Since we are all about data, we wanted to bring this effort by Acxiom to the attention of our readers. Acxiom is one of the largest personal information aggregators and providers in the the United States. They are the backbone of many industries, especially the marketing industry, and they have come under fire from Congress for their business practice of collecting information about everyone in the United States and making it available to businesses. The industry uses this information to attempt to target offers to consumers most likely to be interested. Acxiom, together with its competitors, has been under fire from the U.S. Senate, especially Senator Rockefeller, for this practice.
At AboutTheData.com. Acxiom says that it is making available to you the information which it has on you and which it provides to its clients. The clients will use it to determine whether you are a potential customer, and how to approach you. Of course, we don’t know if what Acxiom is showing you is ALL that they have on file. And we don’t know whether they haven’t intentionally put in incorrect information in order to get you to correct it when you review it. Although I tend to doubt the latter.
My own reaction to reviewing my file is that I shouldn’t think my reaction would be typical. I was underwhelmed as to the possibility of it violating my privacy, and rather disappointed with some of the errors and the apparent lack of detail that would enable a marketer to select or deselect me as a target. My reaction: There isn’t enough here to really help someone decide whether or not to offer me something. But, marketing is the air I’ve been breathing (or maybe the Kool-aid I’ve been drinking) for 20 years and others may react differently.
Why not take a look at what Acxiom knows about you and let us know your reaction? You could send me an email (Charles@globaladdress.org) or you could blog your reaction here! Make no mistake about the seriousness of Senator Rockefeller’s allegations about the personal data industry, who he has chosen to belittle by calling “data brokers”. The Senator is highly respected and influential, and all this makes me feel an inexorable tug here toward European-style paralyzing of the marketing powerhouse that drives our economy. Maybe we’ve been too cavalier about personal information and we should follow Europe. Take a look at your record at AboutTheData.com and let us know what you think.