Data Brokering

Definition of Data Brokering

Data brokering refers to the process of collecting, storing, and selling or sharing large amounts of data, often gathered from multiple sources. Data brokers aggregate this information to create comprehensive profiles of individuals or organizations. This data is then sold or shared with third parties, such as advertisers or other businesses for targeted marketing, research, or decision-making purposes.


The phonetics of the keyword “Data Brokering” can be represented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) as:/ˈdeɪtə ˈbroʊkərɪŋ/Breaking it down:- “Data”: /ˈdeɪtə/- “Brokering”: /ˈbroʊkərɪŋ/

Key Takeaways

  1. Data brokering is the practice of collecting, analyzing, and selling data from various sources, often involving personal information.
  2. While it can provide valuable insights for businesses and help them target their marketing efforts, data brokering raises concerns regarding privacy and the ethical use of personal data.
  3. Regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have been implemented to address these concerns by providing certain rights to individuals and imposing stricter rules on data brokers.

Importance of Data Brokering

The term Data Brokering holds significant importance in the technology field as it refers to the process of collecting, refining, and aggregating data from disparate sources to provide businesses and organizations with valuable insights.

By leveraging data brokers’ services, organizations can gain a competitive advantage by making more informed decisions, optimizing marketing strategies, and identifying new business opportunities.

The data brokering industry facilitates numerous industries and sectors, such as healthcare, finance, technology, and retail, by offering tailored, high-quality data that caters to their specific needs and contributes to overall growth.

Moreover, as data continues to become an increasingly valuable asset in the digital era, data brokering plays a crucial role in translating this raw information into actionable intelligence that drives innovation and success.


Data brokering serves a critical role in today’s data-driven society by streamlining the process of gathering, analyzing, and distributing valuable information. Numerous industries, such as marketing, healthcare, finance, and research, rely on data brokers to access pertinent data that would enhance their decision-making capabilities, support risk assessment, and enable targeted marketing.

By consolidating data from various sources like public records, social media platforms, and customer information databases, data brokers are positioned to generate actionable insights that cater to a wide array of businesses and organizations. Moreover, these insights can be tailor-made based on specific client needs, providing stakeholders with an enhanced understanding of their respective markets, consumers, and competitors.

As the demand for accurate and comprehensive data continues to grow, data brokering plays an increasingly vital role in facilitating the exchange and monetization of information while fostering data-driven innovation across industries. Ethical data brokers ensure that data privacy and security compliance is upheld, and they only source information that is legally obtained.

They are instrumental in implementing efficient data analysis processes for organizations that lack comprehensive in-house analytical tools. Furthermore, data brokering can maximize the value and utility of an organization’s data assets, thereby improving overall business performance and unlocking potential growth opportunities for clients.

Examples of Data Brokering

Data brokering refers to the process of collecting, analyzing, and selling data to third parties, often in the form of user profiles or industry-specific insights. Here are three real-world examples of data brokering:

Acxiom:Acxiom is a prominent marketing data and analytics firm that provides user data to a wide range of industries such as retail, automotive, and financial services. They collect and analyze data from both online and offline sources, including purchasing history, search behavior, and social media activity. Accurate user profiles are then generated and sold to companies for targeted marketing and advertising purposes, allowing businesses to gain deeper insights into their target audience.

Experian:Experian is a global information services firm that specializes in credit reporting, risk management, and consumer analytics. It collects, processes, and brokers data for businesses, including financial institutions, government agencies, and insurance companies, who require precise credit scores and consumer information. Experian helps these entities make informed decisions about offering credit, estimating credit risks, and mitigating potential fraud in their financial transactions.

Cambridge Analytica:Cambridge Analytica was a British political consulting firm that became a prominent example of controversial data brokering practices due to its involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The company acquired personal data from millions of Facebook users without proper consent and used this information to create targeted political ads, thereby influencing voter behavior. The scandal raised significant concerns about user privacy and the extent to which data brokering firms can manipulate public opinion, leading to increased scrutiny of the data brokering industry and renewed efforts to protect user data.

Data Brokering FAQ

What is data brokering?

Data brokering refers to the process of collecting, organizing, and selling or exchanging various types of data. Data brokers gather information from different sources, combine and analyze it, and then offer their findings or services to clients interested in making data-driven decisions.

How do data brokers collect information?

Data brokers acquire information from multiple sources, including public records, social media platforms, online browsing habits, and consumer data provided by other companies. They use advanced data mining and analysis tools to process and categorize this information, making it valuable to their customers.

Who uses data brokering services?

Data brokering services cater primarily to businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. These entities utilize the data for various purposes, such as marketing, risk management, fraud detection, and strategic planning.

Is data brokering legal?

In most countries, data brokering is legal as long as certain guidelines and regulations are followed. Data brokers are generally required to comply with data protection and privacy laws, which protect the rights of individuals and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information.

What are the risks associated with data brokering?

Although legally compliant data brokering can be beneficial to businesses and organizations, it may raise privacy concerns and potential misuse of personal information. The indiscriminate collection and sale of personal data can lead to identity theft, financial fraud, and the invasion of privacy.

How can I protect my personal information from data brokers?

To protect your personal information from data brokers, you can take several steps: adjust your privacy settings on social media, use ad-blocking tools, and regularly check your credit reports for discrepancies. Be cautious about sharing your personal information online and look for privacy policies on websites that request your data.

Related Technology Terms

  • Data Aggregation
  • Data Privacy
  • Data Monetization
  • Data Security
  • Data Governance

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