We live in a day and age where it seems like every website we visit and every piece of software we use wants to know everything about us. Data collection is a major issue, whether that’s general information or more sensitive data.
Nobody wants their data to be misused or sold, which is why we’ve decided to take a look at data privacy management software.
- Data privacy and security are critical. You don’t want your data to fall into the wrong hands.
- Incogni is an excellent tool for managing data privacy, and the only tool we reviewed that removes your data without asking for your information first.
- However, there are other premium picks that can help with data collection support and data removal requests.
Data brokers gather personal information about consumers and sell it to other companies — something you want to avoid if you care about data privacy.
Data privacy management software sends data subject access requests to data brokers, inquiring how the data you’ve provided is being used. That same data privacy management software can also completely restrict data brokers from using your data, if you wish.
You may be wondering: If I’m careful with where I input my data and who I give it to, do I really need data privacy management software? The answer is yes, which is why we’ve got a list of five tools that will help you take control of your data and make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Data privacy management software contacts data brokers and sends them requests to remove your sensitive data from their databases.
You can use plenty of tools to see how your data is being used and handled, with Surfshark’s Incogni being an excellent option.
TrustArc is a data privacy management company that offers services and software to help corporations abide by data privacy regulations and other privacy laws.
What Makes the Best Data Privacy Management Software?
We had several criteria for the best data privacy management software. Most importantly, we wanted the software to be effective in sending official removal requests. Then we checked which tools track responses and repeat removal requests if necessary. Last, but not least, we considered pricing.
- Incogni — Affordable tool that works admirably
- IDX — Easy-to-use tool, but expensive
- DeleteMe — Premium tool with a well-organized dashboard
- Removaly — Highly effective tool with an extensive list of data brokers
- Kanary — Mid-tier option with less-than-impressive accuracy
The first thing we looked at was how good the tool is at automating the manual processes of data privacy: finding your data online and asking for it to be removed. Our priority was for any data privacy management software we chose to be effective and cover as many data brokers as possible.
We also considered whether or not the software could track those same processes and automatically take action when necessary, such as sending repeat requests when the user data isn’t removed. Some data discovery and removal processes can take longer, and we wanted the software to be able to run its course from start to finish with as little user input as possible.
Finally, we considered pricing. Some may rightfully say that you can’t put a price on data privacy, but after a certain price point, you might be tempted to take unnecessary risks with your sensitive data.
The 5 Best Data Privacy Management Tools
With our criteria out of the way, let’s take a look at five options for data privacy management software that provide true security, starting with our top pick, Incogni.
More details about Incogni:
- Pricing: $5.79 per month on the yearly plan
- Provider website: incogni.com
- Effective at sending requests
- Tracks responses
- Repeats removal
- May send requests to brokers that don’t have your data
Incogni comes from the folks over at Surfshark, one of our top VPN suggestions. In our full Incogni review, we concluded that it’s a handy tool well worth the asking price. Incogni ensures regulatory compliance with laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), making sure data brokers don’t keep your data.
Incogni sends removal requests to over 130 data brokers, with a promise of more to come at some point. When a new data broker is added, the tool automatically sends a request for your data to be removed. It then tracks the request to see if the broker complied, and checks to see if your data was deleted. If it wasn’t, it sends a repeat removal request.
Data Removal Without Requesting Data
Incogni takes a different approach than most other tools. Rather than asking for your personal data and then looking it up online, Incogni simply sends a data removal request to brokers that are likely to have your data. Depending on your location and a few other factors, it may not contact all brokers on its list, and it might contact brokers that don’t have any of your data.
Icogni’s pricing makes it an excellent value, especially when you factor in how effective it is at getting your data away from data brokers’ hands. If you want the best price, you’ll need an annual subscription, but that’s very much worth it.
Note that Incogni is still not available worldwide — you may need a VPN to tunnel to a location where it works, such as the U.S. and Europe.
More details about IDX:
- Pricing: $11.66 per month on the yearly Privacy plan
- Provider website: idx.us
- Effective data removal tool
- Password manager & tracking blocker
- Offers credit monitoring
IDX comes with several plans, though if you only care about data privacy management software, the Privacy plan is the one you need. This plan comes with the ForgetMe data removal service, as well as a password manager, VPN, private search and tracker blocker. ForgetMe is the one we care about, as it removes your data from over 100 data brokers.
IDX requires you to enter some of your personal information in order to look it up online and remove it from the brokers’ databases. The dashboard lets you pick and choose which data is being monitored. The dark web monitoring feature is a nice touch, as it checks for data breach dumps that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible.
It may be that Incogni has spoiled us, but we aren’t fans of IDX asking us for personal data. Fortunately, you can set up multi-factor authentication, which includes a biometric identity marker option, to make sure that data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
The company hasn’t been involved in any data breaches or controversies, which means they can be trusted with your data.
The IDX Privacy plan is the lowest tier in the IDX portfolio, yet it still offers effective data removal and dark web monitoring. If you want to splurge, you can go for IDX Complete, which will cost you $29.61 per month on a yearly plan but includes extensive credit monitoring features.
More details about DeleteMe:
- Pricing: $10.75 per month on the yearly plan
- Provider website: joindeleteme.com
- Good data removal requests
- Makes custom requests
- Human agents available
- Requires too much personal data
We reviewed Blur, another tool by Abine, a few months ago and we weren’t impressed. On the other hand, DeleteMe wowed us with its excellent feature set, high effectiveness and a human touch that other providers lack. It’s expensive, but well worth the asking price, especially if you consider the company removes data from over 580 data brokers.
DeleteMe requires a great deal of your personal data, including a government ID for brokers that require it to authorize data removal. Most tools are happy with your personal information and power of attorney, but DeleteMe goes a step further, which is a negative mark on its record.
The dashboard has a summary of the data brokers it’s tracking, number of records review and information on how many data brokers have collected your info.
A Human Touch
What sets DeleteMe apart from most other data privacy management tools is the fact that, if the automated data discovery searches fail to remove your data, human teams step in to make sure your data is disposed of. The company also gives you an extensive DIY guide if you want to handle things yourself.
DeleteMe isn’t the most affordable, but the feature set and effectiveness make it well worth the price. If you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing every request is being properly handled, some extra money goes a long way.
More details about Removaly:
- Pricing: $9.95 per month on the yearly plan
- Provider website: removaly.com
- Great daily scanning
- Free initial scan
- Instructions for DIY requests
A problem shared by most data privacy management tools is that they’re usually incredibly slow to complete removal requests in the background. Removaly is different, though, with quick data discovery scans and a daily scanning feature. The company can remove your data from 54 data brokers, though that number will almost certainly grow in the future.
Removaly doesn’t bundle anything else with their data discovery and removal tool — its only focus is keeping your data private. If you need customer support, you may get it from the founders themselves. You can take advantage of a single free scan to see what Removaly can do before you buy.
Daily Scanning to Keep Data Private
Rather than check for a data breach once per month, Removaly runs daily scans. If your data shows up on a data broker’s website, chances are it will be removed within 24 hours. This is as close to a “permanent removal” as you can get without manually scouring for your data 24/7.
Removaly is moderately expensive compared to the other options on our list. However, its daily scanning feature is one of the most diligent permanent removal tools we’ve ever seen, making the price very much worth it.
More details about Kanary:
- Pricing: $7.49 per month on the yearly plan
- Provider website: thekanary.com
- Multi-factor authentication
- Free trial scan available
- Not too effective
Kanary is a bit of an odd duck. While it does a decent job enforcing compliance with data privacy regulations, it’s also the only tool that consistently gives false positives. If you’re comfortable babysitting a tool that’s supposed to automate manual actions, you can at least save some money with the rather affordable Kanary.
Like most other tools, Kanary asks for some of your personal data, but it keeps it secure with multi-factor authentication in a separate, controlled-access database.
Unfortunately, in the one scan we tried, Kanary returned a staggering number of false positives, including social media accounts and even comments on social media posts. You’ll need to be careful before you click “confirm removal.”
Free Scan for Everyone
If you want to get your feet wet before paying, Kanary offers a complimentary scan. You sign up with your email, confirm via the link Kanary sends, and wait up to 24 hours for your scan to complete. Unfortunately, it only checks 32 common sites unless you pay for a membership, which expands that list to over 100 data brokers.
While Kanary is fairly inexpensive, it lacks the efficiency of competitors like Incogni, DeleteMe and IDX. If you value your privacy, you’d be better off spending a bit more to get a different tool. If you try it and decide it’s not for you, your account data will be permanently deleted when you leave.
Final Thoughts: Data Privacy Management Software
Using data privacy management software allows you to automate data security, data privacy and data governance, and avoid tedious manual processes that many of us are guilty of never actually doing. Rather than searching for your data yourself, these tools can find all data brokers that have your personal data, and automatically send removal requests.
However, not all tools are created equal. Incogni is our top choice because it doesn’t require any user data, though it’s hard to argue against IDX’s versatility or DeleteMe’s unparalleled effectiveness. At the end of the day, it’s all a matter of what you need, and how much you’re willing to pay for it.
Have you ever used data privacy management software? If yes, which one is your favorite? Do you go for Incogni, as the only tool on our list that doesn’t ask for your data, or do you give up your data in return for the more effective IDX or DeleteMe? Let us know in the comments, and as always, thank you for reading.