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Top 2 Data Brokers You Should Be Aware Of

Top 2 Data Brokers You Should Be Aware Of  image
Updated: November 2nd, 2023
In the vast landscape of data privacy, the role of data brokers often remains in the shadows, yet their impact on our personal information is profound. Data brokers are entities that specialize in collecting, aggregating, and selling vast amounts of data about individuals. They operate largely behind the scenes, but their actions can significantly affect your online and offline life.
In this article, we shed light on the world of data brokers by unveiling some of the top players in the industry. Moreover, we will delve into the kinds of data they gather, the sources they tap into, what are their privacy implications, and most importantly, how you can take control of your data by opting out of their reach. Let’s take a look at the top data broker companies and discuss how you can opt out of them:

1- Experian

Experian is a data broker that primarily specializes in collecting, processing, and providing financial data on individuals. Here's how Experian functions as a data broker, where it collects data, and the privacy implications associated with its services:
Data Broker Role: Experian operates as a data broker by aggregating and managing vast amounts of financial and credit-related information about individuals. They then provide this information to various entities, including lenders, landlords, background checkers, employment screeners, and more, to help them assess the creditworthiness and financial history of individuals.
Data Collection Sources: Experian collects data from a variety of sources to compile comprehensive profiles of individuals. Some of the primary sources of data include:
  • Credit Bureaus: Experian is one of the three major credit bureaus in the United States, along with Equifax and TransUnion. They receive credit-related data from creditors, lenders, and financial institutions. This data includes information on credit card accounts, loans, mortgages, payment history, and more.
  • Public Records: Experian gathers data from public records, such as tax liens, bankruptcies, and court judgments, which can impact an individual's creditworthiness.
  • Non-Credit Data: Experian also collects data from various other sources, such as utility companies, rental payment histories, and even social media profiles. This additional data may be used to supplement credit reports and provide a more comprehensive view of an individual's financial behavior.
Privacy Implications: Experian's data collection and data brokering practices have significant privacy implications:
  • Data Accuracy: The accuracy of the information collected by Experian is crucial, as it directly impacts individuals' credit scores and financial opportunities. Inaccurate data can lead to incorrect credit assessments and potentially harm an individual's financial well-being.
  • Data Security: Safeguarding the vast amount of sensitive financial data they hold is critical. Any data breaches or security lapses can lead to identity theft and financial fraud.
  • Data Usage: Experian's data is used by various entities to make important decisions, such as loan approvals, employment screenings, and housing rentals. This puts individuals at the mercy of these decisions, and inaccuracies or biases in the data can lead to unfair treatment.
  • Lack of Control: Individuals often have limited control over the data that Experian collects and shares. While they can access their credit reports and dispute inaccuracies, they may not have direct control over how their data is used or who accesses it.
  • Data Profiling: Experian's extensive data allows for detailed profiling of individuals, which can lead to personalized marketing and advertising. This raises concerns about user privacy and potential manipulation through targeted advertisements.

How to Opt-Out from Experian?

To opt-out from Experian:
  • Visit Experian's official website.
  • Look for the "Consumer Support" section.
  • Find the "Opt-Out" or "Manage Your Preferences" option.
  • Select the opt-out choice you want (e.g., marketing offers).
  • Follow the provided instructions, including verifying your identity.
  • Submit your request, and keep a record.
  • Allow some time for the opt-out to take effect.
Opting out limits Experian's sharing of your data for purposes like marketing. It doesn't remove your credit information from their reports. Similar options exist for other major credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion) to enhance your privacy.

2 - Acxiom

Acxiom is a data brokerage company that specializes in collecting, analyzing, and providing consumer data to businesses and organizations for various purposes, including marketing, advertising, and customer relationship management. 
Data Collection Sources: Acxiom collects data from various sources, including:
  • Public Records: They gather publicly available information from government records, court filings, and other public sources.
  • Data Aggregators: Acxiom may purchase data from other data aggregators and brokers, expanding their dataset.
  • Online Activity: They may track individuals' online behavior, such as website visits and interactions, to create profiles and target advertising.
  • Survey Data: Acxiom may collect data from surveys and questionnaires conducted online or offline.
  • Consumer Transactions: Information from consumer transactions, such as purchases and subscriptions, is often used to build consumer profiles.
  • Social Media: Data from social media platforms may be used to supplement their consumer profiles.
  • Partnerships: Acxiom may have partnerships with various companies that provide them with access to specific data sets.
Privacy Implications: The use of data by data brokers like Acxiom has raised several privacy concerns:
  • Data Profiling: Acxiom creates detailed profiles of individuals, which can include personal information, preferences, and behaviors. This profiling can be used for targeted advertising but can also raise concerns about privacy and the potential for discrimination.
  • Lack of Consent: Individuals may not always be aware that their data is being collected and used by Acxiom, and they may not have consented to such data collection.
  • Data Security: Storing and transmitting vast amounts of personal data carries security risks. Data breaches at data brokers can expose sensitive information to malicious actors.
  • Third-Party Sharing: Data collected by Acxiom may be shared with third parties, including advertisers and marketers, which can result in unwanted marketing communications and potential invasions of privacy.
  • Opt-Out Challenges: Acxiom and similar companies often provide opt-out mechanisms for individuals who wish to limit the use of their data. However, navigating these opt-out processes can be complex, and many people may not be aware of their options.
  • Regulatory Scrutiny: Data brokers have faced increased regulatory scrutiny, with governments and privacy advocacy groups calling for more transparency and regulation of their activities. 

How to Opt-Out from Acxiom?

To opt out of Acxiom's data collection and marketing:
Remember that it may take time to process your request, and you might need to do this with other data brokers for full privacy control.

Additional Tips for Protecting Your Privacy

Here are some additional tips and tricks that can help you protect your privacy from these companies: 
  • Regularly review your social media privacy settings and limit the data you share.
  • Use a VPN to hide your IP address and protect your online activities.
  • Employ browser extensions that block tracking cookies.
  • Be cautious when sharing personal information online.
  • Consider using encrypted communication tools for sensitive conversations.


In conclusion, data broker companies like Experian and Acxiom play a significant role in the digital landscape. It is essential to be aware of their data collection practices and take steps to protect your privacy. 
Privacy Hawk can help you opt-out of these data brokers and reduce your risk of being targeted by scams, fraud, and identity theft. By opting out and adopting privacy-conscious habits, you can regain control over your personal data and reduce the risks associated with data brokerage.
Remember, staying informed and proactive is the first step towards safeguarding your personal data in the age of data brokers. Share this information with others to raise awareness and collectively protect our digital privacy.
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