Gina Marie Stevens, Data Brokers: Background and Industry Overview (CRS Report RS22137) (May 3, 2007) (full-text).
Disclosures of breaches of the customer databases of LexisNexis and ChoicePoint have raised interest in the business and regulation of data brokers, companies that collect personal information from public and private records and sell this information to public and private sector entities. The growth of this industry has generally tracked the increase in government and private sector use of personal information. The vast amount of personal information that data brokers collect and the improper access to such data, however, have spurred concern as to the dangers of identity theft. Identity theft is reportedly the fastest growing crime in America. This report provides an overview of the data brokerage industry and more specific background on LexisNexis and ChoicePoint.