AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Every time you use your cell phone, click online, or use your credit card, you're giving away information about who you are and where you're going.
Data brokers have a business of collecting public information about you, and more and more, they're accessing other information that you give away online.
Rep. Diane Russell (D - Portland) has sponsored a bill to require commercial websites to have clear privacy policies, telling consumers what information is collected and where it goes.
"How many points in the day do you want someone taking notes about you and then selling that information to other people? That's the question. And that's the corner of convenience and creepy," Russell said.
Jeff Northrop, the Chief Technology Officer of the International Association of Privacy Professionals said this personal information in a lot of ways improves our economy and our lives. "Retailers will use it to keep prices low because they're more efficient and it's more productive. Advertisers will use it so they can target advertising more appropriately so they show messages that are more important to you."
But it's also true that data brokers can create a pretty detailed profile of you based solely on information you gave away whether you knew it or not. "It makes people uncomfortable," Northrop said. "And I think it's important for people to build that comfort because I don't think you can really retrieve what's already out in the public domain."
NEWS CENTER'S Social Media Coordinator explains how to manage your data here: MANAGING YOUR DATA