How to opt out of ClustrMaps

ClustrMaps is an online platform that compiles personal data scraped from public sources. It allows paying users to conduct comprehensive background checks of just about any person.

The volume of personal data amassed by data broker websites like ClustrMaps is hugely concerning. The platform claims to have the records of over 200 million US citizens, which means it probably has a detailed profile about you.

ClustrMaps compiles a huge amount of sensitive personal data. This includes your full name, previous aliases, birthdate, addresses, work history, and other sensitive information. This treasure trove of information is made readily accessible to anybody willing to pay. This introduces significant risks, including phishing, fraud, identity theft, and stalking.

Existing regulations—or lack thereof—allow companies to scrape and share any data that is already in the public domain. People finder websites have turned this into a business and happily sell your data without your consent.

The good news is that you can leverage consumer protection rights from laws like GDPR and CCPA to request data brokers to remove your personal information from their database. In this guide, we will explain how you can opt out of ClustrMaps. However, there are some caveats, so please take the time to read the entire article.

Our favorite data removal service: Incogni

Incogni Jul 2024

If you’re looking for a cost-effective method to remove your data from ClustrMaps and more than 180 other data brokers, data aggregators, and people finder websites we recommend Incogni.

The service is operated by the same company behind Surfshark, a well-known VPN that is popular due to its stringent no-logging data practices, robust privacy policy, and thoroughly audited applications. This puts Incogni in great hands and means that it is a data removal service you can trust to prioritize your privacy. We love the ease with which Incogni lets you manage your removal campaign, thanks to its streamlined dashboard.

One of the main benefits of Incogni is that it requires minimal data upfront. This gives it several advantages over its competitors. Firstly, it makes it extremely easy for anybody to get a subscription and set up their account.

It also reduces the threat of your data being vulnerable to theft in the event of a successful data breach on Incogni’s servers. Finally, it means that the company doesn’t have any sensitive data to pass to the authorities should it be served a warrant.

Even if the US government were to approach it, the data held by Incogni would be limited to your payment details, name, and address. This is not the case with competitors like DeleteMe, which require a huge amount of personal data up-front in order to carry out take-down requests.

Incogni represents fantastic value for money. The service starts at just $6.49 per month, which easily makes it the cheapest data removal service of its kind. If paying $77.88 for a year’s subscription is too much of a commitment, you can opt to get a monthly subscription for $12.99. DeleteMe costs a bit less, but only if you invest in the 4-person account.

Another advantage of Incogni is that it is available in the US, Canada, the UK, and most of Europe. This is not the case with all other data removal services, many of which are limited to the US.

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How to remove your data from ClustrMaps with Incogni:

Even the most non-techy person can set up an account and start using Incogni to clean up their digital footprint. However, if you are new to Incogni and want to know the process involved, you can follow the step-by-step guide below:

  1. Begin by creating your Incogni account. You can opt for a single-month subscription priced at $12.99 USD or get 50 percent off the monthly price by choosing an annual plan.
  2. Proceed with the onboarding process. Grant Incogni the necessary permissions to initiate removal requests on your behalf. The information required at this stage is minimal, ensuring a quick and hassle-free start to the process.
  3. Incogni will now start sending takedown requests to over 180 people finder sites and data aggregators. It targets all major services to provide you with peace of mind and will continue removing your data on a regular basis to prevent re-publishing.
  4. Monitor your personalized dashboard. You can expect to see completed requests within the first few days of initiating the process. Within six weeks, the contacted data brokers should have removed your information, any that have failed to reply or remove data will continue to be sent requests automatically until they acquiesce.

Incogni works hard to continually update the list of data brokers it monitors. This proactive approach enhances the service’s overall effectiveness. Based on our experience, Incogni’s system is remarkably persistent. It automatically issues requests to each data broker until they successfully remove your data.

If you need any help setting up or using the service or require any other assistance, you can use the ticket system or send an email. Incogni also has useful resources on its website, including FAQs and articles that explain how the service works.

How to remove your data from ClustrMaps manually

The cheapest way to opt out of ClustrMaps is to contact the company yourself. The company has a Removal Request form on its website. Here, you can provide your name, email address, postal address, and the page where the information you want to remove appears on the ClustrMaps website.

Once you have provided the relevant information using the form, the company will contact you and carry out the removal request on your behalf. However, it is important to remember that ClustrMaps will not actually delete your data. Instead, it will suppress your data from its public database.

You will need to double back at least once a year to ensure that your data hasn’t been re-added to the ClustrMaps website. Requesting your data be removed from ClustrMaps will not stop it from appearing in the results of hundreds of other data brokers.

How do companies like ClustrMaps gather data?

Data brokers collect, retain, and trade your data unless you specifically opt out. They get this data from scraping the internet and from other publicly available sources such as marriage records, criminal records, etc.

Thankfully, regulations like GDPR in the EU and CCPA in the US give consumers the legal right to:

  • Ask to discover what information a company holds about them.
  • Request for their data to be removed or deleted

You can ask to find out what data a company holds about you, and then ask them to remove it.

Unfortunately, the way companies gather public records gives them the legal right to re-acquire your data and republish it. Following a data removal request, your data might well find its way back onto websites like ClustrMaps. To successfully keep your data off websites like ClustrMaps, you must keep asking for your data to be removed periodically.

How can I remove my personal data from all data brokers permanently?

Unfortunately, there is no centralized way for you to ask to be deleted from all data brokers. Instead, you must ask to be deleted from each individual service. Obviously, this makes the process incredibly time-consuming.

Because data brokers have a habit of periodically re-adding your data, you will need to repeat the process again and again to successfully keep your data off of people finder websites.

This relentless cycle of data removal requests can become overwhelming, highlighting the urgent need for stronger data privacy regulations and practices to protect individuals from data brokers. The good news is that there is an alternative.

Several services specialize in executing data removal requests on your behalf. These companies not only initiate the removal process but also verify that your data was successfully removed. They go a step further by periodically reissuing removal requests, typically every few months, to ensure that your data stays off ClustrMaps.

The only caveat is that if you ever stop paying for the data removal service, it is likely that your data will eventually resurface on websites like ClustrMaps, and numerous others. Thus, you will need to keep using one of these services indefinitely if you are serious about your data privacy.

Why should I opt out of Instant ClustrMaps?

Having your information published on people finder websites and data aggregation platforms doesn’t offer any significant advantages. You can vainly hope that a long-lost relative will contact you with a large inheritance, but in reality, the chances are very slim.

Instead, data broker websites pose a substantial threat to your privacy. They create the opportunity for criminals to track you and can cause undesirable consequences, ranging from unexpected financial obligations to cyber-attacks and scams.

Cyberstalkers can easily exploit people finder websites to locate targets or gather personal information used in phishing, fraud, and identity theft. These services can endanger individuals seeking to escape abusive relationships.

We hope that the government will eventually intervene and put an end to these intrusive data practices because there is a dire need for the introduction of stronger data privacy laws that protect consumers. At the moment, however, consumers must take their privacy into their own hands by using services like Incogni to opt out of services like ClustrMaps.

For added transparency,  we have included an overview of the data that individuals can access through data brokers and people finder websites:

  • Complete names, including any maiden names or aliases you may have used.
  • Present and past addresses.
  • Photographs.
  • Your age, date of birth, and occasionally a copy of your birth certificate.
  • Linked cell phone numbers and email addresses.
  • Profiles from social media and dating platforms, including your usernames.
  • Educational and employment background, property records, and vehicle details.
  • Notable information like hunting licenses, weapons permits, or concealed carry permits.
  • Criminal records, if applicable.
  • Insights from your Amazon wishlist.
  • Marriage history.
  • Records related to bankruptcy.
  • Voter registration information
  • Details concerning your neighbors, relatives, and cohabitants.
  • Purchase history data, sourced from financial institutions such as banks

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