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Government Registry is an online records retrieval system that provides access to non-FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) background data. Members of the public can use the site's search engine to obtain information on residents of the United States of America. The tool can be helpful when trying to locate someone or verify a person's past. Users of the site can access over 2 billion public records.
Public record searches offered by Government Registry include:
- Bankruptcy records
- Death and birth records
- Legal judgments
- Criminal records
- Inmate records
- Arrest records
- Marriage and divorce records, and more
To obtain these records, an individual must enter certain information, such as a first name, last name, and state, into the site's search fields. Querying parties can also narrow down results by providing a middle initial, age, or city.
Typically, public records websites like Government Registry augment their databases with information from federal, state, and local government repositories, proprietary databases, and other third-party sources. In this case, Government Registry gets its data directly from InfoTracer. As a result, any people search conducted on the site is redirected to InfoTracer, where individuals can obtain complete background reports by paying for a premium or membership plan.
Since Government Registry offers people searches but does not provide the search results directly, a person who wants to remove a listing or opt-out from Government Registry must do so through InfoTracer.
Note that any information sourced through Government Registry cannot be used to determine a person's eligibility for insurance, housing, personal credit, employment, etc. This rule is in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as Government Registry is not a consumer reporting agency.
How to Opt-Out of Government Registry
Government Registry is affiliated with InfoTracer. Despite providing a public records search engine, the website does not operate its own database. Instead, it sends users to the InfoTracer site to acquire public information for a fee. As such, individuals who want to opt-out or remove personal data from Government Registry must prevent InfoTracer from listing their records in search results. This can be done using InfoTracer's opt-out procedure:
- Go to www.infotracer.com.
- Scroll to the bottom of any page and select the "Do Not Sell My Info" link.
- Input the first name, last name, state, and city (optional) of the record to find it, and click "Submit."
- Scroll through the entries to find the appropriate one. Once seen, check the "Select Record" box and click "Remove Data."
- On the next page, complete the form with an email address, perform the captcha, and check "Submit." The requester also has the option of including a comment.
- Open your mail to find an email sent by InfoTracer and select the link in the email to complete the opt-out process.
Usually, requesters will receive another email informing them that InfoTracer is processing the request.
Other than the automated opt-out method outlined above, InfoTracer allows individuals to fax or mail their records removal requests to (617) 507-0410 or:
Data Management Department
PO Box 103068
Boston, MA 02113
Nevertheless, InfoTracer advises using the online opt-out process as it has a faster turnaround time.
Individuals can also try contacting Government Registry with data removal requests through a contact form. However, as the website's public records database is technically InfoTracer's, this may not be a feasible option.
What Difficulties Exist when Opting Out of Government Registry
The major difficulty in opting out of data aggregator sites like Government Registry is that there is no guarantee that a person's records will not show up again. Mostly, this is because these sites aggregate information from official public records, so deleting records or listings only serves as a temporary solution.
The most effective way to ensure that a record does not appear in search results, whether on the site, InfoTracer, or a similar third-party site, is to request removal from the record's official custodian.
However, for popular search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo, records may still appear in search results, even after being deleted by InfoTracer. In these cases, the search engines have to re-index the site for the records to stop appearing, which may take some time. Still, individuals whose results appear on Google or Bing can petition for removal via a Google opt-out process or using the Bing Content Removal Tool. Unfortunately, people whose results appear on Yahoo search result pages do not have this option.
Find out if your personal information is exposed
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