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AmericaPhoneBook is a data broker website whose primary function is collecting the personal information of citizens of the United States. After collecting this data, it creates an extensive online telephone directory that is easily accessible to members of the public.
This online database is the largest and most trusted in the country. It contains the contact information of over 90% of all adults in the United States, allowing people to be identified by their phone numbers, names, and addresses. Hence, users can find phone numbers and addresses via the website.
Unlike most data broker websites, AmericaPhoneBook does not collect user-submitted information except during the opt-out process. Instead, it obtains all its data from Whitepages. Like Whitepages, AmericaPhoneBook arranges names, street/mailing addresses, and phone numbers alphabetically to simplify public access to information.
In addition to being a telephone directory, AmericaPhoneBook, through third-party partner sites, conducts searches under various sections and criteria, including:
- Genealogy and Family
- People Finder
- Background Check
- Historical Phonebooks
- Secret Death Records
- Death Index
- Date of Birth Lists
Because AmericaPhoneBook collects personal information and posts it online, it may pose a threat to personal privacy. Hence, users are free to opt out from the site at any time of their choosing.
How to Opt-Out of AmericaPhoneBook
Individuals looking to remove their personal information from the AmericaPhoneBook database can begin by following these steps:
- Visit the AmericaPhoneBook website and search for the listing, and note the associated phone number and zip code.
- Then, click the "Contact Us" option at the bottom of the page to request an opt-out.
- On the following webpage, enter the phone number and a 5-digit zip code in the form that appears.
- After providing the relevant information, click on "Request Removal."
- When the request to opt-out is placed, it will take up to 24 to 48 hours to complete the removal.
During the opt-out process, If the individual finds multiple listings with their personal information, they will be required to make separate opt-out requests for each one.
What Difficulties Exist when Opting Out of AmericaPhoneBook
In most cases, when a person's information is on a data broker site, it is most likely on others. The information on AmericaPhoneBook is public information aggregated from Whitepages. If an individual opts out of AmericaPhoneBook, the information may be removed from its database, but it might still be listed in Whitepages.
Although AmericaPhoneBook does not sell, trade, or transfer its information to other parties, Whtepages sources its information from multiple governments and third-party sites. It also occasionally shares its data, when necessary, to complete a transaction requested or authorized by the user. Hence, even if the listing is removed from Whitepages and AmericaPhoneBook databases, it might get re-enlisted during periodic updates and remain on other third-party databases.
Therefore, the significant difficulty with opting out of this data broker website is that it does not guarantee online privacy because the removed information is not entirely deleted from the internet. As a result, it remains subject to public inspection and use. Also, when an individual has multiple listings on AmericaPhoneBook, there is no means of removing the data all at once. Instead, the concerned individual must make singular opt-out requests, which is a lengthier process.
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