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Big Tech’s ‘Shadow Industry’ Draws Senate Privacy Scrutiny

June 11, 2019, 3:44 PM

The Senate Banking Housing and Urban Affairs Committee is zeroing in on brokers who sell consumer data to tech companies like Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. as it stakes out a role in the federal privacy debate.

Data brokers like Spokeo Inc. and Axiom Inc. collect consumer data and sell it to tech companies, banks, and insurance firms. Data brokers create consumer reports, like credit scores, but aren’t often required to disclose their data collection activities.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress, privacy advocates, and federal officials say the data broker industry can evade federal privacy laws that apply to most...

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