The unknown marketing databases that know everything about you

Photo by Jovike

I'm amazed at how much information is available in marketing databases. InfoUSA will sell anyone data on 210 million consumers, that's pretty much every adult in the country. What kind of information? Name, address, age, gender, occupation, income, mail order history, charitable donations, pets, whether there's a grandparent in their household and even whether they've served in the military!

What really interests me is that this has been going on for decades, with no apparent public concern. I wonder if part of it is because people doesn't realize how much is available to marketers? Or don't they care about the privacy of this information? Either way, it's something to think about as we try to figure out the rules for similar information on the internet.

2 responses

  1. Pingback: Why fixing the privacy problem needs politics, not engineering « Pete Warden's blog

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