Consumer Reports introduces Permission Slip: The ultimate privacy tool

Yonkers, NY – Consumers nationwide now have a powerful new tool to safeguard their privacy. Permission Slip by CR, a free app from Consumer Reports, the independent nonprofit organization that has been protecting consumers for nearly a century, will help users regain control of their personal information and request that companies delete or stop selling their data. The intuitive, user-friendly app is now available on both iOS and Android.   

Permission Slip makes it easy for consumers to manage their personal information. Users can swipe through companies that may have their data, and with a simple tap, send a request for the company to delete their account or stop selling their information. The app currently includes a broad range of industries and companies – from McDonald’s to Applebee’s, AMC Theatres to Ticketmaster, Amazon to Netflix, The Home Depot to Lowe’s, OpenTable to Instacart, and many others. More companies will continue to be added to the app.     

Permission Slip was developed by Consumer Reports’ Innovation Lab in the wake of the implementation of privacy laws in multiple states, beginning with the landmark California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) that went into effect in January 2020. Through Permission Slip, Consumer Reports acts as an “authorized agent,” an intermediary that files data requests on behalf of consumers and actively follows up with companies to help ensure the requests are fulfilled. The app lets consumers avoid the time-consuming and often complicated process of approaching each individual company to manage their personal data, while it also leverages the clout of Consumer Reports to propel companies to act on the requests.  

“We’re thrilled to put the power to control your data directly into consumers’ hands with Permission Slip,” said Ginny Fahs, Director of Product R&D for Consumer Reports’ Innovation Lab. “People need and deserve control over the sensitive details of their lives, particularly in a market where every click and purchase is carefully tracked. This free app makes it simple to control the personal information companies have about you.”

To start protecting their data, Permission Slip users simply:  

  • Tap on a company to see what type of information they collect  
  • Take action by deleting their data or opting out of its sale 
  • Enlist in automatic requests to data brokers, companies notorious for collecting large amounts of consumer data without consent  

Through the app, consumers can also check the status of their requests and receive confirmation when the requests have been honored. In some cases, companies reach out to the user directly to verify their identity before the request can be fulfilled.  

In addition to protecting consumers through its Permission Slip app, Consumer Reports is leading the charge on a new consumer privacy technology for industry: the Data Rights Protocol. The consumer advocacy group has formed a consortium of leading companies in data privacy and is spearheading a new open standard that will help companies process consumers’ data rights requests more efficiently. In this way, Consumer Reports is providing a solution that will make it easier for companies to honor consumers’ privacy rights – another critical step toward giving consumers better control over their personal information. Permission Slip was made possible in part through grant support from Omidyar Network, a nonprofit organization that works to build more inclusive and equitable societies.