Introduction

The right to erasure can be difficult to exercise.

Beginning the process is a challenge unto itself: deletion dialogues are not standard, nor are the means to contact an organisation’s data controller.

Keep reading until the end for one way to make it easier! 😌

How to begin

The PrivacyGuides page on account deletion is a good reference.

  • Create a list of accounts

    If you use a password manager, this is easy to keep track of.

    If you aren’t in the habit of deleting emails, sign-up emails may linger in your inbox.

  • Compose a request

    When sending written correspondence, begin with a copy-and-paste message.

    The ICO offer a template:

    Right to erasure

    [Your full name and address and any other details such as account number to help identify you]

    I wish to exercise my right of erasure under data protection law.

    [Give details of what personal data you want erased/deleted.]

    You can find guidance on your obligations under information rights legislation on the website of the Information Commissioner’s Office (www.ico.org.uk) as well as information on their regulatory powers and the action they can take.

    Please send a full response within one calendar month confirming if you will comply with my request. If you cannot respond within that timescale, please tell me when you will be able to respond.

    If there is anything you would like to discuss, please contact me.

    Yours faithfully

    [Signature]

  • Find out how to delete

    JustDeleteMe catalogue the process and difficulty of deleting an account with a given service.

The shortcut

Read the privacy policy!

Try searching for:

  • ‘@’
  • ‘right to’

With any luck, you’ll find an email address where you can make a request. From here, you can collate email addresses and BCC them all in one fell swoop.

Alas, sometimes you have no choice but to use a webpage, form or ticketing system.

Conclusion

If you don’t need an account, don’t make one.

Data breaches are accelerating - reduce your attack surface by deleting accounts.