Incogni review: How good is Surfshark’s new security tool

Abeerah Hashim Last updated: September 5, 2022 Read time: 11 minutes Disclosure
Facts checked by Ali Qamar

Removing your data from the internet has seemingly become easier and affordable.

Surfshark’s new service, Incogni, is a digital privacy tool that helps you to fight for your right to be forgotten and for the data brokers of the world to stop using your personal information to profit. Join us as we explain this exciting new service in full detail.

How long have you been surfing the web today? Or over the last week? The chances are you navigated many websites in the previous few days, some new to you, accepted cookies, and subscribed to a newsletter. And we haven’t mentioned the apps on your phone or tablet yet.

It sounds pretty standard, doesn’t it? The thing is that part of this “normality” implies that the personal information you provided throughout your navigation reached the hands of data brokers, and it’s up for sale on the dark web. No, we’re not paranoid. It’s the nature of the beast. However, we have good news for you: Surfshark’s new Incogni feature can help your rescue your personal information from the dark market.

Incogni went online in January 2022. This tool can accelerate and automate your data removal requests and ensure that the brokers stick to data rights regulations and protocols. It manages each request according to GDPR and CCPA data protection regulations. This feature needs to have a limited power of attorney from you so it can do the job.

Handing out that limited power of attorney is well worth it. Incogni compels data brokers to erase your personal information from their databases without hassle.

This article will show you what Incogni is, how it is under the hood, and how to use it to remove your data from the hands of data brokers. So stay tuned and keep reading so you can find out everything you need to know about Surfshark’s new data protection feature.

Incogni: What is it, and what does it do?

Incogni is the newest additional data protection feature for Surfshark users. It brings automation into removing your data from the dark databases of the internet’s data brokers. It’s a huge blessing.

Consider this: without Incogni, if you want to do it, you would need to sweep the internet to find out who has your personal information. Then, you’d have to contact them all, one by one, requesting them to erase your data. That is tedious, time-consuming, long, and mostly useless. So instead, Incogni helps you with an algorithm determining where your data is most likely. Then, as it locates the target, Surfshark’s legal team joins the process to speed things up, ensuring that everything happens faster.

Incogni’s handling of data removal requests

Incogni dashboard

The number of data brokers collecting user data around the globe was beyond 4,000 in 2019. It’s a massive universe if you want to find out who’s included you in their database, which is also vast. Essentially, doing this by hand is like finding a needle in a haystack four thousand times over. Let’s say you find the culprits, just to be wildly optimistic and for argument’s sake.

The next step would be to write your removal request so it’s water-tight. Do you know the legalese for this? Do you know the laws and regulations that support your side of the story? And then, you’d need to start to haggle until you get your way. In other words, the process is hellish, and Surfshark estimates that any average user trying this process by hand would need about 66 years each time. Incogni saves you all that trouble. It’s not just practical. It makes an impossible process easy.

Incogni onboarding email

Incogni’s process starts when you sign up for it. Then, it sends out legal removal requests in bulk in your stead. It’s all automated. You won’t even know what’s happening unless you go to the Incogni dashboard to see how things are going. The dashboard tells you how many data brokers were contacted, which ones acknowledged the request and did something about it, and which are still pending.

Incogni performance

The drawbacks

Yes, Incogni is cool. But don’t get overexcited yet. 

Incogni will send lots of requests on your behalf, yes. But it does so without hinting that the broker has your data. Instead, it guessed that the brokers in question have your stuff — that’s what the algorithm does.

So there’s every chance that at least one request will reach a data broker with nothing to do with your information.