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Privacy enhancement provided by FindMyData

What is FindMyData?

FindMyData offers a privacy enhancing service, which empowers people to take back control over their personal information. With FindMyData, people have the ability to protect, preserve and make decisions regarding their data, with just a tap.

The current industry landscape

There are many events happening every day in the privacy industry. Starting with the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal from 2016, to more recent events with Grindr’s data selling to advertisers, or Clearview AI’s unlawful data gathering, it shows how user’s privacy is exploited.

Besides these, there are situations less known by the general public, where organisations (e.g. local councils, data brokers, service providers and many others) sell user’s personal information on a daily basis, and most of the time, it happens without user’s knowledge or consent. This data selling habit, along with an increased number of data breaches, leads to scams. In recent years, the large number of scams, as well as the scammer’s ability to impersonate genuine organisations, has lead to financial losses of over £2.35 billion, in UK alone.

The establishment of FindMyData

FindMyData began its journey in July 2020, by Founder Claudiu Cogalniceanu.

“I was always curious and concerned about my personal information in the digital environment”, said Claudiu. “I always wondered how and why I had so many spam emails and scam attempts, and I started to question how these people obtained my personal data, and from where. I started researching, and finally I got my answer: I found that companies shared and sold my personal information, and many times it was bought by scammers. This pushed me to search for a solution to stop getting scammed, and I finally found it. I tested my idea on myself, and after I saw that it worked and I actually started to get less and less spams and scam attempts, I saw the opportunity to share my idea and start helping people facing the same issues as I did.”

The company solution

At the moment, FindMyData offers one privacy service, mData, officially launched in October 2021 at their live streamed event, which helps users track their personal information and see which companies have it, delete their data from organisations they don’t use or that obtained their info from sources other than directly from users, or even stop their information from being shared and sold. Through mData, users have access to the Scam Prevention Program (where they receive weekly notifications about the latest scams, learn how to protect against said scams, report a scam or seek advice regarding a potential scam) and Data Breach Report (where users receive monthly reports informing them if they have appeared in data breaches).

In terms of success, Claudiu says it best: “At FindMyData, success is subjective. Every user has its own objectives, whether they are just curious about their personal information, or they want to delete their data from organisations, or they might even want to preserve their children’s personal information. With the process we have developed, we are able to accommodate each and every need, and I consider this a major success.”

The vision, at FindMyData, is to change the world and make privacy a default feature everywhere. At the moment, privacy is handled backwards, which means that users have to opt-out of certain data processes (e.g. opt-out of data sharing with advertisers, opt-out of data selling). Our mission is to change this to an opt-in, where everyone would enjoy its privacy by default, and if anyone wishes for more personalised advertising, or doesn’t mind its data to be sold, should have the option to opt-in.

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