6 ways to delete yourself from the Internet

Depends on when When you were born, chances are that you have spent decades online or have never learned about the offline world. In any case, the Internet and its advertising giants know your life well.

Amazon, Facebook, and Google all have a lot of data about you—including your likes and dislikes, health information, and social relationships—but they are not the only data. Countless obscure data brokers you have never heard of collect a lot of information about you and sell it. Then, other companies you may never have heard of will use this data to motivate you to buy more.Most importantly, all your old online forum comments and unwise social media posts are still there, waiting to turn you into Milkshake duck.

At this stage, it will be very difficult to completely delete yourself from the Internet, but you can take some steps to delete a lot of it. Deleting personal information and deleting accounts is a tedious process, so it’s best to break it down into several smaller steps and process them over time.

Opt out of data broker

Collecting and selling your data is a big business. In 2019, the U.S. State of Vermont passed a law requiring all companies that buy and sell third-party personal information to register: In response, more than 120 companies recorded their detailed informationThey include companies that build search tools to find individuals, companies that process location data, and companies that specialize in your health data. These companies collect all information, from your name, address and date of birth to your social security number, buying habits, and where and when you go to school.

The largest data brokers include Acxiom, Equifax (yes, that), Experian, Oracle, and Epsilon. Some (but not all) data brokers give people the option not to process their personal information—it also depends on where you are in the world—but the process is not simple. You usually need to contact them via email, fill out an online form, and provide additional identification information.

The U.S.-based non-profit privacy information clearinghouse has created a Data broker database Include their email address, a link to their privacy policy, and information about whether they let you opt-out. There are 231 American companies on the list, which gives you an idea of ​​the scale of the data brokerage industry.

If you are covered GDPR in Europe or California Consumer Privacy Act, You can also send a request to delete data.Privacy Concern Group YourDigitalRights created an exit form Speed ​​up the process of deleting your information for the 10 largest data brokers. It’s best to start choosing to withdraw from the largest company first.

Update Google search results

You can’t change the way Google displays its search results, but you can take some limited steps to ensure that the content displayed is up to date and remove harmful details, such as human flesh search attempts. If a page has been updated by its owner but is not reflected in Google’s search results, you can use its tool to remove outdated content.Google will Update its search results Applies to pages that no longer exist or are significantly different from the previously indexed version.

Google will also consider requests to remove harmful content.If there are sexually explicit pictures without consent; fake pornography; financial, medical or national ID data; dozing off; or pictures of children on the website, then you can request They will be removedTo do this, you must submit the form and provide proof of content.

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