InterNations: Social Networking Privacy Fail

Back in November, I finally decided I’d had enough of all the marketing emails that were clogging up my inbox. These are not spam, as such, but sites I had bought something from in the past but which continued to send me mails trying to sell me more stuff. So rather than just deleting the mails as they arrived, I went back and unsubscribed from each and every one of them.

This has proved to be remarkably liberating and I found my attention turning to the various social network notifications that I was receiving. Each time a notification hit my inbox, I would either unsubscribe from the emails or delete the account.

Today, I received a notification from InterNations. It’s an expat network that I signed up to a few years ago and, for various reasons, have found to be a lot less useful than I thought it would be. So I signed on and started looking for the Delete Account button.

This is what I found (emphasis mine):

4.3 Changing or Removing Information

Access and control over most personal information on InterNations is readily available through the profile editing tools on the InterNationsWebsites. The User may modify or delete any of his/her profile information except the mandatory information required during the registration process at any time by logging into his/her account. Information will be updated immediately. Users who wish to deactivate their account with InterNations should send a fax or letter to InterNations. In this case InterNations will remove the User’s name and other personally identifiable information from publicly viewable data. InterNations may retain certain data contributed by the User if it may be necessary to prevent fraud or future abuse, or for legitimate business purposes, such as analysis of aggregated, non-personally-identifiable data, account recovery, or if required by law. All retained data will continue to be subject to the terms of the Privacy Policy that the User has previously agreed to.

Seriously. They expect me to send them a letter to tell them that I no longer want to use their online service.

Words fail me.

8 thoughts on “InterNations: Social Networking Privacy Fail

  1. Hi!
    I too receive a zillion internations emails and I’m looking for a way to delete my (useless) account. I googled for a solution and have came across your blog. Did you manage to figure out how to do it?
    Thanks!
    Mane

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  2. Unfortunately not. As far as I can remember, there is no way of deleting your account without actually posting a letter to them.

    I think I ended up switching off all notifications and them changing the account email address to use an alternative email account that I never look at.

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  3. Having to use something like a fax service was pretty much my point – I shouldn’t need to jump through hoops or look for third party solutions to delete an account. Simply pressing a button (and possibly responding to or ignoring an email) should be enough. Mailing lists can manage this so I don’t see why social networks should find it so difficult.

    Thanks for the link to the delete function, though. I need to be signed on to actually view the page so I’m not going to do anything right now, but I will take a look later.

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  4. hi guys ! i find that place stupid anyways but never, for 14 years of being online, i have encountered something like this before ! the link you posted, i can’t find the delete option…and i am logged in and trying to figure it out…but can’t ! any help very much so welcome 🙂

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  5. Dear Members,

    If you would like to delete your profile you can do so by following the instructions below:

    1. Please log in to your InterNations account and go to your My Account section.

    NB: If you are unable to click on this hyperlink, you will find the ‘Account’ section by logging into your InterNations account and moving your mouse cursor over your profile picture in the top right hand corner and then clicking on ‘Account’.

    2. Then click the Membership tab.
    3. There, below the subscription options, you will find a link to begin the closure process and looks similar to the below message:

    – “You are currently a Basic Member. If you want to close your account, please follow this link”

    4. By clicking this link and following the steps provided you will successfully delete your account.

    Please understand that If you later decide to become an InterNations member again, you will need to create a new account.

    If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Best Regards,

    Your InterNations Support Team

    Like

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