Today, many of our institutions, both private and government, collect far too much information about private individuals, often without our consent. This is partly because technological innovation has outpaced regulation. Social media's explosive growth - especially among younger people - is changing what privacy means to you.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has this perspective: Read More
People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time... But we viewed that as a really important thing, to always keep a beginner's mind and what would we do if we were starting the company now and we decided that theses would be the social norms now and we just went for it.
This is a big change from earlier generations. Sure, people have become more comfortable with sharing details about their lives and their relationships online, but they're also accustomed to having control over what information is shared and how. The balance between technology and society has always been a tricky one, and not just with communications. Cars, airplanes, radio and TV have all had dramatic, long-lasting impacts on human life, and we've come to expect "the next tech wave" and the changes it will enable. But privacy is a very big deal - maybe the biggest of all
Of course, like it or not, Zuckerberg is probably right. This is not because of evolving social norms, though. It's due to standards that have been foisted on a begrudgingly accepting public. While Zuckerberg cites blogging as the source of this public culture, really we can all thank Google. With its top-of-the line Internet search, free Web mail, and other services, Google has pretty much coerced us all into accepting that it will be collecting information about our browsing habits in order to provide more targeted advertising. This was the beginning of the end of privacy in the digital world.
As we go about our daily lives we engage in a variety of online and offline activities that reveal personal information about us. Every activity, no matter how mundane it may seem is of interest to someone. Someone is paying attention as we use our using our mobile devices, browse the Internet, make purchases (online or at a store), use social media, shop for a home or car, subscribe to a magazine, or literally anything else. And as we interact with our institutions all of this information gets collected, and in many instances gets sold to data brokers. Read More
The US Federal Trade Commission report, A Call for Transparency and Accountability examines and makes findings and recommendations regarding the practices of data brokers. Data brokers are companies whose primary business is collecting personal information about consumers from a variety of sources and organizing, analyzing, and sharing that information, or information derived from it, for purposes such as marketing products, verifying an individual’s identity, or detecting fraud. Significantly, data brokers typically collect, maintain, manipulate, and share a wide variety of information about consumers without ever interacting directly with them.
Data brokers collect data from a variety of sources, ranging from criminal records to property data to purchase history to warranty card registration information. In addition to using raw data, data brokers often organize and analyze it to make inferences about specific consumers. For example, they may categorize a consumer as an expectant parent, a car enthusiast, a discount shopper or someone more likely to be interested in brand medications than generic. Other data brokers may flag a consumer’s Social Security number (“SSN”) as potentially associated with fraud.
Data brokers provide this information to clients, who can use it to benefit consumers. Their clients may use the information to send relevant offers and coupons to consumers, which can give consumers more choices and lower their costs for searching for products and services. These increased and innovative product offerings may fuel increased competition from small businesses that are able to connect with consumers that they may not have otherwise been able to reach. Data broker clients can also use data broker products to detect and prevent fraud, which can lower costs for businesses and, in turn, consumers.
At the same time, data broker practices may raise privacy concerns. Data brokers typically collect, manipulate, and share information about consumers without ever interacting directly with them. Consumers are largely unaware that data brokers are engaging in these practices and, to the extent that data brokers offer consumers explanations and choices about how their data is used, that information may be difficult to find and understand.
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Consumer Packaged Goods Manufacturers
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i. Alternative Payment Providers include companies who provide consumers with alternative methods of payment rather than traditional methods such as checks or credit cards.
ii. Consumer Packaged Goods Manufacturers include companies that manufacturer items that consumers use and have to replace frequently, such as food and beverages, apparel, and household products.
iii. Technology Companies include hardware companies, software companies, Internet companies, and other telecommunication companies
iv. Telecom Companies include telephone, mobile, cable and satellite television providers, and other
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