You’ll see plenty of blogs on our website about how easily your private data can be collected and sold. What still occasionally surprises us is the sheer volume of entities engaged in these collections and sales.
That’s why a recent article in Scientific American caught our eye. It states:
“Data brokers are buying and selling hundreds of millions of people’s location information, and too many researchers are inadvertently providing public-relations cover to this massive privacy invasion by using the data in scientific studies. Researchers must carefully consider whether such data make them accomplices to this dubious practice.”
Like the big tech companies and social media channels, scientific research firms claim they are only doing this for the good of humanity. A company called SafeGraph was caught selling location information on visitors to Planned Parenthood; its CEO responded that this data was contributing to beneficial research on abortion access.
We’re doing this for you, they will reassure us. We’re only trying to help. This data will just be used as material for articles in studies and academic publications.
But data is valuable, and once these firms are done with it, they’ll sell it just like everybody else. The question is, what can you do about it?
And the answer, unfortunately, is nothing. Consumer data privacy laws will need to be passed to stop this practice. However, after your information is shared or sold, you can make sure it does not become readily accessible online.
Our online privacy protection program, IronWall360, scans the Internet for any sites where someone’s home address and other private data are accessible. We then contact that site to make sure that content is removed. And we don’t take “no” for an answer.
Does it work? Our renewal rate in our program is over 90% for over 10 years. Yes, it works.
Find out more about why this service is needed more than ever, and why we’re the top choice for public servants in our space.