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DeleteMe: A Delete Button for Your Sordid Internet Past DeleteMe: A Delete Button for Your Sordid Internet Past
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DeleteMe: A Delete Button for Your Sordid Internet Past

by Alex Goldmark

December 18, 2010

Considering many of us can't even remember our Friendster passwords anymore, DeleteMe is promising a lot for as little as $10.

DeleteMe is a service that can help you delete accounts, search results, and other things you don't want online. Just tell us what you want removed and we'll get started. 

More complicated internet histories do cost a bit more to scrub—pricing is a la carte: $10 per account deleted, $50 to remove a search result. Those are the two most popular services so far according to the 

Abine, the internet privacy company behind DeleteMe. "We expect our upcoming "Find My Old Accounts" service to be quite popular. There's already a waiting list," says Claire Yancy of Abine.

It's all real people doing the work, not automated search-and-destroy bots, she points out. You can hire someone to delete your old account on any site from AOL to Zwinky, remove individual blog posts about you, even erase undesirable search results. 

Certainly not everyone can get everything they don't like about them washed off the internet. But still, this kind of service restores some of the privacy balance of power back to the consumer. And if DeleteMe doesn't get your embarrassing college party pics taken down in 30 days, you get your money back.

Right now, websites have all the incentive in the world to make complicated privacy policies and convoluted processes for removing content. Even if it takes Facebook 100 hours of coding time to come up with their cockamamy system of account deletion, it is worth it because that discourages millions of people from bothering to cancel the service. 

Services like DeleteMe create experts in navigating the potentially time consuming process of removing online content. Since DeleteMe employees do it every day, they can do it a lot faster than you can. They're also familiar with the privacy policies of all the major websites and can cite the terms and conditions back to companies—in legal terms if they have to—or just send aggressive emails and faxes if sites respond sluggishly to rightful requests to remove private information.

While the government drags its feet on new "do not track" regulations to put privacy rights in the hands of consumers, services like DeleteMe are a good start to push back against lazy companies that profit off our our private data.

Via Fast Company.

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