What Are Data Brokers & How To Prevent Them From Collecting Your Personal Information?


Doesn’t it boggle your mind when unfamiliar brands and companies contact you with the newest promotions when you have never shared your information? 

That’s the work of a data broker. Data brokers accumulate user information from several sources. Selling information isn’t cheap. They know the worth and sell user information to companies. 

The data broker market was valued at 257 billion USD in 2021, and its revenue is expected to grow at 4.5% from 2022 to 2029. Who are data brokers, and what measures can you take to stop them from collecting your personal information? 

What is a Data Broker?

Data brokers collect and sell data from your online activities to third-party buyers. From marketers and advertisers to software companies, these buyers can be anyone. 

Their data primarily consists of user names, mobile numbers, places they’ve visited, email addresses, recent purchases, jobs, educational levels, known investments, and even social security numbers.

Why Do They Collect User Data?

Data brokers usually collect data to improve business operations and user experience. However, that’s not the case. Depending on the user’s profile, this data provides brokers with profits. 

For instance, people believe that data brokers like selling the email addresses of wealthy people at better prices because wealthy people are more likely to spend more money. They also sell it for ads. But that’s not all! 

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Data has become so granular that consumer profiling can affect transportation prices, insurance premiums, and credit scoring. Giving information to companies can risk your safety in case of data breaches. 

If hackers get the correct information, they can hack your identity, harass you or your family, or even apply for bank loans. 

How Do Data Brokers Accumulate Data?

Over the decades, mighty company names have built consumer profiles in various ways. This is how they obtain user data:

  • Online shopping history – online shopping history reveals information related to your socioeconomic standing, spending habits, and present address. 
  • Public records – available in public records, data brokers can accumulate data like marriage and professional licenses, property ownership, voter registration, and much more. 
  • Browsing history – using search engines, data brokers can make trends of your general interests. They can use your information to determine which companies can make profits from your interests. 
  • Social media – people using the internet might have already given a lot of information about their interests over the years. If you haven’t removed your data from social media, your online profiles can be a treasure of information related to hometowns, political affiliations, languages spoken, life events, and more. 

How to Stop Data Brokers from Collecting Your Data?

You can do the following:

  • Manually request brokerage firms to remove data from their databases
  • Sign yourself up for the National DNC (Do Not Call) registry. 
  • Hire reputation management services to help manage your online persona. 
  • Hire a privacy information removal service provider. 
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By understanding the ways data brokers use to accumulate data and how to protect yourself from them, you can have a safer online browsing experience. 


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