Incogni, a tool that helps users delete their data from data brokers is now available in Canada
Hundreds of companies in Canada are collecting citizens’ personal data, using, profiling them, and even disclosing the information, without people knowing anything about it. Surfshark recently launched data privacy tool Incogni which will help Canadians get their personal data off the market easier. It will allow people to bypass drawn-out data removal procedures and delete information from data broker sites much quicker.
Incogni identified 115 data brokers that collect personal information of Canadians everywhere they go online. With the data points they collect, these companies create and sell intrusive personal profiles with a frightening level of personal details such as home addresses, information about relatives, and even political affiliations. Good news is that more than six of 10 Canadians claim to be knowledgeable of their privacy rights as good or very good. In contrast, just under one in five Canadians rated their knowledge of their privacy rights as poor, survey of Canandians Privacy-Related issues shows.
Incogni allows users to exercise their right to be forgotten and delete information from various databases more easily. Previously, the service was only available in the US, EU, UK, and Switzerland with Canada being the latest addition.
“Data privacy is becoming an increasingly alarming issue, yet many people are still unaware of the hidden market that data brokers operate in. As the sensitivity and scope of the data they possess widen, so does the need to be able to opt out of it. However, based on recent studies, the actual process of taking back data has been shown to be extremely tedious. It requires legal knowledge and lots of persistence,” says Darius Belejevas, Head of Incogni.
Even knowing that data brokers hold sensitive private information, many people still may have not fully exercised their right to opt out. Based on the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), that sets out principles to which organizations must abide, including principles of accountability, consent, accuracy and safeguards, as well as limiting collection, use, disclosure, and retention, people can request to see and delete the personal information collected about them or request their information not be sold.
Considering that so many brokers hold your private information, keeping it safe or protected from being compromised online can seem like an impossible task. Here are a few simple steps you can take to protect it:
- check your credit reports regularly,
- use strong passwords,
- reduce paper bills and establish online statements from banks,
- shred old documents,
- use secure websites and Wi-Fi,
- don’t carry sensitive documents unless necessary,
- watch for phishing emails for sensitive information,
- and beware of unknown callers.