March 12, 2020

Who holds my data? It’s mostly companies you probably don’t remember

By Lucy Ingham

For those wondering who holds their data, the answer may be concerning, as research published today by Mine has found that the vast majority is typically held by companies that people are unlikely to remember interacting with.

According to the startup, for the average person, 83% of their digital footprint is held by companies that they have interacted with just once. Perhaps more concerningly, a third – 32% – is held by companies that the user never even had to open an account with.

Mine also found that the average person’s data was held by 350 companies. However, for the top 5% it was held by an average of 2,834.

It is also on the rise, growing at an average rate of eight companies every month.

Who holds my data? Mostly not the companies you use

Notably, services that people frequently use do not dominate the companies that hold their data, with these accounting for an average of just 17%.

And unsurprisingly, users aren’t happy about it. 92% of those surveyed by Mine said that they felt uncomfortable about the sheer number of companies holding their data.

However, users can make “right to be forgotten” requests that compel companies operating within nations where GDPR is in force to remove any data within 30 days.

Mine, which launched a month ago, helps simplify this process, but has found that only some companies are so far complying with requests.

So far 37% of companies have completed request, while 26% are in conversation with users. Notably tech companies have been found to be the worst, with just 5% of requests for data to be removed having been complied with so far.

However, Mine remains optimistic about the possibilities GDPR presents for users wishing to control who holds their data.

“With regulations such as the GDPR, CCPA and LGPD giving consumers more rights over their data, we should rather be empowered to share our data with companies when needed but also to be able to take it back when our exchange with that company has concluded,” said Gal Ringel, co-founder and CEO of Mine.

“It’s an exciting time because as we see more people take back control of their data, we have high hopes that this will transform the relationship between consumers and digital services to become one that is significantly more equal.”

Read more: “Right to be forgotten” startup launches in the UK

Verdict deals analysis methodology

This analysis considers only announced and completed deals from the GlobalData financial deals database and excludes all terminated and rumoured deals. Country and industry are defined according to the headquarters and dominant industry of the target firm. The term ‘acquisition’ refers to both completed deals and those in the bidding stage.

GlobalData tracks real-time data concerning all merger and acquisition, private equity/venture capital and asset transaction activity around the world from thousands of company websites and other reliable sources.

More in-depth reports and analysis on all reported deals are available for subscribers to GlobalData’s deals database.

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