New services like Incogni enforce your rights and help you delete your personal data from the internet. Here is how it works!
Once your data is on the internet, it can be difficult to remove. However, difficult does not mean impossible. Services like Incogni can assist with this process. I tried Incogni and evaluated whether it’s worth the money. Here is my in-depth review of how to delete your personal data from the internet with Incogni!
How does Incogni delete your personal data from the internet?
Incogni contacts data brokers that collect and sell personalized data and demands the deletion on your behalf. They use regulations like GDPR, CCPA, and other applicable privacy laws to clear your data from those databases.
The number of brokers is so large that it would take hundreds of hours to contact and deal with all of them. Incogni saves you time and trouble by handling this for you. Additionally, they send deletion requests every 3 to 4 months to ensure that brokers do not index your data again.
You can see the current progress in your Incogni dashboard:
Sometimes, you will receive emails with additional information about the process, but in general, you don’t need to take any action.
To delete your personal data from the internet Incogni offers two subscription models with an annual and a monthly one. It’s $12.99 per month while the annual plan currently offers a 50% discount leading to only $6.49 per month, but you pay 12 months (equals to $77.88 with the discount) right now.
It’s also a good idea to test the service for a few months. Some brokers respond within a few hours, while others take weeks to respond.
Why is it important to delete your personal data from the internet?
Personal data is the currency of the 21st century. While some people are comfortable with their data being sold and used for advertising purposes, others are not. They are concerned about potential scenarios such as impersonation, fraud, and other misuse of their data.
Data brokers collect data by gathering information from various sources such as public records, social media, surveys, and online activity. After that, they then organize and sell this data to companies, advertisers, and other third parties for marketing and other purposes.
Whenever you are online you put yourself at risk that your data is collected!
This is not that much of a problem when it’s about the phone you use or when the latest update was installed. However, personal data is sensitive and nobody should collect it!
Public awareness for data protection is increasing, and governments are releasing new laws to strengthen people’s rights. Regulations like GDPR, CCPA, or PIPEDA can help you to take back control. Incogni helps you to delete your personal data from the internet.
Here are some benefits you might receive when using the service:
- Fewer email scams or spam
- Fewer phone scams
- Lower risk of being impersonated
- Lower risk of other scams
What I like about Incogni
1️⃣ Full automation
Right after you purchase a subscription, you see the first requests being sent out. They start immediately with the work. Imagine the time you would spend contacting all those brokers, dealing with their responses, and hassling with their processes. I like automation, and I appreciate how Incogni is handling it all for me.
2️⃣ Clean UI and dashboard
The dashboard shows the current progress and offers a detail view to get more information about a broker and the data status.
3️⃣ Everything is quick
I purchased an annual subscription, entered my information, and within just 24 hours, I noticed that two brokers had already been marked as completed. And just one week later, a third of all contacted brokers have deleted my data. The customer support team responded within one business day and was transparent about the capabilities of their service.
Drawbacks of the service
Not everything is perfect with Incogni. Here is a list of cons that I identified. They might only be problematic for me and they also might get addressed in the future when the service gets improved. I will update this review when new information is available.
The following countries are supported right now:
- UK and Northern Ireland
- All EU countries
You can only use the service if you are a resident of one of the countries on the list. However, Incogni is currently working on adding more countries to the list.
2️⃣ Pricing model
There are two subscription models available with annual payment (12 month subscription) and monthly payment (1 month subscription).
Incogni sends out recurring requests every 3-4 months, making a subscription the most practical option. However, I believe that a one-time payment option would also be useful, even though there are no current plans to offer it.
If you cancel your subscription and have pending requests, they will still be completed. This seems fair!
Currently, you can only create one data set per account for Incogni to issue deletion requests. Multiple phone numbers, residential addresses (current or former), or email accounts are not supported at this time.
I spoke with customer support and they said that this is a high-priority feature and that they are currently working on it. Let’s see if there is progress in the future regarding this.
What Incogni can’t do
Incogni works with data brokers that collect and sell your data. They send out requests based on data protection laws and save you the trouble of handling it. That is how they delete your personal data from the internet.
However, Incogni cannot help you with social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or others, if you choose to publish your data on these platforms.
It is not a “I made a horrible picture and don’t want people to share it” service. However, if the networks partner with data brokers and sell your data to them, Incogni can at least prevent its usage.
We have learned how to delete your personal data from the internet with Incogni. The service seems good, reliable, and fast. But is it worth it?
I honestly don’t know. It depends how you value your privacy. The annual subscription is around $78 dollars, so that’s cheaper than Netflix. Money shouldn’t be the issue I believe. Just ask yourself these questions:
- Do you frequently enter your phone number, credit card information, or residential address on apps or websites?
- Do you receive a lot of spam emails or text messages?
- Have you ever been successfully scammed?
If you answer yes to at least one question, you should use Incogni. They won’t delete everything, but they will mitigate your risk.