The U.S. Senate Committee On Commerce, Science and Transportation sent a letter today (Oct. 11) to a number of data brokers requesting information regarding their business practices.

Little Rock-based Acxiom was on the list.

Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) said he wants the committee to investigate the practices of data brokers that compile and sell information about consumers.

He said that the breadth and reach of data brokers – particularly with the growth of the Internet – requires a better understanding of their practices and the impact they have on consumers.

“Collecting, storing and selling information about Americans raises all types of questions that require careful scrutiny,” said Rockefeller. “While these practices may offer some benefits to consumers, they deserve to know what’s being collected about them and how companies profit from their information. We are sending letters to nine different companies today to learn how this industry works.”

Rockefeller sent letters to:

Acxiom
Experian
Equifax
Transunion
Epsilon
Reed Elsevier (Lexis-Nexis)
Datalogix
Rapleaf
Spokeo

Acxiom has said on a number of occasions it will comply with all Congressional inquiries on its business. In July, Acxiom issued this statement in response to a House inquiry.

We appreciate that many people want to know more about our business.  We have long worked in the legislative and regulatory arena and with consumer groups to further inform interested parties.

The Bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus has asked us detailed questions about our business.  We are delighted to help them understand our company, and the industry we serve better.

Moreover, we are committed to increasing awareness in general.  For example, we recently updated our web site to answer common questions about our use of data.  At the site, people can also enter their own questions and we’ll answer those too.

We look forward to being an active participant in this important discussion.