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Using data brokering to Take the Elderly

Data brokering is dangerous and uncontrolled
(Image used under: Creative Commons 3.0 [SRC][Mod])

You know all those times I've complained about data brokering and how companies are able to hit us where we are weakest because of all they learn and profile about us? I'm not just making this stuff up.

Mr. Guthrie, who lives in Iowa, had entered a few sweepstakes that caused his name to appear in a database advertised by infoUSA, one of the largest compilers of consumer information. InfoUSA sold his name, and data on scores of other elderly Americans, to known lawbreakers, regulators say. InfoUSA advertised lists of "Elderly Opportunity Seekers," 3.3 million older people "looking for ways to make money," and "Suffering Seniors," 4.7 million people with cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. "Oldies but Goodies" contained 500,000 gamblers over 55 years old, for 8.5 cents apiece. One list said: "These people are gullible. They want to believe that their luck can change."
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