We will again use the definition for “data brokers” employed in our 2006 report, “On the Data Trail”, as a company “whose primary business involves the trading and analysis of personal information”.  We observe at the outset that this is a contested term. The industry is complex. Key actors include:

  • large online platforms such as Google and Facebook;
  • marketers in the personal data and analytics industry;
  • marketers in the risk analysis industry; and
  • other businesses spread throughout the economy, ranging from retailers to internet of things developers.