Data Brokers

Consumer Tips: World Privacy Forum’s Top Ten Opt Outs

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.

Collections Scoring, Privacy, and Consumer Impacts

This coming Thursday, Pam Dixon will be presenting new research on collections scoring, privacy, and impacts on low and middle income consumers. The Dixon/Gellman report, The Scoring of America, sparked a national conversation about analytics and fairness in the realm of consumer scores. This talk focuses on one particular category of scoring, that of using

Panel talk: Big data, privacy, and vulnerable populations

Pam Dixon will be speaking at the IAPP-FTC Practical Privacy Conference in Washington DC this week. The conference is from Dec. 2-3. Her panel talk will focus on privacy issues relating to identifiable large datasets and vulnerable populations. She will also be discussing the role of data brokers in compiling datasets and categorizing people, as

WPF Comments about Privacy and Big Data: Ethical Framework and Rights Essential

The World Privacy Forum filed comments with the U.S. Department of Commerce in response to its Request for Comments about big data, privacy, and the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights. The White House Big Data report recognized that Big Data “raises considerable questions about how our framework for privacy protection applies in a big data ecosystem” and has the potential to “eclipse longstanding civil rights protections in how personal information is used in housing, credit, employment, health, education, and the marketplace.” This is among our concerns as well, and our comments focused on understanding big data’s benefits while drawing attention to where there are significant privacy risks that need to be addressed.

FTC’s Data Broker Report Brings New Facts to Light about how Consumer Data is Captured and Sold

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.