Over 200 data brokers are working diligently each day to collect sensitive consumer information to sell it to other companies.
With the mobility trend becoming increasingly prominent in almost every industry, used for both personal and work-related reasons, the amount of sensitive information being stolen has reached heightened levels. Our home addresses, work addresses and mobile numbers are no longer private, as they can be accessed and hacked by data brokers.
One irritating type of company that data brokers sell our information to is telemarketers. Getting called from a random number, whether it is a voice recording or live telemarketer, has become an irritation that mobile users are forced to deal with since there is no way to filter these calls.
Ofcom, a communication regulator in the UK, has begun a research study to help industry, regulators and government officials figure out a way to distinguish between these types of calls.
British adults participating in the study will record any type of telemarketing calls they receive with a detailed journal of their experience. Ofcom will use this research to help understand the frequency of the calls and will also trace the companies behind the calls.
Apps like Abine’s DeleteMe Mobile, which prevents the re-accumulation of personal data from online tracking, were created to help protect the privacy of mobile users. However, like Bill Kerrigan, Abine CEO, brought to light, the biggest problem is the lack of updated laws and regulations that protect consumer information from being sold.
Ofcom has published an online consumer guide and is taking legal action against companies, like HomeServe and TalkTalk, in order to put an end to the root of the problem. It will also write to the companies making these calls and warn them to abide by its new regulations or they will face fines up to 3 million dollars.
The US should follow the UK’s lead and begin to enforce legal punishments against data brokers and telemarketers to protect the privacy of mobile users.
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