Side-note: hello again!  Long time no post.  This isn’t an April Fool, in case you’re wondering.

As part of some spring cleaning, I decided to seek out and delete some old accounts for sites I no longer use.  A quick check in my LastPass vault showed a load of sites I haven’t used in years.  Some sites were nice enough to provide me with a delete option, but as you’ve probably guessed, most aren’t so forward with letting you take away your data.

What amazes me (or perhaps did at first, not so much now) is how deleting an account doesn’t really do that much.  A lot of privacy policies include data retention policies that allow a site to keep your data for months, or even years, after you “delete” your account.

So, for sites that didn’t provide account deletion options, I Googled around for suggestions, mostly leading to emailing the support teams or going on chat with their operators.  Here we go.

Adobe

I started with Adobe.  Had an Adobe ID for years, back when you needed one for ConnectNow, a fairly good screencasting app (now superseded by a number of better alternatives).  Went on live chat, explained I wanted my account deleted.  ”Reason for account deletion?”  Lack of use; does it matter?

Anyway, they told me it was gone.  I probably would have believed it, but my session was still alive so I went and poked around.  All they’d done was change my email address to add +old before the @ sign.  Nothing else changed, my name and (fake) address were still there, as well as my email address in another field.  So I said to the chat operator it was all still there and they were like, “oh”.  So now it’s being taken higher, I should receive another email about it next week to tell me stuff has gone for good.

OpenDNS

No live chat from them, so I emailed.  Got a reply half an hour later to tell me my account was ka-put.  Again, I was still logged in so I went for a little investigation.  My login email was quite obfuscated (something like “email-with-@-replaced-with-+@null.opendns.com”).  Other than that, everything was still there, including my email address in another profile field.

PopCap

Some old Facebook games of theirs I used to play.  They are really difficult to contact, most of the support pages just give FAQs.  Eventually found a contact form; although not really designed for my query, I shoved my request in anyway.  A few days later, the reply was:

“If you would like to stop playing, you simply can stop at any time! PopCap Titles do not have any reoccurring fees or payments.”

The point is, you have my data.  Give it back, dammit.  Looks like that won’t happen any time soon.

ZumoCast (Motorola)

Used to be quite a fan of ZumoDrive, a cloud storage provider that mounted/synced your data onto a Z: drive.  Unfortunately, they’ve since shut down, and ZumoCast, a media streaming app linked to the same account, is now owned by Motorola.  A live chat conversation got me to email and enquire about an account deletion.  Reply came back almost a week later saying it was done, but no change, account still available as before.  Emailed back again, yet to hear anything.

Feedly

Tried it during the “OMG, Google Reader is dying” phase, but not really to my taste.  Emailed to have my account deleted, no response.

Tetris Battle

Another random Facebook game.  Email auto-reply said they’re too busy to handle support requests.  Well, awesome.