Brokerage companies might be trading your personal details for less than a rupee.
Your personal Details such as your phone number, residential address, email ID’s and job details may be sold by data brokerage companies for less than a rupee, according to the Economic Times, The financial daily said its reporters approached data brokers – companies that sell personal information of Internet users in bulk – in three different cities. They offered the details of up to one lakh people for between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000.
This data sale can include list based on various categories, including income, credit card holders, retirees, car owners and salaried individuals. A data brokerage in Gurgoan which sold a list of 3,000 people to Axis Bank and HDFC Bank credit cards, claimed it could also make a database of two lakh people available for Rs 7,000.
Also read: 7 tip to protect your private data in Smartphone from hackers.
ET also managed to acquire the data of people who make transactions on e-commerce platforms such as eBay and Amazon. Vice President of research firm Aranca Kannan Sivasubramanian said data brokerage was a global industry worth $200 billion (approximately Rs 13.34 lakh crore). “Marketing products generate over 50% revenue, followed by risk mitigation, which constitutes approximately 45% of the revenue,” he said. The market for data brokerage in India is currently dominated by international firms like Epsilon, Equifax and Experian, according to the report.
The report comes even as bodies such as the Unique Identification Authority of India – Aadhaar’s governing body – begins to deal with concerns about the misuse of personal data. The UIDAI has filed a complaint against three companies for the unauthorised usage of biometrics stored by it. The use of Aadhaar by the Centre and the private sector has prompted security and data privacy concerns by rights groups and activists. The Supreme Court on January 5 observed that that biometric data collection by private agencies for Aadhaar was not a good idea. The government has defended the practice saying it is commonplace and that the Centre had taken enough precautions to ensure that information was not misused.