PeekYou is a people search website that aggregates your personal information from various public sources online and makes it readily available to anyone searching for you. While this may seem harmless, having so many details about your life accessible in one place can raise privacy concerns.
Fortunately, PeekYou allows you to opt out and have your information removed from their database. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to successfully opt out of PeekYou.
What is PeekYou and How Does it Work?
PeekYou operates as an online people search engine. Their website states that their goal is to “help you find the people you are looking for,” whether that’s old friends, long-lost relatives, or former colleagues.
To build their database, PeekYou uses web scrapers and bots to crawl the internet and aggregate publicly available information from sources like social media, news sites, genealogy databases, public records, and more. They compile this data into individual profiles that anyone can access by searching a name on their site.
Once your profile is created, it may contain:
- Full name
- Age or birthdate
- Current and past addresses
- Phone numbers
- Email addresses
- Employment history
- Education history
- Social media profiles
- News articles mentioning you
- Public records like property ownership, marriage/divorce, arrests, etc.
Essentially, PeekYou aims to create a comprehensive profile of your online presence and make it available to any curious searcher.
While the data they collect is publicly accessible, many people are uncomfortable having so many personal details centralized and searchable in one place. That’s where opting out comes in.
Why Opt Out of PeekYou?
Here are some of the main reasons you may want to remove your information from PeekYou:
- Privacy concerns – Having your address, phone number, employment details, and other info easily searchable raises privacy issues. This data could be used for stalking, identity theft, scams, and other harmful purposes by criminals.
- Control your online presence – The profile PeekYou creates may contain outdated, incorrect, or unflattering information you don’t necessarily want associated with your name anymore. Opting out lets you take back control.
- Stop unwanted marketing – Marketers may use data from PeekYou to target advertising. Opting out cuts down on unwanted sales calls, junk mail, spam emails, and ads following you around the web.
- Protect family members – Even if you’re comfortable with your own information being available, you likely don’t want sensitive details about your family members accessible to anyone on PeekYou.
- Remove info from expired accounts – PeekYou may still have data from your old social media accounts or other online profiles that are now defunct. Opting out deletes this obsolete information.
- Stop profile hijacking – If someone creates a fake profile impersonating you, opting out is the only way to get it removed from PeekYou.
Essentially, if you value your privacy and want to control how your personal information is accessed and used, opting out of PeekYou is advisable.
How to Opt Out of PeekYou (Step-by-Step)
Removing your information from PeekYou’s database is straightforward and free. Here is a step-by-step guide:
1. Search for your PeekYou profile
Go to PeekYou.com and enter your first and last name and location in the search bar. Hit enter to run the search.
Scroll through the results until you find your profile. Click on your name to open it.
Tip: Make sure you have identified the correct profile as yours before proceeding. Others may share your name.
2. Verify the information is yours
Once your profile opens, browse through the info listed. Make sure it is actually your data and not another person who happens to share your name. This verification will ensure you remove the right profile.
3. Click on “Opt Out”
In the upper right corner of your profile page, you will see a gray “Opt Out” link. Click this to begin removing your information.
4. Fill out the opt-out form
You will be taken to the PeekYou opt-out request form. Here you will need to:
- Enter your email address
- Provide the last few characters of your profile URL in the Unique ID field
- Select the option to “Remove my entire listing“
- Choose “Identity theft” as your reason for opting out
- Complete the CAPTCHA challenge
- Check the two agreement boxes
- Hit “Submit“
Tip: Use a temporary or masked email address if you have privacy concerns entering your real email.
5. Confirm your opt-out request
After submitting the form, you will receive a confirmation email to the address you provided. Click the link in this email to verify and complete your opt-out request.
6. Allow time for removal
Once confirmed, it takes approximately 5-15 business days for PeekYou to fully remove your information from their database. During this time, searches for your name may still return your profile. Be patient, and check back periodically until all data is deleted.
That’s it! Just follow these six simple steps to opt out of PeekYou and protect your privacy.
Tips for Opting Out Successfully
To ensure your PeekYou profile is permanently deleted, keep these tips in mind:
- Repeatedly search your name over several weeks and opt out of any listings that still appear. It can take multiple opt-out requests for your information to be fully removed.
- Try variations of your name, alternate spellings, maiden names, etc. to find all potential profiles.
- If you have a common name, you may need to provide additional verification to confirm your identity and the correct listing.
- Use masked email addresses from providers like AnonAddy or Blur to avoid exposing your real inbox.
- Bookmark your profile URL in case you need to send it to PeekYou later to request re-removal.
- If data reappears after opting out, use PeekYou’s contact form to request removal again. Follow up if needed.
With vigilance and patience, you can successfully opt out of PeekYou long-term using this guide.
Will Completely Disappearing from PeekYou Be Difficult?
The good news is opting out of PeekYou is straight-forward and can be done fairly easily following the steps above. However, a few factors may complicate the process:
- Common names – If you have a very common first and last name combination, you may have multiple profiles on PeekYou that need removal.
- Profile reappearing – In some cases, previously deleted information comes back after a while. You’ll need to continuously monitor and re-opt out if needed.
- Lack of responsiveness – Users report PeekYou can be slow or unresponsive to opt-out requests and questions. Persistence is key.
- Ongoing data aggregation – Since PeekYou gathers data from many sources, new information may populate your profile again down the line requiring additional opt-outs.
The main difficulties stem from the fact that PeekYou doesn’t completely delete profiles from their database after opt-out requests. They appear to “deactivate” them instead, which allows information to resurface over time.
So disappearing from PeekYou permanently typically requires patience and being prepared to opt out repeatedly when needed. But the overall process is still reasonably easy compared to some other data broker websites.
Can You Get PeekYou to Permanently Delete Your Profile?
While PeekYou makes it simple to opt-out initially, getting them to permanently delete your profile from their database is more difficult. Here are some tips that may help convince PeekYou to remove you entirely:
- Note privacy risks – When submitting opt-out requests, emphasize how the information exposes you to privacy violations, stalking, identity theft, etc.
- Send legal removal requests – Draft a legal notice citing applicable laws like the CCPA and email their legal department.
- Report faulty information – If your profile contains incorrect data, report this as another reason for total removal.
- Complain on social media – Post on Twitter, Facebook, etc. about your frustrations with PeekYou reactivating your profile. Brand damage can motivate action.
- Submit access requests – Use your rights under the CCPA to submit data access requests. This may force deletion.
- Contact the California AG – File consumer complaints to the Attorney General against PeekYou for failure to fully remove your data upon request.
No single tactic is guaranteed to work, but applying multiple forms of pressure gives you the best shot at getting permanently scrubbed from their people search results.
What is PeekYou’s Official Opt-Out Policy?
PeekYou outlines their opt-out policy on their website FAQ page. Key facts about their removal process include:
- Submitting a request completely removes your profile and information from search results.
- Opt-out forms require your email address and profile URL for identity verification.
- Turnaround time is approximately 5-15 working days for removal.
- You need to click a confirmation link sent to your email to complete the opt-out.
- All data including cached copies and backups are purportedly deleted upon opt-out.
- Profiles may automatically repopulate with new data found publicly online in the future.
- You may need to opt out periodically as new information appears in their search results over time.
While their stated policy implies permanent deletion, most users report having to regularly opt out again when data resurfaces on PeekYou. So expect to re-submit removal requests on occasion.
Is PeekYou Removing Personal Information Illegal?
PeekYou removing your personal information from their database upon request is completely legal. Here are some laws and rights that empower you to opt out:
- CCPA – The California Consumer Privacy Act provides the right for any California resident to demand a business delete their personal data. Failure to comply can lead to hefty fines.
- Right to be forgotten – This is the general principle that people can request removal of their information from websites and search engines when it is no longer relevant.
- Copyright law – If PeekYou displays content you own the rights to, you can issue DMCA takedown notices to have it removed.
- Common law publicity rights – You have inherent rights controlling how your identity is commercially used without your permission. Opting out falls under this category.
So not only is PeekYou required to delete your information upon request, you can take legal action if they fail to comply with your opt-out demands.
Are There Any Risks or Downsides to Opting Out?
Opting out of PeekYou is advisable for most people concerned about their privacy. However, there are a few potential downsides to note:
- You lose the ability to monitor what information is out there about you on PeekYou. Staying visible allows you to audit and potentially dispute inaccurate data.
- Opting out requires sharing additional personal information like your email with PeekYou, which some may be uncomfortable doing.
- Completely removing yourself from people search sites is difficult, so your information may resurface in the future requiring additional opt-outs.
- People motivated to find you can still locate your data through public records and other search sites, so total anonymity is tough.
- If you have a common name, the wrong profile may get removed while yours remains visible.
For most, the privacy trade-off is worthwhile. But occasionally staying searchable on PeekYou to manage your reputation can be beneficial too. Evaluate your specific situation to decide what’s best for you.
Key Takeaways: Opting Out of PeekYou
Here are the core tips to remember when removing yourself from PeekYou’s people search database:
- Search your name to identify the correct PeekYou profile belonging to you before opting out.
- Use the handy online opt-out form and provide your email and profile URL to submit removal requests.
- Be sure to confirm via email to complete the PeekYou opt-out process fully. Without clicking their verification link, your request will not be processed.
- Monitor your profile over several weeks and submit additional opt-out forms if any information comes back. PeekYou makes permanent deletion challenging.
- Try different removal tactics like legal threats if your data continues to reappear and PeekYou ignores opt-out requests. Don’t give up easily.
- Exercise your CCPA rights for data access and deletion to require PeekYou to scrub your information completely if needed.
- Remain vigilant and keep checking as new data may populate your profile at any time, necessitating new opt-out requests.
Maintaining control over your personal information online is crucial for privacy protection. People search sites like PeekYou make that difficult by aggregating your data into public profiles without your consent.
Fortunately, you have the power to opt out and have your information removed. While PeekYou makes permanently disappearing a challenge, this guide provides the steps needed to maximize your chances of success.
Implement the strategies outlined above to reduce your digital footprint on PeekYou. Stay persistent until all traces of your profile vanish completely, and don’t hesitate to assert your legal rights if needed to force true and lasting deletion of your data.
Your privacy is worth fighting for. Now that you know how to opt out of PeekYou properly, you can take action to defend it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Does opting out of PeekYou remove your information from Google?
No, opting out of PeekYou only removes your profile and information from their own database. Your data may still appear in Google search results sourced from other websites. To remove personal details from Google, you would need to contact each original site that published your info online.
Can I opt out on behalf of someone else, like my child?
Yes, you can use PeekYou’s opt-out process to remove profiles belonging to your minor children or any dependents. Simply search their name, confirm the correct listing, and submit the opt-out request by providing your own contact email.
Is there a PeekYou browser extension to automate opting out?
Unfortunately no. PeekYou does not currently offer any browser extensions to streamline or automate the opt-out process. All removals must be done manually by searching for your profile and submitting individual requests via their website opt-out form.
Does PeekYou let you export your data?
No, PeekYou does not allow you to download or export the data profiles they have collected about you like some other data broker sites. The only option is to opt-out and have your information deleted from their database.
Can I get proof my data was deleted after opting out of PeekYou?
PeekYou does not provide any documentation or confirmation showcasing profile deletions post opt-out. You simply have to verify removal by searching your name and ensuring your information no longer appears in the results. For full legal assurance, you would need to utilize GDPR or CCPA data rights requests.
What if PeekYou refuses to remove my information after I’ve opted out?
If you’ve followed the proper opt-out steps and PeekYou still refuses deletion, first persistently re-submit requests. If that fails, you can complain to the FTC, their parent company NThrive, or even file a small claims court case. Enforcing your privacy rights often takes patience and escalation.