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PhoneOwner is an extensive online directory for every landline or mobile phone number in the United States. It works like checking regular white pages or yellow pages. A user can look up the residential information of the owner of a phone number by scanning through listings and reviewing the information attached to a phone number. The service also lets interested persons perform a reverse phone search, i.e., entering an unknown number will help find the name and contact information of the caller.
Besides these, the site provides available records related to the phone number in question. The company generates a directory from the repositories of mobile carriers and third-party sources of phone number registrations. Users can self-correct erroneous or outdated data or send a notification to the site administrator to effect the corrections. The information provided by PhoneOwner is not for official purposes. The reason is that the company operations of data provision do not conform with the FCRA definition of a Consumer Reporting Agency. For this reason, consumers are prohibited by law from using data obtained from the site for official business.
Intending users must subscribe by creating an account with their names, email addresses, and unique passwords. Basic phone lookup service is free to use and is activated after the account holder agrees to all the terms and conditions of the service. While reverse phone number lookups are free, access to additional reports means the interested person must sign up and pay for a premium membership following the expiration of a trial period. Premium service transactions will require users to enter some payment details to become billed users. A distinct feature of billed users from non-billed users is the amount of information at their disposal. While non-billed users get limited information such as the name of the most recent user of the reverse phone number specified, billed users can access the ownership history of the number, the full names, addresses, and dates of birth associated with the phone number.
In addition to personal identifier and financial information, PhoneOwner collects data in the following ways:
- All searches conducted by users
- Records of email correspondence and newsletters updates
- Time logs of activities on the site
- Profile data such as gender, age, education, community affiliations, and occupation.
- User logs, reviews, comments, feedback, surveys, and suggestions.
- Non-identifying data collected by internet data capture tools, i.e., cookies and scripts.
- Aggregate user information, IP address, and browser data.
How to Opt Out of PhoneOwner
Opting out of PhoneOwner entails a series of steps. The type of information to be deleted determines the process. Users can contact the company by phone at (503) 974-6638 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ground address for mail requests is at:
831 Beacon Street, Suite 203
Newton Center, MA 02459
Requests should complete within a week of application.
While the company can assure the removal of self-reported information, there is no guarantee that data collected from publicly available websites will be rendered invisible because it is not within the site administrator's control. Even after personal data is erased, it is still available for record and legal purposes with the company administration.
What Difficulties Exist when Opting Out of PhoneOwner
By principle, it is easier to remove self-reported information than it is for public data. The process of removal in PhoneOwner.com is pretty straightforward, so long the request is within the ability of the site administrator to execute. Here are a few stress areas involved:
- Manual opt-out
There is no self opt-out process in PhoneOwner. Concerned users must send a request by email or postal mail. It is slow compared with self opt-out procedures.
- Manual Search for listed information
The process of deleting a personal phone number from the directory may not be automatic. The reason is that regular directory updates on the website by repositories may re-insert the deleted phone number. In that case, users are encouraged to conduct personal online data management for themselves. It involves searching for the relevant data on the internet and requesting to have them removed from search engine databases by contacting the site administrator.
- Availability of Record on third-party websites
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