Have you ever googled yourself and found a slew of results from “people finder” websites with your personal data? These data brokers often profit from selling your information, which can include everything from your social media profiles to your real-world home address.
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 monitoring of the web for your information.
Mozilla Monitor is a relaunch of a previous service from Mozilla, formerly known as Firefox Monitor. Originally, the free service just monitored the web to find instances of when your email was involved in a data breach. The focus seemed to be on vulnerability to potential identity theft since such data breaches could leak a person’s usernames and passwords as well as credit card or social security numbers. The latest version of this service, Mozilla Monitor, still offers this feature, but now includes data broker monitoring as well.
Data brokering is big business with estimates putting the industry at more than $200 billion in revenue each year — so there’s a lot at stake as Mozilla rolls out this feature.
Most people don’t realize that they can actually opt-out of being included by data brokers. However, getting your information removed can be a tedious process, involving a separate request to each individual data brokering website.
There are existing companies that offer removal services similar to Mozilla Monitor, but none are as big or well known as the organization behind Firefox. Perhaps with Mozilla offering such a service, more people will become aware of just how much of their private information is on the internet and for sale.