Why can’t I search for celebrities?

And when can I?

Believe it or not, this is actually a more common question than you’d think. Often times people are testing our data and want to see “how good it actually is.” They’ve already tried searching themselves and now they’d like to see what comes back for someone else. But who… Unfortunately, celebrities often pop into people’s heads for this task – after all, they are popular and do immediately come to mind. So what’s wrong with searching for a celebrity?

Some privacy, please?

Some privacy, please?

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

We have also found that a large number of the searches for high-profile individuals 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!

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


In the event that you do find yourself in need of researching a famous individual, just 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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