale of this information.
11. Can I cancel my subscription at any time?
Yes, upon notice from you. When you notify us of your intent to discontinue
our service, your account will remain active until the end of the then current billing
cycle. Thereafter, service will be discontinued and there will be no further billing.