Knowing What Companies Know About You

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The data-brokering company Acxiom, which tracks the online behaviors of nearly 700 million people, has announced a new service that will reveal to people what the company knows about them. Financial Times reporter Emily Steel talks about online data tracking, and whether individuals have a right to know what data companies know about them.


Emily Steel

Comments [24]

ivan obregon

It's amazing how moronic people can sound.....complaining about a woman's voice. krys......she's smart, had valuable information to share and is worth listening to more than a bunch of gruff grumps.

Jun. 18 2013 02:00 PM
JR from New York

@Howard from Bronx, Foodaggro, et al:
Yes, I rest my case (for today): The monstrous little-girl voice has spread like a cancer across the land.
They can be lead litigators, NY Times reporters on financial news, heads of think tanks. But they sound as though they were only seven. And it goes further. Men aren't innocent here either: the under-40s often sound as though they needed very badly to blow their noses. Nasal, uptalk, vocal fry, creaky voice, and more. Listening to Americans is getting very unpleasant.

Apr. 11 2013 03:17 PM
Howard from Bronx

@Tony from Canarsie - I've got IBD and couldn't listen. My wife, who's concerns were recently dismissed by a male doctor (and probably misdiagnosed by same doctor) was interested in the program. Do you think NPR/WNYC is speeding up the tapes on these guests to get more interview in?

@Art - I think a lot of people turned it off after hearing that voice.

Apr. 11 2013 03:06 PM
art525 from Park Slope

@Howard from Bronx- SO it wasn't just me. Listening was driving me crazy.

Apr. 11 2013 02:23 PM
Tony from Canarsie

Howard from Bronx -- I was just about to write the same thing! At least Leonard's guest didn't get into irritable bowel syndrome. Yeesh.

Apr. 11 2013 02:19 PM
Howard from Bronx

@JR from NY - Are you listening to Fresh Air right now? the guest sounds like a 5 year old girl! What is going on??!!

Apr. 11 2013 02:12 PM

Hello Jenna: The information may be collected by use of a web beacon.

Apr. 11 2013 02:11 PM
Barney from Brooklyn

That corporations and the government might know I prefer creamy over crunchy peanut butter keeps me up all night.

Apr. 11 2013 02:03 PM
Jf from Dystopia

I will be suing these companies for intellectual property infringment.

Apr. 11 2013 02:02 PM

1st line correction should read data sold 24/7/365.

As for the HIPAA concern - the Bush "reform" gave more protection to Big Medicine/Big Pharma/Big PBM than it did for patients.

It's another area where the consumer/data provider currently doesn't own their own data in the USA.

Apr. 11 2013 02:01 PM
Tony from Canarsie

Whole Bagels from nyc -- The Turd Reich's use of IBM's then state of the art high tech punch card technology provides an example.

Apr. 11 2013 01:58 PM

They can sell & re-sell your date 24/7/365 in separate sales & we don't know who's collating info from any & all sources or the # of sales.

It's time to ask for at least as much privacy/confidentiality as the EU has.

Also, how do users know that the services they receive are equal to the profits made from selling data???

The lack of compensation to the data provider/consumer is the new fight! Google + the dataminers must be more forthcoming, especially as to their cooperation with the Federal Gov't post WTC 2001.

Apr. 11 2013 01:58 PM
Vinny from Manalapan, NJ

This is simply an advertisement for their services, or I think it is an attempt at advertising for them. What it's doing is frightening me. She's measuring her responses, not giving out useful info. Like other's here have said, mail them a check, and they'll have what they want from you, your bank and routing number. Yeah. No thanks.

Apr. 11 2013 01:57 PM

Perhaps this has already been addressed -- but isn't gathering prescription info exactly the sort of activity that HIPAA privacy laws were built to prevent?

Lord knows HIPAA causes complications. For example, in the US we cannot see how many people are taking chemotherapy in a certain zip code as a way of learning how poisonous that area is. But I thought the tradeoff was protection from the AXIOMs out there?

Apr. 11 2013 01:57 PM

If you're a vocal critic of Acxiom, and Axciom decides it doesn't like that or you, what's to stop them from fiddling with your data to make your life miserable?

Apr. 11 2013 01:55 PM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

JR from New York -
You took the words out of my mouth. I swore I was hearing a vocal-fried, upspeaking Daisy Duck talking to Leonard. Crucial topic here, but anyone who speaks on-air should understand how to sound like an intelligent adult.

Apr. 11 2013 01:53 PM

Does Acxiom claim it _owns_ the data it collects? If someone buys info on a person and then resells it, given that Acxiom didn't pay for it themselves, is that buyer free to resell it?

Apr. 11 2013 01:51 PM
Whole Bagels from nyc

Think of all the great things Hitler could have done with a company like this.

Apr. 11 2013 01:49 PM
JR from New York

Does WNYC troll for idiotic sounding guests? Because Emily Steel really advances the goal. Her voice and patter are excruciating. Or maybe she is just a witto bitty girl just out of sandbox...
Further, this hour has featured two guests on your show (L. Lopate's) who both seem to answer many questions not with Yes, No, or Maybe, but rather with the increasingly ubiquitous and shifty sounding "So..."
It is scary what is happening with this culture.

Apr. 11 2013 01:48 PM
Johnson from nyc

this is a great company. it's not big brother watching you.

Apr. 11 2013 01:47 PM
Howard from Bronx

If you mail them a check they can read off your account info (routing info, account # from the check.

Apr. 11 2013 01:44 PM
Amy from Manhattan

My suspicious mind has me wondering if requesting your data triggers the co. to follow you more closely, & if they can find out info from a paper check that they wouldn't get from an online payment.

Apr. 11 2013 01:44 PM
fuva from harlemworld

What's this service called? How to access it?

Apr. 11 2013 01:40 PM
jenna from UES

I work at a company that produces an email newsletter. The analytics we get back have information such as read, skimmed, forwarded and deleted. How do they get that info?

Apr. 11 2013 01:40 PM

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