Yael Grauer


An Introduction to the Data Brokers Quietly Scooping Up And Selling Your Personal Data

Submitted Sep 28, 2020

This talk will discuss the different types of data brokers that exist, the failed attempts to regulate them in the U.S., actual laws in some states that do offer limited regulation, and ways people can try to mitigate the impact. (It would be good to also include a local speaker to put this in perspective in India.)


In the U.S., there are multiple categories of data brokers: marketing and advertising firms creating dossiers on people, brokers working on fraud prevention, and people search sites that collect, post and share your age, home address and other details to both paying and sometimes non-paying customers. Although there are protections in place for, say, inaccurate data that affects your credit, people search sites are vastly unregulated. Even in states that offer some protection (Vermont and California) still have many exemptions in place, leaving people on their own to try to scrub their own data. This talk will delve a little deeper into how data brokers work, how to try to mitigate their impact, and the challenges still left.

Speaker bio

Yael Grauer is an investigative tech reporter based in Phoenix, Arizona. She’s covered online privacy and security, digital freedom, hacking and mass surveillance for Ars Technica, The Intercept, WIRED, Motherboard, Slate, Wirecutter, OneZero and other publications. Yael has co-organized events and spoken on panels about digital security, source protection, ethics, and more. She holds a Master of Mass Communication degree from ASU,


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