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.