If one goes to Acxiom's www.aboutthedata.com, a consumer only sees a "portion" of what the databroker giant knows about them. More telling is this story from MediaPost yesterday when Axciom was named "Supplier of the Year" for the digital marketing business. "For every consumer we have more than 5,000 attributes of customer data,” they explained. Acxiom's Phil Mui added that (excerpt):
The problem is the need to develop a single view of customers across all the channels and devices and applications they are using,” says Phil Mui, who has been building just that sort of filtering technology for Big Data’s biggest daddy, Acxiom. The challenge, he says, is reconciling the disparate and non-unified way cookies capture consumer data, and how that data gets attributed to describe who they actually are and what their behaviors have been (much less their intent).
To illustrate this point, Mui would like you to think about “Rebecca.” She uses different devices at different times to interact with brands and purchase products in different ways, dropping cookie crumbs all along the way — clicking through to an email discount offer, browsing a product on a retail or manufacturer’s site online, picking up the phone to order from the Home Shopping Network.
Along her journey, Mui says, “24 cookies may have been dropped across six different devices,” but, “that particular purchase would be associated with her offline behavior.”...Mui estimates the 700 million identifiable consumers in Acxiom’s database represent about half of all the first-party data generated by the Fortune 100 companies. But Acxiom’s OS goes one step further, building its own third-party cookie pool, which Mui says has access to the last 30-days of behavior on more than 1 billion consumers.... For every consumer we have more than 5,000 attributes of customer data,” Mui boasts, noting that by linking the public info with actual purchase data, and attributing it to online browsing behavior, Axciom can actually predict future consumer behaviors.
“We know what your propensity is to buy a handbag. We know what your propensity is to go on vacation or use a loyalty card,” he says.
It's time the FTC and CFPB did more to empower individuals to have control over their information.