Can you delete your personal information from Data Brokers?

Hello and welcome back to our newsletter. We discuss again about data brokers, mainly because they are the biggest source of information about consumers. Here’s what we will cover in today’s article:


1) Who are the biggest data brokers?
2) Credit reference companies and their importance
3) What you can and can’t do with your personal information
1) Who are the biggest data brokers?
As we discussed in several previous articles, the biggest data brokers in the world are Acxiom, Nielsen, Experian and Equifax. These companies gather many pieces of information about you, from which we include: name, email, address, financial dependants, bank account details, credit card usage, credit history, address history, etc. These organisation also share and even sell some if not all this information to third-parties with or without your knowledge. As you can see, 2 of the biggest data brokers (Experian and Equifax) are also credit reference companies.
2) Credit reference companies and their importance
Credit reference agencies play a very important role in UK’s financial market. These companies provide information about your credit agreements, credit history, income, rent agreements, electoral roll information. Many organisations use these credit reference agencies to decide whether or not you are suitable for a service (phone contract, rent, mortgage, loans, etc).
This is why these agencies collect and process many pieces of information about you.
3) What you can and can’t do with your personal information
Many people are inclined to delete their personal data from data broker’s systems, but it can become tricky. Based on article 17 of the GDPR, you have the Right to Erasure, which means you can ask any organisation to delete your personal information from their system. This can be enforced when discussing with Acxiom or Nielsen, as these are purely data brokers, but this decision will be denied by Experian and Equifax, as they are credit reference agencies. They have other purposes other than data brokerage, as they are used by many other companies, including banks or even government, to see and make decisions about you based on your credit history. Experian and Equifax are entitled by law to keep your personal data for as long as they may need it.
Here’s what you can do regarding these 2 credit agencies. You can enforce your Right to Restrict Processing (article 18 of the GDPR) and ask them to stop sharing or selling your personal information to third-parties, except for legitimate purposes. This will restrict Experian and Equifax to use your data only for the purpose of credit checking.
We hope this article will help you make the best decisions regarding your personal data.
If you wish to see a copy of your info from these companies, or you wish to delete it or restrict the way they process it, you can Sign Up to mData here, and you will also benefit from 30 Days Free Trial.

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