Lobbying spend by 25 companies registered as 'data brokers' in the US, including Oracle, RELX, Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, LiveRamp, Neustar, Venntel, Zeta Global, Aristotle, X-Mode.

By @alfredwkng and @tenuous: themarkup.org/privacy/2021/0…
"The Markup contacted all 25 companies for comment on their lobbying activities. Several companies, like ... LiveRamp denied being data brokers"

Why may Deloitte have registered as a data broker?

They calculate health risk scores based on data from clients & data brokers including financial data, purchases, music preferences, high school grades… 🤔
While I wrote about most of the companies mentioned extensively I rarely came across NCR, a huge POS and ATM tech provider formerly owned by AT&T, and Inmar Intelligence, focusing on POS fraud/returns, including for pharmacies.

Both seem to handle huge amounts of purchases data.
Ok, now I got it.

Inmar = OwnerIQ

...a data broker which "aggregates over 1 Billion online shopping behaviors of more than 200 million U.S. consumers each month from retailers, product brands and e-commerce sites", and sells it e.g. via LiveRamp:
A "data marketplace" used by "thousands of retailers and brands to access, share and or exchange shopping and purchasing data". They have "complete control over their participation' and can 'buy data, share data or do both. It is their choice"

(not the consumers' choice though)

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More from @WolfieChristl

5 Apr
I missed this comprehensive investigation by @kfranasz from Oct 2020 that found that 502 out of 537 websites by US senators and congressional reps (.house.gov/.senate.gov) transmitted personal data on visitors to Google, 309 to Facebook, 69 to Oracle. Bad.
Actually, no website should send behavioral data to Google, FB or other surveillance marketing companies, including sites by parties and politicians.

Apart from that, formal .gov sites should really not share data with any company that exploits it for commercial purposes at all.
This is even more true for sites by public authorities.

Like the US Customs and Border Protection website that just sent personal data on my visit to FB, Google, Microsoft, The Trade Desk, mdhv.io (?) and other parties during my visit as observed in my browser.
Read 4 tweets
3 Apr
Update, FB received personal data on me from 1573 apps and websites over the last 6 months, up more than two-fold from January 2020 when it introduced its 'Off-Facebook Activity' tool.
Methodology: For a part of my daily web activity I use a browser without any tracking protection or ad blocker, which is also logged into FB. Like many others. Annoying and painful, but what has to be done has to be done.

Correction: The new number seems to cover >6 months.
Some sites sent data about my activities to FB hundreds of times. Media websites are among the worst offenders:

- Daily Mail: 297x
- The Independent: 280x
- The Guardian: 203x
- Vice: 158x
- Reuters: 91x
- The Atlantic: 87x
- Forbes: 72x
- The New Yorker: 53x
- Politico: 46x
Read 27 tweets
2 Apr
The way digital advertising works today implies that myriads of companies share personal data on millions with shady actors every second.

A group of US senators asked major adtech firms who they share data with. Spoiler: It won't be easy to answer this.
"we must understand the serious national security risks posed by the unrestricted sale of Americans’ data to foreign companies and governments”

I don't think the national security angle is the only relevant one, but it will certainly give the initiative the urgency it deserves.
"They also asked the companies to provide the names of all foreign clients who had access to user data through auctions over the past three years"

Affected adtech firms / data brokers include Google, AT&T/Xandr, Verizon, Index Exchange, Magnite, OpenX, PubMatic, Twitter/MoPub.
Read 4 tweets
1 Apr
Come on, this pseudo-insightful PR piece carefully crafted by a team of unknown authors in the name of the former UK Deputy Prime Minister, now Facebook's "Vice President of Global Affairs" aka chief lobbyist, is horrible, and nobody should endorse it 😡
Take a look at this chart. All the major optimization goals are simply missing - all the relevant KPIs, maximizing engagement, user retention etc. Pure misinformation.

It's a carefully crafted compilation of most of Facebook's PR spins, distractions and lies from recent years.
Sorry, I'm a bit annoyed, yes.
Read 4 tweets
1 Apr
"Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigrations Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials demanded location data from three companies who collectively track the movements of tens of millions of vehicles every day: GM OnStar, Geotab and Spireon" forbes.com/sites/thomasbr…
I told Forbes that as more and more devices collect extensive data on our behaviors, often for purposes that improve our everyday lives, we need to make sure that law enforcement agencies do not see the mere availability of data as a free pass to access it as they see fit.
Law enforcement agencies accessing detailed GPS location data collected for purposes such as navigation or emergency services is highly intrusive. The requirements for issuing warrants must make sure that such data can only be used to tackle the most serious crimes.
Read 4 tweets
31 Mar
Anomaly 6, another firm run by ex-military and location industry veterans, sold location data secretly sourced from ordinary smartphone apps to SOCOM/SOCAFRICA, a US military unit tasked with counterterrorism, counterinsurgency and special reconnaissance: vice.com/en/article/z3v…
SOCOM states the contract was about evaluating the "feasibility of using Anomaly 6 telemetry services in an overseas operating environment"

As the WSJ reported in August, Anomaly 6 tracks "the movements of hundreds of millions of mobile phones world-wide" wsj.com/articles/u-s-g…
Once again, the way our digital (app) economy currently works, built and optimized for uncontrolled marketing surveillance, treating personal data as just another mass commodity, is directly feeding into the most invasive forms of government surveillance.
Read 10 tweets

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