They usually have your name, other names you’ve gone by, where you currently live, where you used to live, your phone number, your family members, your birth date and age, your criminal record, the real estate you own, and more.
Cookies are tracking our online behavior for advertising purposes, but a company specializing in retail analytics called Euclid, Inc. is moving that concept into real world shopping experiences.
Euclid uses open WiFi access points to track shopper behavior across stores: It does this by collecting the MAC address of smart phones as they passively connect to open networks while people shop, anonymizing the data, putting it into a giant database that then recognizes the device when it goes near any other Euclid customer’s network.
Few consumers may have heard of Acxiom, a database marketer. But it has amassed the world’s largest commercial data trove about them.
In a fast-changing digital economy, Acxiom is developing even more advanced techniques to mine and refine data and to predict consumer behavior.
Federal authorities say current laws may not be equipped to handle the rapid expansion of an industry whose players often collect and sell sensitive financial and health information yet are nearly invisible to the public.
Consumer data companies are scooping up huge amounts of consumer information about people around the world and selling it, providing marketers details about whether you’re pregnant or divorced or trying to lose weight, about how rich you are and what kinds of cars you drive. But many people still don’t know data brokers exist.
Steve Kroft investigates the multibillion dollar industry that collects, analyzes and sells the personal information of millions of Americans with virtually no oversight.
Over the past six months or so, a huge amount of attention has been paid to government snooping, and the bulk collection and storage of vast amounts of raw data in the name of national security. What most of you don’t know, or are just beginning to realize, is that a much greater and more immediate threat to your privacy is coming from thousands of companies you’ve probably never heard of, in the name of commerce.