Like many people, I've had an account with Adobe for many years. That account has been used for downloading free software, a Creative Cloud subscription and for using the company's cloud services. I don't use the software anymore and have no use for their online services - which is more about my needs than a statement about their service quality.
But when I decided to delete my account this week I hit an unexpected hurdle. There's no option for a user to delete their own account.
After I logged into my account, I went to the account management menu and searched far and wide for options to delete my account completely from Adobe's systems. And while there were options for changing subscription options, there was no way to actually eradicate myself from their systems.
After spending half an hour on what ought to have been a five-minute job, I fired off a tweet to Adobe.
Hey @Adobe How do i completely delete my account with you? Surely, you should have a "Delete my account" option somewhere - something that should be easy given things like #gdpr and Australian privacy rules.
— Anthony Caruana (@Anthony_Caruana) March 18, 2018
Adobe's support team messaged me back several hours later asking me to direct message my email address to them so they could remove the account for me. I did that and received a message back a little while later saying they had completed the task.
Hi Anthony, please follow us & send us a DM with your Adobe ID email. We can submit a request to have the Adobe ID deactivated. ^SV https://t.co/BoWYZs8j7T
— Adobe Customer Care (@AdobeCare) March 19, 2018
It's a little thing but disempowering users from being able to fully manage their accounts, including deleting their account, is a bad look and poor customer service. It reflects a lack of confidence, I think, in being able to retain customers purely on the quality of their products.
While Adobe hasn't been subject to a major data breach for over four years, new data breach laws around the world put the onus on businesses to protect customer data. And the easiest data to protect is the data you don't have. If users can easily delete their accounts from unwanted services then they are actually helping to reduce the impact, and therefore risks, associated with a breach.
And it's good customer service.