At the end of May, Vermont became the first state in the U.S. to create and pass legislation that regulates data brokers and the information they fence. The law seeks to provide consumers with an extra level of protection while initiating accountability for a nearly unregulated industry. Designed to target massive data brokers like Spokeo, White Pages, and Been Verified, who have previously functioned under an umbrella of little to no oversight.


While there are ways to institute your removal from Whitepages and the information they store it is by no means a simple step. This legislation will force data brokers to:

  • register with the state
  • comply with new rules
  • inform consumers on the data they collect
  • provide clear instructions for opting out
  • immediately notify authorities when a breach occurs (including the number of consumers affected)
  • be held accountable for fraud by the state itself

The law defines a data broker “as a business, unit, or units of a business, separately or together, that knowingly collects or sells or licenses to third parties the brokered personal information of consumer with whom the business does not have a direct relationship.”

This very broad definition will result in companies that previously considered themselves in a different business to also be held accountable for what they do. Vermont has also taken the initiative to define personal information as including a person’s address, name, date of birth, social security number, and any unique biometric data (i.e., fingerprints, retinal scans, facial images, etc.).

In addition, Vermont’s law will put an end to the fee associated with freezing and unfreezing your credit. Vermont has a tradition of siding with the consumer, from enacting protections that keep them safe to enhancing regulations it’s not surprising that they are the first state to enact protections in the digital realm.

About DeleteMe

DeleteMe empowers average people to control how their personal information is 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.

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