So ya thought data collection by the Govts was scary. Well no one is going to really


Goober
#1
So ya thought data collection by the Govts was scary. Well no one is going to really change that.
It is companies that collect, sell and pigeon hole you and everyone of you is.
False data, try to correct what you cannot see.

Brokers use ‘billions’ of data points to profile Americans - The Washington Post (external - login to view)

Are you a financially strapped working mother who smokes? A Jewish retiree with a fondness for Caribbean cruises? Or a Spanish-speaking professional with allergies, a dog and a collection of Elvis memorabilia?

All this information and much, much more is being quietly collected, analyzed and distributed by the nations burgeoning data-broker industry, which uses billions of individual data points to produce detailed portraits of vi

The FTC report provided an unusually detailed account of the system of commercial surveillance that draws on government records, shopping habits and social-media postings to help marketers hone their advertising pitches. Officials said the intimacy of these profiles would unnerve some consumers who have little ability to track whats being collected or how its used or even to correct false information. The FTC called for legislation to bring transparency to the multibillion-dollar industry and give consumers some control over how their data is used.

Data brokers portraits feature traditional demographics such as age, race and income, as well as political leanings, religious affiliations, Social Security numbers, gun-ownership records, favored movie genres and gambling preferences (casino or state lottery?). Interest in health issues such as diabetes, HIV infection and depression can be tracked as well.

With potentially thousands of fields, data brokers segment consumers into dozens of categories such as Bible Lifestyle, Affluent Baby Boomer or Biker/Hells Angels, the report said. One category, called Rural Everlasting, describes older people with low educational attainment and low net worths. Another, Urban Scramble, includes concentrations of Latinos and African Americans with low incomes. One company had a field to track buyers of Novelty Elvis items.

The extent of consumer profiling today means that data brokers often know as much or even more about us than our family and friends, FTC Chairman Edith Ramirez said in a statement. Its 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.

The brokers gather the information from public records and private sources, such as advertising networks that follow a consumers online activities, traditional media companies that record a subscribers billing history or the loyalty programs that track a shoppers purchases at a grocery store.

The individual profiles are largely sold to marketers, determining what ads and offers consumers see online, or to banks that use the data to verify the identity of customers. Laws prohibit using such information to set insurance rates, make job offers or measure creditworthiness, although the FTC expressed concern about potential abuses.

FTC officials, who based their report on documents gathered by issuing subpoenas to nine data brokers in December 2012, found a fundamental lack of transparency in the industry but no evidence of illegal activity. Ramirez said the FTC does not know how many data brokers exist.

The profiles they produce could affect what products are offered to consumers and how well consumers are treated by customer service, officials said. A financially challenged couple, for example, might see ads for subprime loans while their affluent friends are offered premium credit cards and vacation options. Some consumers might face long waits when they call companies with complaints, while others receive speedy, responsive service.

The collection of data about health-related issues also concerned the FTC. Brokers had categories for people interested in weight loss or high cholesterol. One tracked whether consumers preferred brand-name drugs or looked for medical information online.

Stuart P. Ingis, general counsel for the Direct Marketing *Association, which represents nearly 2,000 companies that collect and distribute consumer data, said the industry helps prevent consumer fraud and improves the effectiveness of online advertising the main revenue source for free services, such as e-mail and social-networking sites.

He said the FTCs inability to find documented abuse of personal information suggests that data brokers should continue operating through self-regulation rather than new government intervention. Youd think if there was a real problem, theyd be able to talk about something other than potential abuses, Ingis said.

The report included several legislative proposals intended to help Americans learn what data has been gathered about them and to correct errors. Consumers would be able to opt out of data-
gathering about themselves.

Ingis said that the FTCs proposals, such as a requirement for a centralized portal for consumers who want to know what information data brokers collect about them, are unnecessary and cumbersome. Im not sure that theres a problem that requires a law here, he said.

The Software & Information Industry Association, whose members in some cases collect and share personal data, endorsed the FTCs call for greater transparency but warned that new legislation would struggle to keep up with the pace of innovation online. It just gets very challenging because of the dynamic nature of data, said David LeDuc, senior director of public policy for the group.

But FTC commissioner Julie Brill urged Congress to act, and said Americans should learn more about how their data is being collected and used. Consumers cant manage this process by themselves, she said. Its too big. Its too complex. There are too many moving parts.
 
tay
+1
#2  Top Rated Post
If you have put it out there, they have it...........






The nine companies that know more about you than Google or Facebook






The nine companies that know more about you than Google or Facebook – Quartz (external - login to view)
 
55Mercury
#3
this is why I don't do updates.... i.e., drinking the e-kool-aid... every time an update is done it's an opportunity for someone to install another tracking program on your computer...

[isn't it interesting Goober, that your article never as much as hints at the elephant in the room? porn - or is the online viewing-of so vast it eclipses every demograph? *fingers are crossed* heh heh... but I figure it's my not too infrequent browsing of such that has Facebook showing me ads of dating sites, etc. - they must think I'm lonely lol]

but of course we're supposed to trust them, whoever they are

but I guess if it's jobs for someone.....

I don't know

I've owed my lifelong livelihood at dep.nat.def to the fact that man has proven for 10s of 1000s of years that man cannot be trusted, hence the need for standing armies.

nothing's changed

man still can't be trusted

and yet y'all just keep drinkin' the koolaid
 

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