Articles on: Opt Outs & Removals

How do I report an exposed profile or removals issue that Optery has incorrectly marked "Removed / Not Found"?

Optery's profile detection algorithms are very advanced, but they are not perfect and this means sometimes Optery may incorrectly mark a profile as "Removed / Not Found" when it is still visible and present. We take our work protecting your privacy very seriously, and sincerely apologize if this happens in your account.

Please read on to learn (A) why this may happen and (B) what can you do to get the profile removed:

(A) Why does this happen? There are several reasons why this may happen:

A single data broker may sometimes publish multiple instances of your profile on its site. When this is the case, it may take multiple attempts for Optery to removal all of the profiles at that data broker. After it removes the 1st profile, this can result in Optery's out out bot temporarily and accidentally marking your profile as "Removed / Not Found" because it did indeed "remove" and mark "not found" the 1st profile. Then on the next scan interval, it would locate the 2nd instance of your profile, and then remove 2nd profile. It is not uncommon for a single individual to have 3 or 4 different profiles at a data broker resulting in the profile at that data broker temporarily and accidentally being marked as "Removed / Not Found" for several weeks until all instances of the profile have been removed. We acknowledge and recognize this as a limitation of our platform currently, and our engineering team is working to build a better solution that handles multiple profiles at a single data broker better.

Optery uses matching algorithms (similar to Google) to locate and mark your profile "Found" or "Not Found". Our matching algorithms are continually improving, but are not perfect (similar also to Google). Finding your profiles among the billions of other profiles data brokers are posting online is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. Sometimes our scanning technology misses a profile one month, and then an improvement is made in our search technology's detection and matching algorithms, and then in a subsequent scan, a new profile is found that we had missed previously.

Another common cause of a profile being flagged incorrectly as "Found" or "Not Found", is when the person's name or identifying information at the data broker is listed with a slight variation. For example, sometimes the data broker has captured the person's age incorrectly, the middle name is omitted, or some part of the name is misspelled. Data brokers’ databases are not perfect, are changing constantly, and are primarily aggregated from third-party sources, so it is not uncommon for profiles at data brokers to have errors with dirty data causing incorrect "Found" or "Not Found" classifications.

Another reason why a profile might be flagged incorrectly as "Found" or "Not Found", is when a person has moved at least once in the last 5 years. Many data broker databases are out-dated, and may have your profile listed in a different city than the city you used specified when signing up with Optery. Our matching algorithms are typically smart enough to take this into account, and search for you across different cities, but this does not work 100% of the time. This is why we recommend completely filling out your profile after you've signed up, as described on our Getting Started page.

There are many additional reasons why our matching algorithms might sometimes incorrectly flag you as "Found" or "Not Found", but we are continually trying to minimize this.

(B) What can you do to get the profile removed?

For customers on a paid subscription plan, in the case you find an exposed profile that Optery has incorrectly marked "Removed / Not Found", please navigate to the Removals Issues screen and submit the URL, a screenshot and any additional information that would be helpful for us to investigate. (Free Basic users do not have access to this feature.)

Submit Removals Issue

Updated on: 04/04/2023

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