general, how do personal information aggregators, such as
Choicepoint and Accurint, compile data? I do a lot of research using
AutoTrackXP and Accurint. Occasionally, I find errors in the
reports. It would help me to understand such basics as the sources
from which they obtain the data and how they link it; that is, how
do they determine a relationship exists?
Sara R. Paul: The
best resource available is The
Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic's survey of how
consumers' personal information is collected and sold. This
report will thoroughly answer your question!
I also use Accurint and Lexis quite frequently to locate people.
After doing a bit of research on
aggregators a couple of years ago, I now take the results with a
grain of salt. For example, I have found that the real property
records are generally correct (since these are often taken directly
from government sources)
and that the family and possible acquaintances
part of the report are almost always wrong (the algorithm can
never seem to get that right).
For more info
on the accuracy of these services or the industry