Why should I find out what social media companies know about me?
You should find out what social media companies know about you because it's often much more detailed than you might realise, and shared with third parties.They collect a wide range of personal data which can include:
- Names and passwords of account holders
- Captured content, such as photos and videos
- Data that links users to the photos they took, tagged or liked
- Text message history, address book contacts or other similar personal information
- Metadata on how people use social media apps
- Transactional data from products and services
- Facial recognition data
- Data on which devices are linked to which accounts
- Geolocational data
- Bank details
- Business information such as company and VAT numbers
- Favourite bands
- Pet names
- Favourite places
Of course, the social media revolution has enabled amazing levels of communication between friends, helping people stay in touch and share what’s happening in their lives. Sometimes, it’s helpful to have your data shared. But not without your consent. What happens to your data and who it's shared with often isn't made clear, and in particular, that it gets sold on and used to better target you with advertising.
Understandably, many people find this extremely invasive. Find out what they have on you.
How do I find out what information social media companies have about me?
The easiest way to find out where your information is by sending a ‘subject access request’ through Rightly. A subject access request allows you to see any personal information a company has stored about you.
You can pick from our list of social media apps and websites and send an access request, or if you can't find the one you want, you can search on our main subject access request page. And of course our customer support team is ready to help!
Some common questions
How do I send a subject access request (SAR)?
The easiest way to find out where your information is by sending a request through Rightly:
- Search for any company
- Enter your basic details so that they can confirm your identity
- Check your email and send your request
What can you expect after you send your request?
Your request simply connects you to all of the companies you select. They’ll link you to their own forms and processes for you to complete. Only your name and email address is required to send these requests, but companies will likely ask you for more information to make sure you're you.
They should confirm what personal information of yours they have within 30 days.
So I don't need a subject access request template?
No - they tend to be of varying quality and take a lot of effort. That's why we made Rightly, so that things can be as safe and time-effective as possible for you to have more control over your data.
How long until a 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. However, we're glad to say that most companies normally reply within a week.
Responses from companies are likely to come directly into your inbox.
If you have any questions, or have any difficulty at all with how companies respond, our friendly support team is here to help!
What if they don't reply?
They have to reply by law. You can ask any company if they have your personal data, even if you don't know for sure whether or not they have it. They have to tell you what they have, as well as how and why they are using it. This is thanks to your ‘right of access’ under GDPR law.
How long can a company store my data for?
There is no specific time limit on how long a company can hold your personal data. Under GDPR, your information should simply not be kept for any longer than necessary.
While a company should be able to justify the length of time that your data is stored, whether or not this is acceptable depends on what the data was collected for in the first place.
For instance, a company can keep hold of employment contract data for a total of 6 years since this is the window of time in which a contract breach claim could be made.
However, when it comes to job applicant CVs for example, these can only be stored for a maximum of 6 months, based on this being the length of time in which a candidate could file a discrimination claim.