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Ask Slashdot: Getting an Uncooperative Website To Delete One's Account? 171

Posted by timothy
from the if-you-reply-to-a-phantom-comment-do-you-exist? dept.
First time accepted submitter trentfoley writes "I've been trying to clean up my digital life (insert joke about having a life) and have run into a situation I fear is too common. Many social websites, in particular, do not allow a user to delete the account they created. In the case of, their privacy policy makes it clear that the user owns all of their data. If this is true, I should have the right to destroy that data. These lines of thought brought to mind the recent privacy defeat in Europe. Does the defeat of the EU's Right-to-be-Forgotten legislation bring a practical end to this debate?" I've read complaints today from users who say their data was sold, too.
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Ask Slashdot: Getting an Uncooperative Website To Delete One's Account?

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  • Re:call them (Score:5, Interesting)

    by khasim (1285) <> on Saturday December 28, 2013 @06:06PM (#45807787)

    And if that doesn't work then change as much as you can. Your email address should be the easiest. Then any other personal information that you can alter. If they won't delete it then make it worthless to them.

    And this is another reason to fight against the current trend of requiring real names for accounts.

  • Re:call them (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <> on Saturday December 28, 2013 @10:17PM (#45809007) Homepage

    Be prepared to spend a long time on the phone though, and even then they often won't really delete your account. I tried this with Apple recently as I had an ancient account from back when I had an early iPod a decade ago. It took half an hour on the phone, I had to listen to endless dire warnings about losing all the data on "my" iCloud account that they made for me without my knowledge or ever agreeing to the terms and conditions. Endless stuff about how all my iTunes purchases with DRM would commit suicide (I never made any) and how all my devices would stop working (battery died years ago, can't be bothered to pry the thing open to replace it, if you can even buy 3rd gen iPod batteries any more).

    After all that they finally agreed to delete the account, but added that I would never be able to sign up with the same email address again... So they were not really deleting it. My personal details are still on file somewhere. In the new year I'm going to write to them to demand they expunge everything.

    Long story short, we need that EU right to be forgotten and some strong enforcement.

Save a little money each month and at the end of the year you'll be surprised at how little you have. -- Ernest Haskins