The Federal Trade Commission has issued orders to nine companies to gather information on the data brokers’ practices of collecting data on consumers. In a news release, the FTC said:
The nine data brokers receiving orders from the FTC are: 1) Acxiom, 2) Corelogic, 3) Datalogix, 4) eBureau, 5) ID Analytics, 6) Intelius, 7) Peekyou, 8) Rapleaf, and 9) Recorded Future. The FTC is seeking details about:
- the nature and sources of the consumer information the data brokers collect;
- how they use, maintain, and disseminate the information; and
- the extent to which the data brokers allow consumers to access and correct their information or to opt out of having their personal information sold.
Earlier this year the FTC called on the data broker industry to improve the transparency of its practices as part of a Commission report, Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: Recommendations for Businesses and Policymakers.
In the Privacy Report, the FTC set forth a voluntary framework of best practices for businesses based on the concepts of privacy by design, consumer control, and increased transparency for the collection and use of consumer data. The Report noted that while data brokers collect, maintain, and sell a wealth of information about consumers, they often do not interact directly with consumers. Rather, they get information from public records and purchase information from other companies. […]
The FTC will use the responses it receives to prepare a study and to make recommendations on whether, and how, the data broker industry could improve its privacy practices. […]
The Commission vote to approve issuing the orders was 5-0.