What Information Do Data Brokers Have on Consumers, and How Do They Use It?

Feature Image: Oversight&InvestigationsWASHINGTON, D.C.— Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today announced the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a hearing on Wednesday, December 18, 2013, at 2:30 p.m. to examine the data broker industry and how industry practices may impact consumers. The hearing comes after a yearlong Commerce Committee examination of how data brokers collect, compile, and sell consumer information for marketing purposes.

In October 2012, Rockefeller launched an investigation into the data broker industry to give consumers a better understanding of how their personal information is handled, issuing information requests to nine representative data brokers. Rockefeller sent an additional set of inquiries in September 2013 to twelve popular personal finance, health, and family-focused websites to further explore data broker information collection practices, and further expanded the investigation in October 2013 by requesting that Experian provide specific information about the company’s customer vetting practices following news reports alleging that an Experian subsidiary sold data to an identity theft scheme.

Please note the hearing will be webcast live via the Senate Commerce Committee websiteRefresh the Commerce Committee homepage 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time to automatically begin streaming the webcast.

Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid or service, including closed captioning service for webcast hearings, should contact Stephanie Gamache at 202-224-5511 at least three business days in advance of the hearing date.


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Majority Statement

  • Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV

    U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Minority Statement

  • Senator John R Thune

    Ranking Member
    U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation


  • Ms. Jessica RIch

    Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection
    Federal Trade Commission
    Download Testimony (137.55 KB)
  • Ms. Pam Dixon

    Executive Director
    World Privacy Forum
  • Dr. Joseph Turow

    Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Communication, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies
    The Annenberg School for Communication
  • Mr. Tony Hadley

    Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy
  • Mr. Jerry Cerasale

    Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy
    Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
    Download Testimony (115.12 KB)