There are plenty of legitimate reasons why folks might use a people-search website like Whitepages.com or Spokeo.
Maybe you're organizing a 20-year high school reunion and want to find email addresses for lost classmates. Maybe you're meeting up with a blind date from Tinder and want to make sure the cute guy in the pic doesn't have a criminal record. Or maybe you're an investigative journalist trying to contact a hard-to-reach source.
Or maybe, just maybe, you're a creep. And the reason you want that personal information is to stalk an ex, make harassing phone calls to an adversary, or "dox" a public figure by releasing their home address and phone number to an army of online trolls.
For $10 or less, anyone with a credit card can log in to one of hundreds of people-search websites and download a detailed background report on just about any other person in the United States. Those reports will include phone numbers, email addresses, home addresses, the names of spouses and family relations, criminal records and other public records like marriage records and bankruptcies.
What if you don't want that information out there? Is there a way to delete your information from people-search websites for privacy or security reasons? The answer, we found out, is a resounding (and disappointing) "sort of."