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DeleteMe Review | Pros and Cons – What Do The Experts Think

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Last Modified Date: Apr 24, 2024

Are you looking for an in-depth review of DeleteMe? Or for the best alternative to DeleteMe?

We’re confident after reading this review you’ll save yourself loads of time and money in your search for the best personal data removal service for your hard-earned money.

DeleteMe helped pioneer the personal data removal category in 2010 and has the most name recognition, brand recognition and press coverage, but for the reasons listed in this review, we believe the product today lags behind in the market.

DeleteMe Account Dashboard – June 2023

The most useful analogy we can think of when trying to understand what’s happening with DeleteMe right now is look back at what happened to Yahoo when Google came onto the scene in the early 2000s. Or, what might just be happening to Google right now as ChatGPT (OpenAI) is coming onto the scene in 2023. Similar to how Yahoo prided itself on an outdated manual approach to search results that was made increasingly obsolete by Google’s advanced and patented PageRank algorithm, we believe DeleteMe’s current approach that relies heavily on manual “Custom Requests” is being made increasingly obsolete by new entrants such as Optery.

In this article, packed with screenshots and detailed examples that support our claims with concrete evidence, we review DeleteMe, unpack the major differences with Optery and discuss why we’re 100% confident Optery is the smartest choice you can make when it comes to choosing a personal data removal service for yourself, your family, or your business. We believe Optery wins across the board on Affordability and Value, Data Broker Coverage, Exposure Reporting, Removals Process and Reporting, Flexible Billing Options, Support for Families, Support for Businesses and Data Security. Read on for a deep dive into most of these areas.

Both DeleteMe and Optery also offer personal data removal products for companies wishing to remove personal data for their employees or customers in bulk, but the scope of this review is just at the individual consumer and family account levels. We’ll post a separate review comparing DeleteMe for Business and Optery for Business soon, but in the meantime, if you want to compare the two companies’ business products, the best thing to do is try them both out via a live demo or free trial.

Last Updated October 2023. If you find incorrect or outdated information let us know at support@optery.com and we’ll investigate right away.

🕵️ Introduction – What are Personal Data Removal Services?

Hundreds of companies post and sell detailed information about us online without our permission. Information such as your home address, phone number, email, family members’ names, income, ethnicity, political affiliations, and net worth. Most commonly, these companies are known as data brokers. Some of the most notorious data brokers you may already be familiar with such as WhitePages.com, BeenVerified, Radaris, TruthFinder, and Social Catfish.

Personal data removal services such as DeleteMe and Optery provide services to customers for removing personal information from some number of data broker sites. Most personal data removal services including DeleteMe only offer paid subscription options. However, some personal data removal services such as Optery offer both free and paid tier subscription options.

We recommend evaluating personal data removal services across the following dimensions, most of which are covered in detail in this review:

Affordability and Value
Data Broker Coverage
Exposure Reporting
Removals Process and Reporting
Flexible Billing Options
Support for Families
Support for Businesses
Data Security Credentials

⚖️ DeleteMe Company Profile

DeleteMe was founded in 2011 by Rob Shavell, Andrew Sudbury, and Eugene Kuznetsov, and is owned by parent company Abine, Inc., which also makes other privacy and anonymity products. They are headquartered outside Boston in Sommerville, Massachusetts. Compared to other companies in the industry, our research indicates DeleteMe has limited automation features and takes more of a manual approach to data broker removals. Indeed, over 90% of the sites listed on their “Sites We Remove From” page are handled via something called “Custom Requests” where the burden of finding and submitting profiles for removal is placed on the customer. Even in their own advertisements, DeleteMe touts their more manual approach with statements like “DeleteMe™ employs human agents to handle significant sites where automation won’t cut it.” and “Fully automated platforms don’t catch everything. Trust our experienced Privacy Experts!“.

Why do people like about DeleteMe and what should you be aware of?

On the positive side, DeleteMe has been around for over 10 years, has a large customer install base and an upstanding brand reputation. Some data removal services engage in the questionable practice of maintaining affiliate partnerships with data brokers and have murky origins, but DeleteMe is not one of them. Along with Optery, DeleteMe is one of the more upstanding companies in the industry. Although the standard DeleteMe subscription covers a relatively small number of data brokers compared to other services on the market, for the data brokers they do cover, DeleteMe does a pretty good job of ensuring the removals.

On the negative side, our observation is that DeleteMe seems to be compensating for a product that has fallen behind in the market with embellished its capabilities as a company in its marketing. Read through this review where we discuss these points in more detail with live screenshots and examples.

📦 DeleteMe Subscriptions & Pricing – Affordability, Value & Data Broker Coverage

We found it very difficult and confusing, if even slightly misleading, to determine what you actually get with a DeleteMe subscription.

A visit to the DeleteMe Pricing page is straight-forward and lists pricing for DeleteMe’s “Standard Protection” at $129 / year for 1 person, $229 / year for 2 people, and $329 / year for a family.

But what does “Standard Protection” actually get you? This is impossible to determine from their Pricing page and really anywhere else on the DeleteMe web site:

DeleteMe Pricing Page – June 2023

It requires some sleuthing to figure out what a DeleteMe “Standard Protection” subscription actually provides. If you’d like to figure this out, the first logical place to look is DeleteMe’s “Sites We Remove From” page which boldly claims “We Remove Private Information from 750+ Data Brokers”, followed by an impressive list of hundreds of data brokers.

However, nearly every data broker listed has a special character next to it, and you have to scroll to the bottom of the page to read the fine print to determine what each exception case means.

DeleteMe Sites We Remove From – June 2023

If you read the fine print at the bottom of the page and unpack the numbers, what you’ll find is that a DeleteMe “Standard Plan” covers approximately ~60 data brokers. Approximately ~40 additional data brokers are covered by Business or VIP plans, approximately ~25 are international data brokers, and the remaining ~625 data brokers require something called “Custom Requests”.

DeleteMe Review
We recommend reading the Fine Print on What’s Actually Covered Before Purchasing a DeleteMe Subscription – June 2023

“Custom Requests” are where you, the customer, must find the profile you wish removed, and then submit them to DeleteMe, who will then make a best effort to remove the profile. DeleteMe offers a limited number of Custom Requests per customer per year, but it is unknown, and not published anywhere publicly that we could find as to how many.

The “Sites We Remove From” page also mentions DeleteMe’s Business Standard, Diamond, Gold, Platinum, and VIP plans, but there is no information we could find posted publicly about what is covered by any of these plans or their pricing.

To help take the mystery out of what DeleteMe “Standard Protection” coverage provides, see this screenshot of the DeleteMe dashboard interface indicating coverage for 66 data brokers.

DeleteMe Dashboard Interface – June 2023

You can also see in the screenshot above where DeleteMe reports “1,144 Listings Reviewed”, which sounds really impressive. Based on our understanding of the DeleteMe dashboard, what this number really means is the total number of times a data broker profile has been reviewed since the paid subscription was initially purchased. For this account, its been about ~100 reviews per quarter, or about 33 reviews per month, of mostly the same data brokers quarter after quarter. “33 Listings Reviewed Per Month” is a lot less impressive sounding than the cumulative total of “1,144 Listings Reviewed”, right? Some would refer to this as “creative accounting” that puts the number of listings reviewed in the best light possible.

💨 What Does a DeleteMe Subscription Actually Include?

Since we could not find any summary details of what a Standard DeleteMe subscription actually includes, we had to piece together bits of information from across their site and help desk, and the best we can tell is it offers:

  • Removals coverage for ~66 data brokers
  • Quarterly manual review of the ~66 data brokers they cover for your listings
  • Quarterly Privacy Report PDF summarizing DeleteMe’s findings and activity
  • Custom Requests (the limit is unknown, but we’ve heard ~10 per quarter)
  • App Reporting dashboard summarizing findings and activity
  • Email, chat and phone support

🏷️ How Does DeleteMe Compare with Optery in Affordability & Value?

Firstly, Optery offers completely transparent pricing and feature list on its Pricing page. Subscription plans start at $3.99 / month or $39 per year for 100+ data broker sites, all the way up to $24.99 per month or $249 per year for 330+ data broker sites and Unlimited Custom Requests.

Optery also provides Monthly automated scans and removals, unlimited name variations, unlimited past cities and states, and Exposure Reports and Removals Reports with dozens of live screenshots proving Optery’s work, something DeleteMe does not provide today. Optery has a patented search technology and the most advanced data broker scanning software in the world.

We believe Optery Offers Superior Affordability, Value and Transparency Compared to DeleteMe – October 2023

Optery’s Pricing page allows you to intelligently search through its list of covered data brokers, and will let you know exactly which data broker is covered by each plan (e.g. Core, Extended, Ultimate). Optery does not use a cryptic and confusing array of special characters with the legend buried in fine print at the bottom of the page as DeleteMe does.

Optery offers unlimited “Custom Requests” for Ultimate subscribers but does not inflate its list of “Sites We Cover” since they are not explicitly covered by any plan and require the customer to find and submit the data broker profile via the Custom Request workflow on their own.

Optery Search Tool to Determine Data Broker Coverage by Plan – October 2023

📊 DeleteMe Scan – Exposure Reporting

Data broker scanning technology is a cornerstone of a good personal data removal service. The quality of the free scan is usually a good indicator of the quality of its removals. If a company can’t produce a high quality free scan, that’s a bad sign and you should probably keep moving and look elsewhere before you pay the company your hard earned money.

🧐 How does DeleteMe’s free scan work?

Enter your name, and city and state and your initial results will be displayed on a web page and look something like the image below. From our research and in each of our test searches, DeleteMe displayed the same 6 data broker results for all searches (Addresses.com, USSearch, Intelius, Spokeo, PeopleFinders, and InstantCheckmate), despite claiming a “FREE SCAN OF 40+ DATA BROKERS” on its marketing landing page. The more detailed report will arrive in PDF format within about 1 week after you purchase a subscription. This is helpful, but not particularly impressive, and it begs a lot of questions.

As we dug deeper into the results of the DeleteMe Free Scan, we found it hard to believe the “FREE SCAN OF 40+ DATA BROKERS” was actually occurring.

For example, the first sentence in the DeleteMe scan results screenshot below says:

Our initial scan found at least 75 more data records containing your personal info.

DeleteMe Free Exposure Scan Results – March 2023

If that’s the case, then why not display the additional 75 records? Why stop at 6? Why, when we tested the free scan with different names and city and state combinations, did the initial scan results always find exactly “at least 75 more data records” for each name we tested?

And why does the DeleteMe Free Scan landing page advertise “FREE SCAN OF 40+ DATA BROKERS“, but then limit the results displayed to just 6 data brokers, even though it has simultaneously claimed to have found you on 75+ more data records?

A clue is the disclaimer in fine print at the end of the page stating “Search scan results may vary from the sites found on a typical DeleteMe privacy report“. Which seems to disavow the accuracy of the scan results.

We can’t say for sure what’s happening, but based on our in-depth knowledge of the industry, comparing the results of the free DeleteMe scan with its marketing does not add up, and therefore we strongly suspect the “FREE SCAN OF 40+ DATA BROKERS” DeleteMe is advertising may not actually be occurring.

To have confidence that the free scan of 40+ data brokers was occurring, we’d probably see a greater diversity in the number and composition of data broker results. But in all of our tests, it was the same 6 data brokers represented from the scan of 40.

DeleteMe Claims Free Scan of 40+ Data Brokers But Ou Testing Never Yielded Results at More Than 6 Data Brokers – June 2023

💨 How Does DeleteMe Compare with Optery in Exposure Scanning & Reporting?

Optery offers the most robust exposure scan results on the market with a patented search technology. Optery was the first company to provide a free report with dozens of screenshots of exposed profiles for free, and Optery exposure scans find more exposed profiles than anyone, including Google.

Optery scans 200+ data broker sites, finds an average of ~100 exposed profiles per user, an average of ~50 exposed profiles per user of competing data removal services (e.g. DeleteMe), usually displays reports within ~30 minutes of sign up, includes real live screenshots of where your profile is exposed to prove its work, and does not require a credit card or paid account for full and complete access to all of the exposed profiles in the report.

It doesn’t get any better than that, and its constantly improving.

Users can retrieve the results of their free Optery Exposure Report scan by clicking on the screenshot thumbnails from the Optery dashboard:

Optery Dashboard with 100+ Exposure Screenshots – October 2023

Click on a screenshot image thumbnail to view a detailed screenshot:

Optery Exposure Report Screenshot Viewer – October 2023

Or can visit the Reports page to download the full Exposure Report in PDF:

Optery Exposure Report PDF Downloads – October 2023

Optery’s Free Basic account also offers free self-service tools to submit your own opt outs at the places you’ve been found, making Optery useful for anyone, regardless of ability to pay.

📊 DeleteMe Removals Process and Reporting

DeleteMe prides itself on taking a manual approach to perform data broker removals and opt out processing by human Privacy Advisors. This makes sense when you recall that over 90% of the sites listed on DeleteMe’s “Sites We Remove From” page are handled via something called “Custom Requests” where the burden of finding and submitting profiles for removal is placed on the customer. Even in their own advertisements, DeleteMe touts their more manual approach with statements like “DeleteMe™ employs human agents to handle significant sites where automation won’t cut it.” and “Fully automated platforms don’t catch everything. Trust our experienced Privacy Experts!“.

DeleteMe advertisement indicating “human agents” perform the opt outs – October 2023
DeleteMe advertisement indicating human “Privacy Experts” perform the opt outs – October 2023

Most likely due to the time consuming manual approach DeleteMe utilizes, data broker listing reviews, removals, and reports operate on a quarterly cadence. By comparison, Optery operates scans and removals on a monthly basis, and exposure and removals reporting are updated in real-time on a 24/7 continual basis.

Many customers prefer this personal touch and the feeling of working alongside a DeleteMe Privacy Advisor to assist with additional needs or special requests. As a result, customers have access to a professional who can provide personalized support.

DeleteMe Assigns Human Privacy Advisors To Paying Accounts
DeleteMe Customers Must Submit Requests Manually via Custom Requests – October 2023

For paying customers, DeleteMe sends quarterly Privacy Reports via PDF every three months to summarize exposure and removals status. The quarterly report includes a list of approximately ~60 data broker sites summarizing what type of information may be posted, the average removal time, where information has been removed, as well as any pending removals. Additionally, the report details the total number of listings reviewed and the number of matching listings that were removed.

DeleteMe Quarterly Privacy Report – March 2023

In the dashboard, there is a simple chart that summarizes the total number of listings removed by month.

Listings Removed in DeleteMe Dashboard – June 2023

⚔️ How Does DeleteMe Compare with Optery in Removals Process & Reporting?

The first difference between DeleteMe and Optery in the realm of removals processing is all Optery subscription tiers operate on a Monthly scan, removal and reporting processing cadence (i.e. every month), whereas DeleteMe’s Standard plan operates on a Quarterly review, removal and reporting process (i.e. every 3 months), and we could not find any information posted publicly regarding the removals processing cadence of their other plans.

The heart of Optery’s Removals Process is what Optery refers to as a “Humans + Machines” approach. The “Machines” part of the equation means monthly automated exposure scans and opt out submissions by Optery’s automated software. The “Humans” part of the equation means an assigned human Privacy Agent supplements the automated scans and removals for quality assurance and handling special circumstances. Whereas some data removal services perform all removals with humans manually, and other data removal services perform all removals via bot automation only, Optery’s “Humans + Machines” approach provides the best of both worlds. DeleteMe is known for a predominantly manual approach performed by humans. Optery regards this approach out-dated and sub-optimal.

DeleteMe lists an assigned human Privacy Advisor to each customer account. Similarly, Optery assigns an assigned human Privacy Agent to each customer account on its Extended and Ultimate tiers, however, Optery does not display the name or icon for the assigned Privacy Agent in the app. Instead, Optery relies on a shared live-chat support app and email inbox to ensure continuous coverage in the event the assigned Privacy Agent is offline, or otherwise occupied.

Optery Live Support by Human Privacy Agents – October 2023

Similar to DeleteMe, Optery also offers paying customers workflows for submitting Custom Requests and Removals Issues. All Optery paying customers can submit Removals Issues (i.e. Core, Extended, and Ultimate tier subscriptions). However only Optery Ultimate subscription tier customers are eligible for Custom Removals.

Optery Custom Removals Workflow – October 2023

Optery’s Removals Report has no peers in the market, and displays before and after screenshots proving its work. Optery sends its Removals Reports quarterly. At the time of this writing, DeleteMe does not provide screenshots, much less before and after screenshots as a way to prove the work that’s been done.

Optery provides “Before and After” screenshot pairs proving the work – October 2023

Optery offers superior Removals Reporting for paying customers where you can view the exposure and removals status by data broker that is updated in real time – no need to wait another 3 months for a static and stale PDF report like DeleteMe for your removals reporting.

“After 90 days it would present me with the crown jewel of the service—the [Optery] Removals Report. The Exposure Report shows screenshots from sites that have your data, with links to let you see that data right on the site. With the Removals report, you see what was found along with a new screenshot demonstrating that the data was removed, and a link to verify the removal. No other personal data removal service I’ve seen gives you this level of verification.”
Neil Rubenking
Lead Analyst for Security, PCMag.com

In summary, we believe Optery’s monthly scans and removals vs. DeleteMe’s quarterly reviews and removals, Optery’s “Humans + Machines” approach vs. DeleteMe’s “Humans” approach, Optery’s real-time removals status dashboard reporting vs. DeleteMe’s quarterly static PDF removals reporting, and Optery’s Removals Reports with “before and after” screenshots vs. DeleteMe’s Privacy Reports without any screenshots at all, make Optery the superior choice by far when it comes to Data Broker Removals Processing and Reporting.

💲 DeleteMe Flexible Billing Options

DeleteMe only offers Yearly plans – a 1 Year option and a 2 Year option. Subscriptions can be purchased for 1 person, 2 people, or an entire family via the DeleteMe Family Plan, however, it is currently unknown if there are any limitations to the number of family members permitted in a family account. For DeleteMe for Business pricing, you must speak with a sales person.

DeleteMe Published Subscription Plan Options – June 2023

⚔️ How Does DeleteMe Compare with Optery in Flexible Billing Options?

Optery offers more flexibility withMonthly or Yearly plans – with Optery, there’s no need to get locked into a lengthy contract – you can pay month to month and cancel at any time. Optery also offers customers the ability to seamlessly upgrade or downgrade subscription tiers with pro-rated billing. What this means is you can migrate between plan tiers (i.e. Free Basic, Core, Extended, Ultimate) and plan terms (i.e. Monthly or Yearly) effortlessly.

For example, you could start with Ultimate Monthly for a few months, then downgrade to Free Basic for a few months, and then Upgrade to Extended Yearly for a year, and then change back to Ultimate monthly.

You can upgrade and downgrade seamlessly across plan tiers (Free Basic, Core, Extended, Ultimate) and plan terms (Monthly, Yearly), and all charges are pro-rated, meaning any remaining value on your plan when you perform a change will carry forward and be applied to the next billing cycle.

Optery Subscription Plan Options – June 2023

You can manage unlimited loved ones with Optery for Family. The discounting across all plans increases as each additional family members’ coverage is activated. The discounting is 20% off all plans for 2 plans, 25% off all plans for 3 plans, and 30% off all plans for 4 or more plans. To be clear, each incremental covered family member will incur an additional subscription charge.

Optery for Family Pricing

Optery also offers Optery for Business both to small businesses and large enterprises with volume discounting based on the list pricing on the Optery Pricing page. Anyone can create an Optery for Business account for free and get started self-service immediately, or can reach out to Optery support to schedule a live demo and discuss custom pricing with our Sales team.

🔐 DeleteMe Data Security Credentials

Data security credentials are probably the most over-looked factor when choosing a personal data removal service. Selecting a personal data removal service is about prioritizing and investing in your security, so shouldn’t you hold your personal data removal service to the highest data security standards?

Unfortunately, most personal data removal services on the market today have not completed an AICPA SOC 2 audit and have extremely limited data security controls and standards.

How does DeleteMe stack up in the realm of data security?

It appears DeleteMe does have strong data security credentials as evidenced by its SOC 2, Type 2 certification. Nonetheless, DeleteMe has not posted much information publicly on their data security practices. The only information we could find on the DeleteMe data security practices are these brief statement from the DeleteMe privacy policy and the DeleteMe Help Desk:

DeleteMe Security Practices as of October 2023

“While we implement safeguards designed to protect your information, no security system is impenetrable and due to the inherent nature of the Internet, we cannot guarantee that information, during transmission through the Internet or while stored on our systems or otherwise in our care, is absolutely safe from intrusion by others. We try our best by providing you with leading security practices, like encrypting all requests via a secure connection (HTTPS) and other best practices. We recommend that you take care to manage access to the computers and devices where you are logged in to our application.”
Source: https://joindeleteme.com/legal/#Security-Practices

DeleteMe SOC 2, Type 2 certification as of October 2023

“DeleteMe was issued a SOC 2 Type 2 certification by the AICPA. This certification was developed to show how organizations should manage customer data based on the Trust Services Criteria (TSC) of Privacy, Security, Availability, Confidentiality and Processing Integrity. Our certification is a Type 2, which provides our customers confidence that our best practice controls are in place and actually working effectively. We are, in effect, doing what we say we are doing”
Source: https://help.joindeleteme.com/hc/en-us/articles/19392643419923-How-does-DeleteMe-keep-data-secure-

What is the AICPA SOC 2?

According to Wikipedia, “System and Organization Controls (SOC), (also sometimes referred to as service organizations controls) as defined by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), is the name of a suite of reports produced during an audit. It is intended for use by service organizations (organizations that provide information systems as a service to other organizations) to issue validated reports of internal controls over those information systems to the users of those services. The reports focus on controls grouped into five categories called Trust Service Criteria.”
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_and_Organization_Controls

🔒 How Does DeleteMe Compare with Optery in Data Security?

Firstly, Optery has publicly posted a detailed “Statement on Data Security” since Optery’s inception in 2021:

https://www.optery.com/how-we-secure-your-data/

You can learn more about Optery’s data security practices from Optery’s Statement on Data Security, including that Optery has completed its AICPA SOC 2, Type 2 security audit, and makes its audit report available to select Optery for Business corporate customers under NDA.

⚖️ DeleteMe Review Conclusion

In conclusion, DeleteMe is a reputable company that was a pioneer in personal data removal. The DeleteMe product is effective at removing personal information from the limited number of data brokers they cover via their Standard plan, but we believe DeleteMe has fallen behind due to a predominantly manual approach and out-dated technology.

Based on our observations detailed in this review, we encourage prospective DeleteMe customers to be a bit wary and skeptical of DeleteMe’s marketing claims, we regard many of them as slightly misleading under deeper investigation and scrutiny. For example, DeleteMe claiming “We Remove Private Information from 750+ Data Brokers” in big bold font across the top of their “Sites We Cover” page, but then burying at the bottom of the page in a tiny footnote that only ~10% of the 750+ data brokers listed on the page are actually covered by their Standard plan. And advertising a “Free Scan of 40+ Data Brokers”, but only displaying a maximum of 6 data brokers in the scan results.

Optery has more affordable pricing options starting at $3.99 per month for the Optery Core plan vs. DeleteMe starting at $129 per year for the DeleteMe Standard plan. Optery has more comprehensive coverage starting at ~95 data brokers for the Optery Core plan vs. ~60 data brokers for the DeleteMe Standard plan, and Optery offers Unlimited Custom Removals and ~330+ standard covered data brokers via the Optery Ultimate plan. Optery offers Monthly scans and removals by default, whereas DeleteMe’s automated scanning capabilities appeared extremely limited, and Optery offers before and after screenshots proving the work that’s been done, whereas DeleteMe offers no screenshots at all. Optery offers 24/7 real-time removals reporting status updates, but with DeleteMe, you have to wait 3 months for fresh reports on your removals. Optery offers more flexible billing options allowing customers to upgrade or downgrade seamlessly across Monthly or Yearly billing terms, and across Free Basic, Core, Extended, and Ultimate plan tiers, whereas DeleteMe only offers Yearly billing options, and you must speak with a sales person to be quoted on higher level plans. Optery offers more flexible, affordable and seamless product offerings for families and businesses.

But don’t just take our word for it, Optery has been awarded the coveted “Editors’ Choice” by PCMag.com as the most outstanding personal data removal product on the market the last three years in a row in 2022, 2023 and 2024, and Fast Company awarded Optery “Next Big Things in Tech” for Security and Privacy in 2023.

🔍 Appendices

Read below for additional information, screenshots, and links supporting the review above.

🔢 How Many Data Brokers Does DeleteMe REALLY Cover?

DeleteMe claims to remove personal information from over 750+ data brokers. However, upon further investigation, 90% of the “covered” data brokers listed are categorized as “Custom Requests.”

What are Custom Requests? “Custom Requests’, also known as “Custom Removals” refers to a feature offered by privacy services like DeleteMe and Optery, where users can request the removal of their personal information from data broker websites that are not specifically covered in a standard subscription plan.

If you visit DeleteMe’s Sites We Remove From page, across the top of the page, they boldly claim to cover 750+ data brokers with the headline, “We Remove Private Information from 750+ Data Brokers”, but note the fine print at the bottom of the page in the screenshot below. The page also lacks sorting and filtering options, making it difficult for everyday consumers to understand DeleteMe’s coverage, and misleading many into thinking that profiles from all 750+ sites listed will be automatically covered.

DeleteMe Review
Read the Fine Print on What’s Actually Covered Before Purchasing a DeleteMe Subscription – June 2023

Below is a real life example from Reddit of a consumer mistakenly thinking DeleteMe covers all 750+ sites on their Sites We Remove From page:

Reddit user believing DeleteMe’s plan will remove data from over 750 sites – October 2023

Here is a sorted table unpacking the numbers for you showing how many sites are covered by each plan. 90% are Custom Requests and require the DeleteMe customer to find and submit the profile on their own for processing.

DeleteMe Plan Symbol Count
Custom Requests ^ 682
Standard Plan * 36
Platinum and VIP Plans 12
Business Gold, Diamond, Platinum and VIP Plans *** 12
Business Standard and Diamond ** 7
International requests ~ 3
Combination / Not listed *~ 3
Combination / Not listed *** ~ 2
Combination / Not listed ^^ 1
Combination / Not listed **** ~ 1
The list of Data Brokers on DeleteMe’s page breakdown shows 90% of the claimed coverage is Custom Requests. The rest of the industry typically does not claim coverage for Custom Requests in this way.

📝 How Has DeleteMe’s “Sites We Remove From” Changed Over Time?

For at least 3 years, from 2019 to 2021, DeleteMe’s “Sites We Remove From” displayed approximately ~40 data brokers summarizing the the sites they covered. See the screenshot below from the DeleteMe Sites We Remove From page from circa 2020. At that time, DeleteMe was presenting an authentic representation of its data broker coverage in its Standard plan.

DeleteMe Sites We Remove From – circa 2020

However, in 2021 and 2022 DeleteMe started receiving public criticism for offering what amounted to one of the lowest number of data brokers covered in the industry. In response, DeleteMe used what some might refer to as “creative accounting” or “creative marketing” and increased the number of data brokers listed on its Sites We Cover page by nearly 20X almost overnight.

The way this clever representation works, as we understand it, is DeleteMe counted every site they’d ever removed a profile from over the prior 13 years including those submitted via Custom Requests and began advertising all of those sites as “Sites We Removed From”. Notice the clever choice of words “Sites We Removed From” vs. the most industry standard “Sites We Cover”. Never mind that many of the sites listed are no longer in business, or that approximately 90% of the sites are not actually covered by default by any DeleteMe plan.

Year DeleteMe Standard Coverage Archive.org link
2019 38 Source
2020 41 Source
2021 38 Source
2022 Says 580+ Source
2023 Says 750+ Current page
Coverage “headline” number per the DeleteMe website.

The chart below displays the number of data brokers claimed by DeleteMe on its Sites We Cover page over time. Blue indicates Custom Requests, Red indicates data brokers specifically covered by a DeleteMe plan. By claiming Custom Requests, DeleteMe massively inflated its data broker coverage representation as compared to the way it was representing its data broker coverage in the past, and as compared to the way most other personal data removal services such as Optery represent their coverage of data brokers.

🧮 DeleteMe Plans & Pricing

As we understand it, DeleteMe provides four different plans, though this information is not posted publicly: 

  • DeleteMe Standard: This plan removes your information from ~40 sites and processes removals and reports every three months, providing you with a total of 6 reports and removal cycles per year.
  • DeleteMe Gold: This plan removes your information from over 70 sites through privacy reports that are processed every two months, providing you with a total of 6 reports per year.
  • DeleteMe Platinum: This plan removes your information from over 85 data brokers and people search sites through privacy reports that are processed every month. It also includes unlimited custom removal requests and 12 emergency removal requests.
  • DeleteMe VIP: This plan removes your information from over 100 data brokers and people search sites through privacy reports that are processed every month. It also includes unlimited custom removal requests and 12 emergency removal requests.

Plan/Feature Coverage Cost
DeleteMe Standard 40+ sites $129 annually/$209 every two years.
DeleteMe Gold 70+ sites $180 per year per member.
DeleteMe Platinum 85+ sites $1000 per year per member
DeleteMe VIP 100+ sites $5000 per year per member.
DeleteMe Family 2 Person With Standard Plan $229 annually/$349 every two years, Additional discounts available for up to 5+ people.
DeleteMe Business plan Custom. Must contact customer support.

🛠️ Optery’s Free Self-Service DIY Opt Out Tools

In addition to paid subscription plans, Optery also provides all users with a Free Basic plan that includes free quarterly scanning, opt out links, and emails for the self-service approach. The free self-service tools in the Optery Dashboard are a huge time-saver for users who want free scans to see where they are exposed and then click on over to the opt out link for the hundreds of data brokers listed.

Optery Dashboard with Self Service Opt Out Links – June 2023

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