How do data brokers collect your information?

You might get shocked, but in average three out of ten online shops sell your data to so-called “trusted third-party”, which would be, wait for it, drumroll, please? A data broker! Easy as that. Have you filled out a form to get your favorite grocery store reward card? Cha-ching! You have about 60% chance that your personal information will eventually get to data brokers. Got married? Congratulations!!! The chance that your data will not be shared is only 70%. Have you just bought a house? They already know that, so don’t be surprised to receive Home Depot or Lowe’s postcard with congratulations and offer to save on new kitchen set for your new house.

This list goes on forever. The basic logic is this – if you fill out any type of form, you gamble. If you win, nobody gets to know your new details, if you lose, well, you know what happens. What are your odds? Low, very low… Rule of thumb here is every four forms filled out at four different sources get your information exposed for sure. And don’t forget one very important aspect here – once one data broker gets to “know you”, they would try to resell your information to other brokers as soon as possible. This strategy helps them to keep this data inside the system.  No one wants to lose this information forever. In case if your information got exposed to let’s say 3 data brokers and you remove it from 2 of them, you can expect that in near future your information would pop up again as soon as the third broker would sell it to other two again.

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