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Europe Scrutinizes The Data Broking Industry

News. For years the US has been investigating the data broker industry. Now Europe are taking a closer look into their activities. For years, data brokers have operated in the shadows, but with GDPR and a shift in public opinion on privacy is changing that, reports The Financial Times.

French regulators are deeply worried about the data broking industry.

“They are all processing personal data, there is absolutely no doubt about that,” says Mathias Moulin, director for the protection of rights and sanctions at the French data protection watchdog, CNIL to The Financial Times. “They all try to say that it’s anonymous to lower the pressure from the public, but that’s not true. They know that and we know that.”

Together with the UK and Ireland, France is examining the data-mining industry.

Read the story in Financial Times here

The examination from France, UK and Ireland is due Privacy International, who has filed complaints against 7 data brokers (Acxiom, Oracle), ad-tech companies (Criteo, Quantcast, Tapad), and credit referencing agencies (Equifax, Experian) with data protection authorities in France, Ireland, and the UK, as wrote about in November last year.

One of the most important European-based reports on databrokers,  Corporate Surveillance in Everyday Life, came from Cracked Labs last year, as we reported here:
“Based on data and guided by their business interests and economic goals, companies have constructed an environment in which individuals are constantly surveyed and evaluated, investigated and examined, categorized and grouped, rated and ranked, numbered and quantified, included or excluded, and, as a result, treated differently.”

As Gabriel Voisin, partner in international privacy and data protection at Bird & Bird, says to the Financial Times. “The dream for the industry is to be able to connect the online and offline worlds to have a 360-degree view of the customer.”