Mar 17 6:19 PM

Data secrets

Thomas Imo/Photothek via Getty Images

Is your personal information safe? Chances are, it’s not. You might be surprised by the data that’s available, including lists of cancer patients and domestic violence survivors. Brokers are collecting details, selling them and it’s become a big business. U.S. companies and organizations spend more than $2 billion every year for that access. So what information is out there and what can you do to protect your privacy? 

In this episode of The Stream, we'll speak to:

Phil McKenna @mckennapr
Science and Technology freelance writer

Larry Downes @larrydownes
Author, “Big Bang Disruption”

Pam Dixon @privacyforum
Executive Director, World Privacy Forum

Prakash Kondepudi @Intelius
Intelius, President

What do you think? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. 

It may seem like Facebook, Gmail and other websites and services online are free - but you're paying for them with your personal data. Thousands of websites collect your information, track your online habits and supplement that data with public records to create a very detailed picture of who you are. 

The companies that profit off the collection and sale of this data are called data brokers. The video below shows how your data is shared when you browse the web: 



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