The Top 50 Companies That Mine and Sell Your Data (and How to Opt Out)
We all know that our personal data is very valuable to marketers and other agencies—and that it's collected and sold by data brokers. StopDataMining.me is a master list of opt-out links to stop these data brokers from collecting information about your online and offline activities.
The list is similar to a previously featured compilation on Reddit, but seems to be more comprehensive. You'll find opt-out links and brief instructions for opting-out of (currently) 50 data mining companies, including data brokers Acxiom and Intelius, as well as direct marketers such as Valpak and Dex Media (distributors of phone books). (The image above, by the way, is from Axciom's own profile-revealing website, Aboutthedata.com, but since it requires you to verify information such as your last four SSN and birthday, privacy advocates suggest you skip the site.)Why big companies buy, sell your data - CNN.comWhile your actual medical records are protected by HIPAA, lots of personal health information can be inferred from your credit or debit card purchase history, as well as other sources, which may reveal whether you buy fast food or have a gym membership or go to the drug store regularly.
You may not mind that Amazon makes recommendations based on your previous purchases. But how would you feel if your doctor and insurer did the same?
Read more: Hospitals And Health Insurers Using Data Brokers - Business Insider
The process to actually "steal" a lot of this information is entirely legal for the most part and why it is so hard to catch. That's about the only part of the article which seems to hold water in my opinion. Some 'Certified Visa Agent' will place a phone call, then they'll discuss your credit card statements with you (after using legally purchased information from the many businesses which provide it for a price). They'll ask to check your credit report through Equifax or some such cite which requires an SS number. They'll provide you with an alternative to your credit card problems at a small price (usually in the $30-$50USD range). They'll do this by opening up new credit card accounts with 0% interest rates (various car companies offer these) for a year and shuffling the numbers around the credit cards bit.They know your name, your phone number, where you live, your buying habits and, in many cases, what you are interested in buying -- sometimes even before you do.
Meet Acxiom, sometimes described as "the biggest company you've never heard of." But they've heard a lot about you.
Acxiom is one of the largest data-brokering firms in the world. It is just one of hundreds of companies who are peering into your personal life, collecting data that is generated from everything you do online, and much of what you do in the real world.
The company recorded $1.1 billion in sales last year offering "analytical services" on 144 million households. And that's just a fraction of the evolving -- some say loosely regulated -- big-data industry. Data is now a $300 billion-a-year industry and employs 3 million people in the United States alone, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.
After that, they use the information which you have provided for nefarious purposes like filing for benefits. Sure, that part is illegal but for the most part, they're using information which is legally obtained. You'd be surprised at the number of people who give this information out to solve their credit card problems. Though I can't really find any statistics on it, there is a strong correlation between these crimes and credit card debt.
Source: I have come across quite a few people who work in that business
Last edited by Hatuey; 05-28-15 at 02:55 PM.
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