Surfshark's new tool will delete any data third-parties might hold on you

Magnifying Glass Data
(Image credit: Alexskopje / Shutterstock)
Audio player loading…

Cybersecurity company and VPN (opens in new tab) provider Surfshark (opens in new tab) has announced its plans to develop a new digital privacy product designed to wipe broker-owned personal data on behalf of a user.

The tool, called Incogni, will be able to identify and communicate with data brokers (opens in new tab) around the world that are in a possession of a user's personal information in order to have it removed from their databases (opens in new tab).

There are currently over 4,000 data broker companies worldwide and the leading names in the industry own data on hundreds of millions of consumers with some boasting up to 1,500 data points per consumer.

TechRadar needs yo...

We're looking at how our readers use VPNs with streaming sites like Netflix so we can improve our content and offer better advice. This survey won't take more than 60 seconds of your time, and we'd hugely appreciate if you'd share your experiences with us.

>> Click here to start the survey in a new window (opens in new tab) <<

  • We've built a list of the best VPN (opens in new tab) services available
  • These are best proxy (opens in new tab) services on the market
  • Also check out our roundup of the best privacy apps (opens in new tab)

Surfshark CEO Vytautas Kaziukonis explained in a press release how data brokers are often overlooked during discussions on data privacy (opens in new tab), saying:

“In the discourse of personal data protection, data brokers are often left overlooked despite the massive scale of sensitive information they possess. Essentially, these companies collect information such as public records, online activity, and purchase history, aggregate that data and later resell it to other entities. Witnessing exponential growth in data privacy misuse, we seek to empower privacy-minded people to oversee their digital presence better than ever before.”

Automated data removal

According to a study (opens in new tab) from Surfshark released back in May, 30 out of the 491 largest data brokers reviewed have been affected by data breaches (opens in new tab) in the past either once or multiple times which resulted in an average loss of 125m data points and this leaked information often includes full names, phone numbers, emails and even social security numbers.

Despite the fact that many data broker companies guarantee an option to opt out from data collection (opens in new tab), manually contacting hundreds of firms can be a very time-consuming and tedious process. For this reason, Incogni will automate this process by handling the research, follow-up requests and even the unjustifiable rejections of appeals to make the process hassle-free.

Surfshark's new tool is set to be released by the end of this summer and it will also include built-in real-time status updates so that users can track the progress of the removal process.

Those interested in taking back control of their personal data from data brokers can sign up here (opens in new tab) to join Incogni's waiting list and we'll likely hear more from the company as we get closer to its new tool's release.

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.