Rockefeller Seeks Info From Online Data Brokers

Points to info breaches and FTC recommendation for legislation
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The chairman of the powerful Senate Commerce
Committee has sent letters to Reed-Elsevier (Lexis-Nexis), Spokeo, Experian and
a half dozen other data brokers seeking detailed info on how they compile and
sell consumer information.

"Collecting,
storing and selling information about Americans raises all types of questions
that require careful scrutiny," said Rockefeller. "While these practices may
offer some benefits to consumers, they deserve to know what's being collected
about them and how companies profit from their information," Rockefeller
said in a statement Wednesday.

As
like is increasingly lived online, from buying products to planning trips to
researching medical conditions, to working, to connecting with friends and
loved ones, Rockefeller is concered about how much of that will be available
for downloading by others and the size of the digital footprint will be, a path
that could be potentially damaging if improperly tracked.

Rockefeller
pointed to increased scrutiny on industry practices by the media and Federal
Trade Commission, and the FTC's proposal in March  for legislation to give
consumers more control of data broker information. He also cited several
high-profile data breaches in seeking answers to the following questions. 1)
What data do you collect? How granular is it? 3) How do you get it? 4) Who uses
it and for what?.

He
wants a draft of data,
and he wants it by Nov. 2.

The
letter comes a day after the Digital Advertising Alliance said it would not
require its members to honor do not track requests from Microsoft Explore 10's
new browser-based do-not-track regime because it is the browser's default
setting, not simply an option.

Rockefeller
recently told FTC Chair John Leibowitz that he believes DAA's self-regulatory
mechanisms have failed.

Rockefeller
has introduced Do Not Track legislation, which would give the FTC more
authority to enforce a DNT regime.

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