What Information Do Data Brokers Have on Consumers, and How Do They Use It?

Senate Commerce Committee
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
2:30 pm

A hearing to examine the data broker industry and how industry practices may impact consumers. The hearing comes after a yearlong Commerce Committee examination of how data brokers collect, compile, and sell consumer information for marketing purposes.

In October 2012, Rockefeller launched an investigation into the data broker industry to give consumers a better understanding of how their personal information is handled, issuing information requests to nine representative data brokers. Rockefeller sent an additional set of inquiries in September 2013 to twelve popular personal finance, health, and family-focused websites to further explore data broker information collection practices, and further expanded the investigation in October 2013 by requesting that Experian provide specific information about the company’s customer vetting practices following news reports alleging that an Experian subsidiary sold data to an identity theft scheme.