STOP DATA BROKER ABUSE
Data brokers have a staggering reach into the most private corners of our lives. Large data brokers possess detailed information on more than two-thirds of U.S. residents, tracking where we go, who we know, and what we do each day. Companies many of us have never heard of, like Acxiom and RELX, amass billions of personal records from thousands of different places and update them in real time. In the words of former Federal Trade Commissioner Edith Ramirez, today’s data brokers “often know as much—or even more—about us than our family and friends.”
But there’s reason for hope. In March 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched an inquiry into the business practices of data brokers, with the goal of creating rules to protect consumers from data brokers’ practices. The CFPB collected information about how data brokers operate, the harms they cause, and whether they honor requests to access or delete a consumer’s personal information. This opportunity is now closed but you can still take action by writing to data brokers to request your information and ask them to erase it!
You can contribute to stopping the abusive practices of data brokers.
Write to request your personal information from data brokers
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For your convenience, here are some links to compose your message in popular email services:
Do not submit this personal information directly to brokers if you believe you are at additional risk by disclosing this information.
You can learn what data brokers know about you and ask them to remove it. If you hear back, come back to the page to let us know how this went. You may be asked to provide further information to confirm who you are. (If a broker asks you to provide information you don’t want to share, you can simply end the process and report what happened below)
We’ll follow up with you to see how this process goes. If you don’t hear back, you can report that too—data brokers should not treat consumers with silence.
Heard back? Tell us how the interaction went!
What is a data broker?
A data broker is an entity that collects, curates, and sells data as part of their business model. Data brokers operate nearly entirely under the surface in a largely unregulated environment, selling datasets that allow companies and law enforcement agencies to target individual people or a group of people. It is often unclear where they obtain data from, what information they have about a given person, and how exactly our data is used. But we see evidence of the harms they cause every day:
This campaign is supported by: