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How To Opt Out of Spokeo – And Why You Should Do It

Spokeo is a U.S.-founded and operated people-search website. The website allows users to search through a treasure trove of private data about citizens located in the U.S. 

Spokeo collects its data from multiple sources, including public records, mailing lists, surveys, public social media profiles, and more. In addition to the standard data that seems to be collected by all people-finder sites, the service says it also curates its "own unique data sets.”

The information in the reports can include a person’s full name, contact info, location history, photos, social media accounts, family members, court records, work information, and more. This means that anyone willing to shell out a bit of green to Spokeo can dig into a treasure trove made up of your personal information. It also means that the bad actors of the world could gain access to that information if there is a data breach.

Luckily, you can opt out of having your information included on Spokeo. In this article, I’ll show you how to opt out of Spokeo, as well as other people-search and data broker websites. 

Why should I opt out of Spokeo?

People-search websites like Spokeo keep their bank coffers full by selling your personal information to anyone willing to pay for it. While services like Spokeo are legal, many people have no idea that their personal data is being stored, sold, and traded to anyone willing to pay for the privilege of viewing the data.

But, who uses data like this? The Spokeo website says its customers include people looking for old friends, identifying unknown callers, or researching a blind date. Professionals may use it to find new customers or to prevent fraud.

As you might imagine, this information can also be used for less-than-honorable purposes, including stalking, researching potential robbery victims, and more. The information provided by Spokeo could be used to find ex-spouses or ex-partners who simply do not wish to be found.

For those readers that reside in the United States, ProPrivacy urges you to opt out of having your information stored and shared by Spokeo, as well as other people-search sites and data brokers.

How to opt out of Spokeo

As it is with most people-finder and data broker sites, It is relatively easy to opt out of having your personal information stored and shared by Spokeo. However, since your information could be stored under a different email address, or a variation of your name (for example, I usually go by "Chris,” but there is data out there under "Christopher”) it could be a bit time-consuming. 

Plus, there are several, and I do mean SEVERAL data brokers and people-finder sites on the web, so you’ll have to repeat a similar process at every one of those sites. You might want to carve out some time on a weekend, maybe take a few vacation days.

To manually remove your personal information from Spokeo, do the following:

1. Start by visiting the Spokeo opt out page. (You’ll need to scroll down a bit to get to the opt out form.)

opt out option

2. Enter the URL of the profile you want to be deleted, along with your email address in the fields provided. Prove that you’re not a robot and click the "OPT OUT” button. Repeat this process for every email address that you use or have used. Spokeo says depending on a few factors, your opt-out request should be processed in 24-48 hours.

How to remove yourself from other people-search sites

Okay, you’ve completed the process to tell Spokeo to remove all of your data, so you’re good, right? 

Not so fast.

Unfortunately, Spokeo is not the only people-finder or data broker site that has your personal data. There are several other websites of this type that possibly have your personal information on hand. These include, but are not limited to:

You’ll find that the process of manually opting out of these people-finder and data brokers can be quite tedious and the methods of opting out can vary from site to site. As there are hundreds of these sites, manually getting your personal data removed from each one can be a drawn-out process. Plus, there is no guarantee that your information won’t make an encore appearance at a future date.

There is a way to get your personal information removed from multiple sites with just a few clicks of the mouse and taps of your keyboard. Use a data removal service. For a reasonable monthly or annual subscription fee, a data removal service will contact data brokers and people-finder sites, giving them notice to remove your data.

The top data removal service to opt out of people-search sites

In this section, we’ll take a look at our number-one data removal service.

1. Incogni
Editor's Choice | June 2024

Incogni is our top choice provider for contacting individual data brokers with data removal requests and chasing them up. It’s a great value service that’s easy for anyone to use.

  • Pricing

    • 1 month: $12.99/mth
    • 12 months: $6.49/mth
      50% OFF
  • Pros

    • Reasonable pricing
    • No long-term commitment
    • Easy-to-use service
    • Owned by well-known VPN provider Surfshark
    • Works for users in the US, Canada, EU, and UK
  • Cons

    • Not available in many countries

Incogni is a reasonably priced and efficient data removal service. The service charges a mere $6.49 per month if you subscribe annually, or $12.99 per month if you opt to pay on a monthly basis. Once your account is set up, you simply give Incogni permission to contact Spokeo and similar websites to begin the data removal process.

Incogni’s services include an easy-to-use online dashboard. On the dashboard, you’ll find the number of data removal requests Incogni has sent, how many requests have been completed, and how many requests are in progress. 

The dashboard also notes how many sites have indicated that they will no longer collect, sell, or trade your personal info. Last but not least, the dashboard also includes an activity log that lists the companies that have removed your data from their servers.

You likely won’t see immediate results, as the time limits for data removal can vary from country to country or from state to state. As an example of what I’m talking about, the European Union allows companies 30 days to remove your data, while in California they have 45 days.

Also available is a “Detailed View” page, listing the data brokers and people-finder websites that have been contacted, what types of data they primarily collect and sell, and the associated risks involved with having your personal data on the website.

Incogni uses a proprietary algorithm to predict whether or not a website is likely to have your personal information stored on its servers. It then sends data removal requests to those sites, telling them to delete your information from their servers. Websites contacted by Incogni include data brokers, people-search websites, health information brokers, and similar websites.

While many of its competitors limit their services to citizens of the United States, Incogni also offers its services to folks in other countries. Residents of the United Kingdom, the European Union, Switzerland, and Canada are all eligible to use Incogni’s removal services.

How to opt out of Spokeo FAQs

Written by: Chris Hauk

With close to 30 years experience in the IT industry, Chris has dedicated much of his career to passing on his knowledge to others. He specializes in VPNs and encryption and the best ways to protect your digital identity.


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