Why should I delete my data from social media companies like Facebook and Instagram?
If you want to stop your personal data being sold on and negatively impacting your life, you should send social media companies a deletion request.
Personal data that social media companies typically store:
- Name and address
- Tastes and habits
- Contact details
- Cookies & IP address
- Economic, social and cultural information
While many social media companies collect the information above, some go further, like Facebook. Your age, relationship status, employer, location and friends is only the start.
Personal data that Facebook stores
- Your biometric facial data (facial recognition material)
- Your activity on other sites and apps, and continuously tracks this
- Your categorised behaviour, like your politics and spending habits
We know that Facebook has been at the centre of data scandals before, like Cambridge Analytica, as well as allowing other companies to 'scrape' information from their users. Clearview AI for example, source their photos for their facial recognition software from Facebook: they had a data breach earlier this year.
The type of personal data stored and collected by social media is much more sensitive than first appears. If you want to delete it, we've made sure you can with Rightly.
Personal data is any information that can directly or indirectly identify you as you. Think address, beliefs, and financial records.
How do I tell social media companies like Facebook and Snapchat to delete my personal data?
The easiest way to delete your information is by sending a request through Rightly. Just pick from our list of social media websites and send a deletion request.
- Get started above to select your companies
- Enter your basic details for identification purposes
- Send your request
Bear in mind that this is a full deletion request. That means it will also delete your account and all of the information within it. If you'd like to remove only part of your data with a social media company, it's best to do this using their privacy settings.
Here's what you can expect after you send your request:
Your request simply connects you to all of the companies you select, they’ll take it from there and link you to their own forms and processes for you to fill out. Only your name and email address is required to send these requests, but companies will likely ask you for much more information to identify you, like your ID.
They should confirm your data has been deleted within 30 days. Remember, a deletion request demands that they delete all of your data, including your account details.
We’re free because our mission is to make data fairer, for everyone.
We don't use consumer data for commercial purposes, which means we'll never, ever sell your data. It also means that there are no adverts or hidden costs.
Can I delete my data if I’ve said they can use it in the past?
If you agreed to an organisation using your data before but you’ve changed your mind, don’t worry! You can still tell them to stop processing your data going forwards.
Remember, your data rights allow you to change your mind about how your data is being handled at any time. This means that you can tell any company that you no longer want them to use your data. Our mission is to make managing your online information simple. To learn more, check out our blog.
What if I’m not sure if they have my data?
If you're unsure, you can still ask them. Even if they tell you they don’t have it, you're making yourself safer online by knowing where your data is.
How long until the social media company responds to my request?
After the company has received your request, they have to reply in full within 30 days, or give a valid reason for asking for an extension. This normally happens if you’ve got lots of data for them to go through.
Facebook is a good example – it can take up to 90 days for Facebook to delete your personal data. That’s because Facebook generates 4,000,000 gigabytes of new data every day!
We're glad to say however that most companies do normally reply within a week. Your responses from companies are likely to come directly into your inbox. We don't mind when this happens, as long as you're happy with how your request has been handled and have everything you need.
If you have any questions, or have any difficulty at all with how companies respond, our friendly support team is here to help!
Send your request in under two minutes
It's simple and completely free