We try to keep our personal information private but there are data brokers out there making money off that information and doing it legally.
These data brokers comb public records, phone books or web sites trying to find out everything they can about someone. Then, according to Glen Lloyd at the state Consumer Protection Office, they sell it to various businesses, employers, insurance companies and even law enforcement.
It's all legal but Lloyd says it's also very lucrative for the brokers. One company made 1.1 billion dollars in 2005 by selling an address here, a social security number there. They can make several dollars off each bankruptcy case.
But there can be data breaches and that's why Consumer Protection and the state Office of Privacy Protection are in business. To make sure your private information doesn't get into the wrong hands.