From the FTC:
The Federal Trade Commission issued orders requiring nine data brokerage companies to provide the agency with information about how they collect and use data about consumers. The agency will use the information to study privacy practices in the data broker industry.
Data brokers are companies that collect personal information about consumers from a variety of public and non-public sources and resell the information to other companies. In many ways, these data flows benefit consumers and the economy; for example, having this information about consumers enables companies to prevent fraud. Data brokers also provide data to enable their customers to better market their products and services.
The nine data brokers receiving orders from the FTC are: 1) Acxiom, 2) Corelogic, 3) Datalogix, 4) eBureau, 5) ID Analytics, 6) Intelius, 7) Peekyou, 8) Rapleaf, and 9) Recorded Future. The FTC is seeking details about:
- the nature and sources of the consumer information the data brokers collect;
- how they use, maintain, and disseminate the information; and
- the extent to which the data brokers allow consumers to access and correct their information or to opt out of having their personal information sold.
The FTC and the House Bipartisan Privacy Caucus seem to be working on the same issue, but the FTC seems to be doing it with more authority. I look forward to reading what they find. In the meantime, I’ve emailed the FTC to ask about on what basis they selected these nine data brokers out of all data brokers.
Update: The FTC responded to my inquiry as to why these nine data brokers and not others:
We called on our knowledge of the industry gained from policy and law enforcement efforts and researched other sources to identify a diverse group of companies with varying business models and products.