How Come I Can’t Search for Celebrities?

And when can I?

This is a more common question than you’d think. Oftentimes, people are testing our data and want to see “how good it actually is.” They’ve already tried searching for themselves and now they’d like to see what comes back for someone else — but who else could they search for? Celebrities come to mind for this mainly because they are popular. So, what’s wrong with searching for a celebrity?

Some privacy, please?


In theory, there is nothing wrong with searching for a celebrity. They are regular people and they’re certainly not above investigation. However, we find that when people search for celebrities, they’re doing so without a legitimate cause. Remember the “Please select a permissible GLBA purpose” dialog you have to click every time you log in? If the search doesn’t fall into one of those categories, you’re legally not allowed to do it!


That’s not to say that there will never be a legitimate reason to search for a high-profile individual, but really… have you ever had a legitimate purpose to look up Obama’s SSN or to check Oprah’s court records?


We have also found that many of the searches for famous names were not actually intended for that person – they just happened to have a similar name. Do you know how many people are named Michael Jordan? A lot!


If you do find yourself in need of researching a famous individual, make sure that you have the necessary documentation to back up your claim and send an alert to our support team first. If any of your searches are flagged, our support team may reach out to you and verify what your GLBA purpose for running the search was.

The authors of the information presented on this page are not attorneys nor are they affiliated with attorneys. The information presented on this page does not constitute legal advice. Before acting on any of the information obtained from this page or any others on this website, please consult your own legal counsel.
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