Convinced the trove of customer data being collected by marketers is making people ever more weary of online technology? Interactive marketer Acxiom may have the antidote as it's set to publicly release the marketing data it collects and sells to online advertisers.
Aboutthedata.com Debuts September 4
Acxiom is one of those behind the scenes firms that buys up customer profile data and sells it to advertisers. Using aggregated data can make ads can be more personalized and relevant or more annoying and creepy, depending on your point of view. Where this personalized information comes from, and how it gets in front of every website we visit is a subject coming more and more under scrutiny.
It's no accident then that one of the leaders of this industry wants to build a layer of openness into this misunderstood practice. That's why Acxiom has created a website called AboutTheData.com, a place where people can visit to see just what kind of information is being compiled on them that marketers then use to serve ads on virtually every website they go to.
Acxiom collects demographic information like education level, marital status, home ownership status and even economic data. With AboutTheData.com, visitors can see even see what information Acxiom has on their recent purchases and household interests.
Everything the company collects about people will be shown with the accompanying source of that information, some of which are self reported surveys, warrenty registrations and even voter files.
Possible Forthcoming Regulations Spur Acxiom by Action
Not only will people be able to see what information is collected on them, the website will allow them to correct information or even opt out entirely from allowing Acxiom to collect info on them. Most people are rather accustomed to the kind of data mining going on within the digital marketing world, but privacy advocates have been pushing back steadily, especially in Europe.
However, Do Not Track technology only works on an opt in basis in the US, so the actual privacy laws are more lax than in Europe. Acxiom is about to roll out an even more powerful tool that it can use to segment and parse the data it collects, and when it does, it anticipates there could be a public backlash, Scott Howe, CEO at Acxiom revealed in a recent New York Times report.
Debuting the AboutTheData.com website is one way the company hopes to combat any of that criticism, and maybe even help shape any potential privacy legislation that could be forthcoming.