Delete My Data Day is an educational event to spread awareness about the value of your data. Learn how to delete and reset the trackers that are targeting you.
Our data is being collected and sold without our consent. Every targeted ad for cat or dog food has your data written all over it. Today, you take back control! With two months (January 1, 2020) from the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) taking effect, now is the time to start educating ourselves about data ownership and rights.
The steps below enable you to clear how you’re being tracked and monetized by companies. Follow these instructions to wipe your data footprint from the tech companies collecting and profiting from you and your data.
1. Clear Your Cookies in Chrome
This step is an obvious one, one that you’ve probably heard about and have done before at some point. However, it is extremely important that you do this often.
Cookies are still the most common way you are tracked across the internet and continues to be the most common mechanism facilitating the selling of your data. Cookies are a long way from perfect, and it’s a good measure to erase them now and again.
To clear your cookies, follow these steps:
- 1. In Chrome, click the ‘Chrome’ button in the top left corner and select Preferences (or press Cmd + ,)
- 2. In Preferences, scroll all the way down to the bottom and click ‘Advanced’
- 3. Click ‘Clear Browsing Data’
- 4. Select Cookies and other site data
- 5. Confirm. Cleared!
2. Clear your Mobile Advertising ID
‘Mobile advertising IDs’ are a way that companies track, collect and target you on your smart phones. Similar to cookies, it’s important to frequently clear your Mobile advertising IDs to limit the amount of tracking companies can conduct on you via smart phone or mobile device. See below:
3. Clear your Smart TV’s ACR (Automatic Content Recognition)
Yes, even your Smart TV is tracking you. Automatic Content Recognition, or ACR, is a feature you probably enabled without even realizing when setting up your Smart TV. This gives Smart TV manufacturers the ability to track everything you do on their screen – including the ability to share and sell that data. Here is how to turn off your Smart TV’s targeting for each major manufacturer:
Settings -> All Settings -> General -> About This TV -> User Agreements -> turn off ‘Viewing Information’ and ‘Personalized Advertising’ and ‘Voice Information’.
Recent Samsung Smart TVs with Tizen
Settings -> Support -> Terms & Policies -> turn off ‘Viewing Information Services’ and ‘Interest Based Advertising’
Sony Android TVs:
Settings – Initial Setup -> agree to Sony Bravia policy -> turn off Samba TV
Also go to Settings -> About -> Ads -> turn off ‘Ads Personalization’
Recent Roku TVs:
Settings -> Privacy – Smart TV Experience –> turn off ‘Use Information for TV Inputs’ -> Advertising -> check the ‘limit ad tracking’ box
Recent Vizio Smart TVs with SmartCast:
System -> Reset & Admin -> turn off ‘Viewing Data’
Bonus: Download your Facebook Data
Facebook collects an alarming amount of information on you. From every message you’ve ever sent to any actions you’ve taken on its many platforms, all of that data has all been collected and stored. Stay in the know for what information is being collected about you by checking your Facebook settings:
View your Facebook Data: https://www.facebook.com/dyi/?x=Adm39t7DEYnGkK2L&referrer=ayi
Download your Facebook Data: https://www.facebook.com/dyi/?x=Adm39t7DEYnGkK2L&referrer=ayi
Bonus: Download your Google Data
Google also has a massive amount of data collected on its users – likely including you. To see all of the information they have stored on you, use the following link:
Download your Google Data: https://takeout.google.com/?pli=1
Delete your Google search history: https://myactivity.google.com/ and click on the tab “Delete by Activity”. From there you can delete your google search history from the last day or from forever.
Further Data Deletion References
- 1. Wired on Google Data Deletion: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/how-to-delete-google-search-history-tracking
- 2. CNet: 6 steps to delete your data: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/remove-delete-yourself-from-the-internet/
- 3. Time Inc on Facebook Data Deletion: https://time.com/5633726/how-to-delete-facebook-data/
- 4. Article on Google Do Not Track steps: https://www.groovypost.com/howto/enable-google-chrome-do-not-track/
What does it mean to opt-out?
What does ‘opting out’ of ad preferences really mean? You might see Ad Choice buttons on some ads across the Internet. Websites often have links sponsored by the DAA and NAI to ‘opt out’ of data collection.
However, be aware that ‘opting out’ from these companies does not completely prevent your data from being collected. This just simply sends a message to data collectors asking them to not collect your data. Then it’s up to the data collector whether or not to honor that opt out request.
Be vigilant, remember to frequently take the above steps to reset the data companies use to target and profit off of you. Download the Loginhood Chrome Extension to further take control over your data, by blocking 500+ companies that collect your data, and get you paid for it instead. Download by clicking the “Available in the Chrome Web Store” button below.