Incogni Review 2024 — Does It Really Delete Your Data?
Incogni is a data removal service provided by Surfshark that automates the process of sending requests to data brokers to delete your data. But does it really deliver on its promise? In this Incogni review, I tested each aspect of the service to ensure that it worked as promised.
Data brokers dig through public databases and other online sources to create personal profiles they can sell. They often hold significant amounts of your personal data that could risk your safety and privacy online. Although having this data isn't illegal, these brokers are obligated to remove your data upon request.
After testing it out, I recommend Incogni for data removal. It’s a user-friendly and effective tool for removing personal data from brokers. It’s also affordable and is backed by Surfshark's pro-privacy reputation.
Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings
- Easy to set up and use. I found Incogni straightforward to use. See how to start deleting your data here.
- An affordable service. Incogni is cheaper than most competitors on the market. Find out how much its monthly vs. annual plans are here.
- Money-back guarantee. You can test Ingoni for 30 days and get a full refund if you're not happy with it. See how to request your money back here.
- Requires a lot of personal information. You need to give it much more data than a VPN service requires. See why Incogni requires your information here.
- Not designed for security. I didn’t find any security features when using Incogni. See what to expect with Incogni here.
- No 24/7 chat support. I was disappointed that I couldn’t get instant help. See how you can contact support here.
How Does Incogni Work?
Incogni enforces data protection laws to get brokers to delete your data. It makes sure laws like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are followed by contacting various brokers with your information.
It works with over 180+ data brokers, and that number keeps growing. Lately, it has also begun removing data from about 66 US People Search sites.
When registering, you must provide all the required details (such as your full name, phone number, email, birth date, and location) on the Personal Information screen and the subsequent Address Information screen. Its special algorithm uses your data to determine which companies might have your information and automatically contacts them. If a specific data broker doesn't have details about people in your area, the algorithm might not send out requests.
Once you give them your information, Incogni will email data brokers requesting they remove any linked data. They wait for written confirmation before considering your request completed. When I registered to test the service, I couldn’t provide much information since I’m based outside of Incogni’s jurisdiction. However, Incogni still let me set up an account so it could contact companies flagged to have my data.
This process takes time, and it won't happen instantly. A week after I signed up, Incogni had completed 23 official data removal requests, and 48 were still pending. Although I couldn't verify the specific details the brokers removed, this progress really impressed me because these brokers aren’t known for replying quickly to requests.
However, I was concerned when data brokers bypassed Incogni security measures and contacted me directly.
According to Surfshark's instructions, apparently getting emails like this is normal. If you see firstname.lastname@example.org in the recipient list, you don't need to take any action. But if you receive a direct email without a copy sent to Incogni, just reply stating that Surfshark is handling your removal process. Make sure to CC the Surfshark email address when you reply.
Incogni also provides a simple and direct overview of the data collected by each broker and how it's used. I discovered multiple companies collecting various details about people. This includes names, phone numbers, addresses, employment history, credit information, and more. They use this data for financial, insurance, recruitment, or advertising purposes.
Data brokers’ collections are classified into colored categories and scores to measure their sensitivity, with lower scores indicating less sensitive information and higher scores signifying more sensitive data.
Please note that Incogni operates exclusively in the UK, the US, Canada, and the EU due to the specific jurisdictions covered by these regulations. In addition, most brokers take 30-45 days to respond to a removal request.
Set Up — Straightforward
I found the setup process to be incredibly easy. There’s no app to download and install. Instead, everything is done through Incogni’s website. You just need to sign up with your email and create a password. Once you verify your email, you’ll fill out the empty fields with the additional information to help identify your records.
Once done, you'll see a screen displaying the number of data brokers that could potentially have your data. When I signed up, I didn’t need to provide additional information to get the process up and running. I only created my account with my email and password, and the process of removing my data started automatically. If you’re within Incogni’s jurisdiction, you’ll enter a few more details, but the process is similar.
Incogni's interface is intuitive and minimalistic. At the top of the account pages there are 2 options: Detailed View and Help. When you click Detailed View, you will see a list of all the specific data brokers. The list contains essential info about the brokers and the sensitivity of the data they hold. I found this useful since it told me which companies I should be worried about.
There is also information about the status of the request. Incogni uses different ways to mark the progress of your data removal. If the company has removed or never had your information, it will be marked as "Completed." If the process is still ongoing, you'll see "In Progress." And if the data removal process hasn't started yet, you'll see "Not started" as the status.
In case the data broker refuses to delete your data, it will be marked as "Rejected." I didn’t have any rejected requests, which I was happy about.
But I’m not complaining because it contains everything that I need.
The most significant option is the Profile page, which lets you update your personal information and address. You can also access the authorization form you previously signed in.pdf format. You can also check your subscription status by clicking the Subscription button. It’s all quite self-explanatory, and I appreciate the lack of a learning curve with a process that can get bogged down in so many details.
Security — Not Meant for Security
Incogni doesn’t offer much in terms of security. However, I don’t think this is an issue since this tool isn’t designed to provide any security. If you need security online, check out this list of VPNs offering military-grade security features.
Incogni assists you in reclaiming your personal information from data brokers to regain your online privacy. By reducing how much of your data is scattered around, Incogni helps shield you from hackers and prying eyes. In its own way, this is a method to keep you safe online. However, I recommend you use it in combination with a premium VPN.
Privacy — Great for Privacy
Incogni requests certain sensitive information from you. However, this data is essential to verify if any data brokers have your data and to confirm its removal. I can understand why this could make some people uncomfortable, especially if they’re concerned about cybersecurity. But, it’s a necessary evil for this type of process.
How Much Information Does Incogni Store?
Incogni collects the necessary information to identify you in order to make requests. Such information includes your full name, address, and date of birth. Make sure to provide Incogni with precise details for the best results. Otherwise, data brokers may reject your removal requests.
I was a little concerned when I discovered that I had to sign an authorization form giving Incogni “limited power of attorney.” But according to Incogni, the power of attorney form is crucial as it legally empowers Surfshark to handle official data removal requests on your behalf.
After carefully reviewing the document, I found nothing suspicious or unrelated to the service provided. However, after reviewing VPNs for so long, I must admit it still made me a little uncomfortable.
How Does Incogni Protect Your Privacy?
Incogni claims that it puts your privacy at the heart of everything. However, I was still concerned since signing up requires a significant amount of information. But as I stated earlier, this is necessary as its internal algorithm needs the information you provide to determine which data brokers are likely to have your data.
It focuses on reaching out only to brokers that are reasonably expected to possess your information. For example, if a data broker doesn't collect data within your area, Incogni will not contact them. This targeted approach helps streamline the process and ensures efficient communication with relevant data brokers.
After I provided some basic information, Incogni showed that it only suspected 76 data brokers had my data. This is less than half of the data brokers that Incogni has on its list. My only concern is that this is more of a guesswork, and Incogni doesn’t know for sure which broker has your data and what type of data they have. Since it doesn’t know what it’s looking for, it can also be hard to double-check if brokers have removed your information.
Companies must follow data removal requests within specific time frames — usually 30 days under GDPR or 45 days under CCPA. Incogni claims that many companies do comply within these periods. However, if they fail to do so, Incogni will make every effort to address the issue, which might take a few weeks or even months to resolve.
While I wish there was a more foolproof way for Incogni to scrub the internet of your data, there isn’t one. The companies that sell your data for a profit obviously don’t want to be asked to delete it. There are also tons of these brokers out there. So, I believe it uses the best methods available now, and I’m encouraged that it continues to add more brokers to its list.
Overall, I really like Incogni because it reclaims your privacy while saving you time. It handles companies that collect your data and deletes it for you. It's like a convenient, big red button that removes your personal information and enforces data privacy laws. You don't have to contact anyone yourself, making it super easy.
Which Data Brokers Does Incogni Work With?
Incogni works with a list of about 180 data brokers. This list has grown from 76 in 2022, and it’s still growing. Some of the brokers in the list include:
- ASL Marketing
Pricing — Affordable With Regular Discounts
Incogni offers two subscription options — monthly and annual. The monthly plan costs $12.99, and the annual plan has an offer of $6.49/month. I found the prices very affordable compared to competitors like DeleteMe.
All plans also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. I recommend picking the annual plan as it's the most affordable. Plus, this will allow Incogni to keep contacting companies on your behalf.
I also recommend the longer plan because data collection happens constantly and doesn't stop. As time passes, your information might end up in the databases of data brokers again, which means you'll have to start the data removal process all over again.
Incogni ensures continuous protection by repeating the data clearance process every few months. This way, not only does it clear your data initially, but it also checks to ensure you haven't ended up in more systems again later on. Incogni also keeps adding new companies to its database to widen the search for your personal data. This means you don’t need to do anything to clear your data from any new data brokers.
Some data brokers intentionally delay the process to keep your data longer. As a result, a request might still be pending when your monthly subscription expires. I was concerned about what would happen if my subscription ended before a data removal request was finished.
But, I was happy to find out that Incogni will keep working on any pending data removal requests even after your subscription ends. However, if you want the service to contact a new data broker, you'll need to renew your subscription.
Reliability and Support — No Chat Support
Incogni's customer service options are quite limited. Unfortunately, there is no phone number to call or a live chat option. However, you can count on reliable email support.
The team is really quick and responsive on email. I received a detailed response in 12 hours or less each time I sent an email. However, I wish I could get answers much faster and more efficiently through chat support.
When you send an email to Incogni, a support ticket is created, and they aim to respond within 24 hours. The same process applies to refunds. When I emailed customer support requesting a refund, I received an approval email a few hours later, and the money was back in my bank account within a week.
Additionally, Incogni has a helpful knowledge base that covers everything about the data removal process, handling data brokers, and more. I also found its answers to be accurate and comprehensive.
The Bottom Line
Final Verdict — An Impressive and Affordable Service
Overall, Incogni is an excellent service for getting your personal information deleted from brokers. It plays an important role in helping you reclaim your privacy. Plus, it’s reasonably priced compared to similar tools.
Whether you should subscribe or not depends on how worried you are about data collection. If it bothers you that so many companies have a hold of your personal data, I’d give Incogni a shot. While it does need a lot of your private information to get started, this doesn’t really concern me because of the great history behind its parent company, Surfshark — one of our highest-ranked VPNs. I trust them with my data.
FAQs on Incogni Review
Is Incogni legit?
Yes. Incogni is legitimate. It excels at predicting which data brokers have your information, sending them removal requests, and giving you progress reports. It's parent company is Surfshark — a top-notch cybersecurity company with a clean record of no data breaches, created it.
Is Incogni any good?
Yes, Incogni is a good service. It effectively removes your personal data from data brokers, safeguarding your privacy. It offers a user-friendly experience and is backed by Surfshark's trusted reputation in the cybersecurity industry. It’s definitely worth considering.
Is Incogni worth it?
Incogni is absolutely worth it. It’s a valuable service that contacts data brokers to delete your personal information, saving you time. Instead of spending years handling removal requests yourself, Incogni's service simplifies the process. Incogni, supported by a skilled legal team and a powerful algorithm, streamlines the process efficiently, making it a valuable and convenient service to consider.
Is Incogni better than Deleteme?
Incogni stands out due to its affordability while providing a similar level of service. While both services aim to help you remove your personal information from data brokers, Incogni offers a more budget-friendly solution without compromising on effectiveness.
Does Incogni work?
Yes, Incogni works as advertised. It effectively automates the process of sending removal requests to data brokers. These methods have proven to be reliable and efficient in protecting your privacy online. However, there are a ton of data brokers online, and data collection never stops. So, it can’t guarantee that all of your data will ever be completely wiped from the internet.
Does Incogni retain your information?
No, Incogni does not retain your information. It is designed to handle your data removal requests securely and does not store any personal information you provide. Your privacy and data protection are a top priority for Incogni. However, it does require a lot of personal information to search the internet for data brokers that may be selling your information. You can check out its sign up screen to see if you’re comfortable handing that data over.
What is a Data Broker?
Data brokers are companies that collect and sell your personal information to marketers and advertisers. They gather various details about you, including your name, age, phone number, address, email, purchase history, income, occupation, education, and even your social security number. They obtain this data from various sources, including the internet, social media, and government records like marriage certificates and driver's licenses.
Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!
Your IP Address:
Your Internet Provider:
The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.
VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.