This post has been modified to reflect new information since its original publication.
Intelius is an online data broker, or “people-search site,” that collects publicly available records about you and compiles them into a single, comprehensive database. Information commonly available on Intelius includes your home addresses (past and present), phone numbers, age and date of birth, names of relatives, income, aliases, and court records. Anyone who requests this information can access it by paying a small fee, with greater detail available at an additional cost.
Understandably, many people would prefer not to have this information easily accessible online. Luckily, it is possible to opt out of Intelius and have your records removed, making it harder for identity thieves, stalkers, and other bad actors to find your personal information. As an added bonus, opting out will also remove your personal data from a number of related, Intelius-owned sites, including ZabaSearch and USSearch.
If you have the time, you can conduct the opt-out yourself. As an alternative, you can sign up for ReputationDefender’s ExecutivePrivacy solution, which automates the opt-out process and removes your personal information from dozens of similar sites as well.
Just what is Intelius exactly?
Founded by former InfoSpace executives in 2003, Intelius was designed to facilitate personal and criminal background searches. The company offers products for both consumers and businesses. Intelius scans white pages, yellow pages, newspaper articles, social networks, blogs, and public records databases, and then it compiles online profiles for the names mentioned within those sources. The details contained in these profiles can range from the most basic identifying information, such as your phone number, to comprehensive histories that include bankruptcies, marriages, and criminal records.
Intelius offers several tiers of reporting:
- For $1.95, a user can order a basic Intelius report, which enumerates date of birth, age, relatives, phone numbers, addresses, previous cities of residence and more for each individual who shares a certain name in a certain state.
- Other products provide more extensive reports at a higher price. They deliver all the information mentioned above, but may also include a single-state criminal check, marriage, and divorce records, civil judgments, and death records.
How to get Intelius records removed
To get your information removed from Intelius, you’ll have to place a request for each record that refers to you. The process is as follows:
- Prove your identity: Make a copy of your driver’s license or state-issued identification card to send to Intelius, but before you send it, cross out your photo and license number. Intelius only requires proof of your name, date of birth, and address.
- Describe the record you want removed: You have to be precise about this, and the request must be submitted in a written letter. You need to create a separate request for each name variation. For example, a request to remove “John Smith” won’t remove “John Q. Smith,” so you’ll need to request that both be removed.
- Send your request by fax: Send the letter and copy of the identification card to Intelius at 425-974-6194. Intelius won’t accept opt-out requests by phone or email.
- Wait: You should receive a response within 4-6 weeks.
- Monitor regularly: Even after you opt out, your information may reappear periodically. This is because Intelius scans for new records automatically, and whenever something appears, it creates a new listing. The only way to prevent this is to have your original government records sealed, which may or may not be possible depending on the specifics of your situation.
Automatic removal and ongoing monitoring
It takes a fair bit of diligence to keep your personal information off of Intelius, not to mention the dozens of other people-search sites out there. That’s why ReputationDefender developed ExecutivePrivacy, which conducts the removals for you across 50+ sites. We then monitor regularly for any new records that might be associated with your name and have those removed as well. We do all the work, and you can rest assured that your privacy stays protected.