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Washington’s Complex Approach to Data Brokers

BIG DATA—U.S.

November 25, 2013

Politico reports on two current government investigations into data brokers and what those could mean for the federal government’s approach to the industry. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee are each conducting separate investigations. It is not yet known when results will arrive, the report states. FTC Commissioner Julie Brill has been promoting her Reclaim-Your-Name concept, a one-stop shop for consumers to access their online profiles compiled by data brokers, but the marketing industry is pushing back. Direct Marketing Association Vice President for Government Affairs Rachel Thomas said, “We don’t believe a one-stop, one-size-fits-all web portal with every data broker in the world is going to be something that actually increases consumer understanding in the way that is necessary.” Editor’s Note: The session Background Screening: Data Brokers and Consumer Reporting Agencies at the upcoming IAPP Practical Privacy Series on December 3 and 4 in Washington, DC, will examine recent FTC actions, including warnings to online data brokers.
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