Information Distribution Systems (cont.)

According to RocketReferrals.com, “The aggregators generally collect data from public records and then rely on the businesses themselves to verify that the information is correct. But the problem is that hardly anyone even knows they exist. So, business data usually remains fragmented, incomplete, and often inaccurate.”

RocketReferrals.com also states that with little effort, businesses can contact each of the data aggregators and have them correct and update business details.

Beyond the Internet, the United States Post Office also plays a role. According to Forbes, “Whenever you fill out a change of address form with the United States Postal Service, the USPS adds your new details into a database of 160 million previous address changes over the past four years. The USPS has deals with data brokers to sell this data to anyone who pays, provided they have your old address.”

The USPS site states: “We do not disclose your information to third parties without your consent, except to facilitate the transaction, to act on your behalf or request, or as legally required. This includes the following limited circumstances.” It goes on to list everything from congressional offices to financial entities, law enforcement, and more. At the end, it says: “Information will also be provided to licensed service providers of the USPS to perform mailing list correction service of lists containing your name and old address.”

A business or individual’s online presence, whether it’s correct or not, can certainly have an impact. According to ReviewTrackers.com, something as simple as an incorrect address could affect a business. Forty-three percent of consumers considered location a factor when determining which companies to work with. Incomplete business information and poor reviews also drive customers away.

Individuals who want to correct their information or opt out can find information here, https://www.infoworld.com/article/3168318/security/how-to-scrub-your-private-data-from-people-finder-sites.html.  

Businesses can find information here, https://www.rocketreferrals.com/blog/understanding-data-aggregators-this-is-how-local-businesses-are-found-online.