What Are Data Brokers and How can You Stop Them From Selling Your Data

by Nate Ryan

What Are Data Brokers and How can You Stop Them From Selling Your Data

What Are Data Brokers?

Do you know what Data Brokers are and know how to stop them from selling your information? As the increased use of sensitive information becomes necessary to access services and products on the internet, more personal data ranging from the addresses you’ve lived at to even your social security number can be found on data broker sites. This means your Full Name, Email, Date of Birth, and More Are at Risk.

 Takeaway:

  • Data brokers are organizations that collect and sell your personal information
  • Brokers purchase your information from companies that handle your data (ex., Verizon, DoorDash, and Uber), especially free services (ex: PayPal, Facebook, TikTok).

The selling and spread of personal information make you and your family more vulnerable to identity theft, scams, and spam.

Why You Should Care:

The more your information spreads, the more likely you are to be bombarded with unsolicited messages from advertisers, political campaigns, and scammers.

Since anyone, anywhere in the world, can access all kinds of information about you from a data broker, spammers and hackers can launch aggressive call, text, email, and ad campaigns that are more personalized and thus more effective at convincing you to take an action that they want you to take.

87% of U.S. citizens can be accurately identified using only their zip code, date of birth, and gender[1].

As your data profile becomes more detailed and complete, it becomes easier for fraudsters to target you and your family, steal your identity, and even open new financial accounts in your name. Even the most alert people will fall victim to a more evolved and sophisticated scam in the future.

Types of Your Data Being Sold:

The internet is a powerful tool that benefits our lives in so many ways. Most people know they are giving up their basic information, such as name and email address, when signing up for free services. The reality is that data brokers obtain and sell much more invasive data than you realize. Examples include your purchase history, location data, health, family members, social security number, personal interests, banking and investments, and more.

Is This Legal?

Unfortunately, no federal laws in the United States oversee the buying and selling of your information[1]. Several states do have data privacy laws in place, but they tend to have many loopholes, especially when data brokers operate outside that state. Many types of personal identification information that people believe are covered by laws like HIPAA are actually exposed.

Alarmingly, apps and sites you use can share your data to interested parties because of the agreements you accept to use their services. As a result, data brokers have a consistent and diversified network of sources they use to make money off your information.

How to Stop Data Brokers From Selling Your Data:

To stop the data brokers from selling your personal information to people who could potentially scam you, it’s recommended to find a service that will find which sites are selling your data and help you go delete that data easily. Deleting your data off the internet by yourself can be a tedious task. You must go to every website and submit a request for deletion one by one. The Hogo app has made this process very simple for people to find which data broker sites are selling their personal information and allows you to request the deletion of your data with a single swipe in the app. To get started with Hogo visit the App Store or Google play and search Hogo – Defend Your Privacy.


[1] https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2011/10/youre-not-so-anonymous/

[2] https://www.cloudwards.net/us-data-privacy-laws/

by Nate Ryan Oct 12, 2022