Rockefeller said the probe has already found that data brokers use the information they collect to group Internet users into categories such as “Rural and Barely Making It” or “Ethnic Second-City Strugglers.”
Users should know how their data is going to be used before they share that data, Rockefeller said.
“Whether such characterizations are positive, negative or erroneous, the process of determining these characterizations is not transparency to the consumer and is beyond the consumer’s control," he said.
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) have also investigated data brokers, and the Federal Trade Commission is expected to release a report on its own investigation into the business practices.