Surfshark is constantly working on new privacy tools and services. That’s why we can proudly present Incogni. What does it do? It contacts data brokers on your behalf with requests to delete the data they have on you, helping you escape the clutches of online marketing. Let us explain this all in more detail.
What are data brokers?
Data brokers collect data on you from anywhere they can: public records, apps you use, services you log in to – the works. Such data can include names, ages, genders, phone numbers, as well as a wide variety of interests.
All of that allows them to create an intrusive portrait of you – and then sell it to marketers or anyone else willing to pay for it. These third parties can then even use it for tailored marketing campaigns or other business decisions.
The data broker business is booming, as the market was worth 233 billion in 2019, and has only grown since. Luckily, there are some regulations in place that allow you to request that your data be deleted… but it isn’t that easy in practice.
How do I get the brokers to delete my data?
There are two main laws that mandate the brokers to delete your data on request: the European GDPR and the Californian CCPA.
However, it’s not that easy. With money on the line, companies can sometimes try to avoid complying with data removal requests by making you jump through some hoops, which costs time.
Requesting data to be removed from each company individually is a wild goose chase. With hundreds of data brokers registered in the US alone, it would take dozens of well-placed opt-out requests to take a single person’s data off the market. Incogni estimates that it would take 304 hours to complete even a single round of opt-out requests.
Here’s where Surfshark and Incogni come in. The Incogni team, equipped with the legal experience you may not have, will speed this process up for you. Instead of having to read through reams of legalese and having to remember which brokers answered emails at all, you’ll be able to simply observe the process via our updates.
How does Incogni work?
We’ve endeavoured to make registering with Incogni as easy as possible. You just need to follow the registration process:
Step 1: Fill out a form with your contact information.
Step 2: Authorize Incogni to deal with data brokers on your behalf.
Step 3: Confirm your email and that’s it. You’re good to go!
Once you’re set up, the Incogni team will contact data brokers on your behalf to request your personal data to be removed from their databases.
You will be able to follow the progress on:
- how many companies were contacted;
- which companies have deleted your data;
- which companies are in the process of deleting your data.
What data brokers does Incogni cover?
Incogni strives to continually improve its service by adding to the list of data brokers it covers. Currently, it removes data from 60+ people search sites and 120 other data brokers, making Incogni one of the market’s most comprehensive personal information removal services. It covers all broker types, including:
- Marketing data brokers;
- Recruitment data brokers;
- Financial information data brokers;
- Risk mitigation data brokers;
- People search sites.
The latest upgrade the Incogni team has made was adding people search site removals. What are they?
People search sites are a type of public data broker that give total strangers access to your personal information, from contact details to interests. These websites expose people to stalking, harassment, discrimination, scams, and identity theft. Taking your personal information off these sites greatly reduces your chances of becoming a target.
What regions is Incogni available in?
For now, due to being dependent on local data handling legislation, Incogni is available only in the United states, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Switzerland, and Canada.
Incogni is also part of the CR Digital Lab initiative, working together with multiple companies to develop a Data Rights Protocol that will provide a standard method for consumers to exercise their data rights under the California Consumer Privacy Act and beyond.
Start recovering your privacy today
The data brokers are out there, always watching, always scraping your data. They rest safe, knowing that reclaiming your privacy would be a long and annoying process. But it doesn’t have to be – get Incogni to do it for you.