What are people search sites and how do they get my information?

People search sites (A.K.A. people search engines, data brokers, information brokers, data providers, and data suppliers) are companies that collect your personal data from a wide range of public and private sources with the purpose of sharing it for profit. 

They aggregate and sell as much of your personal information as they can:

  • Government and public records such as court filings, real estate property and tax assessor records, recorded liens and mortgages, driver’s license records, motor vehicle records, voter registrations, telephone directories, real estate listings, birth, marriage, divorce and death records, professional license filings, recreational (hunting and fishing) licenses, and Census demographic information
  • Self-reported information directly from consumers through warranty cards, sweepstakes entries, contests, and surveys
  • Cooperative arrangements through which companies provide information about their customers in exchange for information to enhance their existing customer lists or identify new customers
  • Purchase or licensing of information from other data brokers, retailers, and financial institutions. This may include consumer web browsing activities from online advertising networks, data about purchases from retailers, catalog companies and magazines, and data from websites where consumers register or log in to obtain services, such as retail, news, and travel sites.
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