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TLC Workshop: The Data Detective

This guide outlines the issues with data brokers, the information they collect and privacy issues.

Consent is Key

  • ​Companies require consent from consumers before they download an app, apply for a credit card, sign up for a loyalty card or do hundreds of other things that allow companies to gather data on them.  However, the fine print is rarely read, so people really do not realize the extent of the data collected.
     
  • ​The Federal Trade Commission published a report in 2014 regarding data brokers, including their findings and recommendations, which included more transparency and consumer consent.  However, these have not been acted upon by lawmakers.

Vermont Creates First Law Regarding Transparency

As of May, 2018, Vermont instituted the first law of its kind in the U.S. to require companies to register if they are collecting and selling data regarding Vermont residents.

  • Companies registered under this law are required to provide information regarding opting out of their data collections, provide details regarding who can buy their data and specify if they have had data breaches within the year.
     
  • ​This law only covers companies that are third party data collectors and brokers, not companies who collect information on their customers.