VILNIUS, Lithuania, May 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Incogni, a privacy protection company, has filed a complaint and enforcement request with the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) against GfK Group, the largest market research company in Germany. The complaint alleges that GfK has consistently ignored data deletion requests from Incogni's clients, including nearly 500 requests from Dutch customers exercising their right to erasure under Article 17 of the GDPR. Incogni's complaint also includes a request for enforcement, which seeks formal appeal to the DPDA to take necessary action to ensure GfK's compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
"Companies placing obstacles in the way of consumers exercising their data protection rights represent a widespread problem. Incogni believes that data privacy is a fundamental aspect of safeguarding individual privacy rights, promoting democratic values and fostering human development in the digital age. We are taking legal action to ensure that data deletion requests are taken seriously by companies that acquire, hold, or trade personal information", says Darius Belejevas, Head of Incogni.
GfK Group is the largest market research company in Germany, providing data and intelligence to the consumer goods industry. The group has been making it unnecessarily difficult for Incogni's clients to have their personal data deleted.
The GDPR grants people in the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) with the right to be forgotten. This means that companies are obliged to delete residents' personal information when asked to do so.
Residents of these jurisdictions can exercise this right by submitting appropriate requests to any company that holds their data, including companies like the GfK Group. The GDPR also prohibits such companies from interfering with the exercise of these rights, often punishing infringements with significant fines.
The scope of Incogni's actions extends beyond the current complaint against GfK, as the company considers the effective handling of data deletion requests as the first step in a broader mission to establish a more equitable and privacy-focused digital landscape.
"Companies that process large amounts of user data, particularly data brokers, often make it very difficult for people to have their data removed. Many such companies require sensitive personal information to complete a removal request", concludes Belejevas.
The potential impact of the requested action by the DPA is far-reaching, as companies that manage substantial amounts of user data, particularly data brokers, often place unwarranted and illegal obstacles before individuals seeking to delete their personal information. These obstacles can come in many forms, including companies requiring highly sensitive personal data to process deletion requests. The outcome of these proceedings is likely to be closely monitored by companies operating within the EU and beyond.
Incogni is a personal information removal service that helps customers opt out from data broker databases. With the launch of people search site removals, Incogni is now one of the most comprehensive personal information removal services on the market, covering 180+ data brokers. The company's mission is to empower individuals to take control of their personal information and protect their privacy. With its user-friendly platform and automated removal requests, Incogni makes it easy for customers to opt out of data broker databases, saving them hundreds of hours of tedious work.
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