FTC: Online companies secretly collecting data on consumers

Updated:

WASHINGTON —

A federal report released Wednesday shows online data companies are collecting more data about you than you might think.

The Federal Trade Commission finds data brokers are collecting and selling information about nearly all U.S. consumers largely without their knowledge.
        
The FTC wants Congress to pass privacy laws requiring more disclosure.

“They know who we vote for, they know our economic status is, what our race is, what our sexual orientation is, they have all this information and they can use it in all kinds of ways,” said Center for Digital Democracy representative Jeffrey Chester.

The Direct Marketing Association said the report only focused on potential misuse and did not cite any actual harm to consumers.

To read the full FTC report, click here.

The FTC has a page with guides on how to protect yourself from data theft. Click here for the security guide.