Discover is Introducing a Free Online Privacy Protection Tool
Have you ever Google’d yourself and been horrified to find just how much information about you was publically available? As scary as that is, it’s somehow worse when you come across sites that tease your sensitive info and advise those interested to pay for the privilege of viewing it. To combat such experiences, Discover has announced it will be launching a new tool that will help customers remove their info from a few such sites — and will be offering the service for free.
According to Discover, the company is in the process of rolling out a new feature called Online Privacy Protection. This tool will help customers to remove their info from 10 popular websites. These include:
While I’m sure I’ve come across these sites before, I decided to check one of them out to see just how much was visible and how much I’d need to pay for the full report. Choosing one at random, I was able to find myself fairly easily, “learning” what city I live in, my relatives’ names, the last four digits of my phone number, and more. To see more, I’d need to sign-up for their membership, which starts at $24.86 (or, by waiting on the site long enough without purchases, I was also given the option to do a trial membership for $1.99 or purchase the report a la cart for $29.95). I would really hope no one is bothering to pay for this info about me — but I also hate that this site and others like it are making money by offering it in the first place.
Back to Discover, it says that the Online Privacy Protection feature will be available via the Discover app as it rolls it out in stages in the weeks ahead and will be made available for free to both credit card and banking customers. After users opt-into the feature, it will automatically scan the aforementioned list of sites every 90 days or so. However, the company didn’t yet offer any details on the process individuals will then need to go through in order to have their info removed.
As a Discover customer, I’m definitely looking forward to checking out Online Privacy Protection for myself and hopefully removing my information pulled from these sites. It’d also be awesome if doing so helped cut down on the insane number of spam calls and emails I get on a daily basis. At the same time, the cynic in me has to imagine that this will really just amount to a drop in the bucket. Still, if I can stop these 10 sites from potentially making money off me, that seems like a win.