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Wed May 28, 2014, 09:05 AM

New Curbs Sought on the Personal Data Industry

Source: New York Times

The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday called on Congress to protect consumers against the unchecked collection and sharing of their digital data — from websites visited to their marital status — by providing people with tools to view, suppress and fix their information.

The agency also said the little-known companies, called data brokers, that analyze and sell huge amounts of the consumer information for marketing purposes, needed to be reined in and more transparent to the public.

Companies that trade in consumer data, the agency said in a 110-page report about the industry, suffered from “a fundamental lack of transparency.”

“You may not know them, but data brokers know you,” Edith Ramirez, chairwoman of the F.T.C., said in a conference call. It is an industry, she said, that “operates largely in the dark,” yet it has remarkably detailed information that includes online and store purchases, political and religious affiliations, personal income, and socioeconomic status.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/28/technology/ftc-urges-legislation-to-shed-more-light-on-data-collection.html?rref=business&module=ArrowsNav&contentCollection=Business%20Day&action=keypress®ion=FixedLeft&pgtype=article



Related:

Data Brokers: A Call for Transparency and Accountability - the 110-page FTC report referenced in the excerpt

The Data Brokers: Selling your personal information - 60 Minutes, March 9, 2014

How To Defend Your Privacy Online - CBS

Federal Trade Commission to data brokers: Show us your data - Los Angeles Times, Dec. 17, 2012

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Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply New Curbs Sought on the Personal Data Industry (Original post)
klook May 2014 OP
klook May 2014 #1
Leme May 2014 #3
okaawhatever May 2014 #2
freshwest May 2014 #4

Response to klook (Original post)

Wed May 28, 2014, 12:10 PM

1. 'Financially Challenged' - 'Bible Lifestyle' - 'Diabetes Interest' - 'Smoker in Household'

These are representative of the categories that data brokers put us into, based on the personal information collected and sold (typically without our knowledge or active consent) by customers of the companies we entrust to provide us with online communications and business transactions.

Data brokers collect and share "vast amounts" of information, typically behind the scenes without consumer knowledge, the agency said in a report. Some store data indefinitely, creating potential security risks, the FTC said.

"Data brokers often know as much - or even more - about us than our family and friends," FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement. "It's time to bring transparency and accountability to bear on this industry."
<snip>
Such narratives "could result in our being treated differently based on characteristics such as our race, income, or sexual orientation," FTC Commissioner Julie Brill said in a separate statement.

"Perhaps we are described as 'Financially Challenged' or instead as 'Bible Lifestyle.' Perhaps we are also placed in a category of 'Diabetes Interest' or 'Smoker in Household,' " Brill said. "The profiles have the ability to not only rob us of our good name, but also to lead to lost economic opportunities, higher costs, and other significant harm."

- source: FTC finds data brokers pose risk to consumers, SFGate.com

Anybody else alarmed by all this? Is our privacy still worth fighting for?

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Response to klook (Reply #1)

Thu May 29, 2014, 01:28 AM

3. alarmed..for sure

 

only part of it. this entire collection is privacy invasion. Same with NSA. Just legal it seems.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Thu May 29, 2014, 01:12 AM

2. K & R nt

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Response to klook (Original post)

Thu May 29, 2014, 03:31 AM

4. Thanks for the links and post. The FTC is going after a monster this time. Love to see the changes.

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