Earlier this morning, Tim Cook penned an op-ed in TIME Magazine to call for comprehensive federal privacy reform. Now, Acxiom, one of the largest data brokers, has come out in support of Cook’s call for GDPR-like regulation in the United States.
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As reported by Business Insider, Acxiom said in a statement this evening that it supports national privacy legislation in the United States. “Acxiom, like Mr. Cook, also supports a national privacy law for the US, such as GDPR provides for the European Union,” the data broker said in a statement.
Further, Acxiom went on to say that the “nefarious players” must be rooted out of the data industry:
We agree that we must root out the nefarious players in the ecosystem, and Acxiom’s data privacy impact assessment (DPIA) process ensures we don’t do business with questionable companies. We look forward to working with people across the industry, including Apple, to ensure transparency, access and control is available to all people.
Acxiom is a $3 billion data brokerage that essentially acts as a middleman – transferring data between different companies and parties. It’s one of the world’s biggest data brokers, alongside other companies such as Experian and Oracle.
What makes Acxiom’s endorsement of Cook’s ideas so notable is that the Apple CEO specifically called out data brokers in his opinion piece:
One of the biggest challenges in protecting privacy is that many of the violations are invisible. For example, you might have bought a product from an online retailer—something most of us have done. But what the retailer doesn’t tell you is that it then turned around and sold or transferred information about your purchase to a “data broker”—a company that exists purely to collect your information, package it, and sell it to yet another buyer.
In the TIME Magazine piece, Cook calls on the FTC to create a “data-broker clearinghouse.” This would require all data brokers – like Acxiom – to register and enable customers to track the transactions that have “bundled and sold their data from place to place.” Further, this would allow users to delete their data “once and for all.”
Read Acxiom’s full statement at Business Insider.