How to Spot Defamation of Character and Misuse of Personal Information

Is your online information being used to defame you? This article introduces how the Presence Global app enables you to locate your data, decide whether it is misused, and delete the data from undesirable locations.


It is difficult to comprehend how genuinely massive is the amount of personal data exposed on the internet. It’s far easier to be oblivious of this truth. Unfortunately, when a user’s data inevitably is exposed, the consequences can be harmful and long-lasting. The results can include significant harm to an online persona (defamation), one’s character, and even the sense of one’s identity.  

identity theft
Identity theft can lead to defamation of character. Photo by Clint Patterson on Unsplash

Every day, identity theft and online defamation of character continue harm many individuals across the globe. A study by Comparitech published in 2020 found that in the U.S. alone, between 2009 and 2014, a total of 9,600 data breaches were reported. These data breaches resulted in the theft of over 10 billion digital records.  At 5.6 million records lost or stolen from 2005 to 2020, California topped the list.

It seems we’ve put ourselves in a bit of a dilemma. Technology has enabled us to become highly connected but with serious risks from data exposure. Simply by using internet applications, we inadvertently increase the chance that our data will be misused, and this misuse can easily lead to defamation of character.

Data Exposure & Defamation of Character 

Accounts of the exposure and misuse of personal data on the internet indicate that defamation of character is genuinely misunderstood yet has implications for its long-lasting effects. 

Data farmers and data exploiters leverage stolen or purchased personal information. They post ill-gotten personal data on fake websites to generate ad revenue or to make their website seem more legitimate than what it is.  Unfortunately, when a business, employer, or loved one stumbles upon a misrepresentation created by misused personal data, character defamation is the result.

Defamation also can cause background checks to give inaccurate results in the future due to the misuse of personal data. Incorrect background checks can cause an individual to lose an opportunity due to this misuse. Understandably, this is highly concerning when upwards of 90% of businesses conduct a background check as a pre-employment screening.  

We’ve seen the nightmare where individuals have been falsely accused of being a sex offenders. For example, the mistaken identity in one case led to an individual losing his opportunity for affordable (taxpayer-supported) housing and his place on the waiting list even though a case of mistaken identity was proven and should have restored his place on the list. We need a better way of finding and removing our sensitive data misused and misrepresented on the internet.  

Steps to Check if Your Personal Information is Being Misused on the Internet 

defamation of character notice
Defamation of Character: Is your online information being used against you?

At Presence Global, our mission is to:

  • Protect against data misuse and the possibility of incidental defamation of your character
  • Resolve the conflict between wanting the benefits but not the risks of your online life

To help accomplish this mission, our app first provides insight into where your data resides around the internet.  Subsequently, you use the steps in the app for removing your data from undesirable platforms (see the outline of steps in “The Global Presence Process” below).

Our blogs also help with the mission by making you an informed, savvy internet user. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said. “There is no knowledge that is not power.”

If you’re interested in reading more, here are four things Presence can do for you!

The Presence Global Process

Our patent-pending process digs deeper than the typical personal information background check:

  • The Presence Global algorithm extensively searches the internet to uncover the places where your metadata is being used or displayed.
  • After your metadata is discovered, you use the Presence Global removal tool to remove the data from each place you choose. 
  • Presence Global’s platform regularly checks* and updates your account and notifies you if your information is being used without consent.

* The frequency of checks depends on the Presence service you choose.

Next Steps

To learn where your metadata is, download the Presence Global app to start at Apple Corporation’s App Store or the Google Play Store.

Join the Movement #PrivacyFirst

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