This past year has elevated two main, but contradicting trends. On one hand, the global Coronavirus pandemic has sparked an increase in online service and data consumption; and on the other hand, a rise in awareness regarding our privacy and ownership over our data - just as Facebook learned with the changes to messaging app WhatsApp. New data provides a first peek at which services hold our data? who was asked to erase the data? and who complied first?
From social media & eCommerce to credit cards & pizzas
The new index is based on data provided by Israeli startup Mine, which develops a system for erasing private data and digital footprint online. The index also incorporates info from over a million and a half requests for data ownership this past year, including 50 leading enterprises from Israel and the world - who received requests to erase private data according to global regulation and the ‘Right to Forgotten’.
The numbers reveal which multinational corporations Israeli users share their data the most, including Google, Facebook, PayPal, eBay, Amazon, Ali Express, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Spotify, and the quarantine darling - Zoom.
Among Israeli based companies that users share the most data with are Isracart (credit card), Partner (telecommunications), Yad2 (marketplace), Pango (parking), AllJobs (headhunting), Shufersal (supermarket), Dominos, Walla.com, Cellcom (telecommunications), BuyMe, and Cinema City.
As we mentioned earlier, privacy awareness has led users around the world to demand their info from these major corporations. From Mine’s research, the company that Israelis wanted to be erased from the most was Wish, an eCommerce platform. Following the Chinese website was Change.org, with social media platforms Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Tumblr coming after.
The leading Israeli based company with the most data ownership requests happens to be Cinema City. This comes as no surprise, with movie theaters closed for the past year, most Israelis saw no benefit in enterprises like Cinema City holding on to their private info. The same goes for Yes Planet (movie theater) which comes in second place on the list of companies that Israelis want to be forgotten from.
Amazon & Spotify among services trusted most
On the other side of the info erasing coin, supermarkets, food delivery, credit cards, and transport lead the local services, which Israelis have authorized use of their private data. Among the global services awarded trust from Israeli users, we find Amazon, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Spotify, and Netflix.
Netflix excels at data deletion
So what happens when we submit a request to erase our data? Mine created an index that includes variables, such as compliance rate, the time it takes to delete the data, and privacy policies. The index shows that the world’s most popular streaming service, Netflix excels at customer privacy. It takes as little as 3.3 days on average for complete user’ data deletion. Settling in second place we find music sharing platform - SoundCloud, with discount browser extension Honey - acquired by PayPal in 2020 - bringing up third place, completing 88% of requests in an average of 1.5 days.
230,000 data deletion requests
Based on Mine’s data, the Israeli user’s digital footprint is 28% larger than the global average, with no less than 450 companies, in comparison to an average of 350 globally, holding private info of Israeli users.
In a conversation with Geektime, explains Mine CEO Gal Ringel that despite our data being everywhere, only 15% of the cases are actually active. This means that in 85% of cases our data is held in corporate storage after using a service once: “It’s just like staying in a hostel and leaving your passport there forever,” said Ringel.
The good news here is that this past year has highlighted the importance of our digital footprint, turning the Israeli user into an active and conscious consumer, and leading to a record number - 230,000 - of data deletion requests.
However, according to Ringel, the main problem is that Israeli companies aren’t subjected to privacy regulations, therefore they aren’t required to delete consumer data, which could lead to an increase in digital threats. Despite this being the reality, Ringel claims that still many Israeli companies, even thoug not enforced, comply with privacy requests, and operate in accordance with global regulation and policy.