The Cambridge Analytica scandal from earlier in the year has made data-brokers a hot topic. In your Facebook profile… it is possible to give just about any app permission to access information in your personal Info section, including those that were installed by others but forgotten. With all of us sharing more and giving app developers our info on an unprecedented scale, there has never been more data out there for brokers to trade in – and we are unwittingly selling ourselves short.
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What is data broking and how do they work?
Data broking is the business of collecting, analyzing, and selling data. Data brokers typically collect data from public sources, such as government records and commercial data sources, and then sell it to other businesses. Some data brokers also buy data from companies that have collected it from their customers.
Data brokers play an important role in the economy by helping companies target their products and services to the right consumers. For example, a data broker might collect information about people who have recently moved to a new city and sell it to a real estate agent who can then send them information about homes for sale in the area.
Data brokers can also help businesses detect fraud, collect debt, and locate missing persons. While some data broking activities are beneficial, others may be considered invasive or even unethical. For example, some data brokers collect detailed information about people’s spending habits and selling it to marketers without the individual’s knowledge or consent.
As the use of big data becomes more widespread, data broking is likely to increase in both scope and scale. Some experts predict that data will become the new oil, with data brokers serving as the middlemen who buy and sell this valuable commodity.
Why do data brokers exist?
Data brokers exist for one simple reason: to make money. They do this by collecting data about people and then selling that data to businesses that want to target consumers with ads and other marketing materials. Data brokers usually get their information from public sources, such as voter registration records and real estate listings. But they also buy data from companies that collect it from their customers, such as credit card companies and retailers. And they sometimes collect data themselves through loyalty programs and surveys.
What do your data reveal about yourself?
Data brokers are companies that collect and sell individuals’ personal information. This information can include everything from your name and address to your shopping habits and political views. Data brokers typically obtain their information from public sources, such as voting records and property transactions, as well as from commercial sources, such as loyalty cards and online data brokers have become increasingly sophisticated in recent years, using predictive analytics and other techniques to glean insights about people that can be used for marketing purposes.
So what does all this mean for you? Well, it depends on how you feel about having your personal data collected and sold. If you’re comfortable with it, then you probably don’t have anything to worry about. But if you’re not comfortable with it, you may want to think about ways to limit the amount of information that data brokers have about you. For example, you could avoid using loyalty cards or participating in online surveys. You could also choose to opt out of having your data collected by some data brokers.
Are there laws to protect consumers from data brokers?
Yes, there are laws to protect consumers from data brokers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which regulates how data brokers collect, use, and sell information about consumers. The FCRA requires data brokers to take reasonable steps to ensure that the information they collect is accurate and that only those who have a legitimate need for it can access it.
How does the DPA affect you?
The UK’s Data Protection Act (DPA) came into force on 25thMay, 2018 and applies to any company that processes the data of UK citizens, regardless of where the company is based. The DPA gives individuals the right to know what personal data is being collected about them, the right to have that data erased, and the right to object to its use.
So how does this affect you? If you are a data controller, you need to be aware of your obligations under the DPA. You must take steps to protect people’s personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorised access, or disclosure. And you must take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal data you hold is accurate and up to date.
If you are a data processor, you must only process personal data in accordance with the instructions of the data controller. You must also take steps to protect people’s personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorised access, or disclosure.
The DPA gives individuals the right to know what personal data is being collected about them, the right to have that data erased, and the right to object to its use. So if you are collecting or using someone