What Is A Data Broker?

Written by Caitlin Davidson

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Data Broker Defined

A Data Broker, also known as an information broker, syndicated data broker, or information re-seller, is a business that collects information about consumers from a variety of sources. Data brokers, collects, processes, analyzes, and then re-licences the data collected to other organizations. 

The data collected is typically accessed via an API and can be collected from a variety of online, offline, public, and non-public sources. These sources include:

  • Social media
  • Web history 
  • Cookies
  • Online and offline purchase history and warranty information
  • Credit card information
  • Government records (driver’s license and motor-vehicle records, census data, birth certificates, marriage licenses, voter-registration information, etc).

Information collected from these sources, which can be re-licensed to other organizations include:

  • Full name
  • Address of residence
  • Telephone numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Age and gender
  • Data about real estate owned
  • Income
  • Education
  • Occupation

There are four type of data brokers:

  • Type 1: Data brokers for marketing and advertising
  • Type 2: Fraud detection data brokers
  • Type 3. Risk-Mitigation Data Brokers
  • Type 4: People-Search Sites

In Data Defined, we help make the complex world of data more accessible by explaining some of the most complex aspects of the field.

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