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Delete me please: Carphone Warehouse tops list of companies Brits want their personal data deleted from forever

Debenhams, Hello Fresh and Glassdoor also included in the top ten, as consumers grapple to take back control of their personal data

London, 14 April 2022 - Rightly, independent data champions and consumer data action service, has today revealed the top 100 companies from which consumers are requesting the permanent deletion of their personal data, with retailers, marketplaces, travel companies and food delivery companies all making an appearance.

Through Righty Protect, a free service designed to help consumers detox their inbox, consumers can identify which companies hold their data and can subsequently send a data deletion request to some or all of those companies with a single click, something that many are now taking advantage of.

Now, Rightly can reveal that Carphone Warehouse’s catastrophic data breach in 2015 is still fresh in its customers’ minds, with almost half (42%) choosing to delete their personal details from the company’s database when given the choice. The mobile phone retailer isn’t the only company still bearing the scars of past data leaks, with customers from Debenhams (33%), Adidas (28%), TripAdvisor (19%) and Booking.com (16%) electing to remove any trace of their personal details following high-profile data leaks.

Food delivery apps, which have become hugely popular across the UK, have not escaped unscathed. As well as delivering a hot meal or drink, most food apps also dabble in the business of sharing personal data. Whether its food preferences, the dates and times a consumer is most likely to eat, or giving third parties access to data to facilitate targeted personalised ads – for many, it has become too much. As a result, up to a third of consumers don’t want HelloFresh (33%), Deliveroo (18%) or JustEat (15%) to retain access to their data.

James Walker, CEO of Rightly, explains, “Consumers are always surprised by how many companies have a hold of their data, and on average Rightly Protect users are asking to delete their data from around 50 companies when using the service. It isn’t just data breaches consumers are at risk from, it’s also unsolicited emails, calls and texts or other forms of junk-mail. Spam tends to come from companies that do have permission to contact you, but when that data falls into the wrong hands, consumers have the threat of phishing scams hanging over them.”

Walker concludes, “We are on-boarding between 300-500 companies per week to our database, giving consumers an even greater opportunity to identify the companies holding their data and request deletion of it if they so wish. The issue goes beyond the retailers or websites consumers have consciously shared their data with, it is now the third parties that buy your data for advertising purposes or the companies you inadvertently share your information with for delivery or payment purposes, with the likes of DPD (21%), Hermes (19%) and Yocuda (25%) all ranking highly in our top 100.”

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Research Methodology

Rightly analysed anonymous data from 6000+ consumers who used the Rightly Protect service between 19 January and 7 March 2022 to identify the top 100 companies’ consumers elected to delete their data from when given the choice.