Lawmakers Release Information About How Data Brokers Handle Consumers’ Personal Information
From Rep. Ed Markey:
A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Reps. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas), co-Chairmen of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, today released responses to letters sent to nine major data brokerage companies querying each about how it collects, assembles and sells consumer information to third parties. The companies –Acxiom, Epsilon (Alliance Data Systems), Equifax, Experian, Harte-Hanks, Intelius, Fair Isaac, Merkle, and Meredith Corp. – responded to lawmaker questions about policies and practices related to privacy, transparency and consumer notification. Data brokers represent a multi-billion dollar industry, aggregating information about hundreds of millions of Americans from both online and offline sources, which they then may sell to third parties for targeted advertising and other purposes. Consumers often have little knowledge of the existence of these companies.
Other signatories on the letters include Reps. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).
A copy of the responses to the lawmakers, as well as the original letters, can be found HERE.
You can read the full press release HERE, but what I was particularly interested in was responses to the data security questions in the letter (see Questions 10-12). I’ll let you read them for yourself, butI found some of them … um… unhelpful.