It’s no secret that companies collect information about you and sell it for advertising purposes. What is secret is the data that has been collected – you generally can’t see what data brokerages have on you, which means you don’t have a chance to pull data that you don’t want them to share. You also don’t have the option to correct mistakes. A member of the FTC
is proposing an initiate that will help you get a look at what these companies know about you: the good, the bad, and the just plain wrong.
FTC Commissioner Julie Brill announced the “Reclaim Your Name
” proposal at the 23rd Computers Freedom and Privacy Conference in Washington, D.C. yesterday. Brill points out that the wrong info could lead to discrimination or just misinformed decisions by the companies you interact with. If Brill’s plan is enacted, you’ll be able to view the policies of data brokerages and check out your own data so you can challenge bad information. Given that data collection
is inherently difficult to stop, pushing for transparency seems like an idea that could get some traction – particularly because it’s coming from the FTC.