This past Sunday, 60 Minutes aired a story on Data Brokers and the selling of your personal information. The report details the companies who package up to 1500 unique attributes about an individual and sell it to other companies. Technology has made this practice rather easy for others to exploit. Simply by browsing the web, these data brokers are creating a portfolio of the single user. To marketers, this is extremely valuable information. Strategic targeted marketing campaigns can not only save expenses for an organization but also potentially have a higher conversion rate.
We all know about the NSA surveillance program that came into light last year. That’s a topic for another blog post. But the fact that corporations are doing the same in the name of profit makes it feel different. In many ways, this isn’t news per-say. Most of us use discount cards when shopping at grocery stores or have memberships to Costco/Sam’s Club style stores. Of course these companies are collecting our buying habits. The difference is their data collection is not their main source of income.
These data brokers have no other product or service. Their sole source of income is you. How does that make you feel? Kind of freaks me out a bit, not going lie.