Have you ever searched Google and found tons of results on people search websites containing your personal data? These data brokers often profit from selling your information, which can include everything from your social media profiles to your actual home address.
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Mozilla offers both a free plan that will scan the web to find where your information is listed, as well as a paid plan that will take the extra step of automatically removing these listings from data broker websites. The paid plan, Mozilla Monitor Plus, costs $13.99 per month, or $8.99 per month if paid annually. This plan also includes continuous web monitoring for your information.
Mozilla Monitor is a relaunch of a previous service from Mozilla, formerly known as Firefox Monitor. Originally, the free service simply monitored the web for instances where your email was involved in a data breach. The focus seemed to be on vulnerability to potential identity theft, as such data breaches could expose a person's usernames and passwords as well as their credit card or Social Security numbers . The latest version of this service, Mozilla Monitor, still offers this functionality, but now also includes monitoring of data brokers.
Data brokerage is big business, with estimates placing the industry at more than $200 billion in revenue every year – so the stakes are high as Mozilla rolls out this feature.
Most people don't realize that they can actually opt out of being included in data brokers. However, deleting your information can be a tedious process, involving a separate request to each data brokerage website.
There are existing companies that offer removal services similar to Mozilla Monitor, but none are as large or as well-known as the organization behind Firefox. Perhaps with Mozilla offering such a service, more people will become aware of how much of their private information is on the Internet and for sale.