Monday, June 2, 2014

SECURITY - Warning, Big Data Brokers

"FTC report warns consumers about big data brokers" PBS NewsHour 5/31/2014


HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  Earlier this week, the Federal Trade Commission issued a report that contained consumer protection recommendations concerning what’s referred to as “big data” – the companies that collect and sell billions of bits of information about all aspects of our online lives.  Information that includes purchases, income, political affiliations – even religion. As FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez put it:

“It’s time to bring transparency and accountability to bear on this industry on behalf of consumers, many of whom are unaware that data brokers even exist.”

For some insight, we turn to Amy Schatz who covers tech policy issues for Re/code.

So, what were the things that this report uncovered that might surprise consumers?

AMY SCHATZ, Re/code:  I think most of the things in the report would surprise consumers, although this isn’t necessarily a new issue – this has been going around for a couple of years – but most people don’t know that there are a bunch of data collectors out there who are collecting data about you.  Whether it’s who you voted for or your political beliefs.  Whether it’s your zip code or what you purchased at the store last week or what you’re lookeingat online.  There are these profiles that are being created online of most Americans now and that information is being traded and shared in a way that a lot of consumers might find a little troubling.

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