Is There a Way to Stop Reporting Agencies from Selling and Sharing my Data?
Unfortunately there is not a way right now from stopping this behavior. The Federal Trade Commission is responsible for protecting consumers, including protecting their privacy. Regardless, reporting agencies, hired by the federal government to be the keepers of all our individual credit information, have sometimes taken the low road in regard to sharing our data. It’s very common that the agencies have very different information on file. It’s also very common that the data is very inaccurate. The only way to get them to fix it is to dispute it and either fill a form out online or by regular mail. Once you dispute an inaccurate address, name, phone number, bill, debit or other information, the agency has to investigate the inaccuracy and either remove it or keep it. In the case of addresses, they have to look up the disputed address to see if it exists and if you indeed did live there. Then if they are wrong, they have to delete the incorrect information. Sometimes one agency will have seven different variations of our name and call each of them an “alias.” These may negatively affect your credit score or chances of getting a loan because it appears as though you’ve had many different names, when in fact you might have only had two or three due to marriage and/or divorce. Variations in the composition will not be removed, but misspellings, inaccurate first or middle initials and duplicates will be removed.
Other than questioning inaccuracies on your report, right now the way the laws are set up, reporting agencies are able to use and sell your personal information to whoever they want. This can be a big problem for our privacy. Advertisers and marketers are fond of using this data for a variety of reasons. Often the pair it up with data from social media, then they analyze and sell it to companies looking for a new edge to sell a product. Marketing companies also make use of this data to better get our attention for certain brands. A few times a year you should request your credit report from all the major agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You should check each one and make sure the information is correct. Dispute and inaccurate information. At least you’ll know that the data they’re selling is true and not wrong. If you see personal information on there that seems odd or you’re not sure where it came from, you should contact the agency directly and ask about it.
Try to keep your information off the internet as much as possible. To maintain any privacy you have don’t post private data online or on social media. Even though you might be making a great effort, in spite of your hard work towards keeping your information offline, sometimes it’s too late. Maybe various data miners and data harvesters have already gotten some of your personal information such as your address, phone number or other info. As a result of all this data gathering, you may do a search and find out that your personal information has already ended up online. If you find your name and address are online, contact an internet removal service who can show you how to remove your information from the internet. They can also delete information and remove your address from the internet.