How To Opt Out of FamilyTreeNow – And Why You Should Do It

How To Opt Out of FamilyTreeNow – And Why You Should Do It

December 14, 2023 privacy 0

FamilyTreeNow is a genealogy-focused people-search website, based in the United States. The website allows U.S. users to search its database for information about other U.S. residents. FamilyTreeNow says its databases contain over 1.6 billion public records, and that’s just the data on living and recently deceased people. 

The information found in the service’s search results includes age, location, relatives, household members, education level, and other types of data. In addition to records about living people, the service provides census records, birth records, marriage records, divorce records, and World War II personnel records.

FamilyTreeNow is 100% free to use, which is actually unfortunate, as charging a nominal fee for the service might help weed out some jerks that would use the site for less than honorable purposes. The service allows anyone to dig into your personal information. Heck, hackers don’t even need to pull off a data breach to gain access to a good amount of your personal information.

However, it is possible to opt out of having your information included on FamilyTreeNow. In this article, I’ll show you how to opt out of having your personal data shared on the FamilyTreeNow website, as well as other similar websites and services. 

Why should I opt out of FamilyTreeNow?

People-search and data broker websites like FamilyTreeNow make your personal information available to anyone. While services like these are perfectly legal, Many folks have no idea that their personal data is being made available on these websites.

Why would anyone need access to your personal data? The FamilyTreeNow website says its customers are people looking to dig up information about their family origins, with information spanning hundreds of years of data.

Unfortunately, the information the website stores includes your personal information, which can also be used by the bad actors of the world to stalk unwitting victims, research robbery targets, phishing victims for more personal information, and other illegal activities.

ProPrivacy urges U.S. readers to immediately opt out of having their information stored, sold, and shared by FamilyTreeNow, in addition to the hundreds upon hundreds of other people-search sites and data brokers.

How to opt out of FamilyTreeNow

It is reasonably easy to opt out of having your personal information shared by FamilyTreeNow and websites like it. However, keep in mind that there are hundreds of sites like FamilyTreeNow that may have your information. 

Plus, your information could be stored under multiple email addresses, variations of your name (“Joe” instead of “Joseph”), addresses, and phone numbers. This means it could be time-consuming to track down and delete all of your records, as you’ll have to repeat the search process on each and every one of these sites. But hey, you don’t have anything else going on, right?

To manually remove your personal information from FamilyTreeNow, do the following:

1. Start by visiting the FamilyTreeNow “opt out of records” page.

2. On this page, enter your email address in the provided field, click the “I am Human” button, deal with the CAPTCHA, and then click the “Begin Opt Out Procedure” button.

begin opt out procedure

3. You will be taken to the search page, where you’ll run a search for yourself.

search records

4. After you have found yourself in the results, click on the record detail. This will allow you to verify that this is you and not just someone else who has the same name.

opt out option

5. After you have confirmed that this is your record, click the big red ‘Opt Out’ button on the page.

6. You soon receive an email with a link. Click on the link to confirm your opt out request. 

7. Please allow up to 72 hours for your request to be processed, when your record will be removed from all places on the site. Note: If you have multiple records that need to be removed, repeat steps one through five.

FamilyTreeNow says that if you found your personal information via a search engine, you should go back to the exact record, copy the URL from your browser address bar, and submit it to them on their contact us page.

How to remove yourself from other people-search sites

Now that you’ve had your personal information deleted from FamilyTreeNow, you’re good to go, right? 

Not so fast.

You see, FamilyTreeNow is not the only people-finder site or data broker that has your personal data on its servers. There are several other websites that have your personal information. These websites include, but are not limited to:

While the process of manually opting out of people-finder and data broker sites is relatively simple in most cases, keep in mind that there are hundreds of these services, meaning it will be tedious and time-consuming to opt out on each individual website. Plus, even though your data is removed, it’s quite possible that your information will make an encore appearance on the site later on.

You’ll be glad to know that there is an easy way to simultaneously remove your personal information from multiple websites, with just a few clicks of your mouse and taps of your fingers. A data removal service will contact these data brokers and people-finder sites, instructing them to remove your data, all for a reasonable monthly or annual fee.

The best data removal service to opt out of people-search sites

In this section, we’ll take a close look at our top recommended data removal service.

[[post-object type=”summary-section” pros-cons=”true” /]]

How to opt out of FamilyTreeNow FAQs

[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”Does FamilyTreeNow sell or share my data?” answer=”

According to the SmartBackgroundChecks Privacy Policy page, the company mostly shares your personal information with individuals and companies that use the website. Third parties also may collect information about users’ activity on the site and on third-party sites and applications using tracking technologies.

” /]]

[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”Is FamilyTreeNow trustworthy?” answer=”

Better Business Bureau users gave FamilyTreeNow a rating of 1 out of 5. The business is not BBB accredited. One BBB user claims they made a data removal request six months ago and the data has not been removed. Another user complained of wrong information in her search results. 

It should be noted that many of the BBB user complaints are about the website having their information without consent. Websites like FamilyTreeNow do not have to get your permission to glean your publicly available information.

” /]]

[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”Can employers use FamilyTreeNow to screen me?” answer=”FamilyTreeNow is not a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA), meaning the information they provide cannot be used for credit, employment, or tenant screening. Nor can the information be used for any other purposes listed under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).” /]]

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