【英语财经】消费者个人信息交易“产业”竞争加剧 Competition intensifies to snap up personal information on consumers

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所属分类:双语财经

2014-6-12 17:12

小艾摘要: Corporate competition to accumulate information about consumers is intensifying even as concerns about government surveillance grow, pushing down the market price for intimate personal details to frac ...
Competition intensifies to snap up personal information on consumers
Corporate competition to accumulate information about consumers is intensifying even as concerns about government surveillance grow, pushing down the market price for intimate personal details to fractions of a cent.

Over recent years, the surveillance of consumers has developed into a multibillion-dollar industry conducted by largely unregulated companies that obtain information by scouring web searches, social networks, purchase histories and public records, among other sources.

The resulting dossiers include thousands of details about individuals, including personal ailments, credit scores and even due dates for pregnant women.

Age, gender and location information sells for as little as $0.0005 per person, or $0.50 per thousand people, according to price details seen by the Financial Times. Information about people believed to be “influential” within their social networks sells for $0.00075, or $0.75 per thousand people. Slightly more valuable are income details and shopping histories, which both sell for $0.001.

According to industry sources, most people’s profile information sells for less than a dollar in total. “You’re not worth much,” said Dave Morgan, founder of one of the first companies to use web surfing data to target online ads.

As basic information on consumers becomes ubiquitous, brokers are tracking down even more details. For $0.26 per person, LeadsPlease.com sells the names and mailing addresses of people suffering from ailments such as cancer, diabetes and clinical depression.

Another company, ALC Data, sells a list of consumers with ailments sorted by credit score. “In the current economy, targeting prospects who have good credit, bad credit or a lack of credit can dramatically affect results,” the company states in its marketing materials.

Buyers of ALC’s “MH2 Credit Ailment Masterfile” in the past 12 months include Blue Cross Blue Shield, the insurance group, according to the company’s website. ALC also tracks more than 80 per cent of US births and competes fiercely against other data brokers in the baby sector. The group recently unveiled a “Newborn Network” database containing information about prenatal and postnatal mothers, as well as their aunts, grandmothers, close friends and neighbours. “It is a saturated market,” says Lori Magill-Cook, an executive vice-president at ALC.

The US Federal Trade Commission and a congressional committee are investigating the data industry to understand what these companies know and they use the information.

政府监控引起担忧加剧之际,各公司在收集消费者信息方面的竞争也在加强,把私密个人信息的市场价格拉到极低的水平。

最近几年,消费者监控已经发展为一项规模达数十亿美元的产业,参与其中的公司基本上未受到监管,它们通过“刷”网页搜索、社交网站、购买历史记录和公开记录等渠道来获取信息。

最终得到的资料包括无数的细节,有个人患病史、信用分数、甚至还有孕妇的临产期。

英国《金融时报》看到的具体价格显示,每个人的年龄、性别、位置信息只值0.0005美元,也就是每一千人的信息值0.5美元。那些被认为在社交圈内“有影响力”的人,其信息的价格为0.00075美元,折合每千人0.75美元。价格稍高一点的是收入详情和购物记录,二者的价格都是0.001美元。

消息人士指出,大多数人的个人资料价格都不超过一美元。依靠上网数据制作网络广告的首批公司之一的创始人戴维?摩根(Dave Morgan)说:“你的信息值不了多少钱。”

随着消费者的基本信息变得随处可见,代理商们甚至开始追踪更多的具体信息。LeadsPlease.com以每人0.26美元的价格出售癌症、糖尿病、临床忧郁症等患者的姓名和邮寄地址等信息。

另一家公司ALC Data则出售按信用分数分类的患者名单。该公司在其营销材料中称:“在当前经济中,了解潜在目标客户的信用状况(好、差或无信用记录)对经营业绩可能有重要影响。”

ACL网站显示,过去的12个月,该公司“MH2信贷纪录文件”的购买者包括保险公司蓝十字蓝盾(Blue Cross Blue Shield)。ACL还追踪80%以上的美国出生纪录,并在婴儿产品与服务领域与其他数据代理商开展激烈竞争。最近,ACL发布了一个包括孕妇产前和产后信息的“新生儿网络”数据库,甚至还包括她们的婶婶、祖母、密友和邻居的信息。ALC行政副总裁罗里?马吉尔?库克(Lori Magill-Cook)说:“这个市场已经饱和了。”

美国联邦贸易委员会(US Federal Trade Commission)和一个国会下属委员会正在对数据行业开展调查,以便揭示这些公司知道哪些信息并使用这些信息。

译者/王慧玲

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