Incogni’s mission remains unchanged: to empower you to regain control of the personal information on the web that circulates about you, often without your knowledge. Everything you’ve provided to various services you use (such as social networks, online stores, and sometimes official sites) could potentially have leaked, been hacked, or been acquired from databases. These databases are then sold to so-called data brokers, who aggregate data to create highly detailed profiles of each internet user.
We often feel unaffected, but consider how many unsolicited emails or text messages you receive daily. Unexpected phone calls or texts? Although anti-spam filters typically work well with most providers, we might not fully realize that our information is still accessible.
Email addresses, phone numbers, first and last names, and sometimes physical addresses or frequented locations, hobbies, browsing history, etc. It’s evident why this poses a problem. It’s not about hiding something but rather about not wanting everyone to have access to our details, especially when it’s exploited for spam marketing campaigns.
In short, Incogni has remained steadfast in its mission and now offers various comprehensive options. They’ve maintained focus on their core service and enhanced it over months of feedback. This includes expanding the number of data brokers they monitor, going from 146 last year to over 180 today. Additionally, they continue providing valuable advice on privacy and online security through their blog (which you should read for some great insights).
The service retains its simplicity and user-friendly nature. You only need to complete a few steps; they take care of the rest. After creating an account and selecting the information you want removed, you grant them permission to contact the brokers on your behalf. That’s it! The interface remains intuitive, and you can easily track the progress of the process.
Subsequently, they scan the nearly 200 brokers in their database and contact them individually if they possess information about you. Incogni applies pressure on these brokers, leveraging applicable laws and penalties (such as GDPR in Europe or CCPA in the USA) in case of refusal. Most brokers comply and remove the data within two months. Ongoing monitoring ensures your information isn’t added back a few weeks or months later as long as you maintain the subscription to the service ($6.5/month).
While it’s possible to attempt this process manually, it requires finding the email addresses of brokers to contact, which isn’t always straightforward. Plus, it’s time-consuming, and you likely have better things to do (like rewatching Stargate SG-1 from start to finish for the 8th time). Incogni claims to save over 300 hours of your time, and I take their word for it, although I haven’t personally tested this stat 😉
Regarding my test, what were the results? The tool identified 90 brokers with my information, and 18 removed me within 4-5 days. I let the process continue without much intervention, and 67 brokers have responded positively as of now. In the meantime, Incogni discovered three additional brokers, bringing the total to 93, and only 26 remain uncooperative. So, around 72% of brokers complied.
In a new feature, we can now access a list of default suppressions (visible on the right side of the image under “suppression list entries”). This indicates the number of data brokers that will no longer collect, exchange, or store information about you. A log provides details about the organizations and the dates of their actions.
Honestly, it’s incredibly useful. This feature allows us to monitor attempts to add us back after a few months. The detailed view enables locating each broker, considering their risk level, how they use our information, the number of requests sent, resolution time, etc. The only missing piece is the broker’s specific information about us (whether it’s just an email or more).
Although the most active period is expected in the initial weeks, the current rate seems to be around 5 to 10 removals per month, which is significant.
Since my initial test, numerous major tech sites have covered Surfshark‘s service. This coverage spans from Cybernews to PC Mag, Techradar, and closer to us, Next Inpact, Frandroid, Mac G & Co. The feedback has generally been positive, both for the service and its pricing (which falls within the lower average of the market). The same goes for individual users who rate it 4.2/5 on Trustpilot.