LITTLE ROCK, Ark.(KTHV) -- For years Acxiom Corp., headquartered in Little Rock, has been collecting consumer data on millions of Americans.
Wednesday, the company will give the public a glimpse into the data files they've been collecting. With Acxiom's new approach, consumers will be able to correct misinformation but also opt-out of having their data shared with marketers.
You may know little about Acxiom's business practices, but Arkansas Business Interactive Editor Lance Turner said more than likely they know a lot more about you.
"Acxiom is a data mining company, so basically they put together and broker a lot of consumer data," he said.
Turner added that the information comes from warranty cards and surveys. He also said they buy data from magazine publishers, retailers and catalog companies.
"When they put these profiles together, it helps bigger companies. Banks, car companies," he listed. "All manner of large firms who do business with consumers sort of better understand who their consumers are."
With limited U.S. regulation on data collection, Acxiom gathers info from public records. For example, Acxiom may know your profession, your education, if you're a smoker, or even if you own a cat. Until, now consumers weren't able to see exactly what the company may know about them.
Little Rock resident Felicia Thomason said she's curious to see what she's doing that Acxiom's watching.
"I don't really know where they're getting their information. But, it will be good, maybe going on the website and seeing what they have will give me more knowledge about what they do and what they have," she thought.
Consumers will gain access Wednesday to a free website named AbouttheData.com. Turner said the site will allow individuals to view their profiles, change incorrect information and even opt-out of having their info shared.
"I think there will be a fair amount of interest. People want to go, just out of curiosities sake and see what Acxiom knows about them. Some people may be surprised that it's not a lot," he added.
So why is the data mining giant turning towards transparency? Turner believes the company is being proactive and staying ahead of any privacy regulations.
"They're trying to go ahead and put these tools in place to say 'Oh, ok. If you guys are worried about privacy, here's a way you can check it; here's a way you can opt-out of it if you'd like to or correct it.'"
Turner said the site will also reveal where Acxiom gets their information.
"I think it will be eye-opening to see how much information that they tell about themselves in everyday life and and everyday actions."