January 17, 2013

DeleteMe -- the Shredder Machine of the Digital Age


With the announcement of Facebook’s Graph Search yesterday, online users are thinking of their privacy settings now more than ever. The possibility to share information and basically document your life on social media is both a curse and a blessing – you can choose to venture down memory lane whenever you feel like reminiscing, but the past can be brought up just as easily when you’d rather keep it there. However, there’s a big difference between sharing personal information online and having it taken.

An app that launched for iOS devices on Monday has already reached several thousand users. DeleteMeMobile aims to strip personal data, such as your contact, personal and social information and photos of you, your family and your home, from many of the largest websites that collect and sell that information, including Spokeo, a “people search engine,” and Intelius, a provider of background checks and public records services.

You can search for yourself and see what information is out there about you, then select a record you would like DeleteMe to remove. Users can then sign up for the full DeleteMe service that includes removal of all listings you see in the DeleteMe mobile app search results as well as access to the team of expert DeleteMe advisers who scours the Web for your data every three months. In addition, DeleteMe also reduces unwanted spam, phone calls and junk mail.

Plan options for the service are for one person for one year for $192, one person for two years for $209, two people for one year for $229 and two people for two years for $349.

 

Images via Apple App Store

DeleteMe is a service of Abine, an online privacy company. Abine also offers DoNotTrackMe, PrivacyWatch, GoogleSharing and a privacy suite.

“There is a huge difference between sharing personal information and having it taken. That's why we've created Internet tools and services for those who want a say in how and when their information is used. And since we think exercising your right to online privacy should be easy, our solutions allow regular people just like you to regain and maintain control over their personal information - while continuing to enjoy all the wonderful things the Web has to offer,” said the company’s website.

A group of six consumer panelists ages 18 to 28 recently shared their thoughts on online privacy at CES last week. One of the panelists, Tess, said, "I don't believe that if I were to turn [my social networks] off that people wouldn't be able to get my info. It's already out there."

The panel all agreed that Facebook’s privacy controls were too difficult to locate and manage. In terms of protecting their online privacy, panelist members, and a lot of users who have grown up with the Internet, try to filter what they post in the first place anywhere online and turn to privacy settings to manage who can see what information. In the event that these settings don’t do their job, users now have the option to turn to DeleteMe.




Edited by Jamie Epstein



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