For decades, people have been able to do a reverse phone number search for landlines just by going to their local library and getting a copy of the reverse White Pages. But these searches would limit you to just the name and address of the person whose number you lookup up. If you go to a reverse phone search database online, you can find a wealth of more information. Just type in a landline or cell phone number to a people search and you may find out the person’s past addresses, criminal background, marital status, and favorite songs – amongst much more depending on the quality of the people search. Where does this information come from and how does it get to the phone search databases?
Nothing is Really Free
You know all of those “free” offers that you participated in – like the online survey which got you free access to a web zine or the toaster raffle you won after filling out a brief form. While these may not be costing you any money, they are costing you your privacy. Just about every single one of those free offers is run by a marketing firm which will collect all the personal information you give. They then compile this information into massive databases which can be sold to other groups, such as online people search websites or those reverse cell phone directories.
But shouldn’t it be illegal to gather and sell people’s personal information? While there are laws which protect people’s privacy, they are very limited. Instead, we get laws which protect businesses’ rights to know everything about us. Businesses use all the information gathered to target us more effectively – like when sending out circulars or deciding which ads to display on a website.
People Searches Gather All Data
Unlike retail businesses or advertisers which focus on certain aspects of your personal information in order to boost sales or run more effective campaigns, the people search websites sole mission is to have the most complete, accurate databases. So, they won’t just look at how many times your credit card was used to buy car parts, but a complete picture of all your activities which give an idea of your identity. The best phone number people search engines will gather data from:
- Credit reporting bureaus
- Insurance claims
- Health reports
- Checking accounts
- Criminal background reports
- Purchase returns
- Public records
Now, there are laws which limit what a company can do with all this information. For example, a people search by cell number cannot disclose all the purchases you made in the past year – even if they know them. However, they can use the purchase reports to find out your address history. Then, they can cross reference their databases to see who else is at that address. A public record can confirm that the person living with you is your spouse. Then, they can sweep the web for social networking profiles which match your information. This web info can be openly displayed by the people search. So, just by typing in a cell phone number, you can end up with a whole picture of your life including your recent vacation pictures!