Thursday, July 26, 2012

Congressional Privacy Caucus Begins Inquiry into Data Brokers

The Bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, chaired by Representatives Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas), announced this week that they are launching an inquiry into data brokers.  Members of the caucus sent letters to nine data brokers – Acxiom, Epsilon (Alliance Data Systems), Equifax, Experian, Harte-Hanks, Intelius, Fair Isaac, Merkle, and Meredith Corp.  – requesting that they provide information about their practices. 
The Caucus’s letters request information including:
  • The names of entities that have provided consumer information to the data broker;
  • The data items collected from or about consumers and the methods by which the data was collected;
  • Products or services offered to third parties that utilize consumer data;
  • The information consumers are given access to, if it is requested, and any policies around sharing or deletion of that data; and
  • Encryption or other safety protocols used to protect data.
The data brokers were asked to respond within three weeks.