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Data Broker

Data Broker

Data Broker content image

Introduction

In today’s digital age, data has become a valuable commodity. Companies gather a lot of personal information about people for things like targeted ads, risk evaluation, and market studies. This is where data broker comes into play.

Data brokers are companies that specialize in collecting, analyzing, and selling consumer data to other businesses. In this article, we will explore what data brokers are, their practices, and the challenges they face.

What is a Data Broker?

A data broker is a company that collects personal information about consumers from various sources, both online and offline. They aggregate this data, analyze it, and then sell it to other businesses for a profit. Data brokers do not have a direct relationship with the individuals whose data they collect. Instead, they obtain information from public records, social media profiles, online tracking, and other sources.

Examples of data that brokers collect include:

  • Demographic information (age, gender, income)
  • Browsing history
  • Purchase history
  • Social media activity
  • Credit scores
  • Location data

Data brokers often categorize individuals into segments based on their data, such as “fashionista,” “fitness enthusiast,” or “new parent.” Businesses can use these segments to target specific audiences with relevant products or services.

Data Broker Practices

Data brokers use various methods to collect personal information about consumers. Online tracking is when brokers use cookies and other technologies to monitor someone’s browsing activity on different websites.

This practice is widespread. It allows brokers to track an individual’s online behavior. They can see what websites the person visits and what they do on those sites. They can also collect data from public records, such as voter registration lists, property records, and court documents.

Another practice is purchasing data from other companies. For instance, a retailer might share customer purchase history with a data broker. The data broker can then merge this information with other data to build a detailed profile of each customer.

A data broker may purchase a list of individuals who have recently purchased baby products from a retailer. They gather information from surveys. They merge this information with data from social media and public records.

Challenges Faced by Data Brokers

While data brokerage can be a lucrative business, it also faces several challenges. One major challenge is privacy concerns. Many people feel uncomfortable when companies collect and sell their personal information without asking for permission. Regulators and lawmakers are looking closely at the situation and pushing for more transparency and control over personal data.

Another challenge is the potential for data breaches. Data brokers often collect and store vast amounts of sensitive information, making them a prime target for hackers. If a breach occurs, it can result in significant financial and reputational damage for the company.

In 2017, Equifax had a significant data breach that affected 147 million people’s personal information. The breach revealed personal information such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, and addresses. This puts individuals in danger of identity theft and fraud.

Conclusion

Data brokers play a significant role in today’s data-driven economy, collecting and selling personal information about consumers to businesses for various purposes.

This practice helps with marketing and risk assessment, but it also raises privacy and security concerns. Consumers are learning more about data brokerage practices. This will likely lead to increased regulations and a greater need for transparency in the industry.

DataSunrise is a company that offers exceptional and flexible tools for managing data broker activities, including security, audit rules, masking, and compliance. Data brokerage is becoming more important in the digital world. Having strong solutions to protect sensitive information and follow ethical practices is essential.

DataSunrise offers tools to assist data brokers in overcoming challenges like privacy concerns and potential data breaches. These tools enable data brokers to harness the power of consumer data for business purposes effectively. Visit our team for an online demo to see how DataSunrise can simplify and secure your data brokerage operations.

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