Data brokers are hard to pin down

WASHINGTON – We don’t know much about data brokers – the people who get and sell our personal information – but they know a lot about us. And that’s raising some alarms.

“There is a great deal of secrecy, frankly,” says CBS tech analyst Larry Magid.

He says companies get our info in a lot of different ways: “Some are looking at social-networking posts that you have done; others are looking at your credit; others may be looking at public databases.”

There’s not much we can do to keep firms out of our business, but as far as limiting what they see, Magid says it’s up to Congress.

A report on a Federal Trade Commission investigation into data brokers should be out early next year, according to the newspaper The Hill.

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