Much of the data about you which is available has been voluntarily furnished by you in connection with a service or a product that you purchased. What you probably didn’t know was that the information would be made available for purposes other than those which you intended. For example, a mortgage loan application is a very sensitive document. It contains almost every detail of your private financial life, including tax returns and bank account statements. If the information from a mortgage application or other credit application is made available by employees at the lender or by the institution itself for marketing purposes, the material would be integrated into your personal file on the databases forever.
Unlike the credit reporting bureaus that are required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act to furnish you with a copy of your credit report under certain conditions and to correct errors on the report, the look-up services have no such obligations. The subject of a look-up search has no right to see or correct the information presented about him. You may be turned down for employment or insurance or some other service based on inaccurate information received from the look-up service without your knowledge. Unless you are able to subscribe to the particular service or obtain a report, you may never know the extent or the accuracy of the information presented about you.
Although not as comprehensive as the mortgage application, the totality of your subscriptions, warranty cards, purchases, survey responses, and other credit applications provides enough information about you to satisfy even the most diligent investigations. You have voluntarily provided your telephone numbers (listed and unlisted), your checking account number, credit cards, employment, and identifying information on a regular basis throughout your adult life. This information has been stored, assembled, merged, and regularly updated to provide a detailed picture of your personal and financial life.