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Why does Optery combine "Not Found" and "Search In Progress" into one Exposure status?

Your Optery dashboard displays Exposure Risk Statuses for each data broker such as Search in Progress, Matched Profiles Found and Not Found.

For Exposure Risk Status, we have combined the "Search In Progress" and "Not Found" statuses into one status and sometimes customers ask us why we combine these two statuses.

The best way to summarize what the "Not Found / Search In Progress" combined status means in practice is "Not Found Yet"

Finding your profiles at data brokers among the hundreds of millions of others out there is complicated work, and combining these two statuses dramatically simplifies reporting and tracking. In a perfect, simplified, and short term world, we would separate "Search In Progress" and "Not Found" into two separate statuses. However, below are some examples of why we combine the statuses into one to keep things more simple and straight-forward.

The foundational element of Optery's Exposure Status is whether or not a profile has been "Found". Once a profile has been found, it is marked as such. However, prior to it being found, it could be in one of any number of other possible sub-process statuses, especially when you consider edge cases like when conducting searches for the same individual with multiple names, or across past cities and states. For example, the profile might be "Not Found" for a woman's married name (e.g. Jane Smith), but a search may still be in progress or pending for the woman's maiden name (e.g. Jane Adams). Or likewise, the profile might be "Not Found" for a person in their current city of New York, NY, but a search may still be in progress or pending for the person in their prior city of Chicago, IL.

Optery utilizes a "Humans + Machines" approach to data broker discovery and, many data brokers remain in a "Search In Progress" state until the human Privacy Agent is able to complete a manual search and verification, or until a human Privacy Agent is able to complete subsequent searches to handle edge cases and new information. In this case it is possible the initial automated scan did not find the profile at the data broker, but the human Privacy Agent may still be performing additional investigation or related scans that may find a profile.

Updated on: 13/06/2023

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