Acxiom: if you don't know what this means, you should. It is the world's largest commercial database on consumers, housing consumer information on 500 million consumers and up to 1,500 data points per user. The database combines information in public records, consumer surveys, and just about any other form of data that companies collect about consumers, allowing companies to do advanced data mining and predictive analytics. In short, it is a marketers dream. Acxion represents a growing market of data brokers and apparently it is a lucrative business, posting a $77 million profit on $1.13 billion in revenue from clients like Wells Fargo, HSBC, Macy's, Toyota, and Ford. However, data broker companies are a new breed and largely unregulated, so expect the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and legislators to get involved in the not-so-distant future.
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(submitted by Charlie)