The data minimization specialist Incogni is officially extending its services to Canada. The company’s platform already offers support for consumers in Switzerland, the European Union, the US, and the UK.
In terms of utility, Incogni’s solution is designed to make it easier for people to get their personal information removed from platforms that collect and sell consumer data for marketing and other purposes. According to Incogni, at least 115 of those data brokers are currently operating in Canada, and it can be extremely time-consuming to go to each broker to ask to be deleted from their platforms, especially if each one has a different opt out procedure.
It’s also impossible to opt out if consumers are not even aware that a firm is collecting their information, and the likelihood of overlooking one increases with the number brokers. Ingocni’s solution allows people to unsubscribe from all of those platforms at the same time, and in doing so makes it much easier for consumers to protect their privacy.
As it relates to privacy law, Incogni noted that data brokers that operate in Canada need to give consumers the ability to opt out to comply with the country’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). That law also forces brokers to delete that data if someone exercises their right to be forgotten. Individual consumers can similarly stop companies from selling their information, and can ask to view any information that the company may have on file.
“Data privacy is becoming an increasingly alarming issue, yet many people are still unaware of the hidden market that data brokers operate in,” said Incogni Head Darius Belejevas. “The actual process of taking back data has been shown to be extremely tedious. It requires legal knowledge and lots of persistence.”
Incogni’s system offers coverage for data collected in both online and offline settings, all of which is used to put together highly detailed (and potentially compromising) personal profiles that includes everything from home addresses to political affiliations. The majority of Canadians believe that they are knowledgeable about their privacy rights, and are more likely to trust a company that adheres to PIPEDA regulations. However, even knowledgeable consumers may have trouble keeping tabs on brokers that operate under the radar.