Is there an easy way to remove personal information from Google? A lot of people have been asking this question lately.

It is hard to fault anyone for being concerned about their online privacy—as the recent controversy surrounding Facebook and Cambridge Analytica has made clear, a lot of people are vulnerable to having their information and online activity monitored and collected. That information can then be used in potentially harmful ways.

 

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The main parties that do this collecting are called data brokers. These are companies that gather up information on consumers—this could include addresses, income levels and webpages they visit—and sell it off to others.

Generally speaking, there are three kinds of data brokers:

1) People Search Websites

These are sites where someone can search a person’s name, phone number or email address and receive more details on that person. These sites could be free or charge a small fee. Examples of people search sites include PeopleSmart and Spokeo.

People could use these sites for completely innocent ends. For instance, you might try to look up a childhood friend who lived next door to you. However, identity thieves, stalkers and harassers might use this same information to harm others.

2) Marketing Companies

Other data brokers are more marketing-centric. They compile info on individual consumers, which others can use to customize their marketing.

This could lead to consumers receiving information about coupons or discounts that might appeal to them. However, it could also cause inaccurate info to spread about people, which could negatively impact their reputations and opportunities. For example, someone who searches for a disease might end up being classified as an insurance risk.

3) Risk Mitigation Companies

The last type of data broker are companies that specialize in risk mitigation (i.e. they help verify someone’s identity or track fraud). These companies usually do not create problems for average consumers. However, issues could arise if, say, someone is living at a house or apartment where a previous resident committed fraud. In this situation, arisk mitigation product could make it seem like an innocent person has committed a crime when they have not.

DeleteMe helps people find and remove personal information that has been gathered by data brokers. Created by the online privacy company Abine, the service provides assistance for removal from Whitepages and many other sites.

About DeleteMe

DeleteMe by Abine empowers average people to control how their personal information are accessed and shared online. By removing details like names, addresses and phone numbers from websites like PeopleFinders, Spokeo and DexKnows, this subscription service helps clients remove personal information from Google.

For more information, visit Joindeleteme.com