A quick Google search of your name will almost certainly yield results from MyLife, a data-aggregation service that pulls personal information from hundreds of online sources to create profiles and “reputation scores” for millions of individuals.
Unlike other data brokers that simply combine various sources of public information about a person and make them available in one location, MyLife takes that information and uses it to establish a subjective assessment of that person’s reputation with its Reputation Score tool. As a result, MyLife has more potential to negatively affect your offline activities, such as finding a job or making a connection with a potential romantic interest.
If you’re uncomfortable with the concept of a company not only profiting from your personal data, but also making a judgment about your character and sharing it with the world, you may want to do a MyLife opt out, opting out of MyLife’s online database. Keep reading to learn about how MyLife works and what you need to do to remove yourself from its system for good.
What is MyLife?
Originally founded in 2002 as Reunion.com, MyLife (alternately known as MyLife.com) is a U.S.-based data broker with roots in the social media world. Conceived as a way for former high school and college classmates to reconnect and stay in touch online, the company merged with search engine company Wink in 2008.
By the following year, the company had absorbed several of its competitors, including Planet Alumni, HighSchoolAlumni, MyAddressBook.com and GoodContacts, and established a data-sharing partnership with Ancestry.com. At that point, it was ranked the fourth-largest social networking site by the online technology magazine Tech Crunch with more than 18 million unique visitors per month.
As users began to drift away from MyLife’s paid subscription model to the free offerings of social networks like Facebook, MyLife ultimately evolved into its current information brokerage format, providing data aggregation and reputation scores for more than 325 million individuals.
How Does MyLife Work?
MyLife sifts through millions of public records and other information available online to create a “MyLife Public Page” for each person in its database. Information in the MyLife Public Page may include a person’s age, past and current addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, past and current employers, education history, political party affiliation, relatives, photos and more. Additionally, MyLife encourages its members to rate each other, feeding these ratings and information into an algorithm to calculate each person’s Reputation Score.
MyLife does offer its members the opportunity to “edit and correct” their reputation profiles, manage their online reputations and even lock sections of their profiles as they work to improve their public Reputation Score. However, while joining MyLife is ostensibly free, becoming a member also provides the broker with even greater access to your personal data and gives them your consent to use it for profit.
The site also offers a premium paid membership with expanded information access and additional control over the member’s personal profile and Reputation Score.
What is a MyLife Reputation Score?
The MyLife Reputation Score is a numerical reflection of a broad range of data points for a person, providing anyone searching for your name with a quick, easy-to-understand (if dubiously accurate) assessment of your “personal brand.”
To generate the score, MyLife collects data from court and criminal records, social media sites, work history records, financial records, address histories, online review sites, property records, academic records and more. MyLife then assigns you a score from zero to five, with five being the optimal score and anything in the three to five range considered positive.
What are the risks?
The MyLife Reputation Score is not only somewhat arbitrary, but it may also be based on outdated or inaccurate information, and anything in your digital footprint has the potential to influence your score and potentially cast you in a negative light to friends, family, employers, colleagues and members of your community.
If these records gain traction in your search engine results, your brand image and reputation score could be significantly affected, which can ultimately have an impact on your personal and professional pursuits and real-life relationships.
How to Remove Yourself from MyLife
Interestingly, one of the services MyLife touts for its premium (paid) members is its Public Record Remover service, which purports to assist users with having their personal information removed from third-party websites “with a single click.” The service lists sites that may be exposing users’ information online, theoretically putting them at risk for identity theft and fraud.
Users can simply click a button to have MyLife send a request to the site owners to remove your record, and the MyLife dashboard shows the status of the removal request. However, these third-party sites are not obligated to comply with the request from MyLife, so the value of this “service” is questionable at best.
MyLife Opt Out Guide
If you wish to have your personal data—including the potentially misleading and damaging Reputation Score—removed from MyLife, you’ll need to do it yourself, since MyLife does not honor third party removal requests. You have three avenues for opting out of MyLife: through the website itself, via email and via phone.
MyLife Opt Out Via Website
You will need to create a MyLife account to access the removal process on MyLife.com.
- Go to mylife.com and click “Join Now.” You will be asked to provide your first and last name, email address, date of birth and zip code. We recommend using a temporary or masked email address from a service like Guerrilla Mail or Blur. The less information you provide about yourself to MyLife, the better.
- You will see several pop-up windows asking if you’re sure you want to remove your profile and warning you that doing so could result in you relinquishing control over your personal information. Click the “Remove My Profile” button if you wish to proceed.
- After several prompts to reconsider, you will be asked to upload a photo of your driver’s license to verify your identity. After doing so, you will again see a pop-up asking you to reconsider removing your profile. Click “Remove My Profile.”
- You should see a pop-up confirming your request to remove your profile from the site.
MyLife Opt Out Via Email
- Go to mylife.com and click “Join Now.” If you prefer, you can use a pseudonym, but even if you choose to use your real name, you should use a temporary or masked email address from a service like Guerrilla Mail or Blur. The less information you provide about yourself to MyLife, the better.
- In the search bar, enter your name and click on your profile listing. Copy your listing’s URL.
- Draft an email asking MyLife to remove your profile from its site. Include the copied URL for your profile in the email, which should be directed to [email protected]. A sample email might read as follows:
Subject: Opt Out Request for [Name]
Dear MyLife Customer Service,
I hereby request that you remove all of my personal information from MyLife.com and any affiliated sites. The line to my profile is [insert link here].
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
- Shortly after sending the email, you should receive a reply stating that MyLife has received your request and that it should be completed within seven to 10 business days.
- If your profile remains visible after this time period, send a second email to MyLife at [email protected] using the following template:
Subject: Opt Out Request for [Name]
To whom it may concern:
I am the victim of stalking and demand that you remove my personally identifiable information from your site and service, as well as all other sites and services you own or operate. My information is as follows:
[Date of birth]
[Current address, including city, state and zip code]
MyLife Opt Out Via Phone
- Call (888) 704-1900 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST Monday through Friday or 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST on Saturday and Sunday.
- Have your personal information handy, including your email address, past and current physical addresses and link to the profile you wish to have removed.
- Tell the customer service representative that you wish to have your profile removed from MyLife and all affiliated sites. They will likely attempt to talk you out of your decision, so hold firm to your commitment to opt out and repeat your request.
- Keep detailed notes with the name of the person you talked to and the date and time of your call in case you need to make follow-up contact.
If you have trouble getting MyLife to fulfill your requests after multiple attempts, you may have to file a complaint with your local or state district attorney and/or the Better Business Bureau, although considering the company’s current “F” rating with the BBB, the latter may not give you much leverage.
What Information Does MyLife Remove?
When you submit an opt out request to MyLife, the company will remove your personal profile and Reputation Score, but the sources from which it gathered this information will still have your data. These sources may include social media profiles, property tax records, academic records, data brokers and dozens of other sites.
In most cases, you will need to send individual requests for removal to each of these sources in order to keep this information from being publicly available.
Frequently Asked Questions About MyLife Listing Removal
How long does it take to get my information removed from MyLife?
MyLife claims to remove personal information within seven to 10 business days after receiving an opt out request.
Is the process of removing my information from MyLife secure?
According to its website, “Your privacy is very important to MyLife.” The company claims that they have implemented “appropriate and reasonable security measures as required by relevant law,” although it does not provide any additional details about those measures. MyLife does state that more information about how the company stores and protects data can be obtained by calling the Customer Care line at (888) 466-1066.
Generally speaking, the process of removing your personal information from MyLife should be reasonably secure, although the fact that the company requires individuals to upload a photo of their driver’s license to verify their identity may give some users pause.
What if I don’t have the time available to remove my data from MyLife and other sites?
While the process of removing your information from MyLife is relatively simple, you’ll need to take additional steps to remove it from the original sources MyLife used to create its personal profile of you. These sites include local, state and municipal government records, social media profiles, court records, other data brokers and dozens of other sources.
Contacting each source to request removal of your data can require a major time commitment, so enlisting a data removal service like Removaly can save your valuable time while also providing a more comprehensive review of all personal information sources online.
MyLife and The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which went into effect in 2020, set strict disclosure requirements for data brokers like MyLife and establishes specific rights for consumers living in the state.
The law protects the following rights of California residents:
- The right to know the categories of information each business collects, as well as any specific personal information the business has collected on that individual and the purpose for which it will be used.
- The right to demand that a business delete any personal information it may have collected about them.
- The right to learn what types of personal information the business sells to third parties, as well as the content of any of their personal data sold by the business.
- The right to opt out of a company’s data collection, sharing and selling activities.
Under the law, companies like MyLife are legally obligated to respond to these requests by consumers and provide dedicated contact information to enable them to do so via phone, email or another channel. They must also provide a comprehensive description of consumers’ rights related to the collection, retention, sharing and sale of their personal information.