Data Brokers: Buying and Selling Your Personal Information

Perhaps you just purchased a new home.  Maybe you’re getting married or expecting a baby.  You bought a new car.  You subscribed to a magazine.  Or maybe you just ordered a pizza.  What do all of these activities have in common?  There’s a good chance that your personal information may have fallen into the hands of a data broker. 


While data brokers often remain invisible to consumers, they have the potential to significantly impact our lives.  It can be challenging, if not impossible, for consumers to escape the collection of personal data by data brokers. 


Privacy Rights Clearinghouse’s new guide Data Brokers and Your Privacy discusses the data broker industry and the “digital dossiers” that they assemble about individuals.  These dossiers often include a surprisingly broad range of information. 


Our guide explains how data brokers obtain this information, the types of information that data brokers collect, who uses this information, and your rights in dealing with data brokers.  Unfortunately, currently there are very few laws to protect consumers from data brokers.


Feel free to contact us with your privacy questions and complaints about data brokers or other privacy issues.