Where your personal data goes when you’re not looking

What businesses know about any given individual is a lot. But what are companies doing with that data? Not as much as you might think — at least not yet. Companies are getting more sophisticated, however.

The trove of data that’s out there includes:

Traditional offline data gathered by credit bureaus and data aggregators, including public data from telephone directories, court and property records

User account data collected and retained by businesses with which consumers have purchased products or registered for services

Data from online activity including searches, social media profiles and tweets, mobile app activity and Web browsing habits

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Network World Security