Who sees your prescription information? No, there are more people involved than just the pharmacists and technicians at your local drugstore and your doctor and his or her employees. Information about your medications can also end up with data miners, insurance companies other than your health insurer, and companies that your pharmacy does business with. [More]
Most smart TVs watch you back, to some extent. There’s money — a lot of money — to be had in user data, and advertising makes the world go ’round. Even accepting that, though, there are limits on what one generally should and should not have to expect when it comes to privacy-invading televisions, and new reports indicate that one manufacturer has gone well past that line.
From time to time, federal regulators shut down shady payday lending companies that debit consumers’ accounts or charge their credit cards without permission. But those nefarious operations have to get their information from somewhere, right? Well, today the Federal Trade Commission sent a message to all of those companies providing such personal information to scammy-mcscammersons by taking action against a data broker operation that illegal sold payday loan applicants’ financial information. [More]
By now we know that every purchase a consumer makes is added to a list detailing one’s spending and life-style habit, which is used to target people for marketing campaigns and other services. But how would you feel if that information was used by your doctors to keep tabs on your health? [More]
Who would you say knows the most about you? Your family or friends, perhaps? Wrong. You likely have never met – and will never meet – the people who know the most about you: data brokers. These companies follow your every move on- and off-line to collect billions of data points about your life in an attempt to better target you for marketing campaigns and fraud prevention, among other things. [More]
Every time you use the internet, you leave a huge trail of information in your wake–and it’s not just your browser history full of cat videos. Companies called data brokers are constantly collecting a thousand little nuggets of information behind you, adding them up into a profile of you, and selling the profiles for lots of money. Data brokers still move in mysterious ways, leaving unanswered questions: how are they getting their data? Who’s buying it? And, perhaps most importantly: can you, the consumer, do anything about it?
Perhaps the scariest part of data mining is the not knowing: What do these data brokers have on me? How do they see me in terms of marketing prey? Where does it all come from? Is anyone judging my predilection for impulse buys of cheesy romance e-books? Which is why it’s somewhat surprising that one company, Acxiom, is pulling back the curtain to show people not only some of what it has on them, but also a general idea of where that info came from. [More]
We all know that there are companies out there sucking up consumers’ information and selling it — sometimes to people or entities they shouldn’t — but what no one really knows is exactly who has that data. While there are a few ways for consumers to check activity data on specific sites, there’s no catch-all resource for people to go to and see what their name/info is up to. The Federal Trade Commission wants to change that with a “Reclaim Your Name” proposal. [More]
While it often seems like information brokers can and do sell whatever data they can collect to anyone willing to pay, there are regulations in place regarding the sale of certain types of personal information. Following a test to see how well brokers were adhering to these rules, the Federal Trade Commission has issued warning letters to 10 data brokers who appeared willing to sell consumer information without abiding by standards set forth in the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
By now we’re well aware that there are data brokering companies out there, collecting personal data from shoppers including what we buy and where we buy it, using simple tools like our zip codes, for example. But it isn’t just that they know all about us, it’s that often companies then stick consumers into little boxes, complete with fun names like “Truckin’ & Stylin’ ” or “Apple Pie Families” So which are you?
Rodney’s son asked him to pick up some nicotine patches, so he did. Rodney, an ex-smoker himself, knows the agony of nicotine withdrawal, and was happy to help him out. Up to a point. He wasn’t happy enough to let Target scan his driver’s license and hold on to the information that he had bought nicotine patches when he hasn’t smoked in years. The thing is, his caution is entirely justified. He could very well land on a data broker’s list of recent smokers. [More]
You may remember earlier this fall when Facebook’s new partnership with data broker Datalogix spurred privacy advocates to ask the Federal Trade Commission to investigate. Now it looks like Datalogix, along with eight other data brokers, will be going under the agency’s microscope. [More]
Everyone is freaking out about Facebook having/owning your data, but they’re NKOTB (New Kids On The Block). There’s a slew of guys that have been carving up, packaging and reselling your personal information since before “Please Don’t Go Girl” started assaulting our ear canals. Here’s a cubic ton of data brokers, direct marketers and data aggregation services, with links to how you can opt your digits out of their databases.
The FTC asked a district court to announce a forever ban against businesses using false pretenses, or “pretexting,” to acquire customers phone records and then sell them to third parties.