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Privacy International points finger at seven companies for data gathering

(Image credit: IT Pro Portal)

Civil Rights group Privacy International has cried foul play to European data protection watchdogs, saying seven companies are gathering user data under suspicious circumstances and no one is looking into it. And no one is looking into it because the seven companies are ‘not household names’, it says.

The complaint names Acxiom, Oracle, Critero, Quantcast, Tapad, Equifax and Experian as being the companies that exploit the data of millions of people, without being analysed if their practices meet strict GDPR standards.

"GDPR sets clear limits on the abuse of personal data," said legal officer Ailidh Callander. "PI's complaints set out why we consider these companies' practices are failing to meet the standard – yet we've only been able to scratch the surface with regard to their data exploitation practices. GDPR gives regulators teeth and now is the time to use them to hold these companies to account."

The Information Commissioner's Office reacted, saying it had issued assessment notices for Acxiom, Experian and Equifax. This will allow it to carry out compulsory audits.

"These companies' processing activities are opaque and there is no direct relationship with individuals," Privacy International said. "They amass vast amounts of data about millions of individuals, repurpose these data to infer (profile) more data (accurate and inaccurate) about individuals, then share this data with a multitude of third parties for innumerable purposes."

Image Credit: IT Pro Portal