GoButler is Finally Offline. What happened?
Aug 6, 2023
What was GoButler?
GoButler, a data broker known for exposing sensitive personal information and refusing to adhere to removal requests, is no longer online. As one of our long-term adversaries in the data industry, GoButler was involved in aggregating and providing extensive volumes of user data to various parties. The discontinuation of GoButler.com represents a small victory in the ongoing battle for data privacy.
Kanary Members Helped Take Down GoButler
Kanary, along with its dedicated members and the broader privacy community made repeated efforts to contact GoButler, urging the removal of personally identifiable information (PII) from their platform. Despite receiving of over 1,500 complaints, GoButler never responded.
We don’t call it quits when a site is unresponsive though. We’re steadfast in our mission to champion data privacy and advocate for the rights and security of our members, so we continually pursue multiple routes to keep your personal information safe.
The Kanary team quickly moved beyond only sending requests to GoButler and instead sought answers from higher up: their domain registrar, GoDaddy. When members encountered blocked exposures, we asked them to complete the following steps in order to escalate complaints:
We first began sending GoDaddy a complaint via email ([email protected]).
scroll to the bottom of the page to click the "contact Domain Holder" button
add your email
select Admin to contact
select Domain name or content is being used in malware, or for spam or abuse
As our members contacted GoDaddy with hundreds of complaints about GoButler, we received the following email from GoDaddy. They directed us to reach out to Vercel, Inc, who was actually hosting the site.
With that new piece of information, we were able to contact Vercel and notify them that one of their customers was using their platform to host abusive content. We requested that they 1) stop providing services for this customer and 2) if they were able to get in touch with a GoButler admin, forward our removal requests to them.
In response to Kanary's efforts, Vercel confirmed that GoButler's online operations have come to an end with GoButler being removed from the platform.
The removal of GoButler.com from the digital landscape has left us feeling cautiously optimistic. While we can’t yet guarantee the site is down permanently, the millions of pieces of personal information they were hosting are no longer being exposed. While the reasons behind its closure remain undisclosed, the absence of the platform signifies a significant step towards data privacy protection.
Keep Up The Fight
Kanary empowers individuals and businesses to safeguard their digital presence proactively. For more information on how Kanary can help you remove your exposures, visit our How it Works page.
Check out Kanary's Guide for Removal Research for insights and tips on removal research, which helped us bring down a site like GoButler.
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