Here in the digital age, it isn’t uncommon for us to do background research into those we encounter in daily life. Whether that be new neighbors or roommates, Tinder matches, aspiring coworkers, or a variety of other things, Googling people is the norm now. In these searches, typically one of the first results that pops up is from the data broker WhitePages.
Data brokers such as WhitePages utilize extremely powerful automation and software to sift through social media profiles, public records, arrest records, news stories, and many other information sources to compile a comprehensive profile for hundreds of millions of people, including you.
Whitepages is an online directory service where you can look up contact information, perform fraud screening and identity verification for businesses. Whitepages.com has the largest database of available contact information for residents of the United States. It is easy to find your contact information or look up people you know using the Whitepages database.
Here is some of the type of information that is commonly found on the Whitepages database.
- Home address (past and present)
- Cell and landline phone numbers
- email addresses
- Age and maiden names
- Financial records and property details
- Background checks
- Criminal records and traffic records
- Business details and professional licenses
- Scam fraud ratings
- Lien records
For a small fee, anyone can unlock the full report and have access to all of this information. For an additional cost, you can receive far more detail and up to the minute reporting.
Understandably, most people do not want this kind of personal and private information to be readily accessible by anyone online. Luckily for them, there is a way to opt out of Whitepages. The Whitepages opt out process will remove your personal and private information from their database. This makes it much more difficult for identity thieves, online stalkers, and other malicious actors to get ahold of your private information.
If you wish to perform the Whitepages opt out process on your own this guide will walk you through each step and provide instructions on how to do so. However, if you don’t have the time, don’t want to deal with the hassle, or don’t have the technical skills needed to complete the lengthy process, Removaly’s services provide hassle-free Whitepages opt out. Removaly also provides opt out services for other data broker and people search websites too. We would be happy to take care of the process for you so you can be sure your private and personal information is protected.
How to Perform a WhitePages Search
WhitePages is a behemoth. They have, by far, the most freely-available information, and the most comprehensive “background check” reports of any data broker service online currently.
Their full, paid reports contain cell phone numbers, background checks, criminal records, addresses, relatives, landline numbers, ages, traffic records, scam and fraud ratings, financial records, business details, lien records, professional licenses, maiden names, property details, search statistics, and even historical cell phone carrier information.
Findings From Basic WhitePages Searches
When you are on the home page, put your name in, as well as whatever identifying address information you have available.
For our search, we utilized an extremely unique name (I believe there is only one person in the United States alive currently with the same first and last name). Despite this, the search revealed two records. One with the middle initial, and one without.
Don’t click the View Full Report buttons, at least not yet. Instead, scroll down a little bit more, and you will see a separate result, with a white button that reads View Details. This is the area where you are able to get a little bit more information for free, without paying for a comprehensive report from WhitePages.
While we whited this information out for privacy purposes, this result card reveals additional locations and family members. For this individual, the other locations provided traced the towns he lived in back over 40 years. Additionally, the family area listed the full names of both his (deceased) mother and father, as well as siblings.
Co-Founder Note: You will note three buttons to the left of the View Details button above. These buttons, for phone numbers, addresses, and background reports, all lead to the same page as the View Details button, just different anchors on the page.
The next page that you filter into shows a few examples of landline phone numbers and/or cell phone numbers, however in most cases the searched party’s cell phone number is locked behind a paywall. Alarmingly, there is also a complete, current address for this individual, as well as past towns and cities lived in.
In addition to the above, this page also provides relatives and associated, as well as teaser sections that show no personal information that relates to criminal and traffic records, property records, public records, licenses and permits, and birth/death/divorce records. None of this appears to be viewable without “unlocking” a premium background report, so therefore the only real additional piece of information that you obtain from this specific “pass-through” page are phone numbers.
The Final Steps in the WhitePages Report Generation Process
On this pass-through page, there are over a dozen call to action areas, whether they be buttons, links, or icons, that lead you to the same page. In fact, most of the bottom half of the page is nothing more than “here is what your premium background check will have in it”.
Co-Founder Note: When you click through to the premium report part of WhitePages, wait a few seconds before scrolling. You will get a pop-up that provides you with an opportunity to receive a five-day trial for a dollar that includes a few premium features.
When you click through to the premium report, you see a block with cells that have red numerical highlights, which denote the number of associated records that can be found in the premium report. As can be noted with the example below, this premium report comes with three phone numbers, seven current and past addresses, two relatives and associates, and three properties. Obviously, this will differ from person to person.
You will notice that, compared to alternative data broker services such as Radaris and Intelius, there is an option to obtain this specific report for a one-time charge of just shy of ten dollars. When you click through, the process is quite simple, with an option to select one, three, or five background reports, and if you’d like to pay via credit card or PayPal.
We purchased the report via PayPal to see just what kind of information is worth hundreds of thousands of paying customers each month. Once the report is purchased, you are taken to a billing screen, where you are prompted for a password to access your account. Click View Your Report Now, and you will be redirected to the purchased report.
What is in a Premium WhitePages Report?
We will be completely honest, we expected more from a paid report via WhitePages. For our example customer above, this is what the complete, paid-for “background report” contained:
- Three landline phone numbers
- Seven total addresses, three of which were the same address with “#X” at the end
- The same two relatives and associates
- Three properties, which matched three of the addresses in the address list, with property reports showing the square footage and home values
That’s it! Almost nothing more than what was provided in the free data (which is still far too much than what most would want to be public knowledge). They do have an option to request a “court runner”, with the following explanation: Some criminal records are not available online and must be manually retrieved from the courthouse by a court runner.
Basically, for an additional $20 per location, you can look up a more comprehensive view of criminal records that goes back either 10 or 20 years. You are paying to pay for more data, that is your own data, that you deserve to have access to, and deserve to ensure others don’t have the ability to get that information.
Does This Bother You?
It’s understandable that most people don’t want their personal and private information accessible online this easily. Luckily for them, it’s possible to opt out of WhitePages. The WhitePages opt out process removes your records, which makes it far more difficult for stalkers, identity thieves, and other malicious people and entities from obtaining your personal information.
Co-Founder Note: WhitePages is the granddaddy of online people search databases. They have the largest database available of contact information on US residents, and currently covers about 90 percent of the US adult population.
If you wish to perform the opt out process yourself, below is a free guide showing you exactly how to remove yourself from WhitePages. However, if you don’t have the time, don’t want to deal with the hassle, or fear the technical skills involved, Removaly’s services provide no-hassle opt outs for Intelius and a large array of data brokers and people search websites.
What is Whitepages?
Whitepages was a hobby project of Stanford student Alex Algard back in 1997. In 2000 Whitepages was incorporated and it received $45 million in funding in 2005. These investors were later bought out by Algard in 2013.
Whitepages released several mobile apps that gave consumers the ability to control their contact information, but in 2016 the company shifted away from advertising as the main revenue source and began focusing on selling business services and subscriptions of the information it has collected.
Whitepages has over 200 million records on people and 15 million business listings. It receives more than 50 million unique visitors per month and people perform 2 billion searches on Whitepages.com per month.
How Does Whitepages Work?
A Whitepages background check allows you to get to know those in your community including acquaintances, neighbors, and friends. The background checks are up-to-date and an efficient way to get to know the background and safety of individuals.
Whitepages gets the data within their background checks from public record sources such as telephone records, public utilities, voter’s registration, and state licensing agencies, and more.
Whitepages offers different tiers for their services. For a one-time fee people can access their full report. This report provides public records and criminal reports for a person with a specific name in a specific state instantly.
The other products Whitepages provides give far more extensive reporting features and come at a higher price point. These reports give all of the basic information from above as well as up to the minute criminal and court records.
How to Remove Yourself From WhitePages?
To properly and fully remove your information from WhitePages, you have to make separate removal requests for each record that relates to your personal information.
While it can be done manually, we highly recommend using a data removal service such as Removaly. Our goal is to make this exact process a simple solution for your data removal needs. We not only handle WhitePages removal, but also X more data aggregators, including BeenVerified, MyLife, Radaris, Spokeo, Intelius and more.
For those who wish to go about the manual process, below is a step-by-step WhitePages opt out guide.
Whitepages Opt Out Guide
The first thing you will need to do for a Whitepages opt out is navigate to the Whitepages website. In the text box provided on the front page, enter your first name, middle initial (where applicable), last name, and city and/or state. It is worth noting that the only required information to locate your profile is the last name. However, adding these additional details will greatly assist in ensuring that you find and select your profile and flag it for removal.
Click on the blue Search button to search. Whitepages searches through their listings to provide a match or a list of potential matches.
The profiles will list your name or names similar to yours, the age of the person, and the names of relatives. Scroll down until you find your entry and click the box that reads, “View Full Report.” There are usually a few other entries with your name or a name similar to yours so you may need to look around for a little bit until you locate your entry.
Co-Founder Note: It is not uncommon for Whitepages to misspell names in its records. You can usually locate your specific profile by also looking at the age and the names of your relatives, which are among the first items displayed.
Once you find your profile and click the “View Full Report” button, Whitepages will open a long list of information that it has about you. It’ll also include a lot of blue-colored links to further results. These blue links are premium information that Whitepages keeps locked behind a paywall.
Copy the URL of the page by highlighting it and pressing Control + C on a PC, or Command + C on a Mac. Then, navigate to the opt out page. You can find it here. Paste the URL of the profile to have the listing removed, then hit the blue Next button to move on to the next step.
The next step of the WhitePages opt out process brings up the name, phone number, and address of the URL you have pasted into the box. WhitePages asks you to confirm by pressing the blue Remove Me button, while also providing a text link for “This is the wrong person. Take me back.” under the box.
In the next step of the WhitePages opt out process, you are asked why you are wanting your information removed. There is a dropdown with the following options from which to choose:
- My profile information is incorrect
- I am receiving spam calls and junk mailings
- I am being harassed or stalked by someone
- I just want to keep my information private
Co-Founder Note: You may be tempted in this step of the WhitePages opt out process to select “I am being harassed or stalked by someone” even if that is not the case. It doesn’t affect the WhitePages opt out completion speed, just more data for their database.
In the same vein as the above, the Leave a comment box in the third step of the WhitePages opt out process is optional. Feel free to add whatever you’d like, but these likely are not read by anyone, so any pleas for faster service will go unnoticed. We here at Removaly know this from experience.
Now, the next part of the WhitePages opt out process is one of the most intrusive of any of the opt out processes we cover and handle here at Removaly. You are asked, wait for it, to verify your identity with a phone number. As the WhitePages opt out Step 4 instructions states: “Please supply your phone number below. You will receive a call from a friendly Whitepages robot and be asked to supply a verification code.” They also say “Don’t worry! We won’t use this number for any other purpose.”
Enter the phone number and check the box to affirm that you are the person associated with the phone number, and then hit Call now to verify.
Have your phone handy, because as soon as you hit Call now to verify, the fifth and final step of the WhitePages opt out process begins. You are called immediately, and the computer screen changes to a four digit code. After a quick automated prompt, you are asked to input this four-digit code.
As shown above, if something happens and you either a) don’t receive a call, or b) accidentally put in the incorrect number, there are links for “I didn’t receive a call. Please call again.” as well as “This is the wrong number. Take me back.“
Once you get the automated WhitePages opt out call and have input the four-digit code, the screen will change and a green bar will appear above this verification code box, stating that “Your request to opt out has been accepted. Please note that it may take up to 24 hours for this to reflect on the Whitepages web site.”
Co-Founder Note: No access to a phone, or don’t want a call from WhitePages? There is a separate, one page, but more involved WhitePages opt out link, that can be found here: https://support.whitepages.com/hc/en-us/requests/new?ticket_form_id=580868
What Information Does Whitepages Remove?
The profile you would like removed from Whitepages and all of their other properties will no longer appear in search results anymore. Your name may still be able to be seen but no one will be able to access your information. It is important to keep in mind however, that this Whitepages opt out applies from the processed date moving forward. For this reason, reports containing listings that are purchased by others before the removal date will still exist for those purchasers.
Additionally, even after the processing of the Whitepages opt out, your personal information may still show up in search engine results for your name. The removal of this information is wholly dependant on the indexing practices involved with those search engines.
You should also keep in mind Whitepages aggregates records on their web properties from data brokers and third-party sources. Removing your profile from Whitepages will not remove information from these other sources. For this reason, your information may still appear in these locations that obtain information from the same data brokers.
This is another reason why Removaly is such a great service. Removaly casts a wider net and handles the tedious opt out request processes across a broad range of directory sites and personal information aggregators.
Frequently Asked Questions About Whitepages Listing Removal
We often receive questions about the different aspects of removing your personal and private information from sites such as Whitepages. Below are some answers to common questions we receive as it relates to both general data removal as well as Whitepages data removal.
How long does it take to get my information removed from Whitepages?
After you submit and opt out request to Whitepages you can expect a follow up from a member of Whitepages’ Customer Care Team within 72 business hours. It can take a couple of days to remove your information from Whitepages.
Additionally, Whitepages does not hide all of your information on databases they do not control. Some third-party search engines may display information cached from Whitepages. It may take longer for search engine result pages to delete this cached data, up to 30 days in some cases.
Is the process of removing my information from Whitepages secure?
We are aware that you are sending over extensive personal and private information, whether going with a data removal service such as Removaly, or working directly through Whitepages to get your information removed.
For both Removaly and Whitepages services, the information submitted through the opt out process, and anywhere on their and our websites are encrypted with SSL (Secure Socket Layer) technology.
What does Whitepages do with my personal information?
Any information that is provided to Whitepages opt out throughout the opt out process, including information as simple as your email address and name, is used solely for the facilitation of your request to opt out.
The most basic information is required by Whitepages to properly track and create records of opt out requests. It is not used for any other purposes without clear indication and the express approval from the data owner (that’s you).
I have more than one listing on Whitepages. What should I do?
Whitepages works to aggregate their data into one listing for each person. However, they also scrape data from massive public records databases provided by data brokers. As a result, sometimes duplicate records do happen to appear on Whitepages. Whenever conflicting information is provided by one data broker another profile is created. Here are some examples of things things that can create duplicate profiles.
- Different variations of your name (nicknames, suffixes, prefixes, and middle initials)
- Combinations of records being exported simultaneously
- Differing addresses listed as a current address
If this occurs, the process above will need to be followed separately for each additional profile on Whitepages. Also, be sure that the duplicate truly is a duplicate and not just a person who happens to have your name before you have the information removed.
What if I don’t have the time available to remove my data from these sites?
Generally, people have personal and private information scattered about everyone on the web, not just Whitepages. To remove all of your information you have to repeat the same opt out submission for each one of these websites and then wait weeks to hear back from the company. You need to manage the status of each removal submission and follow up with each company as needed. It’s quite a chore, and it isn’t an easy process.
Removaly can take care of all of this for you. Removaly removes your private and personal information from Whitepages and X other people search and public directory websites. Make data removal and opt out submissions a breeze. Use Removaly and we’ll handle everything for you.
WhitePages and The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which went into effect at the start of 2020, requires companies that collect, share and sell consumer data to meet strict disclosure guidelines and establishes specific rights for consumers around the collection of their data.
The CCPA confers the following rights on all California residents:
- The right to request details about the categories of personal information collected by a business
- The right to know what information a business has collected about that individual and for what purpose it was collected
- The right to demand that the business delete any personal information it may have collected about them.
- The right to opt out of having their personal information collected, shared or sold by a business
The law requires companies not only to comply with these requests, but also to provide easily accessible channels through which consumers can make these requests, typically via a dedicated phone number, email address or both. Companies’ websites must also provide a comprehensive disclosure of consumers’ rights regarding the collection and sale of their personal data.
CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS, PLEASE NOTE: If you are a resident of California, you have additional data rights under the California Privacy Protection Act (CCPA). You can review those rights and how to exercise them here.
Their CCPA page, which is rather robust, can be found here. It can lead to a simple CCPA form, which can be found here. When you select an option, you are provided with a different form where you must provide several pieces of personal information (bold, right?) to see what kind of information WhitePages has on you.