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US: Consumer Digital Footprinting and Data Brokers –


From Facebook and Instagram to , most consumers -at least on - have an online footprint that is expanding daily.

Email addresses, phone numbers, consumer habits, birthdays, and more are aggregated into a data profile that companies and data brokers use to better understand consumer needs and wants. Often this is done without the knowledge or consent of consumers.

US: Millennials need more than twice as much money as Gen Z to be happy

"Data Fatigue"

A study from the Universityof Pennsylvania found that 8 in 10 Americans (79 percent) feel they have little control over what marketers can learn about them.

This is what experts call "data fatigue": the idea that many consumers know their data is being collected, but feel they can't do much to stop it.

The same study found that more than half of respondents did not know the full extent of how companies might use their data. Now, this data collection model is moving offline, into the aisles of your local grocery chain.

"Retailers today are doing almost everything they can to get as much information about you as possible because that's a whole new revenue stream for them," he said, speaking to , RJ Cross, director of the Don't Sell My Data campaign.

"Almost every company you shop from today is in the business of selling your data, and you and your data are their last product [for sale]."

Hundreds of billions of data brokers market

In 2021 the data broker market was valued at $319 billion.

This value is expected to exceed $545 billion by 2028.

In the past, retailers bought data from data brokers to get a better idea of ​​consumer trends.

Now, they're cutting out the middleman and collecting consumer data directly through "tools" like loyalty programs, location tracking, app usage, and even digital receipts.

"My face is part of the data being recorded, my behavior and all of that gives a lot more information about me, my age, my me, my nationality," explained Refive founder and CEO Mitul Jain. "And all that information can then be put back together with all these other little details that I left behind from my shopping route."

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