July 25, 2017

FAQS – About PrivacyDuck (General Info)

PrivacyDuck Frequently Asked Questions

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Updated December 19, 2017

Q: Who Are You?

A: PrivacyDuck is a for-profit, privately-owned privacy advocacy company based in Los Angeles, California (we originally were founded in San Francisco). We focus on the removal of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as name, dob/age, address, prior addresses, phone numbers, emails, relatives names, real estate records, etc. from people search, people search aggregate, genealogy, voter registration, real estate evaluation, fictitious court record, and vehicle search websites; we also help consumers with eliminating automated phone calls and unwanted solicitations via email and United States mail.

We do this via two methods: Free Resources and Paid Opt-Out Services.

Our Free Resources encompass blog entries, free PDF guides, and free YouTube instructional videos demonstrating how to remove your PII from sites exposing your personal information.

Our Paid Opt-Out Services are paid services in which we do the work on your behalf in an experienced, efficient, and responsible manner. Our Paid Opt-Out Services are offered on three levels: Starter Privacy (12 Sites with 6 months of reporting & monitoring for $99 for two people), Basic Privacy (86 sites with one year of reporting & monitoring at $499 for two people), and VIP Privacy (167+ sites with one year of reporting & monitoring at $999 for two people).

Q: Who Is Behind PrivacyDuck?

PrivacyDuck was founded in November 2013 by Will McAdam, an experienced data privacy professional and web services consultant. The company was joined by Vice President August Skyheart in October 2014, followed by Director of Operations Nicole Franklin in July 2017. A small staff of expertly-trained privacy professionals work alongside Will, August, and Nicole, in their secure Greater Los Angeles, California offices.

Q: Can I Come Meet With You In Person? In Your Office or Over Coffee?

A: Our publicized West Hollywood address is only a mailing location - we work out of two secure locations in the Wilshire District of Los Angeles and the City of Anaheim. For security reasons - including protection of your information and our own physical safety - we do not publicize or release our actual work locations. Personal meetings in the Los Angeles / Orange County area are extremely rare and highly vetted before taking place. If you are interested and in need of a personal meeting, please email services@privacyduck.com

Q: Do You Offer Any Discounts?

A: Yes, we offer various discounts for need-based individuals across a variety of categories. Please see the Discount Programs section of our site for complete details and instructions.

Q: How Involved is Will in Daily Operations?

A: Will McAdam is the voice behind our very popular YouTube instructional opt-out videos and the host of “This Week in Privacy”, our weekly vlog. He is also the founder and President of PrivacyDuck. He is also - very much so - a working president. He is involved in the daily operations of PrivacyDuck on every level, is engaged on front-level work, and may even be the one you speak to if calling in with a question.

Q: Why Did PrivacyDuck Start?

A: PrivacyDuck was founded by Will McAdam for two reasons: 1) to combat the proliferation of people search sites and data aggregation companies presenting a harmful situation to people, and 2) to fulfill an unmet need: a company that offered both education and paid services that kept up with the ever-evolving privacy problem (75 sites in 2013 have grown to 167+ as of December 2017, with a peak time of 323 sites in July 2017).

Q: What Makes You Different Than ReputationDefender, DeleteMe, & SafeShepherd?

A: There’s quite a bit that makes PrivacyDuck stand out from our competitors! The biggest is our approach: 1) we are education- and advocacy-focused, 2) we don’t pretend to hold the only keys to a public problem, and 3) we absolutely refuse to use scare tactics or fear-based manipulation in our marketing or efforts (verifiable by the content on our blogs and YouTube). We also believe in full transparency: we’re the only company that lists out exactly where we delete you from and the only ones to provide custom-notated reporting on each of the 323+ sites holding public information online.

There’s also other important things that make us stand out … such as being the only company to not outsource, contract, or rely on AI to handle your personal information. In other words, we’re a group of real people in Los Angeles doing real work. Read or download our Comparisons Guide to see a documented, notated comparison chart on how PrivacyDuck stands against ReputationDefender, DeleteMe, and SafeShepherd.

Q: What Makes You Different from OneRep.com?

A: Nearly everything - from business approach to ethics of data handling. For starters, they have and continue to sell and display your Personally Identifiable Information via Nuwber.com (we caught them red-handed doing this on OneRep’s actual site). They are also based in the Eastern European country of Belarus, on the Russian border. We’re not xenophobic and we’re not against a global economy - however, some things (like your privacy and information) doesn’t need to be in Eastern Europe. See our Comparisons section for documented evidence of these claims.

Q: What Kind of People Join PrivacyDuck?

A: The variety of people whom join PrivacyDuck all have one major thing in common: a desire and/or need to have their Personally Identifiable Information (PII) off commonly-accessible people search sites. These needs and desires range from personal preference to safety concerns to preventive measures. Clients of PrivacyDuck come from all walks of life, creeds, professions, and lifestyles. Many of our clients are average individuals just seeking protection and/or privacy for themselves and their families. Some of our clients work in management and other visible positions and wish to prevent harassment. Others are career professionals in the legal, medical, entertainment, and law enforcement realms whom need their information removed for safety reasons. Others include activists, domestic violence and cyberbullying victims, at-risk-of-harm individuals in the LGBTQ and POC activism communities, and identity theft victims.

Q: Do You Ever Turn Away Clients?

A: This doesn’t happen often, though the responsibility to do so has unfortunately arisen. Why? PrivacyDuck - as a privacy advocacy company - is built on a set of values that consists of doing the right thing. As such we do not extend our energy or resources - for any amount of money - to help people hide information whom have brought purposeful harm or violence to others. We do not work with individuals whom, through initial conversations or the course of work, we discover have: been convicted of defrauding the public, been convicted of a serious violent crime, or have been convicted of bringing harm to a minor in any fashion. We also immediately turn away individuals whom we discover have openly perpetuated, encouraged, or taken part in online or physical world hate speech and/or violence against any minor (cyberbullying, etc), or towards any person/persons based on ethnicity, religion, creed, sexual identity, sexual orientation, gender, age, and/or geographic location. Discovery of these instances during service will result in the immediate cancellation of service with no refund eligibility.

Read More of Our FAQs!:

There's also answer to many more questions - along with info on our company, comparisons of us against other companies, and detailed process information in our 2017 PrivacyDuck Process & Services Guide (free PDF download). Of course we'd also love to speak with you - call us at 415-320-1845 or send an email to services@privacyduck.com.