There’s something a little bit off-putting about data brokers like Acxiom. They snarf up tons of information about your online and offline buying habits, your income, your house, your car, you name it, and sell it to businesses thirsty for that sort of data.
Now the Little Rock, Ark.-based company (Derrick Harris has more on it here) will give you a sneak peek of the personal data it’s gleaned about you if you go to Aboutthedata.com and fill out a form to assure the company that you are, in fact, you. Completing that form made me think I might be giving them data they don’t already have. Silly me.
The data there is pretty accurate — although, to my knowledge, I have never used or owned a Discover card. But Acxiom has my approximate income range, the age of my house, etc. If Acxiom has my car information, it didn’t show it. But as The New York Times pointed out, Acxiom has lots more G2 on me (and you) that it’s not surfacing here:
“[At] least in its initial incarnation, [aboutthedata.com] leaves out many data elements that Acxiom markets to its corporate clients — intimate details like whether a person is a ‘potential inheritor’ or an ‘adult with senior parent,’ or whether a household has a ‘diabetic focus’ or ‘senior needs.’ Without a more complete picture of industry practices, privacy advocates say, consumers cannot make informed decisions about whether to share personal information with companies.”
After viewing your data, you can opt out of the program, but first Acxiom gives you this helpful reminder:
“Opting out of Acxiom’s online and/or offline marketing data will not prevent you from receiving marketing materials. Instead of receiving ads that are relevant to your interests, you will see more generic ads with no information to tailor content. For example, instead of getting a great offer on a hotel package in your favorite vacation spot, you might see an ad for the latest, greatest weight loss solution.”