Forget worrying about loyalty cards or programs: it’s the everyday purchases you make tied to your name with a debit or credit card that can land you on data brokers’ lists. That is one of the many facts that the new FTC report on data brokers sets forth. The report offers a high-level analysis with establishing new fact patterns about the industry based on the Commission’s investigation of nine major data brokers. Overall, we find things to like in the report, but we wish the FTC had gone further in some areas. Here are some of the high points that stood out to us.
Video of Congressional Testimony on data brokers. Pam Dixon gave this testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee on December 18, 2013 at a hearing dedicated to shedding light on data broker industry practices and how that affects consumers. The full testimony contains numerous examples of data broker activities, consumer scoring, and discusses the solutions that are needed, including a requirement for data broker opt out.
Top Ten Opt Out
Opt Out Possible
Partial Out Out
FCRA Opt Out
No Opt Out
Opt Out Unclear
Many people have told us that they think opting out is confusing. We agree. Opting out can range from the not-too-difficult (the FTC’s Do Not Call list is a fairly simple opt out) to the challenging (the National Advertising Initiative opt out can be tricky). Our hope is that this list will clarify which opt out does what, and how to go about opting out.
Visiting Scholar: Privacy in a Modern Era — Pam Dixon is a visiting scholar at Portland’s PNCA. She is scheduled to speak with students in a round of interdisciplinary classes, and she will also be giving a public keynote at 7 pm in Swigert Commons. Her public lecture is on Modern Privacy.