People search engines, public record and background check services have become a big online business. Personal data providers make good money providing people with information on others.
There are so many public record and people finder sites that removing your personal information from all of them is nearly impossible. A new company called MelonCard sets out to solve this problem for people. MelonCard is a service that offers users a way to opt-out of the major people search engines.
MelonCard’s basic privacy services are free, while more comprehensive services are provided for a fee. MelonCard’s CEO says that tools for managing people’s personal information online are not reliable.
MelonCard.com users provide some of their personal information like real name, location, and email address(es), and then select the people search engines and data provider sites that they want to be removed from.
People can remove their personal information from a number of the major people search engines like Spokeo, Rapleaf, MyLife and BeenVerified as well as Acxiom under MelonCards basic free service. Removal of personal information from additional people search sites like Intelius, ZabaSearch, PeopleFinders.com and others can be done with an upgraded account.
MelonCard’s privacy services are similar to, but less expensive than, Reputation.com. However, it is debatable whether or not any of these anti people search privacy services can be effective with the unlimited growth in online personal information sharing and collecting.
People search and public record provider Intelius does not allow third party opt-outs, if other people finder services follow their lead, it will make it difficult for companies like MelonCard and Reputation.com to serve the privacy needs of their customers.
MelonCard tries to get around this third party opt-out restriction by providing users with the means to remove their information from these search sites themselves through the MelonCard site.
However, It is unlikely that there will ever be a universal opt-out for people search and public records providers. There is big money in the people finder business and no data provider will willingly part with so much valuable personal information.