by Lance Turner
Posted 9/3/2013 07:48 am
Updated 12 months ago
As we've reported, Acxiom Corp. of Little Rock is set to roll out a new website that will allow people to see what information the data mining company has collected about them.
The data on the site, called AbouttheData.com, includes biographical facts, like education level, marital status and number of children in a household; homeownership status, including mortgage amount and property size; vehicle details, like the make, model and year; and economic data, like whether a household member is an active investor with a portfolio greater than $150,000. Also available will be the consumer’s recent purchase categories, like plus-size clothing or sports products; and household interests like golf, dogs, text-messaging, cholesterol-related products or charities.
Each entry comes with an icon that visitors can click to learn about the sources behind the data — whether self-reported consumer surveys, warranty registrations or public records like voter files. The program also lets people correct or suppress individual data elements, or to opt out entirely of having Acxiom collect and store marketing data about them.
As we've noted, long-time Arkansas Business readers know that in 2000, Editor Gwen Moritz asked the very question many folks will soon asking of Acxiom: How much do you know about me?
Then the answer was, "Not much." But with wider Internet usage and new methods of data collection, the answer tomorrow will be more interesting.
Also: The New York Times' story includes some fun moments with Acxiom CEO Richard Howe, who gives a reporter a demonstration of how AboutTheData.com works, using himself as an example:
The household interest section, for instance, listed Mr. Howe as interested in health and medical issues (he subscribes to health industry trade journals and founded a site called Health123.com); crafts (he periodically works with stained glass); woodworking (he paid for his undergraduate education at Princeton in part by working as an apprentice carpenter); tennis (he was on his high school team); gardening (his wife subscribes to Fine Gardening magazine); and “religious/inspirational.”
“I don’t know how inspirational I am,” Mr. Howe said. “I am Methodist. My uncle is a Methodist preacher. I go to church very regularly.”