New Discover Credit Card Benefit: Online Privacy Protection (Removes Personal Info from People-Search Websites)

Updated at 1:30pm PT on 8/9: I received an email this morning that Discover “helped remove 3 private data records”.  From start to finish, the entire process took about 2 weeks from initial scan to data records removed.  Scroll to the bottom to see the update.


Updated at 4:30pm PT on 7/28: I logged into my Discover app today and saw that 1 of my requests was already completed.  That was really fast!  Scroll to the bottom to see the update.


Good afternoon everyone.  I received an interesting email from Discover yesterday about a new credit card benefit called Online Privacy Protection.  I know online privacy is not super sexy, but I decided to check it out and see if it was something useful.  With all the data breaches and hacks / leaks out there, I know it’s impossible to get all of my personal info back, but if I can make it harder for hackers and scammers to get my info, I’m all for it.

Long story short, Discover uses a third party service that scans the 10 most popular “people-search” websites for your personal info, based on the personal info that Discover has on file for you.   If you have ever searched a person’s name on Google, you will usually see 4-5 “people-search” websites at the top of the search results.  These websites aggregate data and show your name, age, address, email address, and relatives.  They make money by selling your data to marketers and data brokers.  With Discover’s Online Privacy Protection service, you can request to have the service reach out to these websites and remove your personal info.  I’ll share the FAQs with you and show you what it found for me.

This is the landing page for the Online Privacy Protection service.  To enroll in the service, you will need to download and sign into the Discover app (iOS or Android).

Once you sign into the Discover app, scroll down and click on the Online Privacy Protection button.  I forgot to take a screenshot before I ran my initial scan, but the entire scan took less than 1 minute.  Before I share the results, let’s skim through the FAQ section so you can learn more about the service.

I summarized how the service works at the top of the page, but the key thing for me is that “Discover could reduce the number of unwanted phone calls and emails you receive and help safeguard you against identity theft.”

Here are the 10 “people-search” websites and I recognize a few of them from Google.  It was also interesting to learn that people with the same full name or common last name can have misinformation applied to your account.  So if you share the same name of a person with large debts or unpaid bills, your information may be attached to their profile, resulting in you receiving unwanted calls and texts from bill collectors.  The information is not user provided, so it usually contains outdated and incorrect information.

Here is info on the “opt-out” process.

After my initial scan, the service found 3 records for me.  I went through the 3 records and 2 of them were completely wrong

Maybe these are my long lost relatives… or maybe they are just random people with the common last name Thomas.

Either way, it was really easy to request to have all the information removed from that service.  Based on the FAQs, the request could take 1-3 months, so don’t expect immediate results.  I received this confirmation email from Discover and I assume I will receive another email once my request has been approved.

A few days after submitting the request to have my information removed from the “people-search” websites, I logged back into the Discover app to check on the Online Privacy Protection service.  Much to my surprise, 1 of my requests was already completed.  I didn’t receive an email about the update, so I’m not sure how quickly my request was completed.  I will keep checking back every week to see if the other 2 requests get completed.

On August 9, I received this email from Discover that they “helped remove 3 private data records”.

I signed into the Discover app and it shows the 3 requests were completed.  The entire process took about 2 weeks from the initial scan and deletion request.

If you have any questions about the Online Privacy Protection service, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

P.S. If you are not a Discover customer, I highly recommend the Discover It Credit Card (currently offering a $100 sign up bonus after your first purchase) or the Discover It Miles Credit Card (currently earns 1.5x miles on every purchase and will double the number of miles you earn after your first year).

10 thoughts on “New Discover Credit Card Benefit: Online Privacy Protection (Removes Personal Info from People-Search Websites)

      1. Meg

        I had 9. I used to be a licensed attorney so that’s all public info. Retired now so want to take it all down.

        Reply
        1. Grant Post author

          Gotcha, that makes sense. I hope they are able to scrub all that info off the websites for you. Let me know if you run into any problems and I will post an update if I run into any problems too.

          Reply
  1. smilie

    I was really excited about this at first, but I am beginning to think that Google & Apple will “accidentally” record the financial verification information provided on the app intended for the Discover app alone. For example, Google/Apple might intend to simply copy date of birth or address information, but actually copy every piece of data passed through the app. But thanks for sharing; I’m sure it’s useful to those who are interested.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Smilie, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the service. Do you feel this way about other apps too?

      I’m not an app developer so I’m not sure what information is passed through Google or Apple, but I assumed the info was encrypted and sent to / through the Discover servers only.

      Reply
      1. Chris

        The majority were correct, however there were a couple which had me living in a city I’ve never lived and having relatives that I’ve never heard of. Also my age varied so I’m thinking there is someone else with my exact name that’s four years younger and lives in another city.

        Reply

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