Federal Trade Commission urges Congress to require data broker transparency

WASHINGTON – The Federal Trade Commission is urging Congress to tighten up rules for data brokers and help consumers control the vast amounts of personal information about them that’s being collected.

FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez says the amount of information being collected on consumers is “quite astonishing.”

She says the FTC wants Congress to require more transparency from data brokers, to have them “open up and shed light on what they are doing.” She says the agency also wants consumers to have more control over how their personal information is used.

The FTC chief says the agency has confirmed suspicions that data brokers are accessing and using vast amounts of personal information about consumers. She says data brokers are using people’s offline purchases “as a way to locate us and target” them online.

Ramirez says most consumers probably aren’t aware that so much information about them is being brokered.