19 December 2014

Identity Theft Expert

Robert Siciliano - IDTheftSecurity.com

539Posts 1,360,612Views 59Comments

Data Brokers: Walking the Tightrope

10 June 2014  |  751 views  |  0

Never mind the government nosing in on your business; there’s a much bigger snooper out there that’s mining to your personal data: thousands of companies whose names you may not even know.

 

These “data brokers” aren’t “bad”, although a few are irresponsible. They collect and analyze your very personal information, then package it up and sell it for profit to advertisers and the government. Though this rather benign consumer marketing is nothing new, the volume and type of data has changed, thanks to the Internet, making data broking a multibillion dollar venture.

Today’s technology allows data brokers to snatch and sell information about your closest friends, medical conditions, unsavory habits, even your literal footsteps—online and offline.

Data brokers today will classify people into groups such as those with genetic diseases or poverty. These are called vulnerable consumers, with classification names such as Ethnic Second-City Strugglers.

As for medical conditions, there are classifications for particular diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and cancer. There is no legislation that regulates any of this mining into our most private information.

Surprisingly, some of these companies are also in the business of offering identity protection services to consumers.

It’s not known just where the bigger data brokers even harvest their information or to whom they are selling it.

Maybe this is because they consider their client list to be proprietary. One broker even stated that it purchases lists of financially vulnerable people from government agencies so that ultimately, those who are eligible for assistance can be identified. These government clients are public record, said the broker.

The FTC consumer protection head believes that data brokers should be required to allow consumers access to the data that’s been scooped up about them. Meanwhile, data brokers records have become attractive to criminals. Ever since the ChoicePoint breach there have been multiple info/data brokers compromised.

When considering who you choose to do business with, relationships with data brokers, especially any who are also involved with protecting your customers’ identities, should be reassessed.

 

TagsSecurity

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)
Log in to receive notifications when someone posts a comment

Latest posts from Robert

Card Company's boosting Payment Security with Mobile

14 hours ago  |  523 views  |  0  |  Recommends 0 TagsSecurity

Chip and PIN, will It save Us?

17 December 2014  |  755 views  |  0  |  Recommends 0 TagsSecurity

Russian Hackers getting rich from your Identity

10 December 2014  |  1251 views  |  0  |  Recommends 0 TagsSecurity

Chip and PIN vs. Chip and Signature Cards

08 December 2014  |  1288 views  |  1  |  Recommends 0 TagsSecurity

Identity Theft of the Dead affects the Living

06 December 2014  |  1082 views  |  0  |  Recommends 0 TagsSecurity

Robert's profile

job title Security Analyst
location Boston
member since 2010
Summary profile See full profile »
Security analyst, published author, television news correspondent. Deliver presentations throughout the United States, Canada and internationally on identity theft protection and personal security....

Robert's expertise

Who is commenting on Robert's posts

Iain Montgomery
Otmane EL RHAZI
Ketharaman Swaminathan
Boris Taratine
Michael Rosenstein
Fred Pyziak
Matt Scott
Paul Love
Mike McCormack