Dark data is consumer information that businesses collect without having any current use for the data. Businesses sometimes collect far more consumer information than they actually need, and often store it indefinitely. Some businesses may not be thinking carefully about what data they actually need, but others may have a more dangerous purpose. Sometimes, a business will cast a wide net to get as much personal information as possible because it intends to hold onto the information until it can figure out how to monetize or sell it for maximum value.

This personal information is called “dark data” because consumers typically don’t have a full list of all the companies that have their information and which ones have held onto it. And consumers don’t know when this data may appear again and potentially be used against them. It could end up in an identity thief’s hands. It could be sold to a life insurance company and used as a basis to deny the consumer a life insurance policy. It could be bought by an employer and result in the consumer losing a job. Part of the reason “dark data” is scary is because of the uncertainty of the unknown.

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Gibbs Law Group is a California-based law firm committed to protecting the rights of clients nationwide who have been harmed by corporate misconduct. We represent individuals, whistleblowers, employees, and small businesses across the U.S. against the world’s largest corporations. Our award-winning lawyers have achieved landmark recoveries and over a billion dollars for our clients in high-stakes class action and individual cases involving consumer protection, data breach, digital privacy, and federal and California employment lawsuits. Our attorneys have received numerous honors for their work, including “Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California,” “Top Class Action Attorneys Under 40,” “Consumer Protection MVP,” “Best Lawyers in America,” and “Top Cybersecurity/ Privacy Attorneys Under 40.”