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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:05 PM

F.T.C. Member Starts ‘Reclaim Your Name’ Campaign for Personal Data

June 26, 2013, 10:32 am
By NATASHA SINGER

... One industry under the microscope is data brokerages. These are business-to-business companies that collect thousands of details — like the shopping habits, vacation preferences, estimated income, ethnicity, hobbies, predilections for gambling or smoking and health concerns — about millions of consumers, the better to help marketers identify potential new customers as well as maintain their already loyal clients.

Although some of these companies do permit people to opt out of their marketing databases, most do not have systems to allow consumers to see records held about them and correct possible errors. Because of this lack of transparency, federal regulators and privacy advocates have long warned about the potential for such data-mining to discriminate against consumers based on sensitive details like financial or health information ...

“Reclaim Your Name would empower the consumer to find out how brokers are collecting and using data; give her access to information that data brokers have amassed about her; allow her to opt-out if she learns a data broker is selling her information for marketing purposes and provide her the opportunity to correct errors in information used for substantive decisions – like credit, insurance, employment, and other benefits,” Ms. Brill said in a speech on Wednesday morning at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference in Washington ...

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