Today's Palm Beach Post is running a feature article on the data broker industry. There's not too much to learn here for those who follow the industry, but it's a good introduction for newcomers.
Identity complex: Data brokers' files are extensive, as are their destinations:
"... The personal information these firms have collected on virtually every American is staggering.
ChoicePoint has 19 billion documents; LexisNexis and its Boca business, Seisint, have 33 billion records. InfoUSA Inc. -- targeting companies with consumer and business data -- runs a database containing information on 250 million consumers and 14 million businesses. Another company, Acxiom Corp., says its consumer database covers 95 percent of U.S. households.
These records encompass more than just Social Security and driver license numbers. They include telephone numbers, birth and death records, personal addresses, vehicle ownership, criminal records, marriage and divorce records, liens and judgments, mortgages, property taxes individuals paid, personal bankruptcies and professional and business licenses. They include demographic data, consumer purchasing behavior and lifestyle interests...."