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KSTP – 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Investigates: Selling Your Secrets

There’s a push in Washington, D.C., fueled in part by Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, to give consumers access to their own personal information that’s in the hands of data brokers.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS discovered data lists – for sale online – that have police officer home addresses, cancer patients, and Alzheimer’s patients on them. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS purchased a list of more than 3,100 people in the Twin Cities with allergies.

“It’s a little bit scary, because this is something simple with allergies medication, but it could be for a serious medical condition, or something you really want to keep private,” Sheila Seats said. She was one of the people on the broker’s list that included names and home addresses available for purchase.

The Federal Trade Commission defines data brokers as companies that collect consumers’ personal information and resell or share that information with others.

“We’re now in an era where commercial interests are violating your privacy,” Franken said.

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