Today we’re launching Data Rights Finder

Data Rights Finder is a new tool we’ve built in collaboration with Open Rights Group. It helps people understand how companies use personal data and guides people through making requests under GDPR. The site has information on the main banks, insurance providers, comparison websites and financial services companies.

Data Rights Finder

Image: Ian Hutchinson, IF CC-BY

Understand and take action around personal data

According to GDPR, companies must be open about how they use data and give people ways to contact them about their use of it. However, privacy notices are inconsistent in legibility and it’s often hard to find the information you need.

Data Rights Finder makes it easy to look up a company and understand how that company uses personal data. It breaks information down into categories like the kinds of data a company collects, how long they keep it for and who they share it with.

We’ve collected contact details so people can easily get in touch with a company to make a request under GDPR. The service helps people make these requests confidently by creating emails with a prefilled template.

For individuals, businesses and developers

Data Rights Finder will help individuals engage with their new digital rights. But the service also provides some opportunities and benefits for businesses.

Recent events have shown that the way companies use data is linked with people’s trust in them. Research has found that a transparent privacy policy can be good for a company’s bottom line. Data Rights Finder provides an opportunity for companies that want to build people’s trust to be more transparent in how they manage data.

Organisations also have to make sure that companies processing data on their behalf are compliant with GDPR. For example, a clothes shop that uses a till connected to their accounting software needs to make sure the service meets GDPR requirements. Right now, it’s hard to find out this kind of information for services operating outside the European Economic Area – Data Rights Finder makes this easier.

The data used by the tool could also lead to other new services. That’s why we’re providing an API – so developers can use the structured data behind Data Rights Finder in their own applications. This fills a gap in the shared infrastructure that enables developers to build new services that help people access their digital rights.

Help us grow this new service

We need your help to expand the list of organisations we cover. Use this form to create a machine-readable privacy policy that can be used on Data Rights Finder. You can submit your contribution through GitHub or email. All source code for the website and the data you contribute is available under an open licence.

And if you’ve got more general thoughts or feedback we’d love to hear from you – drop me an email at ian@projectsbyif.com.