Incogni vs Privacy Bee: Which Data Removal Service is Right For You?

March 18, 2024

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In today’s digital age, protecting your online privacy is more critical than ever. With personal data scattered across countless websites, social media platforms, and data broker databases, it’s all too easy for sensitive information to fall into the wrong hands.

Thankfully, data removal services like Incogni and Privacy Bee have emerged to help individuals reclaim control over their digital footprint. By identifying where your data is located and submitting opt-out requests on your behalf, these tools can significantly reduce your online exposure and minimize privacy risks.

But with multiple options on the market, it can be challenging to determine which service is the best fit for your needs. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare two of the top contenders – Incogni and Privacy Bee – to help you make an informed decision.

As a privacy and security researcher with over a decade of experience, I’ve thoroughly tested both platforms to provide an objective assessment of their strengths, weaknesses, and key differentiators. Whether you’re looking to remove your data from people search sites, reduce spam, or simply maintain a low digital profile, this article will equip you with the insights needed to choose the right solution.

What is Incogni?

Incogni 1

Incogni is an automated data removal service that aims to protect user privacy by opting individuals out of major data broker sites. Founded in 2021, the company positioned itself as an affordable, user-friendly alternative to more established competitors.

How Incogni Removes Your Personal Data

Unlike some data removal services that rely on manual opt-out requests, Incogni takes a fully automated approach. After collecting basic information like your name, address, and email, their algorithm predicts which data brokers are most likely to have your information on file.

Incogni then sends out removal requests on your behalf, leveraging your rights under privacy laws like the GDPR and CCPA. This process is repeated at regular intervals to ensure that any new data posted is promptly eliminated.

One potential drawback of this automated model is that Incogni only targets a predetermined list of data brokers – currently around 180. So while it can significantly reduce your digital footprint, it may not provide 100% comprehensive coverage.

Incogni Plans and Pricing

Incogni offers two main subscription options:

  • Monthly Plan: $12.98/month, cancel anytime
  • Annual Plan: $77.88 billed yearly (works out to $6.49/month)
Incogni Plans And Pricing

Both plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, making it easy to try the service risk-free. The annual option provides the best value, with savings of over 50% compared to the monthly fee.

One thing to note is that Incogni doesn’t offer a family plan or additional user profiles. Each subscription only covers one individual.

What is Privacy Bee?

Privacy Bee

Privacy Bee is a full-featured privacy protection suite that helps users control their digital footprint through data removal, tracking prevention, and privacy risk monitoring. The US-based company launched in 2020 with the goal of simplifying online privacy for the average consumer. For a deeper dive into the platform, check out our comprehensive Privacy Bee review.

How Privacy Bee Protects Your Online Privacy

At its core, Privacy Bee functions similarly to Incogni – by identifying which data brokers have your personal information and submitting opt-out requests. However, the service takes things a step further with bonus features designed to proactively safeguard your data.

Some key capabilities that set Privacy Bee apart:

  • Vulnerability scanning to pinpoint weak points in your online presence
  • Dark web monitoring to detect if your data has been compromised in breaches
  • Tracker blocking browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox
  • Inbox analysis to help you unsubscribe from mailing lists
  • Family plans covering up to 10 individuals under one subscription

While these extra features can provide greater peace of mind, they do come at a cost. Privacy Bee is one of the more expensive data removal options, which could be a drawback for budget-conscious buyers.

Privacy Bee Pricing Options

Unlike Incogni, Privacy Bee only offers one main subscription tier:

  • Annual Pro Membership: $197/year
Privacy Bee Pricing Options

On the plus side, each membership covers up to 10 family members. So while the individual cost is high, the bundled price is quite reasonable for those wanting to protect their entire household.

For users on the fence, Privacy Bee does provide a free privacy risk assessment. This can be a helpful way to better understand your exposure level before committing to a paid plan.

Incogni vs Privacy Bee: Head-to-Head Comparison

Now that we’ve covered the basics of how each service operates, let’s dive into a direct comparison of Incogni and Privacy Bee. We’ll evaluate the two platforms across eight key dimensions:

Geographic Availability

When it comes to geographic coverage, Incogni is the clear winner. The service is available in the US, Canada, UK, Switzerland, and most European countries. This broad global presence makes it an attractive solution for users outside the United States.

Privacy Bee, on the other hand, is primarily focused on the US market. While the company has announced plans to expand internationally, the timeline remains unclear. For now, non-US users will need to look elsewhere.

Data Broker Coverage

Here, Privacy Bee has the upper hand. The platform reportedly covers over 350 data brokers – nearly double the 180 targeted by Incogni.

This is one area where Privacy Bee’s higher price tag may be justified. For individuals with an extensive digital footprint, opting for the service with the widest reach could translate to meaningfully better results.

However, it’s important to note that both companies are continuously expanding their pool of covered brokers. This gap may well shrink over time, so it’s worth checking each provider’s current list before making a decision.

Removal Process and Efficiency

Both Incogni and Privacy Bee rely on automated systems to detect data brokers housing your information and send removal requests. The main difference lies in how these back-end processes are structured.

With Incogni, the entire flow is algorithmic. After you input your personal details, the system predicts likely matches and spawns opt-outs accordingly. It then periodically checks for new data posts and removes them.

Privacy Bee takes a hybrid approach, combining automation with human oversight. While the bulk of the work is handled programmatically, staff members are available to tackle edge cases or escalations. Theoretically, this allows for greater adaptability and customization.

In practice, both models are quite effective and should produce noticeable reductions in data broker exposure. Speed-wise, the fully automated process may have a slight edge – but not enough to be a major deciding factor for most users.

Reporting and Transparency

A key value-add of data removal services is helping users understand their privacy posture and see concrete progress over time. Let’s compare how Incogni and Privacy Bee approach customer reporting and overall transparency.

Privacy Bee provides in-depth removal summaries covering key stats like:

  • Number of successful opt-outs per data broker
  • Percentage of listings eliminated
  • Final vulnerability score after removals
  • Exposure trends mapped over time

These reports offer excellent insight into the impact of your subscription. Users can easily grasp their risk level and track improvements at a very granular level.

On the transparency front, Privacy Bee also excels by clearly breaking down their data handling practices, security standards, and retention periods in their privacy policy. It’s always a green flag when companies are upfront about how they manage sensitive client data.

In contrast, Incogni offers a more streamlined reporting experience. Users receive regular updates on removal progress and the number of matching data brokers identified. However, the updates lack the detail and context of Privacy Bee’s dashboards. You’ll see that requests were sent successfully but won’t have a quantified sense of vulnerability reduction.

And while Incogni’s privacy policy does cover the basics, it’s less comprehensive than Privacy Bee’s. Some finer points around data security aren’t fully fleshed out, which may be a concern for highly risk-aware buyers.

Ease of Use and Interface

On the usability front, both Incogni and Privacy Bee deliver intuitive, user-friendly experiences. The two platforms leverage clean design principles and simple navigation structures to make managing your privacy a painless process.

With Incogni, setup takes just a few clicks. After creating an account and inputting your personal info, the algorithm handles the rest. Ongoing tracking is equally straightforward, with all updates centralized in a lean reporting dashboard.

Incogni Dashboard

Privacy Bee guides users through a similar account creation flow. The main difference is the extra features and configuration options available on the platform. Despite the added functionality, the interface remains uncluttered and the process is still quite easy to follow.

Privacy Bee Dashboard

Ultimately, this category is a tie. Users of all technical skill levels should have no trouble getting started and staying on top of their privacy protection with either solution.

Additional Privacy Features

For many users, data broker removal is just one component of a well-rounded privacy and security posture. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive toolset, the supplemental features offered by each platform are worth evaluating.

Privacy Bee pulls ahead on this front thanks to its full suite of privacy utilities. On top of data removals, a subscription grants you access to:

  • 24/7 dark web monitoring
  • On-demand vulnerability scans
  • Tracker blocking browser extensions
  • Address masking email service
  • 1 GB of free VPN access

This bonus functionality can significantly bolster your defensive line against privacy threats. The dark web alerts and browser plugins are particularly valuable time-savers for proactively nipping issues in the bud.

Privacy Bee Additional Privacy Features

Incogni, on the other hand, is designed purely as a data removal specialist. The platform doesn’t include any major security extras, so you’ll need to assemble the other pieces of your privacy stack separately.

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with a focused approach. Many individuals may actually prefer a purpose-built tool that does one thing extremely well. And Incogni’s core removal functionality is on par with or better than most full-featured competitors.

But if you’re looking for an “all-in-one” solution, Privacy Bee is likely the better bet. However, if you’re interested in exploring other options, take a look at our article on top Privacy Bee alternatives. Just be sure to factor in the added capabilities when comparing prices, as the gap may be smaller than it initially appears.

Security and Data Handling Practices

Given the sensitivity of the data involved, evaluating a removal service’s security and privacy standards is an important step. Both Incogni and Privacy Bee have gone to significant lengths to protect customer information, but there are some differences worth noting.

Let’s start with the control side. Privacy Bee makes it easy for users to request copies of their data or delete their account entirely. This level of transparency is always great to see and indicates the company takes its stewardship role seriously.

Incogni also allows users to export or delete their data. However, the pages describing this process aren’t quite as easy to find. The support resources feel a bit less developed compared to Privacy Bee.

In terms of actual data handling, both companies are compliant with major privacy laws like the GDPR and CCPA. They also purge customer records in a timely fashion – 30 days for Privacy Bee and 12 months for Incogni.

One notable difference is that Privacy Bee conducts third-party security audits to verify its policies and identify any gaps. To date, Incogni hasn’t announced any similar assessments. This added validation is another trust signal that may sway particularly cautious buyers.

Customer Support Options

Even with the most intuitive platform, questions are bound to come up from time to time. When they do, having reliable support channels can make a world of difference.

Once again, Privacy Bee comes out slightly ahead. The company provides three convenient ways for users to find answers and resolve issues:

  1. Comprehensive knowledge base with step-by-step guides
  2. 24/7 live chat staffed by real privacy experts
  3. Email ticketing system with quick turnaround times

In my experience, the chat support is particularly responsive. Even during off-hours, I was able to connect with a helpful rep within minutes.

Incogni’s support setup is solid but not quite as robust. The main options are email support and an online knowledge base. While the quality of service is very good, the lack of real-time channels could be problematic for users with urgent concerns.

To Incogni’s credit, the company has done an excellent job with its self-help resources. The knowledge base is well-organized and covers an impressive range of topics. For most common questions, you’ll likely be able to find the info you need without ever contacting a rep.

Key Takeaways

  • Incogni offers the best global coverage, with availability in the US, Canada, UK, and most of Europe. Privacy Bee currently only serves the US market.
  • Privacy Bee boasts a larger network of covered data brokers – over 350 compared to Incogni’s 180. To see how it stacks up against other top contenders, check out our Privacy Bee vs DeleteMe and Privacy Bee vs Optery comparisons.
  • While Incogni and Privacy Bee leverage similar automated removal processes, Privacy Bee supplements its algorithms with human oversight for greater customization.
  • Privacy Bee provides more detailed removal reports and is very transparent about its data practices. Incogni’s updates are useful but lack the same level of insight.
  • Both platforms are user-friendly and easy to navigate. Even tech novices should have no trouble getting the hang of either one.
  • In addition to data removals, Privacy Bee offers bonus features like dark web monitoring and tracker blocking. Incogni is a more specialized tool for users who only need the core removal functionality.
  • Privacy Bee goes the extra mile on security by conducting third-party audits. Both companies are GDPR and CCPA compliant and follow responsible data purging practices.
  • Users can get support through multiple real-time channels with Privacy Bee. Incogni’s options are largely asynchronous but the self-help resources are comprehensive.

Incogni vs Privacy Bee FAQ

Is Privacy Bee available outside the US?

Not currently. The company is working to expand internationally but for now only serves the US market. If you need global coverage, Incogni is the better choice.

How many data brokers does Incogni cover compared to Privacy Bee?

Privacy Bee reportedly covers over 350 data brokers while Incogni targets around 180. Keep in mind that both companies are continuously adding new brokers to their lists.

Can I protect my whole family with one subscription?

Privacy Bee offers family plans that cover up to 10 people. With Incogni, each subscription only applies to one individual.

How long does it take for my data to be removed?

The speed depends on each data broker’s protocols but most removals happen within 30-45 days. Both companies will continuously monitor for and delete new posts after the initial purge.

Are these services safe? What happens to my data?

Incogni and Privacy Bee are both fully GDPR and CCPA compliant. Your data is only used to process removals and is purged on a regular basis – every 12 months for Incogni and every 30 days for Privacy Bee.

What happens if I cancel my subscription?

Brokers may re-post your data over time once removals stop. Staying subscribed is the best way to keep your footprint minimized. If you do cancel, previously removed info will stay gone but new posts could start appearing again.

Can I get a refund if I’m not satisfied?

Incogni offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans. Privacy Bee doesn’t explicitly advertise a refund policy but the company does accept cancellations within 24 hours of renewal for annual subscriptions.

Final Verdict: Which Service Comes Out on Top?

Having thoroughly evaluated Incogni and Privacy Bee, it’s clear that both platforms provide tremendous value for privacy-conscious individuals. Each company brings a distinct set of strengths to the table:

Incogni is an excellent choice for users who want:

  • Broad global coverage, especially in Europe and the UK
  • A specialized, purpose-built data removal tool
  • An affordable, no-frills solution that’s easy to use

Privacy Bee is well-suited for users who want:

  • The most extensive data broker coverage currently available
  • Detailed progress reports and privacy insights
  • Bonus features like dark web monitoring for proactive security
  • Real-time support via phone and chat

Ultimately, the best option for you will depend on your unique needs and priorities. If thorough reporting and bonus features are important, Privacy Bee’s higher price may be justified. If you’re looking for a streamlined removal specialist with solid fundamentals, Incogni is a great pick.

For most users, I’d give the overall edge to Privacy Bee.