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Acxiom Hands Over the Controls to Consumers’ Data to …….. Consumers



aboutdata-hed-2013Call this move whatever you want (and most are calling it a move to get out in front of regulators which isn’t exactly altruistic but hey) one of the world’s largest data brokers, Acxiom, has created a site that allows consumers to find out what data they have on them.

I haven’t checked it out but the idea is certainly not one you would expect. Or would you? Adweek reports

Hoping to keep regulators at bay, Acxiom, one of the world’s largest data brokers, today launched a portal that shows consumers the data that the company has on them and lets them make changes or opt out.

Consumers that enter aboutthedata.com, can check out broad categories of data that Acxiom has collected about them from both offline and online sources, including shopping habits and dollars spent, household interests (like music listener or cooking), Internet connection, education and political party affiliation. Changes can be made any time, or consumers can choose to opt out completely.

If consumers opt-out, Acxiom warns them that they will still get ads, just not ads that may be relevant to their interests.

Pretty bold for sure. But in reality it is unlikely that Joe Consumer will do anything. First, they don’t even know who Acxiom is and second, they are likely to treat this ‘news’ the same way they treat Facebook changes; they ignore them.

Well, some think it is a move in the right direction.

“Commercial data brokers … know much more about us than we do about them,” wrote FTC commissioner Julie Brill in a recent Washington Post op ed. Acxiom, Brill noted, has information on about 700 million consumers worldwide, with some 1,500 data points per person.

Brill has practically made it her personal mission to advocate for a centralized Web-based industry portal that will allow consumers, as she puts it, to “reclaim your name.”

Now, if Acxiom’s portal is to be believed, consumers can have control over that data, if they choose.

OK, did you notice the sarcasm from Adweek about if the portal is to be believed? That just goes to show just what kind of condition the Internet information age is in. No matter what olive branch is offered it is not likely that anything will even be believed.

It’s not like we haven’t asked for it.

So, are you going to look at your data? Even more importantly, as a marketer do you fear that there will be a rush to hide data at least from this one source? Ha ha, that’s rich, huh?