- With new scope of enforcement from the General Data Protection Regulation, European regulators are looking into the activities of data brokers that collect consumer information and sell it to other organizations, according to a Financial Times report.
- Organizations such as Amobee, an advertising technology company, create profiles of individuals, pulling information from public records, online activities and other sources. But sometimes these organizations step past the line of propriety, such as when Amobee predicted an individual's likelihood to suffer from overactive bladder on a specific day, according to the Financial Times.
- Mathias Moulin, director for the protection of rights and sanctions of the French data protection authority, told Financial Times that these organizations are undoubtedly processing personal data but telling the public the data is anonymous, which is "not true." A U.K. information commissioner also indicated concern about brokers' compliance and noted that British regulators are looking into how these organizations operate and maintain compliance.
While Facebook and Google often receive the brunt of attacks for amassing and manipulating consumer data, entire industries are now propped up by the collection, processing and reselling of consumer data.
In November, a European charity campaigning for privacy rights, Privacy International, urged regulators to investigate seven data brokers for violations of the data protection regulation, including Oracle, Acxiom, Equifax and Experian. Adtech companies Criteo, Quantcast and Tapad were also implicated.
Many individuals have been stymied trying to retrieve their data from brokers. Many who trace their collected data also find inaccurate data, categorizing them into incorrect political groups, age ranges or interest categories.
Nearing its eight month of enactment, GDPR started off quietly with regulators issuing some notices but no major penalties or actions handed down. Many experts predict that fines will come down this calendar year, sending many businesses scurrying to ensure compliance after the lull.