Data brokers are companies that collect information on consumers and then sell that information to other companies. And the data broker ecosystem is vast.It’s a galaxy of companies that exist in this space. Most of the data brokers ordinary people don’t know who they are or that they exist. The ones that peek their heads out of the shadows the most are data brokers that we call People Search Sites.
What data brokers would do is go out and scrape the web, and also gather public records databases for free. They could license data from companies like LexisNexis or Acxiom or Epsilon, and then they could just publish all of that information to the Web. They could put ads on the website, and then they would have millions of pages of content indexed in Google.
It’s unbelievable that in the year 2022, outside of these four states, U.S. citizens still have no legal right to opt out of the sale of their personal information. HBO’s John Oliver agrees and recently discussed a hilariously provocative proposal for getting a nationwide data privacy law passed ASAP.