Requesting your personal data from a company

There are now several privacy laws (Canada – PIPEDA/PIPA, EU – GDPR, California – CCPA) that allow individuals to request their personal information.

There was recently an article in Vice from someone who requested their personal data from Clearview AI, called Here’s the File Clearview AI Has Been Keeping on Me, and Probably on You Too, and I’m writing this to share that if you’re in one of the locations I mentioned above, you can request your personal data from Clearview AI, or any company.

If you’re in Canada, check out the Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s guidance on this. In terms of asking a company for your information, they even include a template. I highly recommend you give it a try! Consider also asking Facebook, or your phone company, or any other company who has your data, what exactly they have on you.

If you’re a citizen of the European union, here is what you need to know.

For the Canadians reading this, you also have the right to have the company correct any information about you that is wrong, as well as have them delete (not just de-activate!) your information if you’re no longer doing business with that company. For companies that are making money from personal data collection like Google and Facebook, or especially companies like Clearview AI that are collecting your personal information without consent, they would go out of business if everyone requested a deletion of their data.