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Comment: Re:Cookie based opt-out (Score 1) 78

by ben_shepherd (#43426025) Attached to: RapLeaf Is Back and Bad As Ever
Hey there, we take privacy very seriously-- that's why we started Safe Shepherd. We go out of our way to encrypt as much info as possible through row-level encryption. Also we delete every single database row related to your account when you opt to cancel your service with us. Here's our privacy policy: https://www.safeshepherd.com/privacy . Feel free to hit us up with any questions, we're a 7 person organization and can respond to people individually.

Comment: Re:How we verify opt-outs at Safe Shepherd (Score 2) 78

by ben_shepherd (#43425977) Attached to: RapLeaf Is Back and Bad As Ever

methods users might try that either block the trackers' ability to collect data in the first place

  1. 1. Avoid publicly accessible pages on social sites like LinkedIn, OkCupid, Facebook. People search sites crawl these to build up their data sets. We recently added a social monitoring feature which will show you a snapshot of your social profiles from a non-logged in user perspective which can help with that.
  2. 2. Practice safer browsing habits. Lots of plugins like Ghostery that can help with this.
  3. 3. You're never going to completely prevent them from getting data as long as you're living a normal 21st century life. Most people have real estate records, voting records, retail stores selling their info, etc. That's why removals are a must if you care about people being able to buy your info online. I wrote a blog post about your question here: http://blog.safeshepherd.com/resources/steps-to-privacy-controlling-your-personal-information/

When we do opt outs we try to send the bare minimum amount of info.. But the data brokers and people search sites go out of their way to require ridiculous things such as faxes of photo IDs. We automate the process, though believe me we don't like having to ask our users for this info. We also go to extra measures to use encryption wherever possible. For example we literally can't view the photo IDs of our users even if we wanted to.

Comment: Re:Cookie based opt-out (Score 5, Informative) 78

by ben_shepherd (#43425065) Attached to: RapLeaf Is Back and Bad As Ever
There are two types of ways to opt out of Rapleaf that should be distinguished here. The more robust way (assuming they respect it) is to go through their "permanent opt-out" form (http://www.rapleaf.com/opt-out/), which removes you from their database. What the cookie opt-out does is disable their third party tracking of you as you browse the web. If you're interested in removing yourself from all of the major data broker and people search sites check out our manual opt out guides: http://blog.safeshepherd.com/how-to-block/ . Or better yet, give our service a try.. guarantee you it will save you a lot of time and worry if you care about these sites selling your personal information.

Comment: How we verify opt-outs at Safe Shepherd (Score 5, Informative) 78

by ben_shepherd (#43424887) Attached to: RapLeaf Is Back and Bad As Ever
Hey guys, I'm Ben, a developer at Safe Shepherd. Data brokers and people search sites like Rapleaf have a bad habit of blocking or flat out ignoring opt out requests. Recently we implement a system of verified removals whereby we check whether the opted out record actually still appears on the data broker's website. This allows us to identify whether they're being generally honest and whether another opt-out needs to be sent on a case-by-case basis. I set up the verified removals to run as a daily cron task, so we can identify whether records re-appear even after they've been removed (yes, data brokers do this). Also fwiw we've written up some manual opt-out guides for all the major data brokers and people search sites in case you want to do the removals yourself rather than through our service: http://blog.safeshepherd.com/how-to-block/

If you had better tools, you could more effectively demonstrate your total incompetence.

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