Recently we surveyed 500 people about digital privacy and what they know about companies that collect and trade their personal information. Companies commonly known as “data brokers.”

Here’s a quick summary of the results:

  • 43.9% of the surveyed people knew what data brokers are
  • Out of those who knew what data brokers are, 95% were concerned about associated risks
  • 43.9% were worried that they might get breached and collected data will leak
  • 26.2% were concerned that this data might be used against them
  • 24.9% didn’t want their personal information used by advertisers
  • But despite concerns, only 19.7% said they tried…


Why should you care that data brokers are collecting, aggregating and trading your personal information?

When we asked people this question, the main (43.9% of all answers) concern was about personal security — brokers getting breached and people’s personal data leaking into the dark web for bad agents to abuse.

“I’m afraid of data breaches and my personal information leaking, making me vulnerable.”

It seems like a reasonable concern given how data breaches can lead to identity theft and other major problems.

But data brokers will claim that they take utmost precautions to make sure your data is secure.

Therefore…


On April 29th, 2021 FTC held a workshop called “Bringing light to dark patterns” with the agenda of better defining and understanding the use of dark patterns:

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/audio-video/video/dark-patterns-workshop (worth a watch if you have a few hours to spare)

And while the discussion had some great points, dark patterns are not just about trying to influence you to sign up, get you to buy more or prevent cancelling a subscription.

Data brokers — companies that collect, aggregate and trade your personal information — use dark patterns to discourage you from exercising your right to privacy and making them remove your…

optoutaid Larry

Helping people exercise their right to privacy and take their personal data off the market.

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