Data Brokers

Senate Report Opens a Window Into Hidden World of Data Aggregators

Senate Report Opens a Window Into Hidden World of Data Aggregators

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:51pm
Today, the powerful Senate Commerce Committee issued a damning report on the invasive practices of the online data broker industry. The Committee’s report is the result of a year-long investigation targeting nine of the biggest data aggregators, including Acxiom, Experian, and Datalogix. It discusses some of the information companies are collecting, questions their business practices, and reveals the real harms such practices can cause.
The Hazards of Uncontrolled Data Collection

The Hazards of Uncontrolled Data Collection

By Joe Silver, Washington Legislative Office, ACLU at 3:32pm

Leaks of classified and highly secretive information from U.S. government databases by the likes of Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning have naturally garnered massive press attention, exposing some deeply problematic U.S. military and national security…

How Do I Get Out of This Relationship?

How Do I Get Out of This Relationship?

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:03am

We have written extensively about online data brokers and their penchant for mining public records and secretly following you around the web in order to create profiles based on personal information they glean. They then share that information with…

Not Just the NSA: Data Brokers Amass Detailed Profiles on Everyone Online

Not Just the NSA: Data Brokers Amass Detailed Profiles on Everyone Online

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:11pm

This month, a strongly worded Washington Post op-ed by Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill calling for transparency in the business practices of the online data broker industry provoked a heated response. While the ACLU and other privacy advocates…

Enterprise Omniscience

Enterprise Omniscience

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:35pm

NBC’s Bob Sullivan published a very nice piece of reporting Wednesday on an Equifax company called The Work Number, which collects detailed information about the paychecks of 30 percent of the U.S. workforce and then uses it for various purposes,…

TSA Once Again Considering Using Commercial Data To Profile Passengers

TSA Once Again Considering Using Commercial Data To Profile Passengers

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:09am

The TSA has issued a “Market Research Announcement” in which the agency expresses a desire to expand its Pre-Check whitelist program by allowing private companies to carry out risk analysis of Americans that would determine whether they…

Data Brokers Release Information About Their Operations In Response to Congressional Inquiry

Data Brokers Release Information About Their Operations In Response to Congressional Inquiry

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:18pm

Yesterday Reps. Ed Markey (D, Mass.) and Joe Barton (R, Texas) released a batch of important details about the operation of the nation’s largest data broker companies. The information came in responses from nine data broker companies to a list of questions posed by a group of Members led by Markey and Barton seeking details of their operation in light of the privacy sensitivity of what they do. The responses released yesterday provide a good snapshot and reminder of what it is these companies are doing.

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