The Financial Times reported Wednesday that Acxiom Corp. of Little Rock is preparing a service that will show people what information it has on them:
For its marketing information business, consumers now can visit Acxiom’s website to opt out of targeted ads based on Acxiom data but have no way to access the data collected.
Acxiom says the new service could be available sometime this year, but some technical and logistical hurdles remain. The company is attempting to secure the service so that individuals will not fall victim to identity theft from others accessing their data.
It also is sorting out a way to sort information so that it is available about individuals rather than the bulk data sets most companies seek.
The move comes as Acxiom and other data marketers face increasing scrutiny from governments about the type of information it collects and how it collects it. Following a report in the New York Times last year, Congress opened an investigation into several data companies, including Acxiom.
Acxiom has said before that it has information on at least 98 percent of the American adult population. Acxiom executives have testified before Congress on the company's privacy policies.
Long-time Arkansas Business readers might remember that in 2000, Editor Gwen Moritz asked the very question many folks might be soon asking of Acxiom: How much do you know about me?
Then the answer was, "Not much." But with wider Internet usage, new methods of data collection and Acxiom's recently inked partnership with Facebook, the answer today might be more interesting.