Eight federal lawmakers are now undertaking the massive task of determining the exact practices of companies that collect and sell consumer data.
Reps. Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Joe Barton of Texas are now leading a bipartisan investigation into the way data collection agencies gather, analyze and sell consumer information, and began by sending inquiry letters to nine of the largest companies in the industry, according to a report from the New York Times
. Markey and Barton co-chair the Bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, which also has six other members.
Currently, the consumer data industry is largely unregulated and consumers may have little recourse to dispute or even know about the information on them that is being bought and sold by giant firms, the report said. The letters asked these companies to detail their practices related to offline, online and mobile data collection and reselling. Eduard Goodman
, chief privacy officer for Identity Theft
911, writes regularly about the privacy problems consumers face in all walks of their everyday lives.
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