It's no secret that your personal data is regularly bought and sold by dozens or even hundreds of companies. What is less known is who these companies are and what they do exactly.
Thanks to a new Vermont law requiring companies that buy and sell personal data from third parties to register with the Secretary of State, we have been able to compile a list of 121 data brokers operating in the United States. United States. This is a rare and approximate insight into a bustling economy that operates largely in the shadow and often with few rules.
Even Vermont's first law, which came into force last month, does not force data brokers to reveal who's in their databases, what data they collect or who buys them. Neither does it require brokers to give consumers access to their own data or to waive data collection. Brokers are, however, required to provide information about their opt-out systems under the law, provided that they provide one.
If you do not want your data to hold your data, you will often need to contact them one by one, regardless of the opt-out system provided. more about it below.
Types of consumer data and data companies. Some companies listed in the table may not be covered by Vermont law. See a larger version. [Image by Cracked Labs]The registry is a vast list of corporate alphabets, lesser-known organizations that help homeowners search for potential tenants or provide marketing leads to insurance companies, the silent giants of data. Those who include the big names in search for people, like Spokeo, ZoomInfo, White Pages, PeopleSmart, Intelius and PeopleFinders; credit reports, like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion; and Advertising and marketing, like Acxiom, Oracle, LexisNexis, Innovis and KBM. Some companies also specialize in "risk mitigation," which may include credit reports but also background checks and other identity verification services.
Nevertheless, these 121 entities represent only a fraction of the wider data economy: the Vermont law only applies to third-party data processing companies – data traffic between people with whom they have no relationship – as opposed to "proprietary" data holders. like Amazon, Facebook or Google, which collect data directly from users.
What they know
By purchasing or licensing data or deleting public records, third-party data companies can assemble detailed profiles with thousands of attributes for billions of people. For decades, businesses could buy lists of magazine subscribers to build a targeted audience. Nowadays, if you are using a smartphone or a credit card, it is not difficult for a business to determine if you are in a breakup, if you are pregnant or if you are trying to lose weight, if you are an extrovert, what medications you take, where you went and even how you slip and tap on your smartphone.
In 2017, the data giant Acxiom has provided up to 3,000 attributes to 700 million people. In 2018, the number was 10,000, out of 2.5 billion consumers [Image by Cracked Labs]All of this data can be used to target ads, categorize your lifestyle risks, or help you determine your eligibility for a job. Like the companies themselves, the risks this presents can be difficult to see. In addition to the dangers of collecting and storing all these data, detailed (and often erroneous) consumer profiles can lead to racial or income-based discrimination in a high-tech version of redlining. And people search websites, accessible to virtually all credit card holders, can be a gold mine for doxxers, bullies, and stalkers. (The National Network Against Domestic Violence has developed a guide to data brokers.)
"Deleting" your data
For companies governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), including traditional credit bureaus, you have the right to ask for your personal data and to request corrections to correct all that is wrong.
But for other companies that process dataLike marketing and recruiting firms, US law generally does not provide for such guarantees, although this may change in the future as the state and federal legislatures consider new rules. These could ultimately provide protections such as the right not to be forgotten and other guarantees given to European residents under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), probably the international policy the stricter in terms of consumption data.
In order to control your data, you may need to provide basic information to check that it's really you. But be careful that you return. As Boyce writes, "With the exception of credit reporting agencies such as Equifax, no one should ask for your social security number or your tax ID when you unsubscribe. When you send a copy of your ID, mark it and draw a line on the photo. "
Related: 7 digital privacy tools to use now
Data brokerage companies
Below is a list of companies listed under Vermont Data Brokers Act. Descriptions are extracted from their websites or other sources, as appropriate.
(To view unsubscribe instructions in PDF format, click on the company name, then click on "Ranking History" and then "REGISTER DATA BROKER".)
Accudata operates mailing lists and marketing data services.
The data giant's offering now encompasses "more than 62 countries, 2.5 billion addressable consumers and more than 10,000 attributes – for a full representation of 68% of the world's online population". Last year, as a result of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and Facebook's decision to terminate partnerships With Acxiom and other third-party data managers, LiveRamp sold Acxiom to Interpublic Group. one of the largest advertising agencies in the world, for $ 2.3 billion. LiveRamp continues to operate as a leading company in data integration, helping to bring offline data online for marketing purposes.
Advantage Credit resells credit and data services for the mortgage and finance industry.
Advantage offers marketing, retail merchandising and other services to retailers and manufacturers.
4LegalLeads.com connects law firms and lawyers across the country with tens of thousands of potential applicants seeking real-time legal assistance over the phone or via a website each month.
ALC (American List Counsel) has "become the leading private provider of digital and direct data marketing services".
All Web Leads is an "online lead generation company that sells best sellers to the best insurance companies." (Crunchbase)
Altisource provides information about owners to companies that want to market them.
AmRent provides tenant selection services and data.
"[T]The first data society to consistently relate cognitive psychology and sophisticated data science to help you understand who, what and why is behind consumers and the decisions they make every day. PeopleCore, their accurate and complete customer database, provides access to data attributes that you can not find anywhere else. "
ASL is "the country's leading marketing data provider for students, focused on the highly desirable 13 to 34 year old market."
DataVerify provides information for the mortgage and real estate industry.
Mailing list and direct marketing company "specialized in data compilation".
BIS focuses on filtering employees and tenants.
Backgroundchecks.com provides online background checks and criminal record data.
BeenVerified provides background checks and paging services.
Belardi Wong is "a direct and digital marketing agency offering a full range of services, devoted relentlessly to revenue, profit and customer growth."
Black Knight provides data on loans and real estate.
A "provider of software and services specifically designed for non-profit organizations. Its products are focused on fundraising, website management, customer relationship management, analytics, financial management, ticketing and education administration. "(Wikipedia)
CBCInnovis provides data on credit and real estate.
CDK "provides software and technology solutions to automotive retailers in the United States and around the world."
CIC provides credit data for the mortgage industry.
Civis is a consulting and consulting firm in data science supported by Eric Schmidt, founded by Dan Wagner in 2013. Wagner was head of analysis for Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign. Quick business right here.
Clarity Services is an Experian unit that focuses on alternative credit data.
Provides specialized lists, data hygiene services and direct marketing database solutions.
A group of people who owns Peoplefinders.com, Enformium Inc., PublicRecordsNOW.com, PrivateEye.com and Advanced Background Checks Inc.
CoreLogic Background Data provides "global master data" for filtering purposes.
CoreLogic Credco provides credit data to the mortgage industry.
CoreLogic Credco provides credit data to the mortgage industry.
CoreLogic filtering services provide tenant filtering to tenants.
CoreLogic Solutions processes and provides property records for the real estate and mortgage sectors.
Cortera provides credit information on companies.
Data Facts provides consumer information for background checks on loans, housing and more.
A "data and technology platform that connects customer records to their exclusive mix of online, offline and digital marketing data for highly customized, mass-market personalized marketing, regardless of device or channel . "(Crunchbase)
A leading provider of integrated information, technology and analytics. Datamyx serves clients in areas ranging from banks, credit unions and mortgage providers to alternative finance, insurance and more. "
Datastream "provides rich marketing data and leads in real time."
DataX is an Equifax unit focused on alternative credit data.
"Deploys diverse, data-driven digital media client acquisition solutions, including performance marketing, digital agency and marketing technology solutions, to help achieve the company's marketing objectives." their clients."
A multichannel marketing company.
Ad Manager and lead builder for social media campaigns.
Dustin Blackman is head of Drobu Media LLC, a lead generation service. He told Quick business that he had the intention of only registering the company, not himself.
Edvisors "provides consumers with independent platforms backed by advertising to conduct research, compare and apply for private student loans."
Enformion "gathers billions of US public documents in one of the largest databases of online people".
Epsilon is one of the largest data management companies in the world and provides direct marketing and customer relationship management services, sending more than 40 billion emails each year.
Incorporated in 1937, Equifax is one of the top three consumer credit rating agencies. In 2017, the company said it had suffered a cyberattack highlighting data from more than 145.4 million Americans, including their full names, social security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and numbers. driver's license. At least 209,000 consumer credit card references were also taken during the attack.
One of the American giant's credit reporting bros, Experian Information Solutions, and one of the many subsidiaries of the Ireland-based data giant, Experian PLC, the company operates Experian RentBureau, a database updated daily with "rent payment history data from owners / managers, electronic rent payment services and collection companies." "
An Experian unit providing a database of fraudulent transactions.
The health division of the credit reporting agency, which provides data and analysis to health care providers, laboratories, pharmacies, payers and other entities to risk.
Experian, one of the "Big Three" credit bureaus, also sells data analytics and marketing services and claims to aggregate information on more than one billion people and businesses, including 235 millions of individuals in the United States.
A marketing subsidiary of the credit information giant is focused on identity linking and consumer studies.
Evidence provides credit and other data to mortgage lenders.
DataTree "provides current and accurate data on the real estate and property you need for your business."
First Direct offers digital and traditional direct marketing.
First Orion provides information about callers, including contact information and the likelihood of a scam.
Forewarn provides basic information about potential associates, including real estate clients.
Fused Leads is "a pipeline of potential customers in the areas of home improvement, auto insurance, auto finance, life insurance, mortgages and health insurance."
GIS, which recently merged with HireRight, is a bottom-up screening company.
Not to be confused with the government portal healthcare.gov, healthcare.com offers insurance companies consumer-focused marketing.
Founded by the Koch brothers and founded by a former advisor to John McCain's presidential campaign, i360 has built one of the largest data, technology and analytics platforms for political and commercial clients.
ID Analytics is a unit of Symantec specializing in the reduction of credit and fraud risks.
IHS Markit is a "world leader in information, analysis and solutions" for various sectors.
InCheck is a provider of background checks.
Inflection helps "businesses make better and faster decisions on recruitment, trust and access" with the help of internal and public data including criminal records, offender registers and global watch lists.
A subsidiary of Inflection Risk Solutions.
Infocore "specializes in direct marketing, campaign strategy and procurement market data for national and multinational clients."
Infogroup, founded by Vinod Gupta in 1972, "offers real-time data on 245 million individuals and 25 million businesses for customer acquisition and retention," according to Wikipedia.
Infutor is "the expert in identity management, allowing brands to instantly identify consumers and make informed marketing decisions."
Innovis is an agency evaluating consumer credit.
Instant Checkmate is a people search site that uses public records, including criminal records.
ISO is a Verisk unit that focuses on identifying insurance risk and fraud.
IntelliCorp is a Verisk unit specializing in background checks.
Intellireal is a division of Equifax specializing in the analysis and valuation of real estate.
Interactive Data provides users with information about risk reduction, compliance, and identity verification.
IQ Data Systems is a nationwide data aggregator that offers "Private Investigation, Track Tracing, Public Records Management and Background Filtering Services," as well as "FCRA compliant background filtering." ".
ISO manages the insurance companies' portfolios of claims.
Subsidiary of information giant Verisk Analytics, ISO "is a provider of statistical, actuarial, underwriting and claims information and analysis. fraud compliance and identity tools "for" insurers, reinsurers, agents and brokers, insurance regulators, risk managers and other participants in the property and casualty insurance marketplace various risks. "
IXI, owned by Equifax, analyzes the household economy and "provides targeting, segmentation and market monitoring solutions and services for financial services and consumer marketing businesses."
KBM, the data giant belonging to WPP, offers "analysis and marketing strategy services".
KnowWho helps "government relations, lobbying companies, advocacy groups, library patrons and the government itself to connect with elected officials and their staff for more than 15 years."
This LexisNexis unit provides and uses data for risk management purposes.
LCI, part of Verisk Financial, provides data on bankruptcies.
MCH "provides data of the highest quality in education, health care, government and church."
A home improvement contractor market.
"NCTUE is a consumer information agency that maintains data such as the history of payments and payments, provided by NCTUE's telecommunications, pay-TV and utility service providers."
The National Student Clearinghouse checks where people went to school and what degrees they got.
Neustar "provides real-time information and analysis for the defense, telecommunications, entertainment and marketing industries", and provides centralization and directory services to the global communications industries, serving as a domain names for .biz, .us, .co and. .nyc top-level domains.
Offers mailing lists targeting consumers.
700 Credit offers credit screening to car dealerships.
Data giant Oracle Data Cloud provides marketers with access to 5 billion global identifiers, $ 3 trillion in consumer transactions and more than 1,500 data partners available through the BlueKai market. With more than 45,000 predefined audiences covering demographic, behavioral, B2B, online, offline, and transactional data, we collect more data in a single location than any other solution. "
OwnerIQ "provides online advertising solutions and marketing channels to brands, retailers and manufacturers" and operates a third party data platform for marketing purposes.
Parasol Leads is one of the highest quality lead generation services in the insurance industry.
Partners provides credit data and master data to mortgage lenders.
Path2Response "collects, aggregates and models consumer information".
Paging company, owner of Intelius and Classmates.com, providing access to criminal records, employee screening, background checks and identity theft protection services.
Pipl is a people search tool.
A company that builds "attractive and consumer-centric websites and websites".
PossibleNOW "is the leader in consumer regulatory compliance and consent solutions and has introduced the concept of managing business preferences."
The Applecart project collects data on adults in the United States' via publicly available sources or third-party licensing agreements. It analyzes the data to help advertisers address marketing and other communications to the relevant audience. "
QPC provides analysis and information on underwriters for auto insurance companies.
Rental Property Solutions is a CoreLogic unit that provides credit information to homeowners.
Reveal "provides localized marketing and analytics tools to help businesses reach a target audience through mobile apps, digital advertising and social media."
Marketing company belonging to the consumer identity management company Infutor, specializing in travel, tourism, insurance, e-commerce and education.
SageStream is a consumer credit rating company.
For skiptracers and investigators.
"The goal of Speedeon Data was to provide our customers with the highest quality customer contact data …"
Spokeo is a search giant who claims to give access to 12 billion public documents. In 2012, the Federal Trade Commission fined the company $ 800,000 and imposed a ban on the confidentiality of commercial information for the purpose of filtering jobs, without complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as part of the first FTC fine for personal data collected online and sold to potential employers.
Spy Dialer is a people search website providing information about people by name or phone number.
SIR provides a background and credit check to employers, owners and lenders.
TALX is an Equifax unit that provides employment information to businesses and owners via a database called The Work Number. As Quick business previously reported, the database relies on detailed employee and salary data from the country's largest companies and organizations, including Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, Walmart, Twitter, AT & T, Harvard Law School and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In 2017, a security researcher revealed a flaw in which employee data could be accessed using only Social Security numbers and birth dates.
"CoreLogic Teletrack is a consumer information agency that provides consumer reporting to third parties for the purposes of credit risk assessment and / or for other purposes permitted by law."
Specializing in online and real-time quality assurance, auto insurance, housing, life and health.
Refinitiv uses the World-Check database used for financial verification of compliance and identity verification "know your customer".
A multichannel marketing company focused on email.
TransUnion is the smallest of the "Big Three" credit reporting agencies, alongside Experian and Equifax.
Truthfinder is a people search site that provides background check and public document search functions.
"Twine is a mobile data platform that works with application publishers that generate mobile data and businesses that need data to target their ads." (Crunchbase)
Viant, a former Time Inc. and a current subsidiary of Meredith, is "a leading people-oriented advertising technology company, enabling marketers to plan, execute and measure their investments in the media. digital ", with" access to more than 250 million registered users in the United States. , infusing precision, scope and responsibility in cross-device advertising. "
A Thomson Reuters, West unit offers search tools for public and legal documents.
WhitePages provides a search for people and basic information.
Whoodle is a paging and background check service.
A "provider of intelligence-driven predictive marketing solutions."
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