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Hello all, and happy Thursday!  

Data brokers are slowly but surely drawing the attention of regulators. Our newsletter features not one, but two stories centered on the increasing pressure these businesses are facing. 

Last week, we covered the FTC settlement ruling that Outlogic, a major data broker, was prohibited from selling location data. This week, our newsletter includes stories on another FTC case against Kochava as well as the growing wave of U.S. states with privacy regulation specific to data brokers. 

It’s taken regulators so long to catch onto data brokers in part because they aren’t a very visible party to most consumers. The average consumer will likely never interact with a data broker directly; instead, the data they provide mobile apps (often unwittingly) is funneled to these entities, packaged together to build a profile, and analyzed to deliver startingly accurate insights into identifiable individuals’ lives and habits. That could include insights into where you go to the hospital, what your gender identity is, what medical treatments you receive, what political beliefs you hold, and more.  

And for the most part, this information is simply up for sale to whoever can afford it. As is always the case in data privacy, it’s tempting to shrug this off. Who cares if advertisers have your data? Or even law enforcement agencies—assuming you have nothing to hide? But data brokerages can and have had an outsized impact on our society. The Cambridge Analytica scandal wasn’t all that long ago, and they both collected data directly without obtaining consent and made use of other data brokers to influence an election. And that’s not to mention the fact that any organization, regardless of whether their intentions are benign, shouldn’t handle your personal information without your knowledge and consent. 

Given the impact that data brokers can have, it will be well worth your time to pay close attention to the recent legislative and enforcement developments in this space. 



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